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Written by CRC-IL   
Monday, 14 February 2011 18:00

The Children's Rights Council of Illinois:

Supports policies and programs that facilitate and incentivize cooperative parenting in reorganized families, for the healthy development of children and their divorced and separated parents. These include:

Parent Support Networks: CRC-IL has led the development of two "Shared Parenting" support groups, one in the Chicagoland area and one in Central Illinois (based in McLean County).  These support groups give Sharing of “Best Parenting Practices” and resources that support the roles of both parents for children of divorced and separated families. Parenting discussion groups help increase the inclusion and stability of divorced parents in the lives of their children.  These groups meet in Central Illinois and Chicagoland on a monthly basis.  Topics typically cover service providers (attorneys, therapists, mediators, GALs, and judges), family court, parental alienation, parenting agreements, visitation schedules, visitation interference, relocation ('move-aways'), child support, and related issues.

Workshops for advocates.  CRC-IL has organized over a half dozen workshops in the Chicago area since the fall of 2010 through 2012, on topics such as "political activism for parents", "visitation interference", and "legislative reform for shared parenting".   These workshops have featured guest speakers such as state representatives, attorneys, mediators, and law enforcement officials.

Visitation Interference -  CRC-IL Board travelled to Springfield in February of 2011 and officially endorsed a Visitation Interference bill (HB1604), that would create a greater range of penalties for unlawful visitation interference.  At the same time, CRC-IL began holding a series of workshops in the Chicago area to address Vistation Interference, recognizing that it is an enforcement and communication problem in specific Illinois counties.  Currently, there are new legislative proposals underway and endorsed by the Illinois State Bar Association that would help clarify Parenting Time Interference penalties.  CRC-IL will continue to educate policy makers, law enforcement, and parents on those proposals.

Advocacy for family therapy and mediation services that are consistently available, well-funded, and high quality for every Illinois county. These are critical to reducing post-divorce trauma for children.

Improved content and delivery of required parenting classes in every Illinois country (required under the Illinois Supreme Court's 900 Rules). For more information on parenting classes in your area contact CRC-IL.

Supporting child transfer and supervised visitation services. Child access and transfer centers should be conveniently located and professionally staffed in every community.  CRC has a long history of developing and maintaining safe, affordable, and convenient Child Access, Transfer, and Visitation centers across the U.S..  Contact CRC-IL for the Center nearest you.

Advocacy for reasonable enforcement of Parenting Agreements on a uniform basis throughout Illinois. Law enforcement and other public services need training and resources to help reduce the anxieties children suffer when access to one of their parents and conflict resolution as specified in parenting agreements are ignored or obstructed.

Parental Alienation Awareness:  CRC-IL helped promote the first Illinois-based "Parental Alienation Awareness conference", held in Chicago, organized by the Parental Alienation Awareness Organizations (PAAO) in mid-May, 2011.  The conference was an amazing success, with many excellent speakers from across the U.S. and from the Chicago area.  Of particular note were the presentations by Jill Egizii, the PAAO president, Judge Michele Lowrance, of "The Good Karma Divorce" fame, and attorney James Pritikin, who had reprepresented Miami Heat NBA star, Dwyane Wade.  CRC-IL succeeded in obtaining Parental Alienation Awareness Day proclamations from the mayors of Normal and Bloomington, Illinois, for Monday, April 25.  (An initiative inspired by Jill Egizii of PAAO).  CRC-IL maintains a committee specific to Parental Alienation Awareness and is seeking volunteers to serve on it.  Please contact CRC-IL for more information.

Child Support Reform.  Illinois has become one of the least progressive states in the U.S. in the area of Child Support reform.  As one of a handful of states still employing a rudimentary application of the archaic "single income model", these outdated Chiild Support formulas are fueling "custody battles" and magnifying other child-unfriendly outcomes that would otherwise be avoided.

 Education and information. CRC-IL is actively:

- educating state committees and prominent divorce specialists on the findings and context of current child development studies,

- sharing information about the benefits of improved judicial protocols that have been adopted in other states, and

- communicating the needs and desires of children for reasonable, frequent, and meaningful access to both parents

Example accomplishments:

In 2009 and 2010, CRC-IL was the only Illinois-based Shared Parenting advocacy organization to be invited to recommend reforms to the Illinois Family Law Study Committee (IFLSC).   The CRC-IL concept of minimum parenting time guidelines based on child development research was eventually adopted by the IFLSC in its final recommendations.  CRC-IL board members also testified directly to the IFLSC on recommendations for reforms to Relocation, Child Support models, Parenting Agreements, and Parental Decision Making.

In 2009-2010, CRC-IL also advanced a unique legislative intiative for Integrative Family Therapy.



Last Updated on Saturday, 11 August 2012 12:25

The Children's Rights Council of Illinois is a chapter of the national Children's Rights Council. We are a non-profit service provider led by volunteer parents.  We develop regional co-parenting support groups and provide access to a statewide network that is committed to the best Shared Parenting practices and to helping others stay connected with their children.

Copyright 2012 CRCkidsIlllinois.org