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Article updated: 4/12/2013 9:04 AM

Official: Illinois human services staff too lean

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Officials say the Illinois Department of Human Services staff is so lean that caseworkers can devote only 45 minutes a year to some families in need of social services.

Human Services Secretary Michelle Saddler told lawmakers Thursday that the agency needs more money to hire employees. Some have caseloads of 2,600.

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Saddler told a House appropriations committee that Human Services officials need a larger staff just to keep their "noses above water."

Saddler's testimony shocked lawmakers.

DHS caseworkers help needy families get food, shelter, financial and medical assistance.

Gov. Pat Quinn proposes adding 100 employees to the agency in the budget year that begins July 1. Funding would increase 8 percent to $6.3 billion. Staff increased by 105 this year.

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