Funding Cuts Threaten Children in Chicago

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthThe Child Care Association of Illinois recently released data showing confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect are projected to drop in Illinois by 27 percent since 2008. On a micro level, however, Children’s Advocacy Centers throughout Illinois who respond to allegations of child sexual abuse are reporting much different statistics.

“Compared to one year ago, we have seen a 12.7 percent increase in children being seen for forensic interviews and advocacy services across the state,” says Billi Larkin, executive director of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois. This perception in projected drops can leave the public and legislators with the idea that a decrease in funding is in line, leaving agencies that serve sexual abuse victims with fewer resources during a time of increased reports. Governor Pat Quinn recently recommended cutting funding to the DCFS by a staggering $151 million.

The biggest problem facing child sexual abuse today is the lack of reporting. Since reporting directly affects treatment caused by child sexual abuse, the increase of reported cases is a positive, making breaking the cycle a real possibility. “We are encouraged to learn the confirmed cases of neglect and abuse has gone down in Illinois,” says Char Rivette, executive director of the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. “However, our statistics in Chicago indicate there was a 12 percent increase of reported cases of child sexual abuse in Chicago in the last year.”

The Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center is vital to treating victims of child sexual abuse in Chicago through a holistic approach. The unique model raises awareness about the epidemic while reducing the amount of trauma and bureaucracy victims face. For more information, please visit

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