Pubdate: Thu, 04 Dec 2008
Source: Belleville News-Democrat (IL)
Copyright: 2008 Belleville News-Democrat
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Youth)


A job candidate has to be pretty stupid, or pretty  something, to 
take a drug test when he knows he isn't  going to pass it. Yet 
between February and November, 60  people offered jobs with DCFS or 
one of the private  social service agencies it contracts with took 
and  failed a drug test. That's 2 percent of candidates.

Those 60 people would be working directly with kids  today if it 
weren't for the drug screening. No telling  how many other drug users 
dropped out of the running  for jobs once they learned about the 
testing  requirement.

At $23.50 a test, or $70,000 total for the period, this  was money 
well spent to help protect vulnerable  children. DCFS agrees it's a 
powerful deterrent and  good investment and wants to continue the 
testing. But  in a misguided cost-saving move, it has stopped it indefinitely.

Surely there are other places in the budget to cut that  would not 
result in such a potentially harmful effect  on children. Whatever 
money is saved will not offset  the risks of hiring drug users.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom