Governor Signs Breen Bill that Improves Outcomes for Children who need Temporary Guardianship/Custody

Legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that improves outcomes for children in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was signed into law on Friday by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“When children are in a situation where temporary guardianship or temporary custody must be arranged, DCFS is supposed to make a reasonable effort to identify and locate a relative who is able and willing to care for the child who needs placement,” said Breen. “Unfortunately, courts often receive incomplete information about extended family members. Senate Bill 2512 requires the courts to ask parents or guardians for all known names, addresses and phone numbers of adult relatives that could possibly care for the child. It’s common sense legislation that will make a real difference in the lives of children in crisis.”

A bipartisan measure, Breen worked with Democrat Senator Heather Steans of Chicago to ensure unanimous passage of the bill in the House of Representatives. “In these types of situations, the well-being of the child is paramount,” Breen said. “Every effort must be made to ensure the child is placed with his or her family and not in a shelter, if at all possible.”