School-based health clinics throughout Illinois are adapting their policies to allow unaccompanied minors over the age of 14 to consent to their own health care, responding to a new law drafted and advocated by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH).
Effective October 1, 2014, the new law amends the “Consent by Minors to Medical Procedures Act,” removing a significant barrier faced by thousands of unaccompanied minors who live with a parent or legal guardian.
Previously, even school-based clinics were forced to turn away youth who sought needed vaccinations or treatment for routine ailments if they were minors who lacked a parent or guardian to sign approval.
To raise awareness of the minor consent law, the Chicago Public Schools asked youth attorney Graham Bowman to train more than 90 social workers and homeless liaisons on how to assist students who need access to health care. The March 17 training will be made available online this spring.
An Equal Justice Works attorney at CCH, Mr. Bowman provides trainings and technical assistance to health care and social service providers throughout the state.
If you or your organization would benefit from additional resources or training on this new law, contact Graham Bowman at (312) 641-4140, ext. 228, or email him at Graham@chicagohomeless.org