SPRINGFIELD - Legislation sponsored by State Representative Amy Elik (R-Fosterburg) to improve the safety of transportation for foster children was recently approved by the Illinois House of Representatives. Rep. Elik sponsored the legislation on behalf of a local foster parent following concerns shared with her about the safety of children under the care of DCFS.
According to State Representative Amy Elik, “When it was brought to my attention that transportation providers for children under state care were not picking kids up on time or not picking up children at all on a Friday night – I knew something had to change.”
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HB 5064 sponsored by Rep. Elik provides that transportation services to children and families must comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Drivers must submit to a fingerprint-based criminal background check. New changes also include proper training for drivers on the installation and operation of a child car seat, possession of a valid driver’s license and an adequate driving record, proof of insurance, and proper vehicle maintenance. Furthermore, the transportation agency must provide specified information for the purposes of communication during the scheduled transport to make sure a child always has a ride home.
Rep. Elik added, “At a minimum, kids under state care should expect and receive a safe ride home. My legislation approved by the House will ensure common sense safety measures are required for all drivers providing transportation to children under state care and that no child will be forgotten.”