The Illinois Senate has unanimously passed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) that seeks to provide for a more thorough investigation into cases of child abuse and neglect where opioid use and abuse may be a factor.
Tracy’s legislation, Senate Bill 892, would grant the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) access to certain prescription records of families with children in custody.
“Opioid use and abuse is becoming more frequent, and could be a factor or key evidence in cases of child abuse and neglect,” said Tracy. “Allowing DCFS to access records that could shed light on opioid use may not only assist in the investigation of future child-related crimes, but also help in open service cases for children currently in DCFS custody, or cases where the children remain with or were returned to their caretakers.”
Senate Bill 892 authorizes select DCFS employees to access the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database, which collects information on controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in Illinois. The database was established to allow doctors and pharmacists to view a patient’s prescription history in hopes of curbing doctor shopping for opioids.
Tracy’s legislation would allow the information collected in the PMP database to serve an additional function in the investigations of child abuse and neglect. The selection and approval of the authorized employees would be established by an intergovernmental agreement between DCFS and the Department of Human Services (DHS) instead of the Prescription Monitoring Program Advisory Committee.
Tracy’s legislation unanimously passed the Senate on April 26. The legislation will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.