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Program for at-risk kids sees major cuts

SPRINGFIELD -- The Department of Children & Family Services is downsizing one of its biggest programs; all because of state budget cuts. Intact Family Services is losing some of its workers to help save the agency money. Critics say it's the wrong move.

"My hope had been that in the 30 years that I had been in this field to see a virtual end to child abuse and neglect, and this is a very big step back," said Roy Harley.

He's the Executive Director for Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. The organization is aimed at doing just that.

"I can't speak to the issues of how the state should manage its budget, but it's very frightening for us, it's very frightening to watch," he said.

He's talking about DCFS cutting Intact Family Services, a program designed for troubled families. It helps them with issues of abuse and child neglect, so kids aren't put in foster care.

"It's really very unfortunate because the families will then be at risk of deteriorating because there's no one in there to help."

A spokesperson for the agency says nearly 300 workers from the program will be laid off. It will now only be able to handle 3,000 cases. It's 1,000 less than last year. Harley says services like these need to be restored if we ever hope to end child abuse.

"There is a price to pay down the road and it will be a bigger price than we would have to pay today," he said.

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