By Christy Gutowski
12:33 p.m. CST, November 28, 2012
The state (Illinois) launched a new computerized phone system this week to improve its clogged child abuse hotline.
The hotline – considered Illinois’ front door in protecting battered and neglected children – had been operating with the original phone system from 1980.
The Tribune reported in July that more than 60 percent of nearly 250,000 hotline callers last year weren’t able to make a report on their first attempt. Instead, someone had to call them back.
Authorities said the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, which operates the hotline, lacked the ability to track average callback times. Hotline workers as well as police, teachers and doctors told the newspaper it could take several hours during peak periods to get a response.