The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says cases of child sex abuse are up six percent in counties outside of Cook. But over 80 percent of those reports come from professionals, like teachers and doctors.
Dave Clarkin is a spokesman for DCFS. He says very few reports come from family members, friends, or neighbors of abused children.
"When help is delayed to kids until a 9-11 call is placed, or they show up at the emergency room or they turn school age, it means that the abuse has gone on much longer than it needed to. And we need people closest to kids to pick up the phone and call our hotline at 1-800-2-5-ABUSE as soon as they suspect that a child has been harmed or is in harm's way." - Dave Clarkin, DCFS
DCFS is asking the Illinois General Assembly to re-allocate about half of the $86 million cut from its budget. Those funds would help re-organization efforts, aimed at turning more DCFS employees into front-line investigators. Illinois Public Radio's Rachel Otwell contributed to this report