State Senator’s Legislation Reinforcing DCFS’ Permanency Goals to Protect Child Welfare Passes the Senate
Recently introduced House Bill 3705 amends the Illinois’ Children and Family Services Act to reinforce the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services’ (DCFS) duty to children in foster care as well as its responsibility for placing youth in permanent family homes through guardianship or adoption (as opposed to adoptive homes) when restoration to the biological family is not safe, possible or otherwise appropriate. Proper placements are crucial in preventing foster child abuse, child sexual abuse, and child neglect.
This Bill illuminates DCFS’ obligation to children whose welfare services may be provided for by multiple state agencies or whose jurisdiction could not be identified by a single state agency. According to State Senator Mattie Hunter, “we have a responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of all children in our state, and that includes providing youth in care with stable and permanent homes.” Hunter (D-Chicago) further commented, “this legislation is vital in enabling DCFS to effectively provide children the care and support they need and deserve.” The legislation also removed DCFS’ requirement to establish the Governor’s Youth Services Initiative, which was disbanded by the State of Illinois in 2019. Read more here.