Issues: Children's Services
Position in Brief
The League of Women Voters of Illinois believes that the State should play the leading role in meeting the needs of children and their families. This responsibility applies across systems of care regardless of age or legal status of the children.
The League supports a juvenile court system that provides opportunities for effective protection, treatment, and rehabilitation. The League opposes the automatic transfer of children to the criminal court and the death penalty for children.
From its inception, the League of Women Voters of Illinois worked on reform issues relating to maternal and infant care, mothers’ pensions, and child labor.
In 1963, LWVIL studied the structure and financing of Illinois welfare services to children and their families. The timing enabled the League to take action not only on Aid to Families with Dependent Children, but to shape the modernization of the Juvenile Court Act, the first laws on child abuse, the newly created Department of Children and Family Services, and to lay the groundwork for the Illinois Youth Commission to become part of a code department.
The League is a member of the Juvenile Reentry Workgroup and the Detention Standards Task Force Steering Committee. The League monitors meetings of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission. LWVIL keeps up to date with legislation concerning juveniles with information from the Children and Family Justice Center (Northwestern University School of Law), Juvenile Justice Initiative, and other juvenile justice advocates.