MLC HB780billsign

SPRINGFIELD – Grandparents raising their grandchildren in Will County will have a better understanding of what state programs are available under a new law led by State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel.

“Grandparents often take on the role of raising their grandchildren,” said Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “We’re streamlining the process so they have a direct, local contact to connect with about the resources available.”

The new law creates the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Pilot Program in Will County which will designate an intake coordinator to collect resources offered by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Human Services, Department on Aging, Department of Healthcare and Family Services and State Board of Education, and provide coordination and education services at Senior Service Centers to serve Will County residents.

Loughran Cappel’s law requires the intake coordinator to be knowledgeable about the Extended Family Support Program, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, Children’s Health Insurance Program and be a designated point of contact at each agency within 14 days of appointment.

An annual report will be required to be submitted to the General Assembly including the number of families who received referrals to relevant services, specific services each family was referred to and received, and related information regarding frequency of calls and visits to the coordinator's office in the previous calendar year.

“Together, State Representative Natalie Manley and I want grandparents who raise their grandchildren to have a better understanding of what resources are available right here in Will County,” said Loughran Cappel. “This is a way to address the needs of caretakers while also helping our youth succeed on a path towards a bright future.”

House Bill 780 was signed into law Wednesday.