CHICAGO – Former foster children may get in contact with their former foster parents and former foster siblings thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Sara Feigenholtz that was signed into law Friday.
Senator Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), an adoptee herself, was reunited with her biological sister through a similar service provided by the state of Illinois. Feigenholtz saw the positive outcome these services have, and wanted to expand state services for youth in foster care.
“Children in the foster system often become very close with their foster parents and siblings before they are adopted into a new family,” Feigenholtz said. “Children deserve easy accessibility to contact them as they transition into a new life with unfamiliar faces.”
Feigenholtz’ new law creates a process allowing former foster children to get in contact with their former foster parents and former foster siblings by utilizing existing search and reunion services provided by the Department of Children and Family Services. DCFS is required to provide youth in care with an explanation of available search and reunion services within 30 days of their 18th birthday.
“The youth who have been a part of foster care or adoption will be able to connect with the people who positively impacted their lives,” Feigenholtz said. “As an adoptee, I know the importance of having access to search and reunion services.
Senate Bill 3130 takes effect July 1, 2023.
May 13, 2022 at 09:40PM