EXECUTIVE ORDER TO EXTEND
AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY COMMISSION
WHEREAS, it is the policy of this State to promote family preservation and to preserve and strengthen families both within and outside of the child welfare system,
WHEREAS, there are 598,557 African-American children living in the State of Illinois, which is 18.8% of the total population of the State's children;
WHEREAS, African-American children represent 71.4% of the child welfare population in the State of Illinois;
WHEREAS, these statistics indicate problems in the State of Illinois among African-American children and their families which is created by the disproportionately high numbers of African-American children entering the child welfare system;
WHEREAS, all of the above indicators point to the need for better coordination and implementation of existing policies, procedures and programs as well as the development of new policies, procedures and programs which will enhance and strengthen African-American families;
THEREFORE, pursuant to the power vested in me by Article V, Section 11 of the Illinois Constitution, I, George H. Ryan, hereby order the following:
There shall be established the African-American Family Commission.
- The Commission shall be composed of 30 members who shall be appointed by the Governor and each of whom shall have a working knowledge of the child welfare system in Illinois. Members shall serve two-year terms. The chairperson(s) of the Commission shall be selected by the Governor
- Members shall be selected on a statewide basis but shall be predominately (85%) residents of the County of Cook. They shall be representative of a broad segment of communities and neighborhoods, and shall be selected from a variety of human service and related disciplines. They shall be representative of a partnership and collaborative effort between child welfare agencies, community-based agencies and organizations and leadership from the public/private sector and the community.
- The Director of the Department of Children and Family Services shall serve on an ex-officio basis.
- Members will serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for expenses.
- Staff services and resources shall be provided to the Commission by the Department of Children and Family Services.
The Commissions shall advocate and promote family preservation consistent with the best interests of the child and community advancement by developing and recommending to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ("DCFS") culturally specific child welfare policies and practices that will strengthen African-American families and communities. Using a multidisciplinary, community-based approach, the Commission shall:
- assist DCFS in developing placement and program strategies for African-American children and families;
- assist DCFS in designing and ensuring implementation of culturally specific programs for African-American children and families;
- assist with needs assessment, recommend development activities and help develop community-based resources to prevent placement of African-American children into the child welfare system;
- assist DCFS in ensuring implementation of reform efforts relating to African-American children and families;
- serve as a resource with respect to legislative strategies;
- provide networking assistance with existing coalitions and interaction with other state agencies; and
- assist DCFS in formulating policy and legislation relating to African-American children, including strategies to reduce the number of African-American children in the child welfare system.
The African-American Family Commission shall document its efforts and recommendations and shall report its findings to the Governor by December 31 each year.
- EFFECTIVE DATE
This Executive Order Number 2 shall be effective upon filing with the Secretary of State and shall be repealed by March 1, 2006.
GEORGE H. RYAN
Governor of Illinois
Issued by Governor: March 4, 2002
Filed with Secretary of State: March 4, 2002