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DCFS Workers Rally Downtown To Protest Layoffs

Employees of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services stage a protest rally outside the Thompson Center, to speak out against layoffs at the agency, which they say will hurt children. (Credit: Steve Miller, WBBM)

Employees of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services stage a protest rally outside the Thompson Center, to speak out against layoffs at the agency, which they say will hurt children. (Credit: Steve Miller, WBBM)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A few hundred employees of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services rallied in front of the Thompson Center this afternoon, protesting layoffs at the agency.

“We know that in Illinois there are some budgetary problems,” said Edward Schwartz, a DCFS child protection service worker, and president of AFSCME Local 2081. “But a budget is a moral document that sets up the priorities for the state, and if we’re going to put children at the bottom of our priority list, I say shame on you.”

A spokesman for DCFS said the agency acknowledges the layoffs would increase the risk to children, but said DCFS needs to maximize the money it has been budgeted.

Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will try to restore some funding, but the legislature has to act first.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports