Children and Family Services takes steps to amend its constitution
At a recent meeting, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services created a committee to identify which parts of the agency's constitution should be amended.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services acts in the best interests of every child it serves by helping families provide a safe environment for their children and strengthening families where children are at risk of abuse or neglect.
Below are the minutes from this meeting, as provided by the department.
March 31, 2016 COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
Attended in Person at 1755 Lake Cook Rd, Deerfield Field Office, 5th Floor Conference Room: Santhosh Kurian, Benny Kuriakose, Marjorie Moore, Nancy Rodriguez, Sebastian Emmanuel
Called in: Lily Ruan, Stany D’Souza
Absence with Excuse: Barbara Hirami
I. Called to order by Stany D’Souza at 2:05PM.
II. Members reviewed January 20, 2016 meeting minutes. No questions and concerns about the minutes. The meeting minutes was approved unanimously as presented. All in favor; none opposed. Minutes was adopted by the Council as official minutes.
III. Old Business
A. Stany suggested amend the council member nomination form and make it easier as asking for resume (in the current form) is a little cumbersome. Nancy is taking lead on a subcommittee; Santhosh will support Nancy to develop a Council member Nomination Form. The final draft of the nomination form will be presented to the upcoming meeting.
Online Open Meeting Act training – this training is required for AAAC Council members. It will take about 90 minutes. After taking the training, we will know the process of conducting meetings. Each member has 30 days (by April 30th) to complete. The certification after the completion of the training will need to be sent to Stany, Stany will forward the certificate to Theresa who will then forward it on to OIG office. Stany would send a reminder email which gives the link to the training website.
Stany also reminded council members about the Ethics Training. AAAC members are encouraged to take the training. It is offered even though not mandatory. After each member takes the training, the certification is to be sent to Stany.
It was mentioned that there is a subcommittee set up during the last joint council meeting which addresses the issue of development of foster care system, recruitment of foster parents, licensing, Burgos, and Best Practices, etc. it was also announced that there will be a joint meeting on April 11 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am @1911 S Indiana. Stany will attend the joint meeting. Our council members should let Stany know if there are issues to be presented at the joint meeting.
B. Council meeting schedule.
It was proposed our Council to conduct meetings every other month and set up some dates and meeting locations. It was decided then that every 4th Thursday of every other month is the meeting date. The meeting start time is 2:00 pm. The meeting location will either at Deerfield, or 1911 S Indiana, or Maywood. Next meeting date falls on May 26th and will be held at Deerfield.
A. Our Constitution currently says council membership has two-year term. We are not following our Constitution. Most of our membership is up. However, as our council and membership is small, we should make our council membership permanent rather than term-limited. It’s proposed to form a subcommittee to amend the constitution. Stany is to lead the committee, along with Sebastian and Nancy, and identify sections for changes. They will bring the proposals to the next meeting, send notice to members for amendment in the following meeting.
B. Asian American Heritage Month
May is Asian American Heritage Month. We can have a get-together, bringing in some Asian food – snacks or luncheon - and at least invite all Asians to one site to have a celebration. We would not hold a conference this year as we do not have a budget for it, we may consider that next year. We plan to have a membership drive along with celebration of Asian American Heritage Month. Santhosh is the subcommittee chair to organize the Heritage Month event, Marjorie will help coordinate. Stany will be there to help. The event date is set at noon on May 26, the same day of Asian American Advisory Council meeting.
C. Deputy Fitzgerald was welcomed to our meeting. He introduced himself and the functions of DCFS Office of Affirmative Action (OAA). He stated OAA reviews discrimination complaints, conducts investigations of the complaints, and involves in mediation process. OAA also monitors DCFS hires. Deputy Fitzgerald listed several offices under OAA, which include Office of African American Services, Office of Asian and Pacific Islander American Services, Office of Native American Indian Services, Office of Latino Services, and the Burgos Coordinator/Inter-Ethnic Placement Act (IEPA) monitor.
D. Bino Simon is interested in becoming a member, it was suggested he submit his request by email and current members can email the votes to accept Bino’s membership. Santhosh proposed that, Sebastian seconded it. The Council unanimously passed it at this time.
E. Marjorie secured a table of display for an event between May 16th and 20th at Daley Center. All are invited to be there. It was also mentioned April 23 is Cambodian New Year, there will be a celebration in the evening on Cambodian New Year’s day at Rolling Meadows.
F. Asian employee language certification can be obtained through Cook County Court which does certification with a fee waiver.
G. Asian American Conference will be planned in calendar year 2017, we can either try to get funding from the Department or find a free site. Stany will take a lead for the conference. It is tabled for more discussion for next meeting. Marjorie will look for speakers for the Conference.
H. Membership drive – membership has shrunk. Sebastian is now the membership subcommittee chairperson, we’ll come up with some ideas for next meeting.
V. Motion to adjourn made by Nancy. Sebastian seconded. Meeting adjourned at 3:42 PM.