Report: DCFS Says Budget Cuts Could Be Crippling

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois Dept of Children and Family Services is warning in a published report that budget cuts mandated by the General Assembly are going to have a severe impact.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the budget cuts amount to $50 million, and are resulting in the layoffs of 375 employees.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

DCFS officials tell the Chicago Tribune the cuts and layoffs will leave the agency unable to serve at least 1,500 families through a program which keeps families with abused or neglected children together, rather than sending those kids to foster care.

Officials tell the newspaper the program allows the youngsters to avoid the trauma of foster care while the parent gets treatment, and saves the state money.

DCFS director Richard Calica tells the Tribune bluntly that the successes of the program over the last 15 yearas are going “down the toilet,” and that standards are being tightened for families at risk.

More cases are to be turned over to private agencies that have neither the staff nor the resources to handle them, and cases may be closed prematurely, the Tribune reports.

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