Bill Status of HB3002 103rd General Assembly
Short Description: DCFS OMBUDSPERSON ACT
Rep. Patrick Windhorst
| 5/19/2023||House||Rule 19(a) / Re-referred to Rules Committee|
Statutes Amended In Order of Appearance
Synopsis As Introduced
Creates the Department of Children and Family Services Independent Ombudsperson Act. Establishes the Department of Children and Family Services Ombudsperson Bureau as a separate bureau within the Department of Children and Family Services (Department). Requires the Governor to appoint a Bureau Director within 30 days after the effective date of the Act. Provides that the Governor shall appoint a successor Bureau Director within 30 days after a vacancy occurs in the position of the Bureau Director. Provides that the Bureau Director may employ technical experts and other employees to carry out the purposes of the Act, but shall not hire a person to serve as an Ombudsperson who has been employed by the Department during the preceding year. Provides that the Ombudsperson may receive, investigate, and attempt to resolve complaints that the Department or a foster parent: (1) violated a specific law, rule, or Department written policy; or (2) endangered the health or safety of any person. Provides that at the conclusion of an investigation of a complaint, the Ombudsperson shall report the Ombudsperson's findings to the complainant. Requires the Ombudsperson to create a monthly report that includes a summary of the findings of all substantiated complaints. Contains provisions authorizing the Ombudsperson to conduct investigations of alleged violations of Department policy and rules at any Department facility; to make recommendations for changes to Department policies or practices; to report evidence of a crime to law enforcement; and other powers and duties of the Ombudsperson. Requires the Department to provide the Ombudsperson with timely access to Department records and facilities relevant to a complaint or investigation. Grants the Bureau rulemaking authority. Requires the Director of the Bureau to prepare annual reports on its operations. Makes it a Class A misdemeanor to obstruct an Ombudsperson in the performance of the Ombudsperson's duties.