A state legislative oversight committee is again reviewing the state’s system for reporting child abuse. A State Ombudsman’s report shows some of the 22-thousand calls about abuse received in a six-month period last year were routed to voice mail and never answered. Deputy Ombudsman Ruth Cooperrider says misrouted calls were part of the infamous Shelby Duis case. Cooperrider testified Monday that there needs to be a centralized intake office to take all child abuse reports. She says it would have to be adequately staffed to make proper decisions.Cooperrider says it’s important to have immediate action on a report. She says forcing people to wait or call back often means the story isn’t as accurate. D-H-S Director Jessie Rassmussen says she thinks the legislature will find the cost of a centralized intake office prohibitive. Rassmussen says the current system allows a professional to eventually handle the call without having to be on call 24 hours a day.Some testified before the committee that they liked being able to talk to their local D-H-S office. The committee will continue gathering information on the issue through the fall.
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