State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1        AN ACT concerning foster parents.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  5.  The  Children  and  Family  Services  Act is
 5    amended by changing Section 7.2 as follows:

 6        (20 ILCS 505/7.2)
 7        Sec. 7.2.  Placement; task force on foster parents'  Bill
 8    of  Rights.  The  Governor  shall  establish  a task force to
 9    examine the rights and responsibilities of foster parents, to
10    draft a foster parents' bill of rights and  responsibilities,
11    and  to  propose statutory or regulatory changes necessary to
12    implement such a bill of rights. The task  force  shall  also
13    advise  the  Director  of Children and Family Services in the
14    direction and scope of programs affecting foster parents. The
15    task force shall consider the following in drafting a  foster
16    parents' bill of rights and responsibilities:
17             (1)  The  right to be treated with dignity, respect,
18        and  consideration  as  team  members  who   are   making
19        important  contributions  to  the objectives of the child
20        welfare system.
21             (2)  The  right  to  promote  the   continuance   of
22        positive family patterns and routines, thus acknowledging
23        the  ebb  and  flow  of  family  life and its normalizing
24        benefits to a child in their care.
25             (3)  The right to be provided training and be  given
26        support in improving their skills in providing daily care
27        and meeting the special needs of a child in their care.
28             (4)  The  right  to be informed as to how to contact
29        the  appropriate  child  placement  agency  in  order  to
30        receive information and assistance to  access  supportive
31        services for children in their care.
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 1             (5)  The   right   to   receive   timely   financial
 2        reimbursement.
 3             (6)  The    right   to   have   a   clear,   written
 4        understanding of a placement agency's plan concerning the
 5        placement of a child in their home.
 6             (7)  The right to  a  fair,  timely,  and  impartial
 7        investigation.
 8             (8)  The  right, at any time during which a child is
 9        placed with the foster parent, to request  additional  or
10        necessary information that is relevant to the care of the
11        child.
12             (9)  The  right  to  be  notified  of  all scheduled
13        meetings and staffings concerning  the  foster  child  in
14        order  to  actively  participate in the case planning and
15        decision making process  regarding  the  child  in  their
16        care,  including  the  right  to be informed of decisions
17        made by the courts or the agency concerning the child.  A
18        foster parent's input shall be  considered  in  the  same
19        manner as information presented by any other professional
20        on  the  team.  Foster parents may communicate with other
21        professionals who work with the foster  child,  including
22        therapists, physicians, and teachers.
23             (10)  The  right  to  be  provided,  in a timely and
24        consistent manner, with any information a caseworker  has
25        regarding the child and the child's biological family, if
26        the information is pertinent to the care and needs of the
27        child  and  to  the  making  of a permanency plan for the
28        child.
29             (11)  The right to reasonable notice of  any  change
30        in  a  child's  case  plan  or  of plans to terminate the
31        placement of the child with the foster parents and of the
32        reasons for the change or termination in placement.
33             (12)  The  right  to  be  notified  of   all   court
34        hearings,  in a timely and complete manner, including the
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 1        date and time of the court hearing, the name of the judge
 2        or hearing officer hearing the case, the location of  the
 3        court  proceeding,  and  the court's docket number of the
 4        case and the right to intervene in court  proceedings  or
 5        to  seek  mandamus  of  agency  case plans concerning the
 6        child's placement under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.
 7             (13)  The right to be notified when a  foster  child
 8        who has formerly been placed successfully with the foster
 9        parents is to be reentered into foster care placement and
10        to be considered as an appropriate placement of the child
11        in  order  to  maintain  continuity for the child; except
12        that  consideration  should  not  be   deemed   a   legal
13        presumption  in favor of the foster parents and should be
14        consistent with the best interests of the child.
15             (14)  The right  to  have  access  to  the  existing
16        appeals  process  with the child placement agency and, as
17        part of the process, to file an  appeal  if  any  of  the
18        foster  parent's  rights  have  been  violated  and to be
19        informed of the Foster Parent Hotline, established  under
20        this  Act,  and  all  of  the  rights  accorded to foster
21        parents  concerning  reports  of  caseworker  misconduct,
22        confidential handling of those reports, and investigation
23        by the Inspector General.
24             (15)  The responsibility to openly  communicate  and
25        to  share  information about the child with other members
26        of the child welfare team.
27             (16)  The    responsibility    to    respect     the
28        confidentiality  of issues concerning foster children and
29        their families and to act appropriately within applicable
30        confidentiality guidelines.
31             (17)  The responsibility to advocate for children in
32        obtaining needed services and protection.
33             (18)  The responsibility to treat children in  their
34        care with respect, dignity, and a nonjudgmental attitude.
                            -4-                LRB9111175MWgc
 1             (19)  The  responsibility  to  recognize  their  own
 2        individual familial strengths and limitations and service
 3        needs  in providing care for foster children according to
 4        the child's age, sex,  developmental  or  special  needs,
 5        family relationships, culture, and permanency goals.
 6             (20)  The responsibility to be aware of the benefits
 7        of  relying on and  affiliating with other foster parents
 8        and foster parent associations in providing quality  care
 9        and service to children and families.
10             (21)  The  responsibility to assess their individual
11        training needs and to take action to meet those needs.
12             (22)  The responsibility  to  recognize  the  impact
13        that  placement  disruption  has  on  all  members of the
14        foster family, to develop strategies to prevent placement
15        disruptions,  and  to  provide  support  for  the  foster
16        children  and  members  of   the   foster   family   when
17        disruptions occur.
18             (23)  The  responsibility  to know the impact foster
19        parenting has on individuals  and  family  relationships,
20        and  to  endeavor  to  minimize, as much as possible, any
21        stress that results from foster parenting.
22             (24)  The responsibility to  know  the  rewards  and
23        benefits to children, parents, families, and society that
24        come  from  foster  parenting  and  to promote the foster
25        parenting experience in a positive way.
26             (25)  The responsibility to know the  role,  rights,
27        and  responsibilities of foster parents and professionals
28        in the child welfare system.
29             (26)  The responsibility to know the  child  welfare
30        agency's policy regarding allegations that foster parents
31        have  committed  child  abuse  or neglect, how to prevent
32        allegations,  and  how  to  access  appropriate   support
33        systems should an investigation occur.
34             (27)  The  responsibility  to  know  the  purpose of
                            -5-                LRB9111175MWgc
 1        administrative case review,  client  service  plans,  and
 2        court   processes,   as   well  as  any  filing  or  time
 3        requirements associated with these  proceedings,  and  to
 4        actively  participate  in  their designated role in these
 5        proceedings.
 6             (28)  The responsibility to know the  child  welfare
 7        agency's  appeal  procedure  for  foster  parents and the
 8        rights of foster parents under the procedure.
 9             (29)  The   responsibility   to    understand    the
10        importance  of  maintaining accurate and relevant records
11        regarding  the  child's  history  and  progress  and  the
12        responsibility  to  be  aware  of  and  to   follow   the
13        structure,  procedures,  and  regulations  of  the  child
14        welfare   agency   with   which   they  are  licensed  or
15        affiliated.
16        The task force shall consist of 15 members. The  Director
17    of the Department of Children and Family Services shall serve
18    as the chair of the task force.  The Governor shall appoint 4
19    representatives  from  private  child  welfare  agencies that
20    contract with the Department to provide  substitute  care,  2
21    from  the Department's Foster Parents Advisory Council, and 4
22    representatives from  private  foster  parent  organizations,
23    including  2 from the Illinois Foster Parent Association. The
24    task force shall also include one representative appointed by
25    each of the following legislative leaders: the Speaker of the
26    House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of
27    Representatives, the President of the  Senate,  and  Minority
28    Leader of the Senate. The task force shall meet as frequently
29    as may be needed to accomplish its purpose, but shall meet no
30    less  than  quarterly  each  year.  The  members  shall serve
31    without compensation with the exception of  per  diem  travel
32    expenses.  The  Department  of  Children  and Family Services
33    shall provide staffing and support costs.
34        The Task Force shall report its  recommendations  to  the
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 1    Governor and to the General Assembly by November 1, 1994.
 2    (Source: P.A. 88-550, eff. 7-3-94.)

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