SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) continues her longstanding efforts to make the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services a more effective agency with the introduction of a number of bills that will further protect our state's most vulnerable population.

020822HAO00235"As a senator, one of my top priorities has been, and always will be, protecting our at-risk youth and providing them with opportunities to help their futures soar," Morrison said. "These two pieces of legislation, along with others in my legislative package, will provide additional tools that will strengthen the ability of DCFS to help those in its care."

Senate Bill 3747 provides that all children under the age of five in the child welfare system would be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program, which helps provide financial assistance for quality child care. Additionally, infants and toddlers in the care of DCFS would automatically be eligible for the state's Early Intervention Program, supporting families in promoting their child's development.

Senate Bill 3853 provides families who receive Extended Family Support services from DCFS with additional resources. The measure includes broader "wraparound" case management services, home visiting services for caregivers of children under five, and more.

"We owe it to the children and families who rely on DCFS to do everything in our power to keep them safe and give them the best services we are able to provide," Morrison said. "While there is much more work to be done, these measures are a step in the right direction."

The two bills, part of a more comprehensive legislative package introduced by Morrison, passed the Illinois Senate Health Committee Tuesday and head to the full Senate for further consideration.

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