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Public Act 102-0080


 

Public Act 0080 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 102-0080
 
SB0136 EnrolledLRB102 13154 CMG 18497 b

    AN ACT concerning education.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Children and Family Services Act is amended
by adding Section 44 as follows:
 
    (20 ILCS 505/44 new)
    Sec. 44. Pat McGuire Child Welfare Education Fellowship
Pilot Program.
    (a) The General Assembly makes all of the following
findings:
        (1) The Department of Children and Family Services is
    the sole State agency for the planning and coordination of
    programs and services for the prevention of child abuse
    and neglect. The Department also provides social services
    to children and their families, operates children's
    institutions, and provides certain other rehabilitative
    and residential services. The Department contracts with
    many purchase of service agencies for the administration
    of these programs.
        (2) Due to numerous factors, including the rate of
    pay, purchase of service agencies have a high employee
    turnover rate and struggle to maintain consistent
    employment levels. This high turnover is disruptive to the
    delivery of direct child welfare services to families and
    youth in care.
        (3) A number of public institutions of higher
    education in this State offer child welfare social work
    programs that are designed to train and prepare students
    for employment in the child welfare social work field,
    including, but not limited to, employment at purchase of
    service agencies that provide direct child welfare
    services to families and youth in care.
        (4) The Department and public institutions of higher
    education have a mutual interest in providing greater
    access to child welfare social work education for a
    professional workforce that is responsive to the work of
    the Department through purchase of service agencies.
    (b) As used in this Section:
    "Department" means the Department of Children and Family
Services.
    "Direct service" means a position in foster care services,
intact services, foster care licensing, adoption, or
permanency or a supervisory position in the practice area.
    "Eligible applicant" means a student who is enrolled in a
social work program of study at a participating institution of
higher education and who meets all of the qualifications as
determined by the Department.
    "Participating institution" means a public university in
this State that is a party to an intergovernmental agreement
entered into with the Department in order to participate in
the program established under this Section.
    "Tuition, university fees, and books" includes the
customary charge for instruction and books or course material
and the additional fixed fees charged for specified purposes
that are required generally of students who are not program
applicants under this Section for each academic year for which
a program applicant under this Section actually enrolls, but
does not include room and board, transportation fees, fees
payable only once, breakage fees, and other contingent
deposits that are refundable in whole or in part. The
Department may adopt, by rule not inconsistent with this
Section, detailed provisions concerning the computation of
tuition, university fees, and books.
    (c) Beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year and
continuing for a period of 6 academic years, the Department
shall establish and administer the Pat McGuire Child Welfare
Education Fellowship Pilot Program to provide financial
assistance to eligible students who commit to seek and
maintain employment at a purchase of service agency that
contracts with the Department upon graduation from a
participating institution with a degree in social work. The
goal of the program is to develop and support an effective and
stable direct service child welfare workforce. Pursuant to the
Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, each participating
institution shall enter into and adhere to all of the
provisions of an intergovernmental agreement between the
Department and the participating institution. Subject to
appropriation, the stipend program shall be available to
eligible applicants in this State pursuing either a Bachelor
of Social Work or a Master of Social Work degree at a
participating institution. The Department may award a stipend
of up to $10,000 each academic year for a maximum of 2 academic
years, up to a maximum total of $20,000 in stipends for the 2
academic years combined, to a student under this Section if
the participating institution and the Department find that the
applicant meets all criteria established by the Department.
    (d) Each participating institution and the Department
shall determine renewal criteria for assistance consistent
with the requirements of this Section.
    (e) Each participating institution shall post on its
Internet website the criteria and eligibility requirements to
receive a stipend award of funds under this Section and must
identify that the stipend awards are up to a maximum of $10,000
per student per academic year for a maximum of 2 academic
years, with the total amount of stipends awarded to an
eligible applicant or student not to exceed $20,000 for the
duration of the eligible applicant's or student's
participation in the program. This information must also be
reported to the Department and the Board of Higher Education,
and the Department and the Board shall post the information on
their respective Internet websites.
    (f) Prior to receiving a stipend for any academic year, an
eligible applicant under this Section shall be required by the
participating institution to sign an agreement with the
Department under which the stipend recipient pledges that,
within 6 months from the date of the stipend recipient's
graduation from the participating institution with a Bachelor
of Social Work or a Master of Social Work degree for which
stipend funds were paid by the Department, the stipend
recipient must search for, apply to, and accept full-time
employment in a direct service position at a Department
purchase of service agency located anywhere in this State. The
stipend recipient must remain as a full-time employee in a
direct service position at a Department purchase of service
agency located anywhere in this State for at least 18 months
for each academic year the stipend recipient received a
stipend from the Department under the program.
    (g) If the recipient of a stipend award under this Section
fails to search for, apply to, and accept full-time employment
in a direct service position at a Department purchase of
service agency located anywhere in this State within 6 months
following the stipend recipient's graduation from a social
work program at a participating institution, the Department
shall require the stipend recipient to begin to repay the
total amount of the stipend received within 90 calendar days
after the end of the 6-month period or as agreed to by the
Department. The repayment amount shall be prorated according
to the fraction of the employment obligation not completed, at
a rate of interest equal to 5%, and, if applicable, reasonable
attorney's and collection fees. All repayments collected under
this Section shall be forwarded to the State Comptroller for
deposit into the fund from which the stipend awards were paid.
    (h) A stipend recipient under this Section must
immediately notify the participating institution and the
Department of any changes to the stipend recipient's
enrollment status or if the stipend recipient withdraws from
the social work program for which the recipient was awarded a
stipend under the program.
    (i) If a stipend recipient's qualified employment is
terminated for any reason other than for cause, a stipend
recipient must search for, apply to, and accept new,
qualified, full-time employment in a direct service position
at a Department purchase of service agency located anywhere in
this State within 90 calendar days from the stipend
recipient's termination of full-time employment, otherwise the
stipend recipient is subject to the repayment of stipend funds
to the Department.
    (j) If a stipend recipient's qualified employment is
terminated for cause prior to the completion of the program's
employment requirement, the stipend recipient shall repay the
total amount of stipends received under the program within 90
calendar days from termination or as agreed to by the
Department. The amount of repayment owed by the recipient
shall be prorated based on the amount of the employment
requirement that has been satisfied.
    (k) On or before October 1, 2023 and each October 1
thereafter during the Pat McGuire Child Welfare Education
Fellowship Pilot Program, the Department shall provide a
report and evaluation of the results of the program at each
participating institution to the General Assembly and the
Office of the Governor. Each participating institution shall
track a student's eligibility under the program, the
completion of educational requirements, the costs of each
student's tuition, university fees, and books, and the
application of the recipient's stipends during the recipient's
enrollment at the participating institution. The report shall
also include the location in this State where each stipend
recipient was hired and shall identify the purchase of service
agency, the duration of the recipient's employment, and the
termination date of the recipient's employment.
    (l) The sharing and reporting of student data under
subsection (k) shall be in accordance with the federal Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Illinois
School Student Records Act. All parties under this Section
must preserve the confidentiality of information as required
by law. The names of stipend recipients under this Section are
not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information
Act.
    (m) The Department is authorized to adopt rules to
implement and administer this Section.
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,
2021.

Effective Date: 7/9/2021