Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4304
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Full Text of HB4304  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Children and Family Services Act is amended
5by adding Section 5.26 as follows:
6    (20 ILCS 505/5.26 new)
7    Sec. 5.26. Foster children; exit interviews.
8    (a) Unless clinically contraindicated, the Department
9shall ensure that an exit interview is conducted with every
10child age 5 and over who leaves a foster home.
11        (1) The interview shall be conducted by a caseworker,
12    mental health provider, or clinician from the Department's
13    Division of Clinical Practice.
14        (2) The interview shall be conducted within 5 days of
15    the child's removal from the home.
16        (3) The interviewer shall comply with the provisions
17    of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act if the
18    child discloses abuse or neglect as defined by that Act.
19        (4) The interviewer shall immediately inform the
20    licensing agency if the child discloses any information
21    that would constitute a potential licensing violation.
22        (5) Documentation of the interview shall be (i)
23    maintained in the foster parent's licensing file, (ii)



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1    maintained in the child's case file, (iii) included in the
2    service plan for the child, and (iv) and provided to the
3    child's guardian ad litem and attorney appointed under
4    Section 2-17 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.
5        (6) The determination that an interview in compliance
6    with this Section is clinically contraindicated shall be
7    made by the caseworker, in consultation with the child's
8    mental health provider, if any, and the caseworker's
9    supervisor. If the child does not have a mental health
10    provider, the caseworker shall request a consultation with
11    the Department's Division of Clinical Practice regarding
12    whether an interview is clinically contraindicated. The
13    decision and the basis for the decision shall be
14    documented in writing and shall be (i) maintained in the
15    foster parent's licensing file, (ii) maintained in the
16    child's case file, and (iii) attached as part of the
17    service plan for the child.
18        (7) The information gathered during the interview
19    shall be dependent on the age and maturity of the child and
20    the circumstances of the child's removal. The
21    interviewer's observations and any information relevant to
22    understanding the child's responses shall be recorded on
23    the interview form. At a minimum, the interview shall
24    address the following areas:
25            (A) How the child's basic needs were met in the
26        home: who prepared food and was there sufficient food;



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1        whether the child had appropriate clothing; sleeping
2        arrangements; supervision appropriate to the child's
3        age and special needs; was the child enrolled in
4        school; and did the child receive the support needed
5        to complete his or her school work.
6            (B) Access to caseworker, therapist, or guardian
7        ad litem: whether the child was able to contact these
8        professionals and how.
9            (C) Safety and comfort in the home: how did the
10        child feel in the home; was the foster parent
11        affirming of the child's identity; did anything happen
12        that made the child happy; did anything happen that
13        was scary or sad; what happened when the child did
14        something he or she should not have done; if relevant,
15        how does the child think the foster parent felt about
16        the child's family of origin, including parents and
17        siblings; and was the foster parent supportive of the
18        permanency goal.
19            (D) Normalcy: whether the child felt included in
20        the family; whether the child participated in
21        extracurricular activities; whether the foster parent
22        participated in planning for the child, including
23        child and family team meetings and school meetings.
24    (b) The Department shall develop procedures, including an
25interview form, no later than January 1, 2023, to implement
26this Section.



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1    (c) Beginning July 1, 2023 and quarterly thereafter, the
2Department shall post on its webpage a report summarizing the
3details of the exit interviews.
4    Section 10. The Child Care Act of 1969 is amended by
5changing Sections 2.22a and 4 as follows:
6    (225 ILCS 10/2.22a)
7    Sec. 2.22a. Quality of care concerns applicant. "Quality
8of care concerns applicant" means an applicant for a foster
9care license or renewal of a foster care license where the
10applicant or any person living in the applicant's household:
11        (1) has had a license issued under this Act revoked;
12        (2) has surrendered a license issued under this Act
13    for cause;
14        (3) has had a license issued under this Act expire or
15    has surrendered a license, while either an abuse or
16    neglect investigation or licensing investigation was
17    pending or an involuntary placement hold was placed on the
18    home;
19        (4) has been the subject of allegations of abuse or
20    neglect;
21        (5) has an indicated report of abuse or neglect; or
22        (6) has been the subject of certain types of
23    involuntary placement holds or has been involved in
24    certain types of substantiated licensing complaints, as



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1    specified and defined by Department rule; or .
2        (7) has requested a youth in care's removal from the
3    home, either orally or in writing, on 5 or more occasions.
4(Source: P.A. 99-779, eff. 1-1-17.)
5    (225 ILCS 10/4)  (from Ch. 23, par. 2214)
6    Sec. 4. License requirement; application; notice.
7    (a) Any person, group of persons or corporation who or
8which receives children or arranges for care or placement of
9one or more children unrelated to the operator must apply for a
10license to operate one of the types of facilities defined in
11Sections 2.05 through 2.19 and in Section 2.22 of this Act. Any
12relative, as defined in Section 2.17 of this Act, who receives
13a child or children for placement by the Department on a
14full-time basis may apply for a license to operate a foster
15family home as defined in Section 2.17 of this Act.
16    (a-5) Any agency, person, group of persons, association,
17organization, corporation, institution, center, or group
18providing adoption services must be licensed by the Department
19as a child welfare agency as defined in Section 2.08 of this
20Act. "Providing adoption services" as used in this Act,
21includes facilitating or engaging in adoption services.
22    (b) Application for a license to operate a child care
23facility must be made to the Department in the manner and on
24forms prescribed by it. An application to operate a foster
25family home shall include, at a minimum: a completed written



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1form; written authorization by the applicant and all adult
2members of the applicant's household to conduct a criminal
3background investigation; medical evidence in the form of a
4medical report, on forms prescribed by the Department, that
5the applicant and all members of the household are free from
6communicable diseases or physical and mental conditions that
7affect their ability to provide care for the child or
8children; the names and addresses of at least 3 persons not
9related to the applicant who can attest to the applicant's
10moral character; the name and address of at least one relative
11who can attest to the applicant's capability to care for the
12child or children; and fingerprints submitted by the applicant
13and all adult members of the applicant's household.
14    (b-5) Prior to submitting an application for a foster
15family home license, a quality of care concerns applicant as
16defined in Section 2.22a of this Act must submit a preliminary
17application to the Department in the manner and on forms
18prescribed by it. The Department shall explain to the quality
19of care concerns applicant the grounds for requiring a
20preliminary application. The preliminary application shall
21include a list of (i) all children placed in the home by the
22Department who were removed by the Department for reasons
23other than returning to a parent and the circumstances under
24which they were removed and (ii) all children placed by the
25Department who were subsequently adopted by or placed in the
26private guardianship of the quality of care concerns applicant



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1who are currently under 18 and who no longer reside in the home
2and the reasons why they no longer reside in the home. The
3preliminary application shall also include, if the quality of
4care concerns applicant chooses to submit, (1) a response to
5the quality of care concerns, including any reason the
6concerns are invalid, have been addressed or ameliorated, or
7no longer apply and (2) affirmative documentation
8demonstrating that the quality of care concerns applicant's
9home does not pose a risk to children and that the family will
10be able to meet the physical and emotional needs of children.
11The Department shall verify the information in the preliminary
12application and review (i) information regarding any prior
13licensing complaints, (ii) information regarding any prior
14child abuse or neglect investigations, and (iii) information
15regarding any involuntary foster home holds placed on the home
16by the Department, and (iv) information regarding all child
17exit interviews, as provided in Section 5.26 of the Children
18and Family Services Act, regarding the home. Foster home
19applicants with quality of care concerns are presumed
20unsuitable for future licensure.
21    Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection (b-5),
22the Department may make an exception and issue a foster family
23license to a quality of care concerns applicant if the
24Department is satisfied that the foster family home does not
25pose a risk to children and that the foster family will be able
26to meet the physical and emotional needs of children. In



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1making this determination, the Department must obtain and
2carefully review all relevant documents and shall obtain
3consultation from its Clinical Division as appropriate and as
4prescribed by Department rule and procedure. The Department
5has the authority to deny a preliminary application based on
6the record of quality of care concerns of the foster family
7home. In the alternative, the Department may (i) approve the
8preliminary application, (ii) approve the preliminary
9application subject to obtaining additional information or
10assessments, or (iii) approve the preliminary application for
11purposes of placing a particular child or children only in the
12foster family home. If the Department approves a preliminary
13application, the foster family shall submit an application for
14licensure as described in subsection (b) of this Section. The
15Department shall notify the quality of care concerns applicant
16of its decision and the basis for its decision in writing.
17    (c) The Department shall notify the public when a child
18care institution, maternity center, or group home licensed by
19the Department undergoes a change in (i) the range of care or
20services offered at the facility, (ii) the age or type of
21children served, or (iii) the area within the facility used by
22children. The Department shall notify the public of the change
23in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or
24municipality in which the applicant's facility is or is
25proposed to be located.
26    (d) If, upon examination of the facility and investigation



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1of persons responsible for care of children and, in the case of
2a foster home, taking into account information obtained for
3purposes of evaluating a preliminary application, if
4applicable, the Department is satisfied that the facility and
5responsible persons reasonably meet standards prescribed for
6the type of facility for which application is made, it shall
7issue a license in proper form, designating on that license
8the type of child care facility and, except for a child welfare
9agency, the number of children to be served at any one time.
10    (e) The Department shall not issue or renew the license of
11any child welfare agency providing adoption services, unless
12the agency (i) is officially recognized by the United States
13Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization
14described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of
151986 (or any successor provision of federal tax law) and (ii)
16is in compliance with all of the standards necessary to
17maintain its status as an organization described in Section
18501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or any
19successor provision of federal tax law). The Department shall
20grant a grace period of 24 months from the effective date of
21this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly for existing
22child welfare agencies providing adoption services to obtain
23501(c)(3) status. The Department shall permit an existing
24child welfare agency that converts from its current structure
25in order to be recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization as
26required by this Section to either retain its current license



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1or transfer its current license to a newly formed entity, if
2the creation of a new entity is required in order to comply
3with this Section, provided that the child welfare agency
4demonstrates that it continues to meet all other licensing
5requirements and that the principal officers and directors and
6programs of the converted child welfare agency or newly
7organized child welfare agency are substantially the same as
8the original. The Department shall have the sole discretion to
9grant a one year extension to any agency unable to obtain
10501(c)(3) status within the timeframe specified in this
11subsection (e), provided that such agency has filed an
12application for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue
13Service within the 2-year timeframe specified in this
14subsection (e).
15(Source: P.A. 101-63, eff. 7-12-19.)