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Legislative News

HB 2787

(Child Abuse)

Sponsors: Sen. Dillard/Rep. Bellock

Amends ANCRA.  Creates a new section for review of unfounded reports that provides that when a report is unfounded the minor's attorney or Guardian Ad Litem appointed under the Juvenile Court Act may request a review of the investigation within 10 days, and provides the Department shall, within 45 days of classification of the report, transmit a copy of the report to the guardian ad litem the Department employee outside the supervisory chain of the assigned investigator and must occur before a final finding is enetered.  Also allows the GAL to be heard and participate in the appeal process to amend the report if it involves their client.  Effective January 1, 2014.

HB 2659

(Juvenile Court - Previous Foster Parent)

Sponsors: Sen. Delgado/Rep. Chapa LavVia

Amends the Child and Family Services Act.  The bill clarifies the definition of foster parent to include a relative caregiver that the Department has identified.  The bill will also clarify that when the court has a permanency hearing and makes a determination that the current foster home placement is necessary and appropriate does not mean/constitute a determination on the merits of an administrative appeal filed by former foster parent involving a change in placement decision.  Effective January 1, 2014.

HB 2471

(Criminal Victim Privacy)

Sponsors: Sen. Harris/Rep. Davis

Amends the Privacy of Child Victims of Criminal Sexual Offenses Act. Changes the Act's short title to include human trafficking.  Applies Act to forensic interviews and criminal cases in which the defendant is charged with specified offenses.  Requires a criminal offense charge to state the identity of a victim alleged to have been subjected to an offense involving an illegal sexual act by name, initials, or description.  Effective January 1, 2014.

HB 2245

(Reporting Child Abuse)

Sponsors: Sen. Delgado/Rep. Chapa LavVia

Amends the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.  Provides that upon employment and at least once every 5 years thereafter, school personnel, including substitute teachers, who work directly with students must complete mandated reporter training provided by an individual or agency with expertise in recognizing and reporting child abuse. Clarifies that the initial mandated training can be done during the first year of employment.  This is an IFT amendment. Effective July 1, 2014.

SB 1207

(Initiative Bill, Passed Both Chambers 2013 - 98th GA)

Sponsors: Sen. Haine/Rep. Pihos

ANCRA Appeal

This bill amends the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.  Under current stature, all person are required to file an appeal within 60 days of an indicated report being entered against them, regardless of whether there are separate proceedings in a circuit court ot adjudicate the same set of facts as give rise to the indicated finding.  This bill allos a person who is indicated for abuse or neglect to file an appeal of that finding within 60 days of a juvenile or criminal court case disposition in his or her favor concerning the same facts and circumstances as the indicated report.  Also allows the GAL to be heard and participate in the appeal process to amend the report if it involves their client.  Effective January 1, 2014.

SB 1599

Background Checks

Sponsors: Sen. Morrison/Rep. Drury

This bill amends the Children and Family Services Act.  Permits DCFS to have access to background information for all Department employees and Department applicants, in addition to the criminal history record information and the adjudicatory and dispositional record system information the Department has access to under the Act.

Also amends the Child Care Act to extend criminal background check requirements to include non-licensed service providers and volunteers.  The need to amend existing language is due to and FBI audit finding in order to continue to include FBI checks as part of criminal background checks.  FBI results allow the agency to consider criminal convictions committed outside the State of Illinois.  The Department's inability to perform the requisite FBI fingerprint screening and disclose FBI background check data to its non-licensed service providers, independent contractors, and the courts creates a universal safety issue and subjects the Department to legal exposure.  It also impedes the Department's ability to achieve permanency in adoption and subsidized guardianship cases.  Effective immediately.

DCFS Legislative Update

DCFS Office of Legislative Affairs

97th General Assembly

September, 2012

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

(Youth Scholarships)

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

(Environment Injurious)

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

(Unfounded Reports)

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

HB 1489

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.

SB3773 changes the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to expand the definition of ‘public body’ to include nonprofit or charity organizations that receive state funding.

Find our information sheet here.

Donors Forum vigorously opposes this bill.

  • Nonprofits are private and independent entities, like for profit businesses who also contract with the state. Receiving state funding in exchange for services rendered for the state does not convert nonprofits into instruments of the government.
  • This bill makes current FOIA law redundant and adds an additional reporting burden on nonprofits that rightfully belongs to the state and state agencies.
  • It is impractical to enforce and the compliance costs for a nonprofit would be prohibitive and extraordinary on capacity-stretched nonprofits around the state.

This bill is in the Executive Committee, scheduled for a hearing next Wednesday. This bill must not be called.

Email Donors Forum and add your organization to the growing list of nonprofits opposing this bill.

Other ways to take action:

  • If  you’re a nonprofit, contact the main sponsors to voice your concern: Sen. Martin Sandoval (217.782.5304); Sen. Susan Garrett (217.782.3650); Sen. Steve Landek (217.782.0054).
  • Contact members of the Executive Committee, share your concerns and ask that this bill not be called.
  • Contact your representative and senator and ask them, if this bill makes it out of committee, to vote NO.
  • Talk to your Board and staff about how a Freedom of Information Act request would impact your organization and ask them to join you in your advocacy.