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New study shows agency is missing deadlines

SPRINGFIELD -- A new report shows DCFS is backed up. The Auditor General found the agency is missing important deadlines when it comes to investigating child abuse. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

When an allegation of abuse is out there, experts say timing is important. That's why the latest numbers from DCFS are troubling.

A new audit of the agency finds more than 800 of 65,000 investigations weren't started when they should have been. It's the highest number the agency has seen since 2006.

Roy Harley, with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, says there can be some serious consequences if the investigations don't move quickly. DCFS says funding and staffing are the main problems. DCFS needs to get to the cases quickly to prevent further abuse down the road.

Last year, it announced it was reorganizing and creating more caseworkers to deal with the massive case load. The agency agreed with the audit's findings and says the reorganization is already reducing the caseload.

DCFS says it works on a report of child abuse or neglect every five minutes. It adds, more than 99% of those cases meet the deadline.

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