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DCFS Legislative Update
DCFS Office of Legislative Affairs
97th General Assembly
DCFS proposals—the following proposals passed the General Assembly and have been signed into law by the Governor.
HB 4028 PA 97-1063
(Adoption – DCFS Consent Form)
Sponsors: Rep. Sara Feigenholtz/Senator Koehler
The statute governing adoptions, specifically those facilitated by DCFS, needs to be revised in regards to the specific consent provisions, in which a natural parent gives consent to an adoption to a specific person(s). The revisions will allow for adoptions to continue moving forward without unnecessary delays. This bill also changes the language in ANCRA to clarify eligible perpetrators under human trafficking situations; Confidential Intermediary Council issues. Effective January 1, 2013
SB 2818 PA 97-0799
Sponsors: Sen. Mattie Hunter/Rep Howard
The DCFS Scholarship Program (20 ILCS 505/8) needs revised to correctly identify all eligible youth for the program. The corrected language will allow youth who are home schooled, but receive an accredited high school diploma, and youth who aged out of foster care at age 18 or older to apply for a scholarship. Effective immediately.
SB 2849 PA 97-0803
Sponsors: Sen. William Haine/Rep Mayfield
Amends ANCRA (Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act) by including in the definition of the term “neglected child,” a child who has been placed in an environment that is injurious to the child’s health and welfare (Allegation 60). Effective immediately.
SB 3337 PA 97-1024
(Audit Finding Family Support Demonstration Project)
Sponsors: Sen. Dan Kotowski/Rep Mell
Remove an outdated mandate in the Family Support Demonstration Project, 325 ILCS 30/7, that requires the Department to monitor and evaluate a Family Support Demonstration Project and report its status to the General Assembly on February 1, 1994 and February 1, 1995 with a final report on February 1, 1996. Effective immediately.
SB 3325 PA 97-0859
(Audit Finding Family Support Demonstration Project)
Sponsors: Sen. Dan Kotowski/Rep Gabel
Remove an outdated mandate in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/8.2, that requires the Department to provide a preliminary report that includes information regarding family preservation services to the General Assembly by January 1, 1991. The report was delivered to all members of the General Assembly in 1991. Effective immediately.
SB 3517 PA 97-0874
(Barring Felony Financial Crimes)
Sponsors: Sen. John Mulroe/Rep Burke
DCFS Office of Inspector General made recommendation of legislative change to the Child Care financial crimes on list of barrable offenses. This change will eliminate fraud. This is a recommendation of the DCFS Office of Inspector General. Effective immediately.
SB 3544 PA 97-1024
Sponsors: Senator Jacobs/Rep Mussman
This would carve out a small exception for the Department to maintain unfounded reports beyond 12 months if there is a pending investigation. This is a recommendation of the DCFS Office of Inspector General. Effective immediately.
Other bills passed this year that impact DCFS that are now law:
HB 3887 PA 97-0711
Sponsors: Rep Kay/Senator McCarter
Amends ANCRA; adds personnel of institutions of higher education, athletic program personnel and early intervention providers to the list of mandate reporters under the Act. Effective immediately.
HB 4566 PA 97-0930
Sponsors: Rep Brauer/Senator Holmes
Amends ANCRA; DCFS shall conduct a developmental and social-emotional screening within 45 days after the Department is granted temporary custody of a child. Provides that when a child under the age of 3 is engaged in intact family service, the Department shall offer to conduct a developmental screening
within 60 days after opening the case. For children in intact cases who are ages 3 through 5, the intact caseworker shall refer the child for a developmental screening. No fiscal impact to DCFS. Effective immediately.
HB 4601 PA 97-0932
Sponsors: Rep Currie/Senator Holmes
Amends the Illinois Procurement Code pertaining to electronically filing contracts and grants. Effective immediately.
HB 4606 PA 97-0981
Sponsors: Rep May/Senator Steans
Amends the Child Care Act, effective Jan 1, 2013 have a radon detection test for each new day care home, group day care home and day center once every 3 years. Certificate must be posted near day care license. Fire Marshall’s office proposal. Effective January 1, 2013.
HB 4966 PA 97-1068
Sponsors: Rep Evans/Senator Righter
Amends ANCRA, provides that a copy of any documents, files, records books, and papers created or used in connection with DCFS’ investigation of a child’s death or serious life-threatening injury shall be included in the Departments’ investigation report. Effective Jan 1, 2013
HB 5062 PA 97-0988
Sponsors: Sommer/Senator LaHood
Amends the Adoption Act, eliminates the requirement that children under the age of 14 be personally served by a sheriff in adoption proceedings. This has historically been an unnecessary exercise that is particularly meaningless in infant adoptions. The bill also provides that a 14 year old who is consenting to his/her own adoption, would waive service of summons. Effective Jan. 1, 2013
HB 5278 PA 97-0897
Sponsors: Rep Cassidy/Senator J. Collins
Amends the Criminal Code, allows for greater protection of minors forced into involuntary sexual servitude or trafficking. The bill extends the Statute of limitations for prosecuting such an offense. Also includes in the offense of involuntary servitude “using a scheme, plan or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if the person did not perform that labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm of physical restraints. This is important to minors as the simple threat of harm may force her/him into sexual servitude. Effective date Jan. 1, 2013
HB 5592 PA 97-1076
Sponsors: Rep Feigenholtz/Senator Hunter
Amends the Children and Family Services Act. The bill seeks to preserve sibling relationships when in a child’s best interest. Post permanency agreements are NOT enforceable in law. Effective immediately.
SB 2537 PA 97-1079
Sponsors: Senator Silverstein/Rep Franks
Amends the Criminal Code. Creates the offense of failure to report the death or disappearance of a child under 13 years of age, known as Caylee’s Law. Provides that the Department of Children and Family Services Guardianship Administrator shall not personally be subject to the reporting requirements in the new statute concerning failure to report the death or disappearance of a child Effective immediately.
SB 3601 PA 97-1099
Sponsors: Senator Kotowski/Rep Hernandez
Amends the Child Care Act.
Requires that, no later than September 30, 2013 (instead of June 30, 2013), the Department of Children and Family Services shall provide the General Assembly with a comprehensive report on its progress in meeting performance measures and goals related to child day care licensing. Makes changes in the information that shall be included in the report. Requires the Department to work with the Governor's appointed Early Learning Council on issues related to and concerning child care (instead of collecting data and documenting improvements to the Department's responsibilities concerning child day care licensing). Deletes language that requires the Department to launch a public portal to allow the public to look up serious licensing violations in a manner that is clear and understandable by parents or other interested parties. Effective July 1, 2012.
(Denice Murray, Deputy Director of Licensing, negotiated the language with IL. Action for Children)
****Title IVE legislation—passed the Senate late May 31; needs House concurrence—hoping for this to occur in November’s Veto Session
Sponsors: Senator Kotowski/Rep Lange
Amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Includes in the definition of "dependent minor" a person under 21 years of age: (1) who was previously a ward of the court and under guardianship of the Department of Children and Family Services Guardianship Administrator and wardship and guardianship were vacated under the Act; (2) who is not presently a ward of the court under the Abused, Neglected, and Dependent Minor Article of the Act where there is no supplemental petition to reinstate wardship pending on behalf of the minor; and (3) in whose best interest that wardship be reinstated.
Sen. Martin Sandoval has introduced a bill (SB3773) that represents an undue and unnecessary burden on nonprofits.
This bill is in the Executive Committee, scheduled for a hearing next Wednesday. This bill must not be called.