State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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      20 ILCS 1305/Art. 15 heading new
      20 ILCS 1305/15-5 new
      20 ILCS 1305/15-10 new
      20 ILCS 1305/15-95 new
          Amends the Department of Human Services Act.   Creates  a
      Task  Force  on Responsible Fatherhood within the Department.
      Provides that the task force shall compile information on the
      extent and implications of the absence of responsible fathers
      from families  and  perform  other  functions.   Repeals  the
      provisions concerning the task force on July 1, 1999.
 1        AN  ACT  to amend the Department of Human Services Act by
 2    adding Article 15.
 3        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:
 5        Section  5.  The  Department  of  Human  Services  Act is
 6    amended by adding Article 15 as follows:
 7        (20 ILCS 1305/Art. 15 heading new)
 9        (20 ILCS 1305/15-5 new)
10        Sec. 15-5.  Task Force on Responsible Fatherhood created.
11        (a)  The Task Force on Responsible Fatherhood is  created
12    within  the  Department  of  Human  Services.  The task force
13    shall consist of not more than 25  members,  as  provided  in
14    this  Section.   The following or their designees shall serve
15    as ex officio members:  the Secretary of Human Services,  who
16    shall  serve  as chairperson of the task force; the Directors
17    of  Public  Health,  Public  Aid,  and  Children  and  Family
18    Services; the heads of any other State agencies as determined
19    by the Governor; the Attorney General; and the Chief  Justice
20    of  the  Illinois  Supreme  Court.   The  Secretary  of Human
21    Services shall appoint  members  of  the  general  public  as
22    members  of  the  task force.    The President of the Senate,
23    the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of  the  House
24    of  Representatives,  and the Minority Leader of the House of
25    Representatives shall each appoint  2  members  of  the  task
26    force.   The Governor may remove any member of the task force
27    for cause.
28        (b)  The members of the task force  shall  serve  without
29    compensation  but  shall  be  reimbursed for their reasonable
                            -2-                LRB9004406DJbd
 1    expenses actually incurred in performing their duties.
 2        (c)  The Department of Human Services shall provide staff
 3    and technical assistance needed by the task force in order to
 4    perform its functions.
 5        (d)  The task force shall hold its first  meeting  within
 6    30 days after the members are appointed.
 7        (e)  The  task  force  may  apply  for  grants and accept
 8    donations for the purpose of  funding  its  activities  under
 9    this Article.
10        (20 ILCS 1305/15-10 new)
11        Sec. 15-10.  Task force; purpose and functions.
12        (a)  The   purpose  of  the  Task  Force  on  Responsible
13    Fatherhood is to raise awareness of the problems created when
14    a child grows  up  without  the  presence  of  a  responsible
15    father,  to  identify  obstacles  that  impede or prevent the
16    involvement of responsible fathers  in  the  lives  of  their
17    children,  and  to identify strategies that are successful in
18    encouraging responsible fatherhood.
19        (b)  The following principles shall guide the work of the
20    task force:
21             (1)  The historically low  expectations  held  about
22        fathers   must  change  in  all  areas  of  society,  and
23        responsible  fathers  must  be  encouraged  to  be   full
24        partners in parenting their children.
25             (2)  Networks  of  peer  support  for fathers are an
26        essential part of any successful strategy to  connect  or
27        reconnect responsible fathers to their children.
28             (3)  Women  have  a  crucial  role  in promoting and
29        supporting the involvement of responsible fathers in  the
30        lives  of  their  children,  and  that  role  must not be
31        overlooked or diminished.
32             (4)  Family violence must not be tolerated.
33             (5)  Special  attention   should   be   focused   on
                            -3-                LRB9004406DJbd
 1        interventions   aimed  at  males  and  females  prior  to
 2        parenthood.
 3             (6)  The areas where responsible fathering appear to
 4        break down should be addressed.  Those areas include, but
 5        are not limited to, fathers who are absent from the  home
 6        and  voluntarily  do  not participate in their children's
 7        lives, fathers who  have  been  involuntarily  obstructed
 8        from  participating  in  the lives of their children, and
 9        fathers who are present in the home  but  are  disengaged
10        from their children's lives.
11        (c)  In  order  to  carry out its purpose, and subject to
12    the availability of resources, the task force  shall  do  the
13    following:
14             (1)  Compile available information on the extent and
15        implications  of  the absence of responsible fathers from
16        families.
17             (2)  Identify barriers in both the  public  and  the
18        private   sectors  to  responsible  fatherhood  and  make
19        recommendations that  pursue  the  elimination  of  those
20        barriers.
21             (3)  Identify  successful  strategies that encourage
22        responsible fatherhood and recommend  and  promote  those
23        that should be recognized, expanded, or replicated.
24             (4)  Identify   how  existing  State  and  community
25        resources  can   be   used   to   encourage   responsible
26        fatherhood.
27             (5)  Identify strategies to use to meet the needs of
28        children  and  families  when a responsible father is not
29        available for a family.
30             (6)  Work in cooperation with local  community-based
31        prenatal  and  infant  health  care  coalitions to advise
32        these coalitions on  their  implementation  of  plans  to
33        increase  the  participation  of  responsible  fathers in
34        families.
                            -4-                LRB9004406DJbd
 1             (7)  Sponsor a statewide symposium on the  issue  of
 2        responsible fatherhood no later than the summer of 1998.
 3             (8)  Present  a  report to the Governor, the General
 4        Assembly, the Attorney General, and the Chief Justice  of
 5        the Supreme Court no later than December 31, 1998.
 6        (20 ILCS 1305/15-95 new)
 7        Sec. 15-95.  Repeal.  This Article 15 is repealed on July
 8    1, 1999.

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