Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3267
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Full Text of HB3267  102nd General Assembly

HB3267enr 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
HB3267 EnrolledLRB102 15033 KTG 20388 b

1    AN ACT concerning State government.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Advisory Commission on Reducing the Disproportionate
6Representation of African-American Children in Foster Care
7Act.
 
8    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds the
9following:
10        (1) In 1994 the African-American Family Commission was
11    created by Executive Order to assist the Department of
12    Children and Family Services in developing and
13    implementing programs and public policies that affect the
14    State's child welfare system.
15        (2) However, in 2004 the Commission was renamed and
16    its role expanded to focus on the development of services
17    and programs that aim to strengthen and preserve the
18    social and economic well-being of African-American
19    families.
20        (3) This holistic approach to strengthening
21    African-American families and communities, though
22    necessary, has yet to adequately address the
23    disproportionate number of African-American children in

 

 

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1    foster care.
2        (4) According to a 2017 fact sheet published by Child
3    Trends, in 2015 African-American children represented 50%
4    of Illinois' foster care population even though they only
5    make up 15% of the State's general child population.
6        (5) In contrast, white children represented 38% of the
7    foster care population in 2015 even though they make up
8    52% of the State's general child population.
9        (6) Hispanic children are underrepresented in
10    Illinois' foster care system as they only accounted for 9%
11    of the foster care population in 2015 despite making up
12    24% of the general child population.
13        (7) Unfortunately, the disproportionate number of
14    African-American children in foster care is a national
15    dilemma.
16        (8) According to an April 13, 2020 report published by
17    the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT Data Center,
18    even though "the share of children who are black and in
19    foster care remains much smaller than it was nearly a
20    decade ago . . . black children are still overrepresented
21    among youth in foster care relative to the general
22    population" as they account for 23% of all kids in foster
23    care even though they only represent 14% of the total
24    child population in the United States.
25        (9) In light of these grim statistics, the General
26    Assembly finds the need for a separate advisory commission

 

 

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1    that is exclusively focused on identifying those causes
2    and factors that contribute to the overrepresentation of
3    African-American children in Illinois' foster care system
4    and the policy measures needed to safely reduce the number
5    of African-American children in foster care and keep them
6    with their families.
 
7    Section 10. Advisory Commission on Reducing the
8Disproportionate Representation of African-American Children
9in Foster Care.
10    (a) The Advisory Commission on Reducing the
11Disproportionate Representation of African-American Children
12in Foster Care is created and shall have the following
13appointed members:
14        (1) One member appointed by the Governor or his of her
15    designee.
16        (2) One member appointed by the Speaker of the House
17    of Representatives or his or her designee.
18        (3) One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the
19    House of Representatives or his or her designee.
20        (4) One member appointed by the President of the
21    Senate or his or her designee.
22        (5) One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the
23    Senate or his or her designee.
24        (6) The Department on Aging, the Department of
25    Children and Family Services, the Department of Human

 

 

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1    Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the
2    Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the
3    Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the
4    Department of Public Health, the State Board of Education,
5    the Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Community
6    College Board, the Department of Human Rights, the Capital
7    Development Board, the Department of Corrections, and the
8    Department of Labor shall each appoint a liaison to serve
9    ex officio on the Commission.
10        (7) One member from the Task Force on Strengthening
11    Child Welfare Workforce for Children and Families.
12        (8) One member from the Child Endangerment Risk
13    Assessment Protocol Advisory Committee.
14        (9) Two members representing nonprofit organizations
15    that advocate for African-American children or youth to be
16    appointed by the Governor or his or her designee.
17    (b) The Governor or his or her designee shall appoint the
18chairperson or chairpersons.
19    (c) Each member appointed to the Commission shall have a
20working knowledge of Illinois' child welfare system. The
21members shall reflect regional representation to ensure that
22the needs of African-American families and children throughout
23the State of Illinois are met.
24    (d) Members shall be appointed within 60 days after the
25effective date of this Act. The Advisory Commission shall hold
26its initial meetings within 60 days after at least 50% of the

 

 

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1members have been appointed.
2    (e) Vacancies on the Advisory Commission shall be filled
3in the same manner as initial appointments. Appointments to
4fill vacancies occurring before the expiration of a term shall
5be for the remainder of the unexpired term. Members shall
6serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for actual
7necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their
8duties.
9    (f) The Department of Children and Family Services shall
10provide administrative support to the Advisory Commission.
 
11    Section 15. Duties. The Advisory Commission shall be a
12coordinating and advocating body that acts on behalf of the
13interests of African-American children who are at risk of
14placement within the State's child welfare system. The
15Advisory Commission shall advise the Governor and the General
16Assembly, as well as work directly with State agencies, to
17identify those causes and factors that contribute to the
18overrepresentation of African-American children in foster
19care. In addition, the Advisory Commission shall collaborate
20with State agencies and other social services organizations to
21develop effective strategies, policies, services, and programs
22that are aimed at providing African-American children and
23their families with the resources and preventive services they
24need to stay out of foster care and the child welfare system
25generally. The Advisory Commission shall also assist in the

 

 

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1development of child welfare policies and practices that
2advance more equitable outcomes for African-American children
3and their families who have contact with the Department of
4Children and Family Services. In furtherance of these
5purposes, the Advisory Commission shall do the following:
6        (1) Regularly track and analyze State and local data
7    on the racial disproportionality of children in foster
8    care in order to develop effective policies to prevent
9    African-American children's placement in foster or
10    substitute care.
11        (2) Examine and develop strategies and policies to
12    address the 2018 data released by the University of
13    Illinois' Children and Family Research Center, School of
14    Social Work, which showed racial disproportionality during
15    5 key stages of the child welfare decision-making process:
16    investigated maltreatment reports; protective custody;
17    indicated maltreatment reports; entries into substitute
18    care; and timely exits from substitute care.
19        (3) Assist in the development of cultural competency
20    training programs for child welfare caseworkers to
21    eliminate racial bias and cultural misconceptions about
22    African-American families and communities during the child
23    welfare decision-making process.
24        (4) Monitor and comment on existing and proposed
25    legislation that affects African-American children who are
26    at risk of placement in the child welfare or juvenile

 

 

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1    justice systems.
2        (5) Identify best practices to safely increase the
3    number of family or relative placements for
4    African-American children who enter the child welfare
5    system.
6        (6) Collaborate with other State agencies and social
7    services agencies in the development of programs that
8    improve African-American families access to preventive and
9    supportive services, including, but not limited to, mental
10    health and substance use disorder services, medical care,
11    legal assistance, housing assistance, and family
12    counseling.
 
13    Section 20. Reporting requirements. The Advisory
14Commission shall submit an initial report on its findings and
15recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly one
16year after it convenes its first meeting and every 2 years
17thereafter.
 
18    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
19becoming law.