DEERFIELD – To make it easier for people to report child abuse and neglect, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services enhanced its online reporting system. State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is encouraging the public and mandatory reporters to use the website to report issues at a faster pace.

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“Oftentimes, both children and adults find themselves in vulnerable situations where they don’t feel comfortable picking up the phone to make a report or can’t do so immediately,” Morrison said. “Not only does this make the reporting process easier, it expedites the case management process and lessens the number of return calls needed during times of high call volume.”

DCFS last month upgraded its online reporting system, with improved entry fields, clearer instructions and fewer necessary clicks, reducing the time required to make reports.

After the recent upgrade, 434 online reports were made in the last full week of September compared to 173 filed during the same time last year.

When someone makes a report through the upgraded user-friendly site, it is automatically sent to DCFS’s case management system, which the agency says increases internal efficiency. 

To use the online reporting system, visit dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov. Additionally, cases of abuse and neglect can still be reported by phone at 1-800-25-ABUSE. 

Category: Uncategorised

DEERFIELD – In 2020 alone, 55 lives have been lost to suicide in Lake County. On this World Suicide Prevention Day, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) wants to remind people they matter and help is always available.

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“During a time of increased stress and social isolation stemming from the public health crisis, more people are feeling helpless and out of control,” Morrison said. “Help is out there for everyone. There are a number of resources in Lake County to help people understand their feelings, offer support and point them in the right direction.”

The Lake County Health Department offers a free Crisis Care Program. The confidential hotline, available at 847-377-8088, can help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or substance abuse. Counselors are also available in person at 3002 Grand Lake Ave. in Waukegan. Anyone who needs help can call or walk in, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Help is extended to every resident of Lake County – no matter their age. Kids who are struggling are encouraged to download the “Lake County Help” app to their smartphone, which they can use to text anonymously with a licensed clinician.

Additionally, any Lake County resident who needs assistance finding mental health or substance abuse treatment, as well as food, shelter, rent or utility assistance can call 211 or text their zip code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help.

“We must continue to check on our friends and family – even if we can’t physically be with them,” Morrison said. “Learning the warning signs of suicide and lending a helping hand can save a life. Suicide is preventable.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also offers a number of resources to help people in crisis or those worried about a friend or family member. The lifeline offers 24/7 confidential support at 1-800-273-8255. Morrison also encourages everyone to learn the risk factors and warning signs of suicide so they can help their loved ones. For more information, click here.

Category: Uncategorised

DEERFIELD — As small businesses continue to face financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is pleased more than 50 businesses throughout her district have received nearly $900,000 in combined assistance through the Business Interruption Grant Program.

“The small business community and its hardworking owners hold a special place in my heart, and I’m happy they will receive much-deserved assistance,” Morrison said. “Between being shut down for weeks and the extra cost that comes with keeping employees and customers safe and healthy, these business owners need as much help as we can possibly provide them.”

A total of 53 business in the district Morrison represents received a combined $870,000. Each business received between $10,000 and $20,000 to be used to help with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as personal protective equipment, training and new technology.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a total of $46 million to 2,655 small businesses in the first round of BIG funding. The BIG program offers grants to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that have suffered pandemic-related losses, with a focus on businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state.

The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is available here.

Category: Uncategorised

DEERFIELD – As the deadline to complete the census nears, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is urging people to fill out their 2020 census immediately.

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“The census has never been easier to finish, and you can do it without having to meet a census taker in person,” Morrison said. “The answers provided will help support our community.”

The census is safe, secure and confidential. It takes less than 10 minutes, and can easily be done from the comfort of one’s home online, by phone or mail.

The census determines congressional representation, helps determine how federal funds flow into states and provides information that will impact communities for the next decade.

Morrison is urging everyone to take the time to fill it out. Some areas in Cook and Lake Counties are reporting low response rates. Without a 100% response rate, schools, roads, hospitals and other critical community services could be impacted.

Currently, only 75.7% of all Lake County residents have completed the Census. Additionally, just 62.8% of Waukegan residents and 54.1% of North Chicago residents have filled out the form this year.

“Please take time today to help shape the future. Every response matters,” Morrison said.

Residents can complete the census for their household at https://my2020census.gov.

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