ROCKFORD, Ill. – State Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, introduced legislation that would keep the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) from taking children away from parents solely due to the parent being a domestic abuse survivor.
“It is unconscionable that children are able to be taken away from a parent due to the parent being a victim of domestic abuse,” said Vella. “It is our job to support those who are victims of abuse, not punish them by tearing their family apart.”
Currently, children of domestic abuse survivors can be taken away when domestic abuse is reported because it can be determined the children are in a dangerous environment. In response, Vella introduced House Bill 3877, which prohibits DCFS from terminating parental custody of domestic abuse survivors solely due to them reporting domestic abuse. If it is found that the child is being abused or neglected, the DCFS Inspector General’s office must accept the findings before the parental custody is terminated.
“Not only is it unacceptable to punish abuse victims by taking their kids away, but our current system actually incentivizes abuse victims to not report their abuse out of fear their children could be taken from them,” said Vella. “It is past time that we change these policies and make our state agencies work with domestic abuse survivors, not against them.”