Hammond passes Grandparent Visitation Bill in Illinois House

MACOMB –State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) announces she has passed legislation that would require the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to review their rules for grandparent visitation and continue to review and update their rules allowing for grandparent visitation every five years thereafter.

Under the provisions of House Bill 2705, DCFS will be required to update their rules granting visitation privileges to a non-custodial grandparent of a child who is in the care and custody of the Department within six months of the bill becoming law and every five years thereafter.  “We know that there are many grandparents that would like the ability to visit their grandchildren who are in the care of DCFS.  This common-sense bill would allow these grandparents that opportunity,” said Rep. Hammond from Springfield on Wednesday.

Rep. Hammond went on to say, “it is critically important for these children to maintain familial connections with their grandparents when appropriate.  We know when appropriate, grandparents should have the opportunity to play an intricate role in their grandchildren’s lives.  This bill simply requires DCFS to be cognizant of that benefit to the child and arrange for visitations that benefit the child.”

Local advocate, Curtis Wilkey of Havana applauded Rep. Hammond’s bill, saying, “This is a great stride toward establishing rights for grandparents who simply want to continue to love and nurture the development of their grandchildren.  We are so pleased to join with Rep. Hammond in advocating for this important issue.  Until you have looked in the eyes of a grandparent who has been told by DCFS that they will not get to visit their loved one, you cannot possibly know the pain that causes Illinois families.”

House Bill 2705 will now go to the Illinois Senate for debate. XXHammond encouraged residents of the 93rd district to contact her with questions or concerns on this or any other state issue. Hammond’s Macomb district office can be contacted at (309) 836-2707 and she can be reached via e-mail at rephammond@macomb.com. Constituents can also visit her legislative website at www.norinehammond.orgto sign up for her electronic newsletter.

Hammond represents all or part of Brown, Cass, Fulton, Knox, Mason, McDonough, Schuyler and Warren counties.