The State's Attorney's office in St. Clair County has created a new entity, the Children's Justice Division, with the hope of assisting children drawn into the legal system and improving their prospects for success later in life. It will help children in Illinois with a range of problems, including child support, neglect or abuse, truancy difficulties, or situations in which children are criminally victimized or are faced with accusations of juvenile delinquency.
The concept is that by providing children with more help when they first become involved in the legal system, they can be prevented from being involved in crime or other negative behavior later in life. The division will also coordinate efforts of other agencies involved in the justice system to help the child and try to make sure that different agencies are not working at cross purposes. The new division will utilize a team of 20 to 30 assistant state's attorneys.
Problems with receiving child support, in particular, can adversely affect children in a very serious way, denying them what they need for adequate nutrition, good medical care, adequate clothing and the means to pursue a good education. The new division will take enforcement action if non-custodial parents don't comply with court-ordered child support obligations.
Children need adequate financial support to enable them to get off to a good start in life. They also need the ongoing involvement of both parents in their lives, which means both custodial and non-custodial parents taking an interest in their children's progress in school, social activities, and hobbies and interests.
Source: CarmiTimes.com, "Young part of team behind new legal option for children in southwestern Illinois," Tammy Knox, Dec. 24, 2012
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