(55 ILCS 80/2)
(from Ch. 23, par. 1802)
(a) The General Assembly finds that the creation
of accredited Children's Advocacy Centers ("CACs") accredited throughout the State of
Illinois is essential to providing a formal, comprehensive, integrated, and multidisciplinary response to the investigation and disposition of reports of child maltreatment; by expediting and improving the validation or invalidation of such allegations for the benefit of children, their families and accused perpetrators; by requiring the use of collaborative decision making and case management, thereby reducing the number of times children are questioned and examined, thus preventing further trauma of children; by coordinating therapeutic intervention and services thereby providing safety and treatment for child victims and their families; by developing communication, case coordination, and information sharing policies and protocols among allied professionals and agencies who play a role in child protection in a given jurisdiction; by collecting data to report to partner agencies, the community, and the General Assembly, and to use in continually improving collaborative multidisciplinary investigations; and, by maintaining the confidentiality of client records and records from partner agencies, to ensure the protection of the privacy of children, their families and accused perpetrators. A CAC organized and operating under this Act may accept, receive and disburse in furtherance of its duties and functions any funds, grants and services made available by the State of Illinois and its agencies, the federal government and its agencies, a unit of local government, or private or civic sources. To the extent permitted by applicable law, participating entities shall maintain the confidentiality of case-related information which includes, but is not limited to, case review discussions, case review notes, written reports and records, and verbal exchanges.
(b) The General Assembly further finds that the most precious resource in the State of Illinois is our children. The protection of children from physical abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation, and neglect, hereinafter "child maltreatment", is at the core of the duties and fundamental responsibilities of the General Assembly and provides the highest compelling interest to create and maintain a system to effectively respond to reports of child maltreatment and protect children from harm.
(Source: P.A. 98-809, eff. 1-1-15
(55 ILCS 80/2.5)
As used in this Section:
"Accreditation" means the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented by standards set by the National Children's Alliance to ensure effective, efficient and consistent delivery of services by a CAC.
"Child maltreatment" includes any act or occurrence, as defined in Section 5 of the Criminal Code of 2012, under the Children and Family Services Act or the Juvenile Court Act involving either a child victim or child witness.
"Children's Advocacy Center" or "CAC" is a child-focused, trauma-informed, facility-based program in which representatives from law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, forensic interviewing, medical, and victim advocacy disciplines collaborate to interview children, meet with a child's parent or parents, caregivers, and family members, and make team decisions about the investigation, prosecution, safety, treatment, and support services for child maltreatment cases.
"Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois" or "CACI" is a state chapter of the National Children's Alliance ("NCA") and organizing entity for Children's Advocacy Centers in the State of Illinois. It defines membership and engages member CACs in the NCA accreditation process and collecting and sharing of data, and provides training, leadership, and technical assistance to existing and emerging CACs in the State.
"Forensic interview" means an interview between a trained forensic interviewer, as defined by NCA standards, and a child in which the interviewer obtains information from children in an unbiased and fact finding manner that is developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive to support accurate and fair decision making by the multidisciplinary team in the criminal justice and child protection systems. Whenever practical, all parties involved in investigating reports of child maltreatment shall observe the interview, which shall be digitally recorded.
"Multidisciplinary team" or "MDT" means a group of professionals working collaboratively under a written protocol, who represent various disciplines from the point of a report of child maltreatment to assure the most effective coordinated response possible for every child. Employees from each participating entity shall be included on the MDT. A CAC's MDT must include professionals involved in the coordination, investigation, and prosecution of child abuse cases, including the CAC's staff, participating law enforcement agencies, the county state's attorney, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and must include professionals involved in the delivery of services to victims of child maltreatment and non-offending parent or parents, caregiver, and their families.
"National Children's Alliance" or "NCA" means the professional membership organization dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in an effective and efficient manner. NCA provides training, support, technical assistance and leadership on a national level to state and local CACs and communities responding to reports of child maltreatment. NCA is the national organization that provides the standards for CAC accreditation.
"Protocol" means a written methodology defining the responsibilities of each of the MDT members in the investigation and prosecution of child maltreatment within a defined jurisdiction. Written protocols are signed documents and are reviewed and/or updated annually, at a minimum, by a CAC's Advisory Board.
(Source: P.A. 98-809, eff. 1-1-15
(55 ILCS 80/3)
(from Ch. 23, par. 1803)
Child Advocacy Advisory Board.
(a) Each county or group of counties in the State of Illinois shall establish a Child Advocacy
Advisory Board ("Advisory Board").
Each of the following county officers or State agencies or allied professional entities shall designate a
representative to serve on the Advisory Board: law enforcement within the appropriate jurisdiction(s),
the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services,
the State's attorney, and the Children's Advocacy Center.
The Advisory Board may appoint additional members of the Advisory Board as is
deemed necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Act, the additional
members to include but not be limited to representatives of local law
enforcement agencies, allied professionals, and the Circuit Courts.
(b) The Advisory Board shall have the authority to organize itself and appoint, assign, or elect leaders. The Advisory Board shall determine the voting rights of multiple members from the same agency or entity.
(c) The Advisory Board shall adopt, by a majority of the members, a
written operational protocol. The Advisory Board shall, prior to finalization, submit a draft to the Children's Advocacy Center of Illinois ("CACI") for review and comments to ensure compliance with accreditation standards from NCA. After considering the comments of the CACI and upon finalization of its protocol, the Advisory Board shall file the protocol with the Department of Children and Family Services and the CACI. If requested, a copy shall be made available to the public by the local CAC. Each Advisory Board shall, on an annual basis, review and/or update the written protocol. Any changes made to the written protocol shall be approved by majority vote and, prior to finalization, a draft shall be submitted to the CACI for review and comments to ensure compliance with accreditation standards from NCA. After considering the comments of the CACI and upon finalization of its protocol, the Advisory Board shall file the protocol with the Department of Children and Family Services and the CACI.
(d) The purpose of the protocol shall be to ensure coordination
and cooperation among all agencies involved in child maltreatment cases
so as to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of those agencies,
to minimize the trauma created for the child and his or her non-offending parents, caregivers, or family members by the
investigatory and judicial process, and to ensure that more effective
treatment is provided for the child and his or her non-offending parents, caregivers, or family members. Agencies that are members of the Advisory Board are encouraged to amend their internal operating protocol in a manner that further facilitates coordination and cooperation among all agencies.
(e) The protocol shall be a written document outlining in detail the
procedures to be used in investigating and responding to cases arising from
alleged child maltreatment and in coordinating treatment referrals for the
child and his or her non-offending parents, caregivers, or family members. In preparing the written protocol, the Advisory
Board shall ensure that the CAC includes all of the components listed in Section 4 of this Act.
(f) The Advisory Board shall evaluate the implementation and
effectiveness of the protocol required under subsection (c) of this Section on
an annual basis, and shall propose appropriate modifications to the protocol to
maximize its effectiveness. A report of the Advisory Board's review, along
with proposed modifications, shall be submitted to the CACI for its review and comments. After considering the comments of the CACI and adopting modifications, the Advisory
Board shall file its amended protocol with the
Department of Children and Family Services. A copy of the Advisory Board's
review and amended protocol shall be furnished to the CACI and to the public.
(Source: P.A. 98-809, eff. 1-1-15
(55 ILCS 80/4)
(from Ch. 23, par. 1804)
Children's Advocacy Center.
(a) A CAC may be
established to coordinate the activities of the various agencies involved
in the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child maltreatment. The individual county or regional Advisory Board shall set the written protocol of the CAC within the appropriate jurisdiction.
The operation of the CAC may be funded through public or private grants, contracts, donations, fees, and
other available sources under this Act. Each CAC shall operate to the best of its ability in accordance with available funding. In counties in which a referendum has been adopted
under Section 5 of this Act, the Advisory Board, by the majority vote of its members, shall submit a
proposed annual budget for the operation of the CAC to the county board,
which shall appropriate funds and levy a tax sufficient to
operate the CAC. The county board in each county in which a
referendum has been adopted shall establish a Children's Advocacy
Center Fund and shall deposit the net proceeds of the tax authorized by
Section 6 of this Act in that Fund, which shall be kept separate from all
other county funds and shall only be used for the purposes of this Act.
(b) The Advisory Board shall pay from the Children's Advocacy Center
Fund or from other available funds the salaries of all employees of the
Center and the expenses of acquiring a physical plant for
the Center by construction or lease and maintaining the Center, including
the expenses of administering the coordination of the investigation,
prosecution and treatment referral of child maltreatment under the provisions of the protocol
adopted pursuant to this Act.
(c) Every CAC shall include at least the following components:
(1) A multidisciplinary, coordinated systems approach
to the investigation of child maltreatment which shall include, at a minimum:
(i) an interagency notification procedure;
(ii) a policy on multidisciplinary team
collaboration and communication that requires MDT members share information pertinent to investigations and the safety of children;
(iv) a description of the role each agency has in
responding to a referral for services in an individual case;
(v) a dispute resolution process between the
involved agencies when a conflict arises on how to proceed on the referral of a particular case;
(vi) a process for the CAC to assist in the
forensic interview of children that witness alleged crimes;
(vii) a child-friendly, trauma informed space for
children and their non-offending family members;
(viii) an MDT approach including law enforcement,
prosecution, medical, mental health, victim advocacy, and other community resources;
(ix) medical evaluation on-site or off-site
(x) mental health services on-site or off-site
(xi) on-site forensic interviews;
(xii) culturally competent services;
(xiii) case tracking and review;
(xiv) case staffing on each investigation;
(xv) effective organizational capacity; and
(xvi) a policy or procedure to familiarize a
child and his or her non-offending family members or guardians with the court process as well as preparations for testifying in court, if necessary;
(2) A safe, separate space with assigned personnel
designated for the investigation and coordination of child maltreatment cases;
(3) A multidisciplinary case review process for
purposes of decision-making, problem solving, systems coordination, and information sharing;
(4) A comprehensive client tracking system to receive
and coordinate information concerning child maltreatment cases from each participating agency;
(5) Multidisciplinary specialized training for all
professionals involved with the victims and non-offending family members in child maltreatment cases; and
(6) A process for evaluating the effectiveness of the
(d) In the event that a CAC has been established as provided in this
Section, the Advisory Board of that CAC may, by a majority vote of the members,
authorize the CAC to coordinate the activities of the various agencies
involved in the investigation, prosecution, and treatment referral in cases of serious or fatal injury to a
child. For CACs receiving funds under Section 5 or 6 of this Act, the Advisory Board shall provide for the financial
support of these activities in a manner similar to that set out in subsections
(a) and (b) of this Section and shall be allowed to submit a budget that
includes support for physical abuse and neglect activities to the County Board,
which shall appropriate funds that may be available under Section 5 of this
Act. In cooperation with the Department of Children and Family Services Child Death Review Teams, the Department of Children and Family Services Office of the Inspector General, and other stakeholders, this protocol must be initially implemented in selected counties to the extent that State appropriations or funds from other sources for this purpose allow.
(e) CACI may also provide technical
assistance and guidance to the Advisory Boards.
(Source: P.A. 98-809, eff. 1-1-15; 99-78, eff. 7-20-15.)
(55 ILCS 80/5)
(from Ch. 23, par. 1805)
(a) Whenever a petition signed by 1% of the
electors who voted in the last general election in any county is presented
to the county board requesting the submission of the proposition whether an
annual tax of not to exceed .004% of the value, as equalized or assessed by
the Department of Revenue, of all taxable property in the county shall be
levied for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a Children's
Advocacy Center, the county board shall adopt a resolution for the
submission of the proposition to the electors at the next regular election
held in the county in accordance with the general election law.
(b) Upon the adoption and certification of the resolution, the
proposition shall be submitted at the next regular election held in the
county. The proposition shall be in substantially the following form:
"Shall an annual tax of not more than .......
per cent be levied on the value of all taxable property in ............ County (this tax will amount to an annual increase of approximately ..... on a home with a market value of $100,000) for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a Children's Advocacy Center to coordinate the investigation, prosecution, and treatment referral of child sexual abuse in ..... County?".
The election authority must record the votes as "Yes" or "No".
(c) If a majority of the electors of the county voting on the
proposition vote in favor thereof, the proposition shall be deemed adopted.
(d) The adoption of a referendum is not required to establish a Children's
Advocacy Center if the Center may be or is operated with funds other than the
proceeds of the annual tax that is authorized by referendum.
(Source: P.A. 92-785, eff. 8-6-02; 93-203, eff. 7-14-03.)