feigenholtz 030921SPRINGFIELD – A new measure sponsored by State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) would require the Department of Children and Family Services to submit an annual report detailing certain information about Illinois’ youth-in-care.

“Issues run deep at DCFS, and this annual report will give us accurate information about how they deal with our state’s most vulnerable population,” Feigenholtz said. “Children who are already living with mental illness are being hospitalized to the point of deterioration. Their path to recovery must include being released from inpatient psychiatric care in a timely manner so they can begin to return to their families.”

Senate Bill 106 requires DCFS to submit an annual report, detailing:

  • The number of youth-in-care placed in out-of-state residential facilities;
  • The number of youth not under DCFS guardianship who were subjects of child welfare investigations where the youth was hospitalized in inpatient psychiatric hospitals during the department’s involvement; and
  • The number of youth-in-care who remain in emergency rooms for longer than 24 hours while awaiting admission to a psychiatric hospital bed.

Further information, such as age and date, must also be included. The bill also requires that the report be published on DCFS’s website.

“Kids are deteriorating while being kept in these hospital settings for too long,” Feigenholtz said. “We need to be sure they are released to a residential facility in a timely manner. This report will provide us with crucial data, and we are committed to holding the Department accountable. These are our kids. They are not disposable.”

The bill passed the Senate Health Subcommittee on Children and Family on Monday, and awaits consideration before the full Senate.