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Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, short-term guardian,Generally, only a child’s parents or legal guardians have the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s care and well-being. To a certain extent, that authority even extends beyond the grave. Illinois law permits parents and guardians to appoint standby guardians, which allows them to decide who will care for their children if the worst happens. A standby guardian is someone who would immediately take on the care of minor children upon the passing of the parents or guardians.

You may appoint a standby guardian in your will, but the law does not require the designation to be made this way. There are other legal forms that you can use instead. However, the content requirements are the same, no matter the type of document used:

  1. The document naming this guardian has to be witnessed by two competent adults (older than 18); and
  2. The person appointed to be this guardian cannot be a witness.

(Keep in mind that there is a difference between personal guardians and estate guardians.)

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Posted on in Adoption

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, foster child,Foster care is designed to be a temporary solution, eventually leading to adoption. However, Illinois officials also want it to be a positive experience – or at least as positive as the experience can be under the circumstances. That is why the Department of Children and Family Services works with foster families to ensure that every child’s needs are met. The department provides a variety of services, including:

  • Financial assistance – Foster parents generally receive a monthly stipend to cover the child’s food, clothing and other personal expenses. The stipend amount depends on the child’s age.
  • Medical care – Illinois pays for every foster child’s necessary medical expenses as well as for preventative care. The child’s foster parents will be given a medical card that is accepted by many hospitals and for approved prescriptions. DCFS will also tell parents how to find a physician for their foster child.
  • Education services – Foster children generally attend public school. (The state will not pay for a foster child to attend a private or parochial school.) However, if a foster child requires special education, the state will pay for those services.
  • Personal support – A supervising child welfare agency and the foster child’s caseworker are available to provide support services on a daily basis. Such services include support groups, after-hours numbers and informational newsletters.

Youth Advise DCFS on Foster Care Services

Under a new Illinois law that took effect on January 1, DCFS must convene a Statewide Youth Advisory Board and regional youth advisory boards to work with DCFS on foster care services. Board members are appointed by DCFS and must be between 14 and 21 years old and be either former or current foster youth. The state board’s responsibilities include:

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Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, parental rights, Divorce can be a drawn-out process, especially when children are involved. However, courts typically streamline this process by resolving child custody issues in conjunction with the related divorce. Illinois courts also recognize that the child’s best interests might differ from his or her parents’ interests. That is why courts often appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the child’s interests during the custody proceeding. To that end, the GAL might submit a rules of the road” order to the court. A rules of the road order outlines how the parents must behave in their child’s presence. For example, the order might prohibit the parents from making disparaging remarks about each other. The point is to limit the emotional toll that the proceedings already have on the child.

Some parents do not approve of rules of the road orders. In fact, one woman argues that such orders amount to an injunction (a court order restricting a party’s behavior) and must therefore comply with procedural rules.

Pending Illinois Supreme Court Case

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Illinios adoption laws, Illinois family law attorney, children in foster careA recent audit report reveals that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) cannot accurately account for thousands of runaway or missing foster-care children. For example, the agency admitted that it cannot always distinguish between actual runaways and children who might have temporarily left home without informing their caregivers. Moreover, DCFS does not track the number of foster children who disappear each year or where they disappear from. DCFS officials did not deny that a problem exists, and said that they are working to improve their tracking system.

While foster care might seem like a shoddy substitute for “real” parenting, it is a rewarding system for many youth who might otherwise languish on the streets or land in an orphanage. The audit report highlights a problem, but it also demonstrates that state officials want the foster system to work.

Helping Foster Children Transition to Adulthood

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Posted on in Family Law

delinquent, protecting juveniles, Illinois family law attorney,Sometimes, no matter how hard parents try, their child might be beyond their control. This may occur after a troubling divorce, during a child custody dispute, or even in the absence of these circumstances.. Such situations call for government (authoritative) intervention. Under Illinois law, authoritative intervention is required for children under the age of 18 if the child:

  • Is absent from home without parental consent; or
  • Is beyond the parent’s or guardian’s control and in physical danger; and
  • Refuses to return home after crisis services have been offered and the child and parents/guardians cannot agree to alternative placement.

If law enforcement reasonably believes that the minor is absent from home without parental consent or is beyond the parents’ control and in physical danger, then the officer may take the minor into limited custody. The officer must immediately inform the minor why he is being taken into limited custody. He must also make a reasonable effort to inform the minor’s parents about the situation.

Being taken into limited custody is not synonymous with being arrested. There is no police record, and the minor may not be placed in a jail or detention center. Moreover, if the minor is involuntarily taken, he cannot be held for more than six hours.

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