U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, has announced plans to host a roundtable Friday to discuss the Illinois foster care system.
The event will take place 2:30 to
3:30 p.m. Friday at McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake in the Luecht Conference Center, building B, in breakout room B166/B167.
Fosters parents and nonprofit agency Let It Be Us – which recruits, trains and licenses foster care families – will be in attendance, according to a news release.
The event follows the recent death of Crystal Lake child AJ Freund. The 5-year-old was killed last month and both of his parents face murder charges in connection with his death. The family had been investigated numerous times by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Underwood has backed the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act which would strengthen child abuse protections and require research examining the association between parental substance abuse and its impacts on adoption outcomes, according to the release.
The legislation recently passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote.
“Rates of child abuse have been rising as the opioid epidemic has devastated communities across the country, and the children who are adopted after being removed from homes with substance abuse issues have special kinds of trauma,” Underwood said in a statement. “My bipartisan legislation looks out for those kids. It would allow us to track their outcomes and ensure we have the information we need to make informed policy decisions to best serve them and set them up for success.”
Underwood represents the 14th Congressional District, which covers parts of McHenry, Lake, Kane, DeKalb,
DuPage and Will counties.