SPRINGFIELD – As children in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services transition both in and out of care, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) wants to ensure they have the tools to succeed.


House Bill 5418, sponsored by Morrison in the Senate, would give children access to intervention and counseling services within the first 24 hours after removal from a home and require the DCFS division of child protection to assess a child’s wellbeing each month.

“Being removed from your home at a young age is an anguishing time,” Morrison said. “We must provide these children with the support they need.”

As youth in care grow older and the time comes for them to live on their own, this measure would require DCFS to ensure they receive classes and instructions on independent living and self-sufficiency in the areas of employment, finances, meals and housing.

Further, under the measure, youth in DCFS care would be provided a document that describes inappropriate acts of affection, discipline and punishment by guardians, foster parents and foster siblings.

“By giving children an understanding of appropriate affection and discipline, we are ensuring they know which acts they should report and the treatment they deserve,” Morrison said.

The measure passed the Senate. Morrison’s House Bill 4304, which requires DCFS to conduct an exit interview for every child, age five and over, who leaves foster care within five days of removal, also passed.