Budget cuts hurt fight against child abuse

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DECATUR -- Studies show child abuse rates are high in Central Illinois.

According to the Illinois Department of Family Services, child abuse and neglect rates are as follows:
  • Macon Co. - 16.7%
  • Sangamon Co. - 14.9%
  • Champaign Co. - 12.5%

But lack of funding has local organizations worried. State budget cuts have forced organizations like DCFS and the Macon County Child Advocacy Center to cut programs.

MCCAC Executive Director Jean Moore said she's worried about diminishing services.

"We've made progress as far as identification and reporting," said Moore.

But Moore said diminishing services are big setbacks.

"We could actually see more substantiated cases and more kids going to foster care because we're not doing what we can to keep families together and keep kids safe."

Certain programs like counseling classes for parents now rely fully on donations from the community.

 

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