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


Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford

Filed: 4/17/2024





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 378 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 5. The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act
5is amended 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



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1under this Act.
2    (a-5) The Department of Children and Family Services may
3implement a "differential response program" in accordance with
4criteria, standards, and procedures prescribed by rule. The
5program may provide that, upon receiving a report, the
6Department shall determine whether to conduct a family
7assessment or an investigation as appropriate to prevent or
8provide a remedy for child abuse or neglect.
9    For purposes of this subsection (a-5), "family assessment"
10means a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of
11subsequent child maltreatment, and family strengths and needs
12that is applied to a child maltreatment report that does not
13allege substantial child endangerment. "Family assessment"
14does not include a determination as to whether child
15maltreatment occurred but does determine the need for services
16to address the safety of family members and the risk of
17subsequent maltreatment.
18    For purposes of this subsection (a-5), "investigation"
19means fact-gathering related to the current safety of a child
20and the risk of subsequent abuse or neglect that determines
21whether a report of suspected child abuse or neglect should be
22indicated or unfounded and whether child protective services
23are needed.
24    Under the "differential response program" implemented
25under this subsection (a-5), the Department:
26        (1) Shall conduct an investigation on reports



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1    involving substantial child abuse or neglect.
2        (2) Shall begin an immediate investigation if, at any
3    time when it is using a family assessment response, it
4    determines that there is reason to believe that
5    substantial child abuse or neglect or a serious threat to
6    the child's safety exists.
7        (3) May conduct a family assessment for reports that
8    do not allege substantial child endangerment. In
9    determining that a family assessment is appropriate, the
10    Department may consider issues, including, but not limited
11    to, child safety, parental cooperation, and the need for
12    an immediate response.
13        (4) Shall promulgate criteria, standards, and
14    procedures that shall be applied in making this
15    determination, taking into consideration the Safety-Based
16    Child Welfare Intervention System of the Department.
17        (5) May conduct a family assessment on a report that
18    was initially screened and assigned for an investigation.
19    In determining that a complete investigation is not
20required, the Department must document the reason for
21terminating the investigation and notify the local law
22enforcement agency or the Illinois State Police if the local
23law enforcement agency or Illinois State Police is conducting
24a joint investigation.
25    Once it is determined that a "family assessment" will be
26implemented, the case shall not be reported to the central



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1register of abuse and neglect reports.
2    During a family assessment, the Department shall collect
3any available and relevant information to determine child
4safety, risk of subsequent abuse or neglect, and family
6    Information collected includes, but is not limited to,
7when relevant: information with regard to the person reporting
8the alleged abuse or neglect, including the nature of the
9reporter's relationship to the child and to the alleged
10offender, and the basis of the reporter's knowledge for the
11report; the child allegedly being abused or neglected; the
12alleged offender; the child's caretaker; and other collateral
13sources having relevant information related to the alleged
14abuse or neglect. Information relevant to the assessment must
15be asked for, and may include:
16        (A) The child's sex and age, prior reports of abuse or
17    neglect, information relating to developmental
18    functioning, credibility of the child's statement, and
19    whether the information provided under this paragraph (A)
20    is consistent with other information collected during the
21    course of the assessment or investigation.
22        (B) The alleged offender's age, a record check for
23    prior reports of abuse or neglect, and criminal charges
24    and convictions. The alleged offender may submit
25    supporting documentation relevant to the assessment.
26        (C) Collateral source information regarding the



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1    alleged abuse or neglect and care of the child. Collateral
2    information includes, when relevant: (i) a medical
3    examination of the child; (ii) prior medical records
4    relating to the alleged maltreatment or care of the child
5    maintained by any facility, clinic, or health care
6    professional, and an interview with the treating
7    professionals; and (iii) interviews with the child's
8    caretakers, including the child's parent, guardian, foster
9    parent, child care provider, teachers, counselors, family
10    members, relatives, and other persons who may have
11    knowledge regarding the alleged maltreatment and the care
12    of the child.
13        (D) Information on the existence of domestic abuse and
14    violence in the home of the child, and substance abuse.
15    Nothing in this subsection (a-5) precludes the Department
16from collecting other relevant information necessary to
17conduct the assessment or investigation. Nothing in this
18subsection (a-5) shall be construed to allow the name or
19identity of a reporter to be disclosed in violation of the
20protections afforded under Section 7.19 of this Act.
21    After conducting the family assessment, the Department
22shall determine whether services are needed to address the
23safety of the child and other family members and the risk of
24subsequent abuse or neglect.
25    Upon completion of the family assessment, if the
26Department concludes that no services shall be offered, then



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1the case shall be closed. If the Department concludes that
2services shall be offered, the Department shall develop a
3family preservation plan and offer or refer services to the
5    At any time during a family assessment, if the Department
6believes there is any reason to stop the assessment and
7conduct an investigation based on the information discovered,
8the Department shall do so.
9    The procedures available to the Department in conducting
10investigations under this Act shall be followed as appropriate
11during a family assessment.
12    If the Department implements a differential response
13program authorized under this subsection (a-5), the Department
14shall arrange for an independent evaluation of the program for
15at least the first 3 years of implementation to determine
16whether it is meeting the goals in accordance with Section 2 of
17this Act.
18    The Department may adopt administrative rules necessary
19for the execution of this Section, in accordance with Section
204 of the Children and Family Services Act.
21    The Department shall submit a report to the General
22Assembly by January 15, 2018 on the implementation progress
23and recommendations for additional needed legislative changes.
24    (b)(1) The following procedures shall be followed in the
25investigation of all reports of suspected abuse or neglect of
26a child, except as provided in subsection (c) of this Section.



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1    (2) If, during a family assessment authorized by
2subsection (a-5) or an investigation, it appears that the
3immediate safety or well-being of a child is endangered, that
4the family may flee or the child disappear, or that the facts
5otherwise so warrant, the Child Protective Service Unit shall
6commence an investigation immediately, regardless of the time
7of day or night. All other investigations shall be commenced
8within 24 hours of receipt of the report. Upon receipt of a
9report, the Child Protective Service Unit shall conduct a
10family assessment authorized by subsection (a-5) or begin an
11initial investigation and make an initial determination
12whether the report is a good faith indication of alleged child
13abuse or neglect.
14    (3) Based on an initial investigation, if the Unit
15determines the report is a good faith indication of alleged
16child abuse or neglect, then a formal investigation shall
17commence and, pursuant to Section 7.12 of this Act, may or may
18not result in an indicated report. The formal investigation
19shall include: direct contact with the subject or subjects of
20the report as soon as possible after the report is received; an
21evaluation of the environment of the child named in the report
22and any other children in the same environment; a
23determination of the risk to such children if they continue to
24remain in the existing environments, as well as a
25determination of the nature, extent and cause of any condition
26enumerated in such report; the name, age and condition of



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1other children in the environment; and an evaluation as to
2whether there would be an immediate and urgent necessity to
3remove the child from the environment if appropriate family
4preservation services were provided. After seeing to the
5safety of the child or children, the Department shall
6forthwith notify the subjects of the report in writing, of the
7existence of the report and their rights existing under this
8Act in regard to amendment or expungement. To fulfill the
9requirements of this Section, the Child Protective Service
10Unit shall have the capability of providing or arranging for
11comprehensive emergency services to children and families at
12all times of the day or night.
13    (4) If (i) at the conclusion of the Unit's initial
14investigation of a report, the Unit determines the report to
15be a good faith indication of alleged child abuse or neglect
16that warrants a formal investigation by the Unit, the
17Department, any law enforcement agency or any other
18responsible agency and (ii) the person who is alleged to have
19caused the abuse or neglect is employed or otherwise engaged
20in an activity resulting in frequent contact with children and
21the alleged abuse or neglect are in the course of such
22employment or activity, then the Department shall, except in
23investigations where the Director determines that such
24notification would be detrimental to the Department's
25investigation, inform the appropriate supervisor or
26administrator of that employment or activity that the Unit has



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1commenced a formal investigation pursuant to this Act, which
2may or may not result in an indicated report. The Department
3shall also notify the person being investigated, unless the
4Director determines that such notification would be
5detrimental to the Department's investigation.
6    (c) In an investigation of a report of suspected abuse or
7neglect of a child by a school employee at a school or on
8school grounds, the Department shall make reasonable efforts
9to follow the following procedures:
10        (1) Investigations involving teachers shall not, to
11    the extent possible, be conducted when the teacher is
12    scheduled to conduct classes. Investigations involving
13    other school employees shall be conducted so as to
14    minimize disruption of the school day. The school employee
15    accused of child abuse or neglect may have the school
16    employee's superior, the school employee's association or
17    union representative, and the school employee's attorney
18    present at any interview or meeting at which the teacher
19    or administrator is present. The accused school employee
20    shall be informed by a representative of the Department,
21    at any interview or meeting, of the accused school
22    employee's due process rights and of the steps in the
23    investigation process. These due process rights shall also
24    include the right of the school employee to present
25    countervailing evidence regarding the accusations. In an
26    investigation in which the alleged perpetrator of abuse or



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1    neglect is a school employee, including, but not limited
2    to, a school teacher or administrator, and the
3    recommendation is to determine the report to be indicated,
4    in addition to other procedures as set forth and defined
5    in Department rules and procedures, the employee's due
6    process rights shall also include: (i) the right to a copy
7    of the investigation summary; (ii) the right to review the
8    specific allegations which gave rise to the investigation;
9    and (iii) the right to an administrator's teleconference
10    which shall be convened to provide the school employee
11    with the opportunity to present documentary evidence or
12    other information that supports the school employee's
13    position and to provide information before a final finding
14    is entered.
15        (2) If a report of neglect or abuse of a child by a
16    teacher or administrator does not involve allegations of
17    sexual abuse or extreme physical abuse, the Child
18    Protective Service Unit shall make reasonable efforts to
19    conduct the initial investigation in coordination with the
20    employee's supervisor.
21        If the Unit determines that the report is a good faith
22    indication of potential child abuse or neglect, it shall
23    then commence a formal investigation under paragraph (3)
24    of subsection (b) of this Section.
25        (3) If a report of neglect or abuse of a child by a
26    teacher or administrator involves an allegation of sexual



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1    abuse or extreme physical abuse, the Child Protective Unit
2    shall commence an investigation under paragraph (2) of
3    subsection (b) of this Section.
4    (c-5) In any instance in which a report is made or caused
5to made by a school district employee involving the conduct of
6a person employed by the school district, at the time the
7report was made, as required under Section 4 of this Act, the
8Child Protective Service Unit shall send a copy of its final
9finding report to the general superintendent of that school
11    (c-10) The Department may recommend that a school district
12remove a school employee who is the subject of an
13investigation from the school employee's employment position
14pending the outcome of the investigation; however, all
15employment decisions regarding school personnel shall be the
16sole responsibility of the school district or employer. The
17Department may not require a school district to remove a
18school employee from the school employee's employment position
19or limit the school employee's duties pending the outcome of
20an investigation.
21    (d) If the Department has contact with an employer, or
22with a religious institution or religious official having
23supervisory or hierarchical authority over a member of the
24clergy accused of the abuse of a child, in the course of its
25investigation, the Department shall notify the employer or the
26religious institution or religious official, in writing, when



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1a report is unfounded so that any record of the investigation
2can be expunged from the employee's or member of the clergy's
3personnel or other records. The Department shall also notify
4the employee or the member of the clergy, in writing, that
5notification has been sent to the employer or to the
6appropriate religious institution or religious official
7informing the employer or religious institution or religious
8official that the Department's investigation has resulted in
9an unfounded report.
10    (d-1) Whenever a report alleges that a child was abused or
11neglected while receiving care in a hospital, including a
12freestanding psychiatric hospital licensed by the Department
13of Public Health, the Department shall send a copy of its final
14finding to the Director of Public Health and the Director of
15Healthcare and Family Services.
16    (d-1.5) For the purposes of this Section, "medical
17professional" means any physician, nurse practitioner,
18physician assistant, nurse, resident, or subspecialist who is
19not part of the child's initial care team and whose
20involvement is pursuant to any contract, memorandum of
21understanding, or other agreement with the Department or an
22entity that is accredited by statute to collaborate with the
23Department for purposes of child abuse investigations.
24    (d-2) In any investigation involving a medical
25professional conducted in accordance with this Act, the
26following protections shall be provided to the parent or



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



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1        investigation;
2            (C) that any second medical opinion submitted to
3        the Department prior to the Department rendering a
4        final determination in the investigation will be
5        considered as inculpatory or exculpatory evidence; and
6            (D) of the Department's time frames for the
7        investigative process.
8    (d-3) The Department shall annually prepare and make
9available on the Department's Reports and Statistics webpage a
10report on the number of investigations in which a medical
11professional has provided an opinion to the Department. The
12report shall not contain any personally identifiable
13information about a child referred, the family members of such
14a child, or the medical professional. If the number of cases in
15any category of information under items (4) through (9) of
16this subsection is less than 10, the Department shall not
17include that information in the report. The first report must
18be posted within 9 months after the effective date of this
19amendatory Act of the 103rd General Assembly. The first report
20and each annual report thereafter shall contain the following
21information regarding cases referred by the Department to a
22medical professional:
23        (1) The total number of abuse or neglect cases in
24    which a medical professional has provided an opinion to
25    the Department, with separate line items for:
26            (A) the total number of abuse and neglect cases



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1        that the Department determined were indicated but were
2        appealed and the outcomes of those appeals, organized
3        as follows:
4                (i) first, by the total number of indicated
5            cases appealed via administrative appeal hearing
6            before an administrative law judge and the
7            outcomes of those hearings; and
8                (ii) second, by the total number of cases in
9            which an administrative law judge's affirmance of
10            the indicated findings was appealed to a court and
11            the outcomes of the court's findings; and
12            (B) the total number of abuse and neglect cases
13        that were indicated by the Department but indicated as
14        to an unknown perpetrator.
15        (2) The total number of abuse or neglect cases
16    referred by the Department to a medical professional that
17    the Department determined were unfounded.
18        (3) The total number of abuse or neglect cases
19    referred by the Department to a medical professional in
20    which a petition for adjudication of wardship was filed.
21        (4) 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 abuse
24    allegation.
25        (5) 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 DCFS region.
2        (6) The total number of abuse and neglect cases
3    referred by the Department to a medical professional under
4    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) organized by race of the
5    child.
6        (7) The total number of abuse and neglect cases
7    referred by the Department to a medical professional under
8    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) organized by gender of the
9    child.
10        (8) The total number of abuse and neglect cases under
11    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) involving children with
12    safety plans.
13        (9) The total number of abuse and neglect cases under
14    paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) where the child was put in
15    protective custody.
16    (e) Upon request by the Department, the Illinois State
17Police and law enforcement agencies are authorized to provide
18criminal history record information as defined in the Illinois
19Uniform Conviction Information Act and information maintained
20in the adjudicatory and dispositional record system as defined
21in Section 2605-355 of the Illinois State Police Law to
22properly designated employees of the Department of Children
23and Family Services if the Department determines the
24information is necessary to perform its duties under the
25Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, the Child Care Act
26of 1969, and the Children and Family Services Act. The request



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1shall be in the form and manner required by the Illinois State
2Police. Any information obtained by the Department of Children
3and Family Services under this Section is confidential and may
4not be transmitted outside the Department of Children and
5Family Services other than to a court of competent
6jurisdiction or unless otherwise authorized by law. Any
7employee of the Department of Children and Family Services who
8transmits confidential information in violation of this
9Section or causes the information to be transmitted in
10violation of this Section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor
11unless the transmittal of the information is authorized by
12this Section or otherwise authorized by law.
13    (f) For purposes of this Section, "child abuse or neglect"
14includes abuse or neglect of an adult resident as defined in
15this Act.
16(Source: P.A. 102-538, eff. 8-20-21; 103-22, eff. 8-8-23;
17103-460, eff. 1-1-24; revised 9-15-23.)".