Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3821
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Full Text of HB3821  102nd General Assembly

HB3821enr 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
HB3821 EnrolledLRB102 14103 KTG 22477 b

1    AN ACT concerning children.
 
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 Racial
5Disproportionality in Child Welfare Task Force Act.
 
6    Section 3. Purposes. The purposes of this Act are to
7understand the underlying factors of child welfare system
8involvement for families; examine the racial disparities of
9children and families involved in the child welfare system at
10every key procedural phase of system involvement and the
11causes of such disparities; and explore resources, policies,
12and practices that could prevent system entry for families and
13reduce racial disproportionality at each key procedural phase
14of system involvement.
 
15    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds the
16following:
17    (1) Historically, Black children and Black parents and
18caregivers, women in particular, are disproportionately
19represented in the child welfare system.
20    (2) According to the Fiscal Year 2018 Disproportionality
21and Disparity Report prepared by the Children and Family
22Research Center of the University of Illinois, School of

 

 

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1Social Work, racial disparities exist at each key decision
2point in the Illinois child welfare system with Black children
3being overrepresented at each point.
4    (3) Multiple studies show that removals which separate
5children from parents, even "short removals" lasting 48 hours,
6trigger responses in the children that include anxiety,
7isolation, aggression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic
8stress disorder and release higher levels of cortisol and
9damages brain cells. These impacts are experienced in
10"reciprocal and synergistic" ways by parents during
11separation.
12    (4) According to Child Trends' fiscal year 2019
13"State-level Data for Understanding Child Welfare in the
14United States", the average length of stay in foster care in
15Illinois was 28.6 months compared to the national average of
1619.8 months, and 12% of children in Illinois foster care were
17there 5 or more years compared to 5% of children nationally in
18foster care for that long.
19    (5) As of December 31, 2020, the population of Illinois'
20youth in care was approximately 44% Black according to data
21from the Department of Children and Family Services, while
22recent data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT
23Data Center estimate the 2019 child population of Illinois to
24have been approximately 15% Black.
25    (6) Black children and youth are represented in the child
26welfare system in Illinois at approximately 3 times the

 

 

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1percentage of the statewide child population that is Black.
2Nationally, Black children and youth are represented in foster
3care at approximately 2 times the percentage of the national
4child population that is Black according to the National
5Conference of State Legislatures.
6    (7) Between fiscal years 2018 and 2020, the number of
7Illinois children removed from their homes annually increased
8by 30%, according to data from the Department of Children and
9Family Services. The increase in 2019 was 17%, the
10second-highest increase in the country.
11    (8) More than 90% of foster youth with 5 or more moves
12become involved in the juvenile justice system. In 2019,
13children in the custody of the Department of Children and
14Family Services averaged 3.8 moves/1,000 days; for Black
15children, the average was 4.4 moves/1,000 days.
16    (9) In Chapin Hall's Midwest Study of the Illinois,
17Wisconsin, and Iowa child welfare systems, almost 70% of youth
18involved in the study had been arrested by their mid-20s.
19    (10) In 2018, 79% of calls made to the Illinois Child Abuse
20Hotline were made by mandated reporters. Of these calls, 25.8%
21came from education personnel, 24.2% from law enforcement
22personnel, 13.5% from medical personnel, and 10.7% from social
23service personnel.
24    (11) According to Child Trends' state-level data for
25federal fiscal year 2018 for Illinois, 65% of child abuse and
26neglect cases were due to allegations of neglect, 12% due to

 

 

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1allegations of physical abuse, and 13% due to allegations of
2sexual abuse.
3    (12) According to Child Trends' state-level data for
4federal fiscal year 2019 for Illinois, 89% of entries into
5foster care were due to neglect, 12% due to parental substance
6abuse, 11% due to physical abuse, and 2% due to sexual abuse.
7    (13) In 2018, 20,815 reports to the Illinois Child Abuse
8Hotline involved an allegation of abuse and 35,310 involved a
9neglect allegation. Of these reports, only 10,189 were
10investigated, and of these investigations, only 1,544 resulted
11in an indicated finding. Of the investigations resulting in an
12indicated finding, only 225 were screened into court.
13    (14) According to the Fiscal Year 2020 Monitoring Report
14of the B.H. Consent Decree prepared by the Children and Family
15Research Center of the University of Illinois, School of
16Social Work, Black children in 2019 were less likely than
17white and Latinx children to be placed in kinship foster
18homes. Black children were more likely to be placed in
19traditional foster homes than white and Latinx children. Black
20children were also more likely to be placed in institutions or
21group homes than white and Latinx children.
 
22    Section 10. Composition. The Racial Disproportionality in
23Child Welfare Task Force is created within the Department of
24Children and Family Services consisting of members appointed
25as follows:

 

 

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1    (1) Two members from the Senate, one appointed by the
2President of the Senate and one appointed by the Senate
3Minority Leader.
4    (2) Two members from the House of Representatives, one
5appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and
6one appointed by the House Minority Leader.
7    (3) Two General Assembly members from the Illinois
8Legislative Black Caucus, appointed by the Joint Caucus Chair
9of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.
10    (4) Two General Assembly members from the Illinois Latino
11Caucus, appointed by the Chair of the Illinois Latino Caucus.
12    (5) One member from the Office of the Governor appointed
13by the Governor.
14    (6) The Director of Children and Family Services, or his
15or her designee.
16    (7) The Secretary of Human Services, or his or her
17designee.
18    (8) The Director of Healthcare and Family Services, or his
19or her designee.
20    (9) One member from an organization with expertise in
21housing and the Continuum of Care Program that works with
22impacted populations or convenes advocates to prevent and end
23homelessness, appointed by the Governor's Office.
24    (10) The Inspector General of the Department of Children
25and Family Services, or his or her designee.
26    (11) One member from an organization with expertise in the

 

 

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1child welfare system that advocates to preserve and reunify
2families, appointed by the Governor's Office.
3    (12) One member who is an academic researcher who has
4studied the racialized history and impact of the child welfare
5system on children, families, and communities, appointed by
6the Governor's Office.
7    (13) One member from the Administrative Office of the
8Illinois Courts, Children and Families Unit, Court Services
9Division, appointed by the Director of the Administrative
10Office of the Illinois Courts.
11    (14) Three members who are parents directly impacted by
12the child welfare system, at least 2 of whom come from a
13disproportionately represented racial group, appointed by the
14Governor's Office.
15    (15) The Cook County Public Guardian, or his or her
16designee.
17    (16) One member who provides legal representation to
18children in child protection cases from outside of Cook
19County, appointed by the Governor's Office.
20    (17) Two members who provide legal representation to
21parents in child protection cases, one from the Law Office of
22the Cook County Public Defender, appointed by the Governor's
23Office, and one from outside of Cook County, appointed by the
24Governor's Office.
25    (18) Two members who provide legal representation on
26behalf of the State of Illinois in child protection cases, one

 

 

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1from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, appointed by
2the Governor's Office, and one from a State's Attorney's
3office outside of Cook County, appointed by the Governor's
4Office.
5    (19) One member who provides legal services to parents
6impacted by gender-based violence during the investigation
7phase of child abuse or neglect cases, including services
8related to safety plans, intact services, and administrative
9appeals, appointed by the Governor's Office.
10    (20) Three members who have experience as youth in the
11child welfare system, at least 2 of whom come from a
12disproportionately represented racial group, appointed by the
13Governor's Office.
14    (21) One member from a statewide organization advocating
15for the advancement of civil liberties for at least 80 years in
16Illinois, appointed by the Governor's Office.
17    (22) One member from an organization that advocates on
18behalf of children, youth, and families and the
19community-based providers that serve them, appointed by the
20Governor's Office.
 
21    Section 15. Meetings; co-chairs; administrative support.
22All members appointed under Section 10 shall serve without
23compensation. Task Force members shall be appointed within 60
24days after the effective date of this Act. The Task Force shall
25hold its initial meetings within 90 days after the effective

 

 

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1date of this Act. The Task Force shall meet at least 4 times.
2The following individuals shall serve as co-chairs of the Task
3Force: (i) the member from the organization with expertise in
4the child welfare system that advocates to preserve and
5reunify families; and (ii) the member from the organization
6that advocates on behalf of children, youth, and families and
7the community-based providers that serve them. The Department
8of Children and Family Services shall provide any necessary
9administrative and other support to the Task Force. Any data
10provided by the Department of Children and Family Services to
11the Task Force shall not contain any personally identifiable
12information of any clients or families in accordance with the
13provisions of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.
14The Department of Children and Family Services shall
15facilitate the prompt and timely collection and provision of
16data as requested by or on behalf of the Task Force. Such
17facilitation shall include, without limitation, authorizing
18the provision of reports and underlying Department data that
19the Department currently or previously has provided or made
20available to the Children and Family Research Center of the
21University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chapin Hall,
22Northwestern University, and any other of the Department's
23university partners and consultants.
 
24    Section 20. Duties. The Task Force shall:
25        (1) Examine the historical and current role of

 

 

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1    mandatory reporting and its impact on the racial and
2    gender disparities of families involved with the
3    Department of Children and Family Services.
4        (2) Examine the underlying factors that bring families
5    into contact with the Department of Children and Family
6    Services and the factors that lead to child removal,
7    including, but not limited to, suspected or known
8    substance use or dependency, intergenerational child
9    welfare system involvement, and lack of access to shelter,
10    food, clothing, income or employment, and healthcare, and
11    how these impact the length of time families remain
12    involved in the child welfare system.
13        (3) Review the Department of Children and Family
14    Services' progress on the planning and implementation of
15    the Family First Prevention Services Act and determine
16    what impact, if any, the plan may have on the current
17    racial disparities of children and families in the child
18    welfare system.
19        (4) Examine the current processes and policies, data,
20    and data collection methods for families involved
21    simultaneously in the child welfare, juvenile justice, or
22    criminal justice systems, including, but not limited to,
23    youth who are dually involved in the juvenile justice and
24    child welfare systems.
25        (5) Explore policies and protocols that honor
26    language, culture, and heritage in identity formation and

 

 

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1    familial relationships, including, but not limited to,
2    race-blind child protection screenings and child removal
3    reviews, as implemented in other jurisdictions around the
4    United States, and make recommendations for implementation
5    in Illinois.
6        (6) Explore the development of a curriculum for a
7    child welfare specific implicit bias training for all
8    public and private direct service staff and supervisors
9    who interact with children and families.
 
10    Section 25. Report. The Task Force shall produce and
11submit policy recommendations, both administrative and
12legislative, to the General Assembly and the Governor within
13one year after the first meeting of the Task Force. The
14recommendations shall seek to: (i) prioritize preserving and
15reunifying families involved in the child welfare system,
16particularly Black families; (ii) reduce child welfare system
17involvement, particularly for Black families; and (iii)
18eliminate racial disproportionality in system involvement and
19the disproportionate impact of system involvement on families.
20The Task Force co-chairs shall convene a final meeting before
21the repeal date of this Act to discuss an implementation plan
22based on the produced policy recommendations.
 
23    Section 30. Repeal. The Task Force is dissolved, and this
24Act is repealed on, January 1, 2024.
 

 

 

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1    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
2becoming law.