Illinois Helps Judges Faced with Surge of Child Abuse New Committee Moves to Revamp the Child-Welfare System

By James L. Tyson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 25, 1994 | Go to article overview

Illinois Helps Judges Faced with Surge of Child Abuse New Committee Moves to Revamp the Child-Welfare System


James L. Tyson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


RESPONDING to the surge in child abuse occurring nationwide, Illinois is bolstering the courts that are often the last line of defense for many mistreated children.

The state legislature recently approved a plan by the circuit court of Cook County, one of the largest court systems in the United States, to create a staff of "hearing officers." An officer will review the case of an abused child before trial and so help the judge reach an efficient and just solution.

This is the first step taken by a new committee - which includes the governor, lawmakers, and judiciary officials - that plans to revamp the Illinois child-welfare system. The measure is aimed at preventing mistakes in administration or litigation that subject a child to continued abuse.

Advocates for mistreated children support the move but say that the juvenile court needs to expand its staff almost across the board in order to adequately handle a flood of cases.

"The judges are hearing 10 times the national average of cases, allocating eight minutes or less to hear the most critical question in a person's life," says Jerome Stermer, president of Voices for Illinois Children.

These advocates worry that after advancing a few narrow, short-term reforms, the state might fail to enact essential, long-term programs that discourage child abuse. Necessary long-term remedies include job training, prenatal care, drug treatment, and education programs, they say. "We are concerned there will be too little focus on prevention programs and programs that are much more complicated and far-reaching will be put off," Mr. Stermer says.

Public officials involved in child welfare say the creation of a hearing staff is crucial for helping the judiciary better cope with the significant rise in child-abuse cases in the past several years. The eight judges in the Cook County juvenile court are each responsible for cases involving 3,000 children. New cases are coming on the docket at an accelerating rate. Some 6,300 additional cases were filed in court last year, a more than threefold increase over the number for 1973.

Courts across the United States also face a deluge of new cases. Some 2,936,000 children were abused in the United States in 1992, an increase of 53 percent since 1985. That means that 45 out of every 1,000 US children were mistreated, according to the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse.

In Illinois, the number of abused and neglected children jumped 33 percent to 43,138 from 1985 to 1992, according to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Experts disagree on the ultimate reason for the rise in child abuse. However, most of them say children are increasingly mistreated because of rising narcotics use, economic hardship, and the fraying bonds between the members of many families. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Illinois Helps Judges Faced with Surge of Child Abuse New Committee Moves to Revamp the Child-Welfare System
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.