DCFS Discusses Efforts to Keep Children Safe During Pandemic

Illinois Senate lawmakers are getting an update on how the State Department of Children and Family Services is handling abuse cases during the pandemic.

The D-C-F-S call center, which handles calls to the child abuse hotline is being run remotely by employees. Calls dropped 52 percent in April as COVID-19 gained steam and less mandated reporters like teachers were around students to notice any problems. Gayle Hopper runs the program and says while calls are now rising, the number of investigations they are conducting has increased.

“This can be attributed to the increase of reporting by law enforcement, by the study reporting of medical professionals, and the community observing or reporting first-hand information of child maltreatment,” Hopper informs.

Hopper told a senate committee that D-C-F-S also launched the “You are not alone” campaign, urging kids to reach out if they need help. There’s also a new online form to report suspected cases of abuse or neglect that aren’t in immediate danger.

***Report Courtesy of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services***

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