Policy and Legislation

The following are recently passed laws that are of interest to those representing abused and neglected children in Illinois.   

Safety and Well-Being of Children in Care

Public Act 99-350, Effective January 1, 2016; June 1, 2016 for ANCRA

Sex Trafficking Prevention and Treatment

  • Amends the Children and Family Services Act to require DCFS to convene a multi-disciplinary work group to review treatment programs for youth in DCFS care who are victims of sex trafficking and make and implement recommendations regarding a continuum of care for trafficked youth in care. 20 ILCS 505/5.05. 
  • Amends the Department of Human Services Act to require DHS and IDOT to promote public awareness of the National Human Trafficking Hotline. 20 ILCS 1305/10-34.

Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster Care

Amends the Children and Family Services Act to require DCFS, subject to appropriation, to begin a five-year pilot program starting June 1, 2016, of multi-dimensional treatment foster care, or a substantially similar evidence-based program of professional foster care for:

  • Children entering care with severe trauma histories;
  • Children stepping down from residential facilities who require placement in foster care; and
  • Children recommended for group home or residential care, who could be placed in foster care if higher level interventions were available.

The Department must conduct an independent evaluation of the program, and submit a report to the General Assembly. 20 ILCS 505/5.40 (new).

Reports of Abuse and Neglect for Children in DCFS Care

  • Amends the Child Care Act to require the Department to develop rules and procedures to address situations when facility staff fail to report child abuse and neglect. The rules and procedures must address determining whether the failure was attributable to individual staff, involved additional staff, or was part of a system-wide problem within the facility. The rules and procedures must address corrective action against the individual or agency. 225 ILCS 10/8.5.
  • Amends ANCRA as follows:
    • Defines "agency" as a child care facility and a transitional living program that accepts children and adult residents for placement who are in DCFS guardianship. 325 ILCS 5/3;
    • Changes the definition of "neglected child" to include situations where the child's environment is injurious because of blatant disregard by an agency (in addition to a parent or other caretaker). 325 ILCS 5/3;
    • Expands the definition of "blatant disregard" to include --
      • with respect to a person working at an agency, a failure by the person to perform job responsibilities intended to protect the child's or adult resident's health, physical well-being, or welfare, and when viewed in light of the surrounding circumstances, evidence exists that would cause a reasonable person to believe the child was neglected;
      • with respect to an agency, a failure to implement practices that ensure the health, physical well-being, or welfare of the children and adult residents residing in the facility. 325 ILCS 5/3;
    • Changes the definition of "abused child" and the use of corporal punishment. Provides that if a person is working for an agency and is prohibited from using corporal punishment, the child is an abused child if that person inflicts corporal punishment (instead of excessive corporal punishment) on the child while the person is working in their professional capacity. 325 ILCS 5/3(e);
    • Requires DCFS to adopt rules that set forth criteria and standards relevant to investigations of reports of abuse and neglect committed by an agency, or by a person working for an agency responsible for the welfare of the child of an adult resident. 325 ILCS 5/7.3;
    • Provides that the Department may, upon request by a person who has access to the report, release information from unfounded reports as necessary in its determination to protect children and adult residents of child care facilities licensed by the Department under the Child Care Act. 325 ILCS 5/7.8.

To read the full act, click here.

Foster Children's Bill of Rights

Public Act 99-344, Effective January 1, 2016

Creates the Foster Children's Bill of Rights Act. Among the list of 28 enumerated rights are the right to:

  • live in a safe, healthy and comfortable home where he or she is treated with respect;
  • be free from physical, sexual, emotional or other abuse, or corporal punishment; and
  • to visit and contact brothers and sisters, unless prohibited by court order.

The Act provides that it should not be interpreted to require a foster care provider to take any action that would impair the health and safety of children in out-of-home placement.

To view the full list of rights, click here.

Notice to Relatives when Youth Enter DCFS Care

Public Act 99-340, Effective January 1, 2016

Amends the Children and Family Services Act to require DCFS, consistent with federal requirements, to make reasonable efforts to locate and provide notice to all adult grandparents and other adult relatives of the child who are ready, willing and able to care for the child. Also requires the Department to document its efforts to provide notice to such potential relatives.  

To read the entire act, click here.

Safety of Children in Shelters

Public Act 99-339, Effective January 1, 2016

Addresses the issue of runs from DCFS shelter facilities. Amends the Children and Family Services Act to provide that with respect to any child care facility that provides temporary shelter services to youth in care the Department must:

  1. Provide interventions and activities to engage youth;
  2. Maintain staffing levels to ensure safety;
  3. Screen youth upon admission for risk of elopement and physical aggression and implement and periodically update individual service plans;
  4. Establish rules and procedures that prevent youth under 18 from violating curfew laws and that do not permit any child under 18 from leaving the facility without being accompanied by an adult or having permission; and
  5. Use best practice standards and documented actionable steps to locate children missing from the facility.

Requires the Department to place admissions of a particular facility on hold whenever unauthorized absences are excessive. The hold shall remain in effect until the facility has complied with a corrective plan prescribed by the Department. The Department shall impose licensing sanctions if the facility remains non-compliant.

To read the entire act, click here.

Children's Youth Advisory Council

Public Act 99-346, Effective January 1, 2016

Section 5-535 of the Civil Administrative Code created the Children and Family Services Advisory Council in the 1980's to advise the Department with respect to services and programs for children and adults under the Department's care. This section is now amended in two ways:

  1. The advisory council, appointed by the Governor, shall include at least one youth from each of the Department's regional youth advisory boards and at least 2 adult former wards of the Department; and
  2. Adds two areas for the council to address:
    1. Monitoring standards for residential facilities: Provides that the council should review the monitoring process for child care facilities and institutions, particularly looking at monitoring standards that focus on the quality of life for youth in such facilities; make recommendations to the Department for standards for monitoring safety and well-being of youth in facilities and oversee the implementation of the recommendations;
    2. Investigations of allegations of abuse and neglect in facilities: Provides that the council should identify areas for improvement in the quality of DCP investigations of allegations of abuse and neglect in facilities; make recommendations and oversee implementation of recommendations regarding investigation such allegations.
  3. Requires the Council to submit a publicly available report to the General Assembly by March 1, 2017.
  4. Requires DCFS to provide the Council with documents relevant to their review. Maintains confidentiality of all records provided to the Council relevant to their inquiry.

Amends FOIA to clarify that confidential documents provided to the Council are exempt from inspection and copying under FOIA.  

To read the entire act, click here.

Release and Admissibility of Unfounded DCP Reports

Public Act 99-349, Effective January 1, 2016

Amends ANCRA to provide that State's Attorneys can receive previously unfounded DCP reports for purposes of screening and prosecuting a JCA Article II petition when the prior unfounded report involves the same child, a sibling of the child, or involves the same perpetrator. Also provides that the parties to the JCA case are entitled to receive copies of previously unfounded reports regarding the same child, a sibling of the child, or involving the same perpetrator for purposes of hearings under Sections 2-10 and 2-21 of the JCA. It also amends ANCRA to provide that unfounded reports regarding the same child, sibling of the child, or same perpetrator are admissible in proceedings under Sections 2-10 and 2-21 of the JCA.

To read the entire act, click here.

Parentage Act of 2015

Public Act 99-85, Effective January 1, 2016

Creates the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015. Repeals the Illinois Parentage Act and the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984. Key provisions include:

  • Recognition of 2-parent limitation
    • The purpose and policy section states that the parent-child relationship extends equally to every child and to his or her parent or to each of his or her two parents, regardless of the relationship of the parents and regardless whether a parent is a minor. Sec. 102.
  • Fathers listed on the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) are considered adjudicated parents, not presumed parents. Sec. 103(b) and 9(h); Sec. 305(a).
  • Establishment of parentage between woman and child Sec. 201(a):
    • birth
    • adjudication
    • adoption
    • valid gestational surrogacy contract
    • unrebutted presumption
  • Establishment of parentage between man and child Sec. 201(b):
    • unrebutted presumption
    • VAP
    • adjudication
    • adoption
    • valid gestational surrogacy contract
  • Presumptions of parentage
    • marriage, civil union or substantially similar legal relationship at time of child's birth. Sec. 204(a)(1).
    • marriage, civil union or substantially similar legal relationship within 300 days before child's birth. Sec. 204(a)(2).
    • marriage, civil union or substantially similar legal relationship – even if it could be declared invalid -- within 300 days before child's birth, or it is terminated by death, legal separation or dissolution. Sec. 204(a)(3).
    • marriage, civil union or substantially similar legal relationship, even if it could be declared invalid, and named on birth certificate. Sec. 204(a)(4).
  • Resolve conflicting presumptions using policy – especially promoting child's best interests, and logic. Sec. 204(b).
    • Two-year period after petitioner knew or should have known the relevant facts to bring an action to declare the non-existence of a parent-child relationships. Sec. 205.
    • Genetic testing shall be ordered as soon as possible after a request by a party except as limited by Sec. 610. Sec. 401.
  • Proceedings to adjudicate parentage
    • There is no statute of limitation on an action to adjudicate parentage if the child does not have a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated parent. Sec. 607. If the child is 18 or over, only the child can initiate such a proceeding.
    • If the child has a presumed parent, an alleged father must commence an action to adjudicate parentage within 2 years of when he know or should have known the relevant facts. Sec. 608. These proceedings are subject to collateral estoppel of Sec. 610.
    • If the child has an acknowledged or adjudicated parent, a signatory can only challenge the acknowledgment within the terms of Sec. 309; an individual other than the child, who is not a signatory to the acknowledgement or party to the adjudication must commence the proceeding no later than 2 years after the effective date of the acknowledgement or adjudication. These proceedings are subject to collateral estoppel of Sec. 610.
  • Collateral Estoppel

    In certain circumstances the court must conduct an analysis to determine whether a person is collaterally estopped from seeking genetic testing. If this section is involved, the child must be represented by a GAL, child's rep, or attorney. Sec. 610(b). If court denies a motion for genetic testing, the court shall issue an order adjudicating the presumed parent to be the parent. 610(c).

    If the child has a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated parent, the court may deny a motion by a parent, presumed parent, acknowledged parent, adjudicated parent or alleged parent (note child is absent here for genetic testing). Basis for denial:

    • conduct estops the person from denying parentage
    • inequitable to disprove parent-child relationship
    • child's best interests to deny testing, taking into account:
      • time between current proceeding and when presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated (p/a/a) parent was placed on notice that they might not be the parent
      • time p/a/a person has assumed the role of parent
      • facts surrounding discovery of possible non-parentage by p/a/a
      • nature of relationship between child and p/a/a parent
      • age of child
      • harm that could result if p/a/a's parentage is successfully disproved
      • nature of the relationship between the child and the alleged parent
      • extent to which passage of time reduces the chance of establishing parentage in another
      • other factors affecting equities arising from disruption of parent-child relationship between child and p/a/a parent or chance of harm to the child
      • any other factors court determines to be equitable. Sec. 610.
  • Admissibility of Genetic Test Results Sec. 614.

    If a child has a p/a/a parent, results of genetic testing are inadmissible unless they were performed with the consent of both the mother and the p/a/a or pursuant to a court order under Sec. 402.

  • When a Child is Bound by a Determination of Parentage Sec. 621.

    Child is only bound if:

    • the determination is based on an unrescinded acknowledgement and consistent genetic testing; or
    • the adjudication is based on genetic testing; or
    • the child was a party or was represented; or
    • the child was no longer a minor at the time the proceeding was initiated and the child was the moving party resulting in the parentage determination.
  • Burden of proof is preponderance unless otherwise specified. Sec. 901.
  • Juvenile Court Act Amendments

    Sec. 1.3 (Definitions): clarifies that either a man or a woman can be a presumed parent

To read the entire act, click here.

Definition of Records and Therapeutic Relationship

Public Act 99-28, Effective January 1, 2016

Amends the Mental Health and Disabilities Confidentiality Act as follows:

  1. Provides that a "record" does not include reference to the receipt of mental health or developmental disabilities services noted in a patient history and physical or other summary of care. 740 ILCS 110/2.
  2. Defines a "therapeutic relationship" as "the receipt by a recipient of mental health or developmental disabilities services from a therapist. 'Therapeutic relationship' does not include independent evaluations for a purpose other than the provision of mental health or developmental disabilities services.'" 740 ILCS 110/2.
  3. Provides that, "Unless otherwise expressly provided for in this Act, records and communications made or created in the course of providing mental health or developmental disabilities services shall be protected from disclosure regardless of whether the records are made in the course of a therapeutic relationship."

To read the entire act, click here.

Elimination of Mandatory Transfers

Public Act 99-258, Effective January 1, 2016

Makes numerous changes to provisions regarding Juvenile Court jurisdiction.

Excluded Jurisdiction (705 ILCS 405/5-130)

Charges to be prosecuted under the criminal laws (not considered delinquency): youth who are at least 16 (instead of 15) at the time of the offense charged with:

    • First degree murder
    • Aggravated criminal sexual assault
    • Aggravated battery with a firearm, where the minor personally discharged the firearm
    • (eliminates armed robbery when committed with a firearm)
    • (eliminates aggravated vehicular hijacking when committed with a firearm)
    • (eliminates offenses conducted at school)
    • (eliminates offenses committed by those at least 13)

Eliminates provisions permitting a youth to waive their right to proceed in Juvenile Court on a lesser charge.

All charges arising out of the same incident shall be prosecuted under the criminal laws.

The minor will be sentenced under the Unified Code of Corrections.

Transfer of Jurisdiction (705 ILCS 5-805)

Eliminates all mandatory transfer provisions.

Maintains presumptive transfers, with the following changes:

The only cases eligible for presumptive transfers are former category (a) of mandatory transfers with one adjustment:

  • 15 or older
  • forcible felony
  • petition to prosecute must allege that
    • minor has previously been adjudicated delinquent or found guilty for forcible felony (former mandatory (a) required this to be a felony, not forcible felony) and
    • the act that constitutes the offense was committed in furtherance of criminal activity by an organized gang.

Discretionary transfers remain the same.

If criminal prosecution is permitted and a finding of guilt is entered the criminal court shall sentence the minor under the Unified Code of Corrections.

The new law applies to minors taken into custody on or after January 1, 2016.

The law includes a data collection provision that requires the Clerk of the Court of every county to track the filing, processing and disposition of all cases where minors are subject to excluded jurisdiction, presumptive or discretionary transfers, or extended jurisdiction, or where designations of a Habitual Juvenile Offender or Violent Juvenile Offender are sought.

Specifically, the clerk shall collect the following data for each category of case:

    • Age of defendant and victim(s)
    • Race and ethnicity of defendant and victim(s)
    • Gender of defendant and victims(s)
    • Offense charged
    • Date filed and date of final disposition
    • Final disposition - If there is a finding or plea of guilty
      • Charge or charges o Sentence for each charge
      • Whether an adult sentence is applied due to non-compliance with a juvenile sentence

Each Clerk shall submit a report on January 15 and June 15 of each year to the General Assembly and the county board. 750 ILCS 405/5-822 (new).

Finally, the Unified Code of Corrections is amended to provide a specific provision for sentencing of those under age 18 at the time the offense is committed. The court in sentencing any person who was under 18 at the time the offense was committed must consider the following additional factors in mitigation:

    • Age, impetuosity, maturity at the time of the offense, including ability to consider risk and consequences of behavior, and the presence of a cognitive or developmental disability
    • Whether the person was subjected to outside pressure, including peer pressure, familial pressure or negative influences
    • Family, home environment, educational and social background, history of parental neglect, physical abuse or other childhood trauma
    • Potential for rehabilitation or evidence of rehabilitation
    • Circumstances of the offense
    • Degree of participation and specific role in the offense, including level of planning
    • Ability to meaningfully participate in defense
    • Prior juvenile involvement and criminal history
    • Any other information the court finds relevant and reliable, including an expression of remorse, but the lack of an expression of remorse, on advice of counsel, cannot be considered as an aggravating factor. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-105 (new).

To read the entire act, click here.

Detention Age

Public Act 99-254, Effective January 1, 2016

Amends the Juvenile Court Act to raise the minimum age that a minor can be admitted, kept or detained in a detention facility from 10 to 13, unless a local youth service provider, including a provider through the Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services network, has been contacted and has not been able to accept the minor.

To read the entire act, click here.

Juvenile Sentencing

Public Act 99-268, Effective January 1, 2016

Eliminates mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders.

Permits a judge to sentence a minor ages 13-20 to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) only if an adult could be sentenced to imprisonment for the same offense. The court must include any pre-custody credits the minor is entitled to under the Unified Code of Corrections. 705 ILCS 405/5-710(1)(b).

Requires a court sentencing a minor to DJJ to include in the order a limitation of the period of confinement not to exceed the maximum period of imprisonment the court could impose under Article V of the Unified Code of Corrections. 705 ICLS 5/710(7).

Provides that a minor cannot be committed to DJJ or placed in detention if the act for which the minor is adjudicated delinquent would not be illegal if committed by an adult. 705 ILCS 5/710(7.5).

Provides that upon release from a DJJ facility, a minor adjudged delinquent for first degree murder shall be placed on aftercare release until the age of 21, unless sooner discharged from aftercare release or custodianship is otherwise terminated in accordance with this section or otherwise provided by law. 750 ILCS 405/5-750(2).

Provides that a minor's commitment to DJJ automatically terminates upon reaching the age of 21, or upon completion of the period of time for which an adult could be committed for the same act, whichever occurs sooner. 750 ILCS 405/5-750(3).

Requires DJJ to release a minor from aftercare release upon completion of the following aftercare release terms:

  1. One and a half years from the date of a minor is released from a DJJ facility, if the minor was committed for a Class X felony;
  2. One year from the date a minor is released from a DJJ facility, if the minor was committed for a Class 1 or 2 felony;
  3. Six months from the date a minor is released from a DJJ facility, if the minor was committed for a Class 3 felony or lesser offense. 750 ILCS 405/5-750(3.5).

Requires the clerk of the court to forward a copy of the following additional documents to DJJ whenever a minor is committed to DJJ:

  1. The sentencing order (instead of the disposition order);
  2. Any sex offender evaluations;
  3. Any risk assessment or substance abuse treatment eligibility screening or assessment of the minor by an agent designated by the State to provide assessment services for the courts;
  4. The number of days, if any, which the minor has been in custody and for which he or she is entitled to credit against the sentence, which information shall be provided to the clerk by the sheriff;
  5. Any medical or mental health records or summaries of the minor;
  6. The municipality where the arrest occurred, where the offense occurred, and where the minor resided at the time. The above requirements are in addition to the following information that the clerk is already obligated to forward to DJJ:
  7. All reports;
  8. The court's statement of the basis for ordering the disposition; and
  9. All additional matters which the court directs the clerk to transmit. 750 ILCS 405/5-750(4).

Adds a new subsection regarding minors committed to DJJ who are charged under the criminal laws while on aftercare release. Provides:

  1. The commitment to DJJ and all rights and duties created by that commitment are automatically suspended pending final disposition of the criminal charge.
  2. If the minor is found guilty of the criminal charge and sentenced to imprisonment in DOC, the DJJ commitment will be automatically terminated.
  3. If the criminal charge is dismissed, the minor is found not guilty or the minor completes a criminal sentence other than imprisonment within DOC, the previously imposed commitment to DJJ and the full aftercare release term shall be automatically reinstated unless custodianship is sooner terminated.
  4. The court has the authority to order another sentence under section 5-710 of the Act or to terminate DJJ's custodianship while the commitment to DJJ is suspended. 705 ILCS 405/5-710(7).

The Unified Code of Corrections is amended to add new provisions for supervision on aftercare release:

  1. Provides that the aftercare specialist may (instead of shall) request that DJJ issue a warrant for the arrest of any releasee who has allegedly violated aftercare release conditions.
  2. Amends the conditions under which the aftercare supervisor shall request that DJJ issue an aftercare release violation warrant as follows:
    1. If a subsequent delinquency petition is filed alleging commission of an act that constitutes a felony using a firearm or a knife (instead of if the releasee commits an act that constitutes a felony using a firearm or a knife)
    2. If a subsequent delinquency petition is filed alleging the commission of an act (instead of the releasee commits an act . . .) that constitutes first degree murder, a Class X, 1, 2 or 3 felony, and the releasee is on aftercare release for murder, a Class 1 felony violation of the Criminal Code of 2012, or any felony that requires sex offender registration.
    3. Provisions requiring a warrant for felony battery, felony domestic battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, violations of order of protections or offenses requiring registration as a sex offender are eliminated.
    4. The provision requiring a warrant if the minor is required to register as a sex offender and fails to do so is maintained without amendment. 730 ILCS 405/5/3-2.5-80.

The Unified Code of Corrections is amended to provide that a person committed under the JCA who has not been sooner released shall be released on aftercare on or before his 20th birthday, or upon the completion of the maximum term of confinement ordered by the court under the Juvenile Court Act, whichever is sooner. 730 ILCS 5/3-3-5(d).

The Unified Code of Corrections is amended to provide that the length of parole or mandatory supervised release for a juvenile sentenced under the JCA shall be as set out in section 5-750 of the JCA (instead of extended until the minor is 21 years old). 730 ILCS 5/3-3-8.

To read the entire act, click here.

Juvenile Justice Reports to Governor and General Assembly

Public Act 99-255, Effective January 1, 2016

Requires the Director of DJJ to make annual reports, by January 1 of each year, to the Governor and General Assembly regarding –

  • the number of youth in each DJJ facility and the number of youth on aftercare;
  • the demographics of sex, age, race and ethnicity, classification of offense, and geographic location where the offense occurred;
  • educational and vocational programs provided at each facility and the number of residents participating in each program;
  • capacity levels at each facility; - ratio of security staff to residents of each facility using federal Prison Rape Elimination Act definitions.

To read the entire act, click here.

Trafficking of Children in DCFS Care

Public Act 99-347, Effective January 1, 2016

Amends the Unified Code of Corrections to provide that when a defendant commits promoting juvenile prostitution, patronizing a prostitute, or patronizing a minor engaged in prostitution, and at the time of the offense the defendant knew that the minor was in the custody or guardianship of DCFS, that knowledge can be a factor that may be considered by the court to impose a more severe sentence. 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2.

To read the entire act, click here.

Individual Care Grants

Public Act 99-479, Effective September 10, 2015

Transfers responsibility for the Individual Care Grant program from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The transition is to be completed within 6 months of the effective date of the act.

To read the entire act, click here.

Child Welfare Training Academy

Public Act 99-348, Effective August 11, 2015

The intent of this amendment is to require training for child protection specialists that includes real-life "mock" cases. The model was developed based on similar models used for other first responders such as police, paramedics, etc. The law specifically provides that DCFS shall establish a training academy for child protection investigators and supervisors with four components at a minimum:

  1. Training on recognizing and responding to child abuse and neglect;
  2. Cultural competency training;
  3. Laboratory training facilities, including mock houses, mock medical facilities, mock courtrooms and mock forensic interview facilities that allow for simulated, interactive and intensive training;
  4. Minimum standards of competence that a person must demonstrate before certification from the Department. The

Department must adopt rules by January 1, 2016, that establish statewide competence assessment and training standards to ensure that persons who provide child welfare services have the knowledge, skills, professionalism, and abilities to make decisions that keep children safe and secure. Implementation of this law is subject to appropriations.

To read the entire act, click here.

Suggestion Boxes in Residential Treatment Centers

Public Act 99-342, Effective August 11, 2015

Amends the Children and Family Services Act to require DCFS to place locked suggestion boxes in every residential facility where wards are placed. Only DCFS employees can have access to the contents of the boxes, and a DCFS employee must check the box at least once per week.

To read the entire act, click here.

Reviewing Grandparent Visitation Rules

Public Act 99-341, Effective August 11, 2015

Amends the Children and Family Services Act to require DCFS to review its rules on granting visitation to non-custodial grandparents of a child in the Department's care. The first review must occur by February 11, 2016. Subsequent reviews must occur every five years.

To read the entire act, click here.

Internships for Foster Youth

Public Act 99-285, Effective August 5, 2015

Requires DCFS to implement a Foster Youth Summer Internship Pilot Program to provide youth who are at least 15 years old with professional training and experience. Requires the Department to adopt rules specifying the eligibility requirements and application process. The internships can be paid or unpaid.

The Department shall implement the program, subject to appropriations, by January 1, 2016, for two years. After two years, the Department shall evaluate the program and submit a report to the General Assembly with findings including:

  1. The number of youth who participated;
  2. The location and types of internships;
  3. The Department's efforts to recruit eligible individuals to participate in the program;
  4. Whether the Department intends to continue the program beyond the pilot, using performance metrics to explain its rationale.

To read the entire act, click here.

Trafficking as an Affirmative Defense to Prostitution

Public Act 99-109, Effective July 22, 2015

Amends the Criminal Code to provide that it is an affirmative defense to a charge of prostitution that the accused engaged in or performed prostitution as the result of being a victim of involuntary servitude or trafficking in persons as defined in the Criminal Code. 720 ILCS 5/11-14.

Adds a section to the Code of Criminal Procedure that provides that when the accused intends to raise the affirmative defense of trafficking to the charge of prostitution and has reason to believe that asserting the defense may jeopardize the safety of the accused, courtroom personnel, or others impacted by human trafficking, the accused may file a motion for an in camera hearing under seal. The court shall conduct an in camera hearing to review the safety concerns; shall cause an official record to be made, which shall be kept under seal; and the court shall not consider the merits of the affirmative defense during the in camera review.

If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the assertion of the defense will likely jeopardize the safety of the accused, courtroom personnel, or other persons, the court may clear the courtroom with the agreement of the accused, order additional in camera hearings, seal records, prohibit court personnel from disclosing information without court approval or take any other action that will enhance safety and ensure the accused has a full and fair opportunity to present the affirmative defense.

Statements made by the accused during the in camera hearing to determine safety are not admissible against the accused for the crimes charged.

To read the entire act, click here.

Post-Adoption Services and Failed Adoption Tracking

Public Act 99-49, Effective July 15, 2015

Requires DCFS to:

  1. Establish and maintain post-placement and post-adoption support services;
  2. Post information about available support services;
  3. Report to the General Assembly annually beginning January 2017 the following information –
    1. A description of all post-placement and post-adoption services available from the Department;
    2. The number of foster parents, prospective adoptive families and adoptive families in Illinois who have received information regarding available services;
    3. The number of families who have contacted the Department due to a potential placement disruption, adoption dissolution or secondary placement (not including those caused by the death of the adoptive parent), but for whom the Department declined to provide services and the reason why services were denied;
    4. The number of placement disruptions, adoption dissolutions and secondary placements, indicating the type of adoption (ward, intercountry, agency assisted, etc.), length of placement, age of child, and reason.

This Act also eliminates the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator.

To read the entire act, click here.

 

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