Governor Signs Sauer Bill to Support Foster Children

Last week, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation into law carried through the Illinois General Assembly by State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington). House Bill 3169 updates various statutes throughout Illinois law to support children that are in the care of the State.

When House Bill 3169 passed through the House in the spring, Sauer said, “I’m pleased that my colleagues in the House came together to unanimously pass House Bill 3169 today. Every child benefits when we create an environment that promotes inspiring and positive interaction. For children in foster care, we can nurture this type of positive environment by ending the use of outdated legal terms that diminish their self-worth. House Bill 3169 helps us do this.”

Illinois has approximately 14,800 young people in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). For decades, state statute has referred to those in the care of the State as “wards” of the State, but recent information has found that the use of “ward” is outdated and perceived disparagingly by youth, which can have a detrimental impact on their development. An Executive Order by Gov. Rauner directed DCFS to refrain from using the term “ward” unless required by state statute and instead use “youth in care.” To end the use of “ward” entirely, Sauer’s legislation changes several state statutes to change the terminology to “youth in care.”

Sauer noted he was immediately interested in sponsoring the legislation because of his experience as a volunteer for the Royal Family Kids summer camp program for foster children. He said the life-changing experiences he has had with the program over the years helped him see how important it is to provide an atmosphere of inspiration and stimulate self-worth for children in foster care.

HB3169, which was unanimously approved in both the House and the Senate, took effect immediately after being signed by Gov. Rauner. For more information, visit:

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