SPRINGFIELD – To assess the progress being made to place youth in care in appropriate settings, State Senator Lakesia Collins passed legislation to require the Department of Children and Family Services to annually report the number of youth in care who are erroneously placed in temporary living settings.

“We need to see the accurate numbers from DCFS and ensure that we are accounting for all children in foster care and what their living situations are,” said Collins (D-Chicago). “It is so important to make sure children are in safe and healthy living conditions, and with this data we can more accurately assess problems and potential solutions.”

Under Collins’s legislation, House Bill 4758, DCFS’ Annual Youth in Care Waiting Placement Report would be required to include the number of youth in care who remained in temporary living spaces, such as psychiatric hospitals, out-of-state residential facilities, detention centers or other emergency placements like shelters.

This legislation would help the Public Guardian’s office more accurately advocate on behalf of children and would give them the ability to access these records to ensure DCFS is properly placing youth in appropriate settings.

“As someone who experienced homelessness on my departure from foster care, making sure children have the best homes possible and understanding where they are being housed is an important way we can set them on a path toward success,” said Collins. “Our priority is to help these kids and make sure they have the necessary support systems and are being taken care of properly.”

House Bill 4758 passed the Senate on Wednesday and is one step closer to becoming law.