Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0381
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Full Text of SB0381  95th General Assembly



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1     AN ACT concerning State government.
2     Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3 represented in the General Assembly:
4     Section 5. The Children and Family Services Act is amended
5 by changing Section 34.11 as follows:
6     (20 ILCS 505/34.11)
7     Sec. 34.11. Lou Jones Grandparent Child Care Program
8 Grandparent child care program.
9     (a) The General Assembly finds and declares the following:
10         (1) An increasing number of children under the age of
11     18, including many children who would otherwise be at risk
12     of abuse or neglect, are in the care of a grandparent or
13     other nonparent relative.
14         (2) The principal causes of this increase include
15     parental substance abuse, child abuse, mental illness,
16     poverty, and death, as well as concerted efforts by
17     families and by the child welfare service system to keep
18     children with relatives whenever possible.
19         (3) Grandparents and older relatives providing primary
20     care for at-risk children may experience unique resultant
21     problems, such as financial stress due to limited incomes,
22     emotional difficulties dealing with the loss of the child's
23     parents or the child's unique behaviors, and decreased



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1     physical stamina coupled with a much higher incidence of
2     chronic illness.
3         (4) Many children being raised by nonparent relatives
4     experience one or a combination of emotional, behavioral,
5     psychological, academic, or medical problems, especially
6     those born to a substance-abusing mother or at risk of
7     child abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
8         (5) Grandparents and other relatives providing primary
9     care for children lack appropriate information about the
10     issues of kinship care, the special needs (both physical
11     and psychological) of children born to a substance-abusing
12     mother or at risk of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment,
13     and the support resources currently available to them.
14         (6) An increasing number of grandparents and other
15     relatives age 60 or older are adopting or becoming the
16     subsidized guardians of children placed in their care by
17     the Department. Some of these children will experience the
18     death of their adoptive parent or guardian before reaching
19     the age of 18. For most of these children, no legal plan
20     has been made for the child's future care and custody in
21     the event of the caregiver's death or incapacity.
22         (7) Grandparents and other relatives providing primary
23     care for children lack appropriate information about
24     future care and custody planning for children in their
25     care. They also lack access to resources that may assist
26     them in developing future legal care and custody plans for



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1     children in their legal custody.
2     (b) The Department may establish an informational and
3 educational program for grandparents and other relatives who
4 provide primary care for children who are at risk of child
5 abuse, neglect, or abandonment or who were born to
6 substance-abusing mothers. As a part of the program, the
7 Department may develop, publish, and distribute an
8 informational brochure for grandparents and other relatives
9 who provide primary care for children who are at risk of child
10 abuse, neglect, or abandonment or who were born to
11 substance-abusing mothers. The information provided under the
12 program authorized by this Section may include, but is not
13 limited to the following:
14         (1) The most prevalent causes of kinship care,
15     especially the risk of substance exposure or child abuse,
16     neglect, or abandonment.
17         (2) The problems experienced by children being raised
18     by nonparent caregivers.
19         (3) The problems experienced by grandparents and other
20     nonparent relatives providing primary care for children
21     who have special needs.
22         (4) The legal system as it relates to children and
23     their nonparent primary caregivers.
24         (5) The benefits available to children and their
25     nonparent primary caregivers.
26         (6) A list of support groups and resources located



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1     throughout the State.
2     The brochure may be distributed through hospitals, public
3 health nurses, child protective services, medical professional
4 offices, elementary and secondary schools, senior citizen
5 centers, public libraries, community action agencies selected
6 by the Department, and the Department of Human Services.
7     (c) In addition to other provisions of this Section, the
8 Department shall establish a program of information, social
9 work services, and legal services for any person age 60 or over
10 and any other person who may be in need of a future legal care
11 and custody plan who adopt, have adopted, take guardianship of,
12 or have taken guardianship of children previously in the
13 Department's custody. This program shall also assist families
14 of deceased adoptive parents and guardians. As part of the
15 program, the Department shall:
16         (1) Develop a protocol for identification of persons
17     age 60 or over and others who may be in need of future care
18     and custody plans, including ill caregivers, who are
19     adoptive parents, prospective adoptive parents, guardians,
20     or prospective guardians of children who are or have been
21     in Department custody.
22         (2) Provide outreach to caregivers before and after
23     adoption and guardianship, and to the families of deceased
24     caregivers, regarding Illinois legal options for future
25     care and custody of children.
26         (3) Provide training for Department and private agency



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1     staff on methods of assisting caregivers before and after
2     adoption and guardianship, and the families of older and
3     ill caregivers, who wish to make future care and custody
4     plans for children who have been wards of the Department
5     and who are or will be adopted by or are or will become
6     wards of those caregivers.
7         (4) Ensure that all caregivers age 60 or over who will
8     adopt or will become guardians of children previously in
9     Department custody have specifically designated future
10     caregivers for children in their care. The Department shall
11     document this designation, and the Department shall also
12     document acceptance of this responsibility by any future
13     caregiver. Documentation of future care designation shall
14     be included in each child's case file and adoption or
15     guardianship subsidy files as applicable to the child.
16         (5) Ensure that any designated future caregiver and the
17     family of a deceased caregiver have information on the
18     financial needs of the child and future resources that may
19     be available to support the child, including any adoption
20     assistance and subsidized guardianship for which the child
21     is or may be eligible.
22         (6) With respect to programs of social work and legal
23     services:
24             (i) Provide contracted social work services to
25         older and ill caregivers, and the families of deceased
26         caregivers, including those who will or have adopted or



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1         will take or have taken guardianship of children
2         previously in Department custody. Social work services
3         to caregivers will have the goal of securing a future
4         care and custody plan for children in their care. Such
5         services will include providing information to the
6         caregivers and families on standby guardianship,
7         guardianship, standby adoption, and adoption. The
8         Department will assist the caregiver in developing a
9         plan for the child if the caregiver becomes
10         incapacitated or terminally ill, or dies while the
11         child is a minor. The Department shall develop a form
12         to document the information given to caregivers and to
13         document plans for future custody, in addition to the
14         documentation described in subsection (b) (4). This
15         form shall be included in each child's case file and
16         adoption or guardianship subsidy files as applicable
17         to the child.
18             (ii) Through a program of contracted legal
19         services, assist older and ill caregivers, and the
20         families of deceased caregivers, with the goal of
21         securing court-ordered future care and custody plans
22         for children in their care. Court-ordered future care
23         and custody plans may include: standby guardianship,
24         successor guardianship, standby adoption, and
25         successor adoption. The program will also study ways in
26         which to provide timely and cost-effective legal



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1         services to older and ill caregivers, and to families
2         of deceased caregivers in order to ensure permanency
3         for children in their care.
4         (7) Ensure that future caregivers designated by
5     adoptive parents or guardians, and the families of deceased
6     caregivers, understand their rights and potential
7     responsibilities and shall be able to provide adequate
8     support and education for children who may become their
9     legal responsibility.
10         (8) Ensure that future caregivers designated by
11     adoptive parents and guardians, and the families of
12     deceased caregivers, understand the problems of children
13     who have experienced multiple caregivers and who may have
14     experienced abuse, neglect, or abandonment or may have been
15     born to substance-abusing mothers.
16         (9) Ensure that future caregivers designated by
17     adoptive parents and guardians, and the families of
18     deceased caregivers, understand the problems experienced
19     by older and ill caregivers of children, including children
20     with special needs, such as financial stress due to limited
21     income and increased financial responsibility, emotional
22     difficulties associated with the loss of a child's parent
23     or the child's unique behaviors, the special needs of a
24     child who may come into their custody or whose parent or
25     guardian is already deceased, and decreased physical
26     stamina and a higher rate of chronic illness and other



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1     health concerns.
2         (10) Provide additional services as needed to families
3     in which a designated caregiver appointed by the court or a
4     caregiver designated in a will or other legal document
5     cannot or will not fulfill the responsibilities as adoptive
6     parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child.
7     (d) The Department shall consult with the Department on
8 Aging and any other agency it deems appropriate as the
9 Department develops the program required by subsection (c).
10     (e) Rulemaking authority to implement this amendatory Act
11 of the 95th General Assembly, if any, is conditioned on the
12 rules being adopted in accordance with all provisions of the
13 Illinois Administrative Procedure Act and all rules and
14 procedures of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules; any
15 purported rule not so adopted, for whatever reason, is
16 unauthorized.
17 (Source: P.A. 88-229; 88-670, eff. 12-2-94; 89-507, eff.
18 7-1-97.)
19     Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
20 becoming law.