(325 ILCS 5/7.4a)
    (This Section may contain text from a Public Act with a delayed effective date)
    Sec. 7.4a. Domestic violence co-location program.
    (a) As used in this Section:
    "Domestic violence co-location program" means a program, administered in partnership with a co-location program management entity, where domestic violence advocates who are trained in domestic violence services and employed through a domestic violence provider are assigned to work in a field office of the Department of Children and Family Services alongside and in collaboration with child welfare investigators and caseworkers working with families where there are indicators of domestic violence.
    "Domestic violence" has the meaning ascribed to it in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986.
    "Co-location program management entity" means the organization that partners with the Department to administer the domestic violence co-location program.
    (b) Subject to appropriations or the availability of other funds for this purpose, the Department may implement a 5-year pilot program of a domestic violence co-location program. The domestic violence co-location program shall be designed to improve child welfare interventions provided to families experiencing domestic violence in part by enhancing the safety and stability of children, reducing the number of children removed from their parents, and improving outcomes for children within their families through a strength-based and trauma-informed collaborative support program. The pilot program shall occur in no fewer than 3 Department offices. Additional sites may be added during the pilot program, and the pilot program may be expanded and converted into a permanent statewide program.
    (c) The Department shall adopt rules and procedures and shall develop and facilitate training for the effective implementation of the domestic violence co-location program. The Department shall adopt rules on the qualification requirements for domestic violence advocates participating in the pilot program.
    (d) The Department shall track, collect, report on, and share data about domestic violence-affected families, including, but not limited to, data related to hotline calls, investigations, protective custody, cases referred to the juvenile court, and outcomes of the domestic violence co-location program.
    (e) The Department may arrange for an independent, evidence-based evaluation of the domestic violence co-location program authorized and implemented under this Section to determine whether it is meeting its goals. The independent evidence-based evaluation may include, but is not limited to, data regarding: (i) the number of children removed from their parents; (ii) the number of children who remain with the non-offending parent; (iii) the number of indicated and unfounded investigative findings and corresponding allegations of maltreatment for the non-offending parent and domestic violence perpetrator; (iv) the number of referrals to the co-located domestic violence advocates; (v) the number of referrals for services; and (vi) the number of months that children remained in foster care whose cases involved the co-located domestic violence advocate.
    (f) Following the expiration of the 5-year pilot program or prior to the expiration of the pilot program, if there is evidence that the pilot program is effective, the domestic violence co-location program may expand into each county, investigative office of the Department of Children and Family Services, or purchase of service or other contracted private agency delivering intact family or foster care services in Illinois.
    (g) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to breach the confidentiality protections provided under State law to domestic violence professionals, including co-located domestic violence advocates, in the provision of services to domestic violence victims as employees of domestic violence agencies or to any individual who receives services from domestic violence agencies.
(Source: P.A. 100-406, eff. 1-1-18.)