Synopsis As Introduced Amends the Children and Family Services Act. Provides that the Department may place a child with a relative if the Department determines that the relative will be able to adequately provide for the child's safety and welfare based on the factors set forth in the Department's Rules governing relative placements and if the placement is consistent with the child's best interests taking into consideration the factors set out by statute for a "best interests" determination. Provides that in placing a child under the Act, the Department shall make reasonable efforts to identify and locate a relative who is ready, willing, and able to care for the child and that, at a minimum, these efforts are to be renewed each time the child requires a placement change when it is appropriate for the child to be cared for in a home environment. Requires the Department to document its efforts to identify and locate a relative placement and maintain the documentation in the child's case file. Provides that if any person files an administrative appeal of the Department's decision not to place a child with a relative, it will be the Department's burden to prove that its decision is consistent with the child's best interests. Sets forth additional requirements for the Department regarding relative placements. Includes , within the definition of "relative", any person who would have qualified as a relative under this paragraph, prior to an adoption, but only if the Department determines, and documents its determination, that it would be in the child's best interests to consider this person a relative. Makes other changes. Effective August 1, 2006.
Fiscal Note (Dept of Children and Family Services)
It is anticipated that no fiscal impact to the Department will result from this legislation.