SPRINGFIELD – A measure supported by State Senator Scott Bennett to help former foster children get in contact with their former families was signed into law Friday.

“Youth in the foster care system often become very close with their foster families before they are adopted,” said Bennett (D-Champaign), a co-sponsor of the legislation. “These kids deserve access to the family that cared for them as they transition to a new family.”

The new law creates a process allowing former foster children to get in contact with their former foster parents and 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.

“Every child deserves to keep the meaningful connections they have with their foster families,” said Bennett. “This law will give foster children access to search and reunion services.”

The measure takes effect July 1, 2023.

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