Sen. Robert Peters

SPRINGFIELD – Youth who are transitioning out of DCFS care will be eligible to receive support from various state agencies under a measure sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) that was signed into law today.

“Former foster children between the ages of 19 and 21 have a significantly higher risk of facing many hardships, including homelessness, substance abuse and incarceration, and often have difficulty receiving a quality education,” Peters said. “If we can offer services to the kids who are at risk of facing these disadvantages, then we can provide them with a much higher quality of life than they otherwise might have.”

Senate Bill 1808 requires many state agencies to enter into an interagency agreement to provide preventative services, including housing support, education support and employment support, to youth who are currently or who soon will be aging out of DCFS care. Agencies affected by the bill include DCFS, the Illinois State Board of Education, The Illinois Urban Development Authority, and the Departments of Human Services, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Healthcare and Family Services, and Human Services.

“I understand better than most how kids in this situation can face a real struggle since I am a child of adoption,” Peters said. “Since the ability for these state agencies to offer services into adulthood exists, then we should work to provide those services. This bill achieves that.”

The bill, which is effective immediately, passed through both chambers of the General Assembly unanimous support.