(KMOV.com) -- Metro East child advocates and law enforcement say you can expect more abuse and neglect with the cuts to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services.
Leaders who work with some of the most vulnerable in our society are trying to send a strong message to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the General Assembly. They met outside the Madison County Courthouse Monday night to speak out against the cuts.
The General Assembly passed a budget that cuts $50 Million from the DCFS budget. And preventative care will suffer the most. All DCFS intact family workers are being laid off in October.
“This is a penny wise and pound foolish idea that won’t work,” said Alton Police Chief David Hayes. “Every time one of these services gets cut I have to spend more money out of my budget to train officers to try to do this work that experts like these folks here do every day. We’re not equipped for that.”
When a police officer or school resource officer spots abuse or neglect they inform DCFS. A worker will contact the family and try to resolve the issue without taking the child out of the home and putting them in foster care. On Tuesday night leaders agreed that this move will result in more children in foster care.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of afterthought,” said Carrie Cohan, Executive Director of Maidson County Child Advocacy Center. “It’s important we do not get rid of prevention programs that work to keep families together and kids in their homes. That’s where they belong.”