Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0378
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Full Text of SB0378  103rd General Assembly



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1    AN ACT concerning children.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act is
5amended by changing Section 7.4 as follows:
6    (325 ILCS 5/7.4)
7    Sec. 7.4. (a) The Department shall be capable of receiving
8reports of suspected child abuse or neglect 24 hours a day, 7
9days a week. Whenever the Department receives a report
10alleging that a child is a truant as defined in Section 26-2a
11of the School Code, as now or hereafter amended, the
12Department shall notify the superintendent of the school
13district in which the child resides and the appropriate
14superintendent of the educational service region. The
15notification to the appropriate officials by the Department
16shall not be considered an allegation of abuse or neglect
17under this Act.
18    (a-5) The Department of Children and Family Services may
19implement a "differential response program" in accordance with
20criteria, standards, and procedures prescribed by rule. The
21program may provide that, upon receiving a report, the
22Department shall determine whether to conduct a family
23assessment or an investigation as appropriate to prevent or



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1provide a remedy for child abuse or neglect.
2    For purposes of this subsection (a-5), "family assessment"
3means a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of
4subsequent child maltreatment, and family strengths and needs
5that is applied to a child maltreatment report that does not
6allege substantial child endangerment. "Family assessment"
7does not include a determination as to whether child
8maltreatment occurred but does determine the need for services
9to address the safety of family members and the risk of
10subsequent maltreatment.
11    For purposes of this subsection (a-5), "investigation"
12means fact-gathering related to the current safety of a child
13and the risk of subsequent abuse or neglect that determines
14whether a report of suspected child abuse or neglect should be
15indicated or unfounded and whether child protective services
16are needed.
17    Under the "differential response program" implemented
18under this subsection (a-5), the Department:
19        (1) Shall conduct an investigation on reports
20    involving substantial child abuse or neglect.
21        (2) Shall begin an immediate investigation if, at any
22    time when it is using a family assessment response, it
23    determines that there is reason to believe that
24    substantial child abuse or neglect or a serious threat to
25    the child's safety exists.
26        (3) May conduct a family assessment for reports that



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1    do not allege substantial child endangerment. In
2    determining that a family assessment is appropriate, the
3    Department may consider issues, including, but not limited
4    to, child safety, parental cooperation, and the need for
5    an immediate response.
6        (4) Shall promulgate criteria, standards, and
7    procedures that shall be applied in making this
8    determination, taking into consideration the Safety-Based
9    Child Welfare Intervention System of the Department.
10        (5) May conduct a family assessment on a report that
11    was initially screened and assigned for an investigation.
12    In determining that a complete investigation is not
13required, the Department must document the reason for
14terminating the investigation and notify the local law
15enforcement agency or the Illinois State Police if the local
16law enforcement agency or Illinois State Police is conducting
17a joint investigation.
18    Once it is determined that a "family assessment" will be
19implemented, the case shall not be reported to the central
20register of abuse and neglect reports.
21    During a family assessment, the Department shall collect
22any available and relevant information to determine child
23safety, risk of subsequent abuse or neglect, and family
25    Information collected includes, but is not limited to,
26when relevant: information with regard to the person reporting



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1the alleged abuse or neglect, including the nature of the
2reporter's relationship to the child and to the alleged
3offender, and the basis of the reporter's knowledge for the
4report; the child allegedly being abused or neglected; the
5alleged offender; the child's caretaker; and other collateral
6sources having relevant information related to the alleged
7abuse or neglect. Information relevant to the assessment must
8be asked for, and may include:
9        (A) The child's sex and age, prior reports of abuse or
10    neglect, information relating to developmental
11    functioning, credibility of the child's statement, and
12    whether the information provided under this paragraph (A)
13    is consistent with other information collected during the
14    course of the assessment or investigation.
15        (B) The alleged offender's age, a record check for
16    prior reports of abuse or neglect, and criminal charges
17    and convictions. The alleged offender may submit
18    supporting documentation relevant to the assessment.
19        (C) Collateral source information regarding the
20    alleged abuse or neglect and care of the child. Collateral
21    information includes, when relevant: (i) a medical
22    examination of the child; (ii) prior medical records
23    relating to the alleged maltreatment or care of the child
24    maintained by any facility, clinic, or health care
25    professional, and an interview with the treating
26    professionals; and (iii) interviews with the child's



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1    caretakers, including the child's parent, guardian, foster
2    parent, child care provider, teachers, counselors, family
3    members, relatives, and other persons who may have
4    knowledge regarding the alleged maltreatment and the care
5    of the child.
6        (D) Information on the existence of domestic abuse and
7    violence in the home of the child, and substance abuse.
8    Nothing in this subsection (a-5) precludes the Department
9from collecting other relevant information necessary to
10conduct the assessment or investigation. Nothing in this
11subsection (a-5) shall be construed to allow the name or
12identity of a reporter to be disclosed in violation of the
13protections afforded under Section 7.19 of this Act.
14    After conducting the family assessment, the Department
15shall determine whether services are needed to address the
16safety of the child and other family members and the risk of
17subsequent abuse or neglect.
18    Upon completion of the family assessment, if the
19Department concludes that no services shall be offered, then
20the case shall be closed. If the Department concludes that
21services shall be offered, the Department shall develop a
22family preservation plan and offer or refer services to the
24    At any time during a family assessment, if the Department
25believes there is any reason to stop the assessment and
26conduct an investigation based on the information discovered,



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1the Department shall do so.
2    The procedures available to the Department in conducting
3investigations under this Act shall be followed as appropriate
4during a family assessment.
5    If the Department implements a differential response
6program authorized under this subsection (a-5), the Department
7shall arrange for an independent evaluation of the program for
8at least the first 3 years of implementation to determine
9whether it is meeting the goals in accordance with Section 2 of
10this Act.
11    The Department may adopt administrative rules necessary
12for the execution of this Section, in accordance with Section
134 of the Children and Family Services Act.
14    The Department shall submit a report to the General
15Assembly by January 15, 2018 on the implementation progress
16and recommendations for additional needed legislative changes.
17    (b)(1) The following procedures shall be followed in the
18investigation of all reports of suspected abuse or neglect of
19a child, except as provided in subsection (c) of this Section.
20    (2) If, during a family assessment authorized by
21subsection (a-5) or an investigation, it appears that the
22immediate safety or well-being of a child is endangered, that
23the family may flee or the child disappear, or that the facts
24otherwise so warrant, the Child Protective Service Unit shall
25commence an investigation immediately, regardless of the time
26of day or night. All other investigations shall be commenced



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1within 24 hours of receipt of the report. Upon receipt of a
2report, the Child Protective Service Unit shall conduct a
3family assessment authorized by subsection (a-5) or begin an
4initial investigation and make an initial determination
5whether the report is a good faith indication of alleged child
6abuse or neglect.
7    (3) Based on an initial investigation, if the Unit
8determines the report is a good faith indication of alleged
9child abuse or neglect, then a formal investigation shall
10commence and, pursuant to Section 7.12 of this Act, may or may
11not result in an indicated report. The formal investigation
12shall include: direct contact with the subject or subjects of
13the report as soon as possible after the report is received; an
14evaluation of the environment of the child named in the report
15and any other children in the same environment; a
16determination of the risk to such children if they continue to
17remain in the existing environments, as well as a
18determination of the nature, extent and cause of any condition
19enumerated in such report; the name, age and condition of
20other children in the environment; and an evaluation as to
21whether there would be an immediate and urgent necessity to
22remove the child from the environment if appropriate family
23preservation services were provided. After seeing to the
24safety of the child or children, the Department shall
25forthwith notify the subjects of the report in writing, of the
26existence of the report and their rights existing under this



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1Act in regard to amendment or expungement. To fulfill the
2requirements of this Section, the Child Protective Service
3Unit shall have the capability of providing or arranging for
4comprehensive emergency services to children and families at
5all times of the day or night.
6    (4) If (i) at the conclusion of the Unit's initial
7investigation of a report, the Unit determines the report to
8be a good faith indication of alleged child abuse or neglect
9that warrants a formal investigation by the Unit, the
10Department, any law enforcement agency or any other
11responsible agency and (ii) the person who is alleged to have
12caused the abuse or neglect is employed or otherwise engaged
13in an activity resulting in frequent contact with children and
14the alleged abuse or neglect are in the course of such
15employment or activity, then the Department shall, except in
16investigations where the Director determines that such
17notification would be detrimental to the Department's
18investigation, inform the appropriate supervisor or
19administrator of that employment or activity that the Unit has
20commenced a formal investigation pursuant to this Act, which
21may or may not result in an indicated report. The Department
22shall also notify the person being investigated, unless the
23Director determines that such notification would be
24detrimental to the Department's investigation.
25    (c) In an investigation of a report of suspected abuse or
26neglect of a child by a school employee at a school or on



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1school grounds, the Department shall make reasonable efforts
2to follow the following procedures:
3        (1) Investigations involving teachers shall not, to
4    the extent possible, be conducted when the teacher is
5    scheduled to conduct classes. Investigations involving
6    other school employees shall be conducted so as to
7    minimize disruption of the school day. The school employee
8    accused of child abuse or neglect may have the school
9    employee's superior, the school employee's association or
10    union representative, and the school employee's attorney
11    present at any interview or meeting at which the teacher
12    or administrator is present. The accused school employee
13    shall be informed by a representative of the Department,
14    at any interview or meeting, of the accused school
15    employee's due process rights and of the steps in the
16    investigation process. These due process rights shall also
17    include the right of the school employee to present
18    countervailing evidence regarding the accusations. In an
19    investigation in which the alleged perpetrator of abuse or
20    neglect is a school employee, including, but not limited
21    to, a school teacher or administrator, and the
22    recommendation is to determine the report to be indicated,
23    in addition to other procedures as set forth and defined
24    in Department rules and procedures, the employee's due
25    process rights shall also include: (i) the right to a copy
26    of the investigation summary; (ii) the right to review the



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1    specific allegations which gave rise to the investigation;
2    and (iii) the right to an administrator's teleconference
3    which shall be convened to provide the school employee
4    with the opportunity to present documentary evidence or
5    other information that supports the school employee's
6    position and to provide information before a final finding
7    is entered.
8        (2) If a report of neglect or abuse of a child by a
9    teacher or administrator does not involve allegations of
10    sexual abuse or extreme physical abuse, the Child
11    Protective Service Unit shall make reasonable efforts to
12    conduct the initial investigation in coordination with the
13    employee's supervisor.
14        If the Unit determines that the report is a good faith
15    indication of potential child abuse or neglect, it shall
16    then commence a formal investigation under paragraph (3)
17    of subsection (b) of this Section.
18        (3) If a report of neglect or abuse of a child by a
19    teacher or administrator involves an allegation of sexual
20    abuse or extreme physical abuse, the Child Protective Unit
21    shall commence an investigation under paragraph (2) of
22    subsection (b) of this Section.
23    (c-5) In any instance in which a report is made or caused
24to made by a school district employee involving the conduct of
25a person employed by the school district, at the time the
26report was made, as required under Section 4 of this Act, the



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1Child Protective Service Unit shall send a copy of its final
2finding report to the general superintendent of that school
4    (c-10) The Department may recommend that a school district
5remove a school employee who is the subject of an
6investigation from the school employee's employment position
7pending the outcome of the investigation; however, all
8employment decisions regarding school personnel shall be the
9sole responsibility of the school district or employer. The
10Department may not require a school district to remove a
11school employee from the school employee's employment position
12or limit the school employee's duties pending the outcome of
13an investigation.
14    (d) If the Department has contact with an employer, or
15with a religious institution or religious official having
16supervisory or hierarchical authority over a member of the
17clergy accused of the abuse of a child, in the course of its
18investigation, the Department shall notify the employer or the
19religious institution or religious official, in writing, when
20a report is unfounded so that any record of the investigation
21can be expunged from the employee's or member of the clergy's
22personnel or other records. The Department shall also notify
23the employee or the member of the clergy, in writing, that
24notification has been sent to the employer or to the
25appropriate religious institution or religious official
26informing the employer or religious institution or religious



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1official that the Department's investigation has resulted in
2an unfounded report.
3    (d-1) Whenever a report alleges that a child was abused or
4neglected while receiving care in a hospital, including a
5freestanding psychiatric hospital licensed by the Department
6of Public Health, the Department shall send a copy of its final
7finding to the Director of Public Health and the Director of
8Healthcare and Family Services.
9    (d-1.5) For the purposes of this Section, "medical
10professional" means any physician, nurse practitioner,
11physician assistant, nurse, resident, or subspecialist who is
12not part of the child's initial care team and whose
13involvement is pursuant to any contract, memorandum of
14understanding, or other agreement with the Department or an
15entity that is accredited by statute to collaborate with the
16Department for purposes of child abuse investigations.
17    (d-2) In any investigation involving a medical
18professional conducted in accordance with this Act, the
19following protections shall be provided to the parent or
20guardian of the child at the center of an investigation:
21        (1) The medical professional must explain to the
22    parent or guardian of the child, whenever the medical
23    professional has direct contact with the child or the
24    family of the child, that the medical professional is
25    involved for the purpose of providing an opinion to the
26    Department regarding whether the child's injury or



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1    condition is suspicious for child maltreatment. The
2    medical professional must explain that he or she may be
3    required to communicate with law enforcement and provide
4    court testimony. The medical professional must also
5    provide the child's parent or guardian with accurate
6    information about his or her medical specialties.
7        (2) In any investigation where a medical professional
8    is providing a medical opinion to the Department, the
9    Department shall inform the parent or guardian of the
10    child at the center of an investigation:
11            (A) of his or her right to request and receive a
12        copy of the medical professional's opinion, including
13        the basis for the opinion, and a copy of any written
14        report the medical professional has provided to the
15        Department;
16            (B) of his or her right to obtain, at his or her
17        own expense, and submit to the Department a second
18        medical opinion for consideration in the investigation
19        at any time prior to the conclusion of the
20        investigation;
21            (C) that any second medical opinion submitted to
22        the Department prior to the Department rendering a
23        final determination in the investigation will be
24        considered as inculpatory or exculpatory evidence; and
25            (D) of the Department's time frames for the
26        investigative process.



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1    (d-3) The Department shall annually prepare and make
2available on the Department's Reports and Statistics webpage a
3report on the number of investigations in which a medical
4professional has provided an opinion to the Department. The
5report shall not contain any personally identifiable
6information about a child referred, the family members of such
7a child, or the medical professional. If the number of cases in
8any category of information under items (4) through (9) of
9this subsection is less than 10, the Department shall not
10include that information in the report. The first report must
11be posted within 9 months after the effective date of this
12amendatory Act of the 103rd General Assembly. The first report
13and each annual report thereafter shall contain the following
14information regarding cases referred by the Department to a
15medical professional:
16        (1) The total number of abuse or neglect cases in
17    which a medical professional has provided an opinion to
18    the Department, with separate line items for:
19            (A) the total number of abuse and neglect cases
20        that the Department determined were indicated but were
21        appealed and the outcomes of those appeals, organized
22        as follows:
23                (i) first, by the total number of indicated
24            cases appealed via administrative appeal hearing
25            before an administrative law judge and the
26            outcomes of those hearings; and



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1                (ii) second, by the total number of cases in
2            which an administrative law judge's affirmance of
3            the indicated findings was appealed to a court and
4            the outcomes of the court's findings; and
5            (B) the total number of abuse and neglect cases
6        that were indicated by the Department but indicated as
7        to an unknown perpetrator.
8        (2) The total number of abuse or neglect cases
9    referred by the Department to a medical professional that
10    the Department determined were unfounded.
11        (3) The total number of abuse or neglect cases
12    referred by the Department to a medical professional in
13    which a petition for adjudication of wardship was filed.
14        (4) The total number of abuse and neglect cases
15    referred by the Department to a medical professional under
16    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) organized by abuse
17    allegation.
18        (5) The total number of abuse and neglect cases
19    referred by the Department to a medical professional under
20    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) organized by DCFS region.
21        (6) The total number of abuse and neglect cases
22    referred by the Department to a medical professional under
23    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) organized by race of the
24    child.
25        (7) The total number of abuse and neglect cases
26    referred by the Department to a medical professional under



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1    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) organized by gender of the
2    child.
3        (8) The total number of abuse and neglect cases under
4    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) involving children with
5    safety plans.
6        (9) The total number of abuse and neglect cases under
7    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) where the child was put in
8    protective custody.
9    (e) Upon request by the Department, the Illinois State
10Police and law enforcement agencies are authorized to provide
11criminal history record information as defined in the Illinois
12Uniform Conviction Information Act and information maintained
13in the adjudicatory and dispositional record system as defined
14in Section 2605-355 of the Illinois State Police Law to
15properly designated employees of the Department of Children
16and Family Services if the Department determines the
17information is necessary to perform its duties under the
18Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, the Child Care Act
19of 1969, and the Children and Family Services Act. The request
20shall be in the form and manner required by the Illinois State
21Police. Any information obtained by the Department of Children
22and Family Services under this Section is confidential and may
23not be transmitted outside the Department of Children and
24Family Services other than to a court of competent
25jurisdiction or unless otherwise authorized by law. Any
26employee of the Department of Children and Family Services who



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1transmits confidential information in violation of this
2Section or causes the information to be transmitted in
3violation of this Section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor
4unless the transmittal of the information is authorized by
5this Section or otherwise authorized by law.
6    (f) For purposes of this Section, "child abuse or neglect"
7includes abuse or neglect of an adult resident as defined in
8this Act.
9(Source: P.A. 102-538, eff. 8-20-21; 103-22, eff. 8-8-23;
10103-460, eff. 1-1-24; revised 9-15-23.)