Legislation from State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) expanding the list of rights under the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights successfully passed the Illinois House with near unanimous support.
Youth in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services are guaranteed certain rights and responsibilities, such as the right to medical services and contact with those outside the system. Rep. Morrison’s bill, House Bill 5418, expands on these rights to include new provisions ensuring a youth’s right to gradually transition out of foster care and make a successful transition to adulthood.
“We have kids that are being abruptly placed in foster homes or aged out of State care; a lot of change is thrust upon them at once, which they are often unprepared for,” Rep. Morrison said. “I want to thank my constituent, Trea Jackson, a former member of the foster care system herself, for bringing this issue to my attention. With this legislation we hope that children aging into and out of our state’s care have a much smoother and more successful transition.”
Specifically, the legislation amends the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights Act to add provisions that include the right to learn about, and therefore be alert for, behaviors in a foster home that are inappropriate and the right to be enrolled in an independent living program prior to aging out of foster care.
The bill passed 102-1-1. It now moves to the Senate for their consideration.