CHICAGO. – State Rep. Kimberly du Buclet, D-Chicago, is working to create greater protections for children in foster care by introducing legislation that requires foster parents to create a haircare plan for youths in their care.

“Proper hair care is necessary for our wellbeing. Hair care is an important part of hygiene in addition to holding social and cultural significance,” du Buclet said. “Black children in particular can require certain kinds of hair maintenance that might be unknown or unexpected for potential foster parents. We need to be sure our law helps to ensure caretakers will be prepared to meet their children’s needs.

House Bill 5097 will require caseworkers work with foster parents and foster children to create a hair care plan. Beyond basic hygiene, the plan must also be mindful of factors such as the child’s race, culture and identity. The plan must also consider the child’s and parents’ desires pertaining to the child’s hair, as well as a plan for dealing with emergencies such as lice or scalp infections.

“Providing children with adequate haircare can positively impact them in a number of ways even beyond the benefits of good hygiene, such as improving their self-confidence.” du Buclet said. “This legislation will make sure these caregivers have a plan in place for proper maintenance and that foster children’s hair will be properly cared for.”

“The fact that this bill was initiated by youth in foster care – members of the Statewide Youth Advisory Board to DCFS – only emphasizes its importance,” said Anita Weinberg, professor and co-director of the Civitas ChildLaw Center at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  “How one wears their hair is significant to ones’ cultural, racial, religious, and other identities, especially for youth in care who too often are removed from their homes and placed in settings that do not reflect – and may not honor – who they are.” 

“Every youth under the care of DCFS deserves the dignity of being able to outwardly reflect their authentic self, including in the way they wear their hair,” said Nora Collins-Mandeville, Director of Systems Reform Policy at the ACLU of Illinois. “House Bill 5097 will help ensure that children can care for their hair in a fashion that is consistent with their identity.”  

For more information, please contact


Rep. Kimberly Neely du BucletRep. Kimberly Neely du Buclet

5th District

Springfield Office:
286-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-4535

District Office:
5048 S. Indiana Ave.
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 924-4614