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Numbers up for child abuse

SPRINGFIELD -- Reports of child abuse in downstate Illinois are up.
SPRINGFIELD -- Reports of child abuse in downstate Illinois are up. DCFS released new numbers Friday. Officials say there was a 5.5% increase from this time last year. That's about 1,000 more reported cases.

The numbers are naturally drawing concerns for child advocacy groups including "Prevent Child Abuse Illinois." Its director, Roy Harley, says there are a few reasons while the reports may be up. One could be the economy, another might be the fact there are fewer social services available downstate compared to up north.

Harley says, either way, something needs to be done. The reports shows 35 downstate counties had abuse and neglect rates more than double the rest of the state. Harley says he worries about how the increase will affect DCFS' ability to handle all the cases.

The agency is dealing with serious budget cuts, but Governor Quinn hopes to restore some of its funding. Whether or not that will happen, remains to be seen. Lawmakers will take up the issue during veto session.
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