Call for increased 'home-visiting' programs

May 13, 2008 3:18:27 PM PDT
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and leaders of several other agencies want state legislative leaders to approve a $10 million increase for so-called "home-visiting" programs.

They say a new study released Tuesday highlights how these programs are proven to cut child abuse and neglect while reducing future crime and violence.

The study says 28,000 children are abused and neglected in Illinois every year. That could produce an estimated 1,000 future violent criminals in Illinois, 300 of them in Cook County alone.

During home visits mothers receive instruction about the health and nutritional needs of infants, how to identify signs of problems with their children, how to make their home child-safe, and where to find resources like doctors and child care.

"We spend $1.2 billion a year in the state budget just on consequences of abuse and neglect, so to ask for $10 million across the state to invest more in prevention seems like a drop in the bucket really," said Tim Carpenter, State Director, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

The study comes from a group called "Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois." It is made up of more than 200 law enforcement members.


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