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(20 ILCS 505/5.26)
(Text of Section from P.A. 102-763)
Foster children; exit interviews.
(a) Unless clinically contraindicated, the Department shall ensure that an exit interview is conducted with every child age 5 and over who leaves a foster home.
(1) The interview shall be conducted by a caseworker,
mental health provider, or clinician from the Department's Division of Clinical Practice.
(2) The interview shall be conducted within 5 days of
the child's removal from the home.
(3) The interviewer shall comply with the provisions
of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act if the child discloses abuse or neglect as defined by that Act.
(4) The interviewer shall immediately inform the
licensing agency if the child discloses any information that would constitute a potential licensing violation.
(5) Documentation of the interview shall be (i)
maintained in the foster parent's licensing file, (ii) maintained in the child's case file, (iii) included in the service plan for the child, and (iv) and provided to the child's guardian ad litem and attorney appointed under Section 2-17 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.
(6) The determination that an interview in compliance
with this Section is clinically contraindicated shall be made by the caseworker, in consultation with the child's mental health provider, if any, and the caseworker's supervisor. If the child does not have a mental health provider, the caseworker shall request a consultation with the Department's Division of Clinical Practice regarding whether an interview is clinically contraindicated. The decision and the basis for the decision shall be documented in writing and shall be (i) maintained in the foster parent's licensing file, (ii) maintained in the child's case file, and (iii) attached as part of the service plan for the child.
(7) The information gathered during the interview
shall be dependent on the age and maturity of the child and the circumstances of the child's removal. The interviewer's observations and any information relevant to understanding the child's responses shall be recorded on the interview form. At a minimum, the interview shall address the following areas:
(A) How the child's basic needs were met in the
home: who prepared food and was there sufficient food; whether the child had appropriate clothing; sleeping arrangements; supervision appropriate to the child's age and special needs; was the child enrolled in school; and did the child receive the support needed to complete his or her school work.
(B) Access to caseworker, therapist, or guardian
ad litem: whether the child was able to contact these professionals and how.
(C) Safety and comfort in the home: how did the
child feel in the home; was the foster parent affirming of the child's identity; did anything happen that made the child happy; did anything happen that was scary or sad; what happened when the child did something he or she should not have done; if relevant, how does the child think the foster parent felt about the child's family of origin, including parents and siblings; and was the foster parent supportive of the permanency goal.
(D) Normalcy: whether the child felt included in
the family; whether the child participated in extracurricular activities; whether the foster parent participated in planning for the child, including child and family team meetings and school meetings.
(b) The Department shall develop procedures, including an interview form, no later than January 1, 2023, to implement this Section.
(c) Beginning July 1, 2023 and quarterly thereafter, the Department shall post on its webpage a report summarizing the details of the exit interviews.
(Source: P.A. 102-763, eff. 1-1-23.)
(Text of Section from P.A. 102-898)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
Holistic Mental Health Care for Youth in Care Task Force.
(a) The Holistic Mental Health Care for Youth in Care Task Force is created. The Task Force shall review and make recommendations regarding mental health and wellness services provided to youth in care, including a program of holistic mental health services provided 30 days after the date upon which a youth is placed in foster care, in order to determine how to best meet the mental health needs of youth in care. Additionally, the Task Force shall:
(1) assess the capacity of State licensed mental
health professionals to provide preventive mental health care to youth in care;
(2) review the current payment rates for mental
health providers serving the youth in care population;
(3) evaluate the process for smaller private
practices and agencies to bill through managed care, evaluate delayed payments to mental health providers, and recommend improvements to make billing practices more efficient;
(4) evaluate the recruitment and retention of mental
health providers who are persons of color to serve the youth in care population; and
(5) any other relevant subject and processes as
deemed necessary by the Task Force.
(b) The Task Force shall have 9 members, comprised as follows:
(1) The Director of Healthcare and Family Services or
(2) The Director of Children and Family Services or
(3) A member appointed by the Governor from the
Office of the Governor who has a focus on mental health issues.
(4) Two members from the House of Representatives,
appointed one each by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
(5) Two members of the Senate, appointed one each by
the President of the Senate and the Minority Leader of the Senate.
(6) One member who is a former youth in care,
appointed by the Governor.
(7) One representative from the managed care entity
managing the YouthCare program, appointed by the Director of Healthcare and Family Services.
Task Force members shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
(c) The Task Force shall meet at least once each month beginning no later than July 1, 2022 and at other times as determined by the Task Force. The Task Force may hold electronic meetings and a member of the Task Force shall be deemed present for the purposes of establishing a quorum and voting.
(d) The Department of Healthcare and Family Services, in conjunction with the Department of Children and Family Services, shall provide administrative and other support to the Task Force.
(e) The Task Force shall prepare and submit to the Governor and the General Assembly at the end of each quarter a report that summarizes its work and makes recommendations resulting from its study. The Task Force shall submit its final report to the Governor and the General Assembly no later than December 31, 2024. Upon submission of its final report, the Task Force is dissolved.
(f) This Section is repealed on January 1, 2026.
(Source: P.A. 102-898, eff. 5-25-22