Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0136
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Full Text of SB0136  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning education.
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 44 as follows:
6    (20 ILCS 505/44 new)
7    Sec. 44. Pat McGuire Child Welfare Education Fellowship
8Pilot Program.
9    (a) The General Assembly makes all of the following
11        (1) The Department of Children and Family Services is
12    the sole State agency for the planning and coordination of
13    programs and services for the prevention of child abuse
14    and neglect. The Department also provides social services
15    to children and their families, operates children's
16    institutions, and provides certain other rehabilitative
17    and residential services. The Department contracts with
18    many purchase of service agencies for the administration
19    of these programs.
20        (2) Due to numerous factors, including the rate of
21    pay, purchase of service agencies have a high employee
22    turnover rate and struggle to maintain consistent
23    employment levels. This high turnover is disruptive to the



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1    delivery of direct child welfare services to families and
2    youth in care.
3        (3) A number of public institutions of higher
4    education in this State offer child welfare social work
5    programs that are designed to train and prepare students
6    for employment in the child welfare social work field,
7    including, but not limited to, employment at purchase of
8    service agencies that provide direct child welfare
9    services to families and youth in care.
10        (4) The Department and public institutions of higher
11    education have a mutual interest in providing greater
12    access to child welfare social work education for a
13    professional workforce that is responsive to the work of
14    the Department through purchase of service agencies.
15    (b) As used in this Section:
16    "Department" means the Department of Children and Family
18    "Direct service" means a position in foster care services,
19intact services, foster care licensing, adoption, or
20permanency or a supervisory position in the practice area.
21    "Eligible applicant" means a student who is enrolled in a
22social work program of study at a participating institution of
23higher education and who meets all of the qualifications as
24determined by the Department.
25    "Participating institution" means a public university in
26this State that is a party to an intergovernmental agreement



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1entered into with the Department in order to participate in
2the program established under this Section.
3    "Tuition, university fees, and books" includes the
4customary charge for instruction and books or course material
5and the additional fixed fees charged for specified purposes
6that are required generally of students who are not program
7applicants under this Section for each academic year for which
8a program applicant under this Section actually enrolls, but
9does not include room and board, transportation fees, fees
10payable only once, breakage fees, and other contingent
11deposits that are refundable in whole or in part. The
12Department may adopt, by rule not inconsistent with this
13Section, detailed provisions concerning the computation of
14tuition, university fees, and books.
15    (c) Beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year and
16continuing for a period of 6 academic years, the Department
17shall establish and administer the Pat McGuire Child Welfare
18Education Fellowship Pilot Program to provide financial
19assistance to eligible students who commit to seek and
20maintain employment at a purchase of service agency that
21contracts with the Department upon graduation from a
22participating institution with a degree in social work. The
23goal of the program is to develop and support an effective and
24stable direct service child welfare workforce. Pursuant to the
25Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, each participating
26institution shall enter into and adhere to all of the



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1provisions of an intergovernmental agreement between the
2Department and the participating institution. Subject to
3appropriation, the stipend program shall be available to
4eligible applicants in this State pursuing either a Bachelor
5of Social Work or a Master of Social Work degree at a
6participating institution. The Department may award a stipend
7of up to $10,000 each academic year for a maximum of 2 academic
8years, up to a maximum total of $20,000 in stipends for the 2
9academic years combined, to a student under this Section if
10the participating institution and the Department find that the
11applicant meets all criteria established by the Department.
12    (d) Each participating institution and the Department
13shall determine renewal criteria for assistance consistent
14with the requirements of this Section.
15    (e) Each participating institution shall post on its
16Internet website the criteria and eligibility requirements to
17receive a stipend award of funds under this Section and must
18identify that the stipend awards are up to a maximum of $10,000
19per student per academic year for a maximum of 2 academic
20years, with the total amount of stipends awarded to an
21eligible applicant or student not to exceed $20,000 for the
22duration of the eligible applicant's or student's
23participation in the program. This information must also be
24reported to the Department and the Board of Higher Education,
25and the Department and the Board shall post the information on
26their respective Internet websites.



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1    (f) Prior to receiving a stipend for any academic year, an
2eligible applicant under this Section shall be required by the
3participating institution to sign an agreement with the
4Department under which the stipend recipient pledges that,
5within 6 months from the date of the stipend recipient's
6graduation from the participating institution with a Bachelor
7of Social Work or a Master of Social Work degree for which
8stipend funds were paid by the Department, the stipend
9recipient must search for, apply to, and accept full-time
10employment in a direct service position at a Department
11purchase of service agency located anywhere in this State. The
12stipend recipient must remain as a full-time employee in a
13direct service position at a Department purchase of service
14agency located anywhere in this State for at least 18 months
15for each academic year the stipend recipient received a
16stipend from the Department under the program.
17    (g) If the recipient of a stipend award under this Section
18fails to search for, apply to, and accept full-time employment
19in a direct service position at a Department purchase of
20service agency located anywhere in this State within 6 months
21following the stipend recipient's graduation from a social
22work program at a participating institution, the Department
23shall require the stipend recipient to begin to repay the
24total amount of the stipend received within 90 calendar days
25after the end of the 6-month period or as agreed to by the
26Department. The repayment amount shall be prorated according



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1to the fraction of the employment obligation not completed, at
2a rate of interest equal to 5%, and, if applicable, reasonable
3attorney's and collection fees. All repayments collected under
4this Section shall be forwarded to the State Comptroller for
5deposit into the fund from which the stipend awards were paid.
6    (h) A stipend recipient under this Section must
7immediately notify the participating institution and the
8Department of any changes to the stipend recipient's
9enrollment status or if the stipend recipient withdraws from
10the social work program for which the recipient was awarded a
11stipend under the program.
12    (i) If a stipend recipient's qualified employment is
13terminated for any reason other than for cause, a stipend
14recipient must search for, apply to, and accept new,
15qualified, full-time employment in a direct service position
16at a Department purchase of service agency located anywhere in
17this State within 90 calendar days from the stipend
18recipient's termination of full-time employment, otherwise the
19stipend recipient is subject to the repayment of stipend funds
20to the Department.
21    (j) If a stipend recipient's qualified employment is
22terminated for cause prior to the completion of the program's
23employment requirement, the stipend recipient shall repay the
24total amount of stipends received under the program within 90
25calendar days from termination or as agreed to by the
26Department. The amount of repayment owed by the recipient



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1shall be prorated based on the amount of the employment
2requirement that has been satisfied.
3    (k) On or before October 1, 2023 and each October 1
4thereafter during the Pat McGuire Child Welfare Education
5Fellowship Pilot Program, the Department shall provide a
6report and evaluation of the results of the program at each
7participating institution to the General Assembly and the
8Office of the Governor. Each participating institution shall
9track a student's eligibility under the program, the
10completion of educational requirements, the costs of each
11student's tuition, university fees, and books, and the
12application of the recipient's stipends during the recipient's
13enrollment at the participating institution. The report shall
14also include the location in this State where each stipend
15recipient was hired and shall identify the purchase of service
16agency, the duration of the recipient's employment, and the
17termination date of the recipient's employment.
18    (l) The sharing and reporting of student data under
19subsection (k) shall be in accordance with the federal Family
20Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Illinois
21School Student Records Act. All parties under this Section
22must preserve the confidentiality of information as required
23by law. The names of stipend recipients under this Section are
24not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information
26    (m) The Department is authorized to adopt rules to



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1implement and administer this Section.
2    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,