The Illinois agency responsible for investigating child abuse has updated its system for accepting online reports of neglect and abuse.
Leaders of the Department of Children and Family Services said the changes include clearer instructions and fewer necessary clicks, aiming to reduce the amount of time required to complete abuse reports.
“The earlier suspected abuse or neglect is reported, the earlier we can connect the family to services and supports they need to keep their children safely at home," Acting Director Marc Smith said in a statement.
The updated system also puts reports of abuse or neglect directly into the agency’s case management system. Officials said that can improve investigators’ efficiency.
Smith said making online reporting easier is critical during the coronavirus pandemic since children are less likely to be seen by adults outside their home.
Reports to the agency have increased since schools resumed online or in person this fall but totals for September still were lower than the same month last year, he said.