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

“Grandparents often take on the role of raising their grandchildren, and it’s important that they are given the support they deserve,” said Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “Under this new law, we are streamlining the process so caregivers have a direct, local contact to connect them to available resources.”

House Bill 780 creates the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Pilot Program in Will County which designates 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 and 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 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.

“Resources are available throughout Will County and the state,” said Loughran Cappel. “State Representative Natalie Manley and I worked to prioritize and uplift the needs of caregivers while helping our youth succeed on a path toward a bright future.”

House Bill 780 took effect Jan. 1.