Improved safety measures for children and Internet users in 2018 under new laws

Illinois residents can expect to see improved safety measures for children and Internet users in 2018 with new laws that help protect children in the foster care system, at day care and at school; as well as shield children and adults online.

On Jan. 1, more than 200 bills covering a wide variety of issues became law. In addition to child-protection and on-line protections, 2017 was an active year for passing proactive measures pertaining to physical and mental health, and laws that focus on improving the state’s economic climate – from consolidation to consumer protections.


Foster Children Rights

Beginning this week, Illinois will tweak the way it places children into temporary foster care.

House Bill 3542 ensures that foster children be placed in the most family-like setting available and in close proximity to their parents’ home, which will ensure consistency with their health, safety, best interests, and special needs.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will follow these criteria to ensure that children are put in the least restrictive situations possible.


Childcare Safety Database

Childcare consumers will now be able to access licensing and abuse and neglect information on all providers in Illinois.

House Bill 2388 gives parents peace of mind by creating a searchable database of daycare homes and centers that have had licenses revoked and the status of applications for renewal.

The database was created by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and will be regularly updated to reflect the most current information parents may need.


School Asthma Response

Senate Bill 1898 will require the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop rules and procedures to include asthma in the standard school health examination.

This mirrors a similar law that went into effect last year, which requires all school personnel be trained to handle asthma emergencies. These laws strengthen the safeguards against any asthma related injuries, a chronic issue in schools across the country.


Cyber Protections

House Bill 3251 works to protect children and adults from online harassment.

The new law prohibits electronic harassment using spyware or electronic tracking software to transmit a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint.

The law was put in place to protect citizens’ privacy, particularly those who are victims of domestic abuse and do not want their abusers discovering their location.

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