(AP) -- Illinois'
child welfare agency has launched a new computerized child abuse hotline in
response to complaints its old system was failing to handle the volume of
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services announced the
new $474,000 system Wednesday.
The department received more than 250,000 calls last year, but a
majority of the callers didn't immediately reach a child abuse expert and had
to be called back.
The department's new director, Richard Calica (KAHL'-ih-kuh), says the
hotline's problems meant unacceptable delays in sending investigators out into
the field and getting help to children and families. Calica says replacing the
old hotline is a smart investment.
The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free
number is 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873).