SPRINGFIELD – Access to services available to post-placement and post-adoption children will be expanded thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) that was signed by the governor today.
“As a child of adoption myself, I experienced first-hand the importance of these services to youth in care,” Peters said. “I have been fully committed to improving the lives of youth in care during my time in the Senate, and this new law will give kids who are adopted or placed in foster care a better ability than I had to access the helpful services they require.”
The law, which was House Bill 3587, will:
- add mental health treatment, counseling and support services for emotional, behavioral, or developmental needs, and treatment for substance abuse to the definition of “post-placement and post-adoption services”;
- expand the requirements of the Department of Children and Family Services to establish and maintain accessible services;
- require DCFS to establish and maintain a toll-free number to respond to public requests about the service; and
- require DCFS to properly publicize the new services and the toll-free number.
The bill is an initiative of the Adoption Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, which has argued the legislation will better ensure successful adoptions and lower the rate of children being returned to state care.
The bill passed both chambers of the General Assembly with unanimous support and is effective immediately.