Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2628
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Full Text of SB2628  100th General Assembly


Sen. Julie A. Morrison

Filed: 4/4/2018





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 2628 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Strengthening the Child Welfare Workforce for Children and
6Families Act.
7    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds all of the
9        (1) On July 31, 2017, 19,619 children and youth were
10    receiving services through the Department of Children and
11    Family Services after having been abused or neglected.
12        (2) The State's effort to serve abused or neglected
13    children and their families includes utilizing child
14    welfare workers who are employed by the Department of
15    Children and Family Services or by private agencies. Eighty
16    percent of children, youth, and families who receive child



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1    welfare services are assigned to private agencies from whom
2    the Department of Children and Family Services purchases
3    services.
4        (3) Unfortunately, as indicated by the following data,
5    the State's efforts have been underwhelming in regard to
6    child safety and timely permanent placements:
7            (i) The percentage of children experiencing a
8        recurrence of maltreatment within 6 months of an
9        initial incident increased, that is worsened, from
10        6.6% to 7.7% (an increase of 15.9%), at the same time
11        that the national average performance for child
12        welfare agencies decreased, that is improved, from 5%
13        to 4.9% (that is a percentage improvement of 2.7%).
14            (ii) The percentage of children experiencing
15        maltreatment in foster care increased, that is
16        worsened, from 0.39% to 0.57% (that is an increase of
17        46.1%), at the same time that the national average
18        performance for child welfare agencies decreased, that
19        is improved, from 0.34% to 0.27% (that is a percentage
20        improvement of 21.4%).
21            (iii) The percentage of children reunited with
22        their families who were in care less than 12 months
23        decreased, that is worsened, from 58.7% to 36.9% (that
24        is a 37.1% change for the worse). Across the same time
25        span, the national average performance for child
26        welfare agencies decreased slightly, from 68.3% to



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1        66.1% (that is a 3.3% change, defined as "no change" by
2        the federal government).
3            (iv) The percentage of children adopted who were in
4        care between 12 and 24 months decreased, that is
5        worsened, from 9.6% to 6.4%, (that is a 33% change for
6        the worse). Across the same time span, the national
7        average performance for child welfare agencies
8        improved slightly.
9        (4) In order to improve child safety, achieve timely
10    permanent placements, and ensure child well-being, a child
11    welfare workforce that is stable, capable, trained, and
12    supported is a necessary condition:
13            (i) The National Council on Crime and Delinquency
14        found that high turnover rates among child welfare
15        workers are significantly correlated to higher rates
16        of child maltreatment, and that the correlation
17        between turnover rates and maltreatment recurrence at
18        every point in time was strong and statistically
19        significant.
20            (ii) The United States General Accounting Office
21        surveyed child welfare caseworkers regarding the
22        effects of staff turnover on safety and permanency for
23        children. Caseworkers reported that high turnover
24        rates and staffing shortages leave the remaining
25        caseworkers with insufficient time to conduct the
26        types of home visits that are necessary to assess



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1        children's safety and to make well-supported decisions
2        to ensure safe and stable permanent placements. Staff
3        turnover also disrupts the continuity of services,
4        particularly when newly assigned caseworkers have to
5        conduct or reevaluate educational, health, and safety
6        assessments due to poor or insufficient information in
7        case files left behind by former caseworkers.
8    Section 10. Purpose. It is the purpose of this Act to
9create a task force to study the compensation and workload of
10child welfare workers to determine the role that compensation
11and workload play in the recruitment and retention of child
12welfare workers, and to determine the role that staff turnover
13plays in achieving safety and timely permanency for children.
14    Section 15. Task Force on Strengthening the Child Welfare
15Workforce for Children and Families.
16    (a) As used in this Act:
17    "Child welfare workers" or "staff" means child welfare
18caseworkers, child welfare specialists, and child welfare
19specialist supervisors.
20    "Child welfare services job" mean an employment position as
21a child welfare caseworker, child welfare specialist, or child
22welfare specialist supervisor.
23    (b) The Task Force on Strengthening the Child Welfare
24Workforce for Children and Families is created to do all of the



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2        (1) Perform a policy and literature review regarding:
3    (i) compensation and caseload standards in the field of
4    child welfare; (ii) staff turnover rates; and (iii) the
5    impact compensation, caseload, and staff turnover have on
6    achieving safety and timely permanency for children.
7        (2) Survey employers in the public and private sector
8    to determine:
9            (A) how many child welfare service jobs exist;
10            (B) the compensation paid to child welfare
11        workers;
12            (C) how many child welfare service jobs are filled
13        and how many are vacant;
14            (D) how many child welfare service jobs are filled
15        by persons who have at least 18 months in the position;
16            (E) the rate of turnover for child welfare workers;
17        and
18            (F) the causes of turnover for child welfare
19        workers.
20        (3) Conduct a detailed time log analysis for child
21    welfare workers to determine how much time is available to
22    complete each administrative task and how much time is
23    actually spent to complete each administrative task. The
24    time log analysis shall expressly ask child welfare workers
25    the following question for each administrative task, "Is
26    this task duplicative of one that you have already



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1    completed?"
2        (4) Develop recommendations on how to (i) improve the
3    recruitment and retention of child welfare workers; and
4    (ii) reduce the turnover rates for child welfare workers.
5    (c) Members of the Task Force shall include:
6        (1) 2 members appointed by the Governor;
7        (2) 2 legislative members appointed by the Speaker of
8    the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be
9    designated as Co-Chairperson;
10        (3) 2 legislative members appointed by the Minority
11    Leader of the House of Representatives;
12        (4) 2 legislative members appointed by the President of
13    the Senate, one of whom shall be designated as
14    Co-Chairperson;
15        (5) 2 legislative members appointed by the Senate
16    Minority Leader;
17        (6) the Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice
18    Information Authority, or his or her designee;
19        (7) the Director of Children and Family Services, or
20    his or her designee;
21        (8) the Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity,
22    or his or her designee;
23        (9) the Principal Investigator for the Child
24    Protection Training Academy at the University of Illinois;
25        (10) a current public-sector child welfare employee
26    appointed by the Governor;



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1        (11) a current private sector employee appointed by the
2    Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
3        (12) the chief executive officer of the Illinois
4    Collaboration on Youth, or his or her designee.
5    (d) The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
6shall provide administrative and other support to the Task
8    (e) The Department of Children and Family Services shall
9hire a Total Workforce Analyst to aid in the collection,
10cataloguing, and analysis of child welfare workforce data.
11    (f) The Task Force shall consider contracting with a
12qualified company, university, or other entity with
13demonstrated experience studying and improving human resources
15    (g) The Task Force shall meet no less than 6 times.
16    (h) The Task Force shall submit a preliminary report to the
17General Assembly and the Governor no later than October 1,
182019, and a final report, along with recommendations and any
19proposed legislation, to the General Assembly and the Governor
20by January 1, 2020. The Task Force is dissolved on January 1,
22    Section 20. Repeal. This Act is repealed on January 1,
24    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon



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1becoming law.".