CHICAGO – Following a historic legislative session which included the creation of the House Adoption and Child Welfare Committee in order to reform the child welfare system, crucial measures championed by state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, have been signed into law.
“Media and agency reports made it clear to us that the state’s current system to care for our most vulnerable children has failed to protect them,” Feigenholtz said. “When children are placed into the foster care system, their well-being is entrusted upon the State, so we must ensure that we are addressing any issues and providing them adequate resources to care for the children.”
Committed to strengthening Illinois’ child welfare system, the following measures were passed by Feigenholtz and have been signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker:
- House Bill 2571, which places limitations on the number of children that can be placed in a single foster family home in order to prevent overcrowding and increase the comfort of youth in care;
- Senate Bill 191, which allows for certain youth who have been deemed delinquent by the court for breaking the law, but are in need of residential mental health care, to be eligible for grants to help their parents or guardians cover the costs of their treatment; and
- Senate Bill 1116, which closes a loophole in the law that prevents a court from continuing an investigation of abuse or neglect of a minor on their 18th birthday, even if the case has not yet been closed. This new law will ensure that if the Department of Children and Family Services and the court are in the middle of an investigation when a child turns 18, they are still able to have jurisdiction over the case.
“There are a number of gaps and holes in the child welfare system that culminate to create unhealthy and dangerous situations for children. These must all be addressed to create a process that truly creates the best environments for our kids and these are all crucial steps in that direction,” Feigenholtz said. “As a long-time advocate for foster care youth, I was honored to lead a committee dedicated to addressing the challenges and failures that have come to light in order to care for our children to the degree they deserve.”
Rep. Sara Feigenholtz
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261-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
3223 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657