ILLINOIS (IRN) – Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is contemplating hundreds of layoffs.
The governor’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2013 would have cut DCFS by $36 million. The budget the Legislature enacted cut by $50 million more, for a total cut of $86 million.
That includes a $27 million cut in the personnel line item, which translates to 375 layoffs.
The department is working on identifying the positions and the people who will go. DCSF spokesman Kendall Marlowe says the department must do what’s mandated by statute, such as investigating child abuse and coordinating foster care. What will be cut are efforts to keep at-risk families intact, and to prevent child abuse. Since those services are carried out in regional and field offices across the state roughly in proportion to the population, the job cuts will take place statewide.
The new fiscal year starts July 1. If the layoffs can’t be prevented, they’ll happen as quickly as possible, Marlowe says, because for every month of delay, the greater the number of cuts will be in order to fall within the dollar amount of the new budget.