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20 ILCS 505/5.47

    (20 ILCS 505/5.47)
    Sec. 5.47. Extended Family Support Pilot Program. The Department may consult with independent partners to review Extended Family Support Program services and advise if additional services are needed prior to the start of the pilot program required under this Section. Beginning January 1, 2023, the Department shall implement a 3-year pilot program of additional resources for families receiving Extended Family Support Program services from the Department for the purpose of supporting relative caregivers. These resources may include, but are not limited to: (i) wraparound case management services, (ii) home visiting services for caregivers with children under the age of 5, and (iii) parent mentors for caregivers with children over the age of 3.
    The services for the Extended Family Support Program are expanded given the program's inclusion in the Family First Prevention Services Act's targeted populations. Other target populations include intact families, pregnant and parenting youth, reunification within 6 months, and post adoption and subsidized guardianship. Inclusion provides the array of evidence-based interventions included within the State's Family First Prevention Services plan. Funding through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act shall be spent on services to prevent children and youth who are candidates for foster care from coming into care and allow them to remain with their families. Given the inclusion of the Extended Family Support Program in the Family First Prevention Services Act, the program is a part of the independent evaluation of Family First Prevention Services. This includes tracking deflection from foster care.
    The resources provided by the pilot program are voluntary and refusing such resources shall not be used as evidence of neglect of a child.
    The Department shall arrange for an independent evaluation of the pilot program to determine whether the pilot program is successfully supporting families receiving Extended Family Support Program services or Family First Prevention Program services and preventing entrance into the foster care system. This evaluation will support determining whether there is a long-term cost benefit to continuing the pilot program.
    At the end of the 3-year pilot program, the Department shall submit a report to the General Assembly with its findings of the evaluation. The report shall state whether the Department intends to continue the pilot program and the rationale for its decision.
    The Department may adopt rules and procedures to implement and administer this Section.
(Source: P.A. 102-1029, eff. 5-27-22; 103-154, eff. 6-30-23.)