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Monday, March 8, 2010 - 9:05am

Group Says Cuts Could Hurt Kids

The Georgia Department of Human Services is facing more than $100 million in budget cuts the next two fiscal years, and a child advocacy group worries about how that will affect kids.

The group, Voices for Georgia's Children, says employee furloughs and cuts in the number of caseworkers who monitor kids at risk for abuse and neglect would be serious and could have far-reaching consequences.

"When there are less caseworkers or those caseworkers have bigger caseloads, there's a potential for crisis and the potential that children are going to fall through the cracks," says Mindy Binderman, the group's Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy. "We know that those kids are at much bigger risk for either juvenile delinquency, or being abusers themselves when they don’t receive the services that they need," she said.

Plunging tax revenue is prompting cuts in the current budget.

The state faces a $1 billion shortfall in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.