October 2014

The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore


In This Issue
Employment First
Legislative Update
Herion Epidemic and TASC
Recommended Reads



Free Webinars  

Between a Rock
and a Hard Place:
Decision Making for your Young Adult with Mental Health Challenges or Developmental Disabilities

Thursday, November 13, 2014
6:30-7:00 pm

Click for info and registration
  October is:
National Disability Employment Awareness Month 
to raise awareness about employment issues and celebrate the crucial contributions of America's workers with disabilities

Bully Prevention
Awareness Month
to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month 
Domestic violence thrives when we are silent but if we take a stand and work together, we can end domestic violence  
Events and Presentations:

October 21-November 25, 2014 

NAMI Basics for  
Parents Class

Free six week course offered for parents/caregivers of school-age children and adolescents with mental
health issues.

National Alliance on Mental
Illness-Cook County
North Suburban
Skokie IL

Tuesday Evenings

Call 847-716-2252 for Information and to Register

October 23, 2014 

"Depression, Too, is a
Thing with Feathers" 

Presented by
Andrew Solomon, PhD.
His topic is based on the content of the 2001 international best
selling memoir,
 The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

7:00 pm
New Trier High School
Winnetka, IL

Co-sponsored by
Family Action Network

November 6, 2014

"Autism Spectrum Disorder & Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions: Implications for Special Education" 

Presented by Rachel Loftin, PhD., Tom Owley, M.D., and Micki Moran, J.D.

Illinois State Board of Education's Eighth Annual Conference on Best Practices in Nonpublic Special Education Programs

November 6, 2014
Oak Lawn, IL
ISBE Nonpublic

November 14, 2014

Micki Moran will present an In-Service for Special Education Teachers on "Transition"
Sponsored by CFT ILLINOIS
Charleston, IL 

Is your group or organization having and event?
Email  or call our office at 847-926-0101 with the information and
The Child & Family Law Center will be happy to publish it in our newsletter.
Lisle Office

The Child and Family Law Center is pleased to announce the opening of a branch office in Lisle, Illinois. Attorneys Micki Moran and Joe Scally will meet with clients by appointment at 5950-E Lincoln, Lisle, IL.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847-926-0101.
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Hello and Welcome.  Each month The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore, Ltd. will provide articles of interest and updates on areas that our office deals with on a regular basis.  We appreciate and welcome feedback, so please feel free to send us an email at [email protected] with questions or suggestions.
Employment First

In July, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed the Employment First Act, a new law which requires Illinois state agencies to work together to make employment for people with disabilities a priority. "Every person in the Land of Lincoln should have the opportunity-regardless of the challenges they face-to pursue their dreams and achieve their full potential," Governor Quinn said.
The Employment First Act is modeled on a national movement that believes employment in the general workforce is the first and preferred option when exploring goals and a life path for people with disabilities. Competitive work in integrated settings for people with disabilities is proven to foster self-sufficiency, independent living, higher self-esteem and better integration into the community at-large. In other words, Employment First simply means employment in the community would be the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities receiving publicly funded services in Illinois.
In September, the U.S. Department of Labor announced $14.8 million in grants to six states, including $2.5 million to Illinois to improve employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities.
Despite the adoption of the Employment First Act, for many adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Illinois, "the option of competitive employment  was not even considered during the transition planning process or was dismissed as 'unrealistic' or simply not presently available," according to Ligas Consent Decree Court Monitor, Tony Records, in his recent annual report. With reimbursement rates to providers among the lowest in the country, it is difficult to implement Employment First without the funds to pay for it.
None the less, there are organizations and groups in Illinois, many of them parent driven, that have formed in response to the overwhelming need for vocational opportunities and training for adults with disabilities.

Local Resources:
Disability Works
Jewish Vocational Service
TotalLink2 Community
No Boundries

Perk Center Cafe
Best Futures 
Legislative Update

Definition of Dyslexia
Public Act 98-0705
ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) must adopt rules that incorporate an international definition of "dyslexia." Subject to appropriation or private donations, the Board must also establish an advisory group to develop training modules to provide education professionals regarding multi-sensory, systemic, and sequential instructions in reading. The group must complete its work by July 31, 2015. 

Special Education
Public Act 98-0636
The Illinois Purchase Care Review Board determines allowable costs and payments made by local school districts for special education, room and board, and other related services provided by non-public schools or special education facilities. The Review Board is now required to approve the usual and custormay rate or rates of a special education program that (1) is offered by an out-of-state, non-public provider of integrated autism specific educational and residential services, (2) offers two or more levels of residential care, including at least one locked facility, and (3) serves 12 or fewer Illinois students.

DCFS Guardianship
Public Act 98-0808
The state is taking steps through an inter-agency agreement, which includes ISBE, to prevent children and youth from entering the custody or guardianship of DCFS solely to receive services. The agreement requires various agencies to establish procedures to review cases of children and youth at risk of relinquishment and to connect them with the needed services.


School Liability for Bullying: Frequently Asked Questions:

Is there a legal distinction between bullying and harassment?

Bullying in any form is a problem. Harassment occurs when students are bullied on personal characteristics that trigger special federal protection - namely gender, race or disability. Bullying that constitutes harassment is protected by federal law.

When is a school liable for peer harassment?

  • When the bullied student is a member of a protected class under federal civil rights laws-these classes include gender, race and disability.
  • The harassment was based on the student's membership in a protected class.
  • The harassment was severe, pervasive and offensive.
  • The school had knowledge of the harassment.
  • The school was deliberately indifferent to the harassment.


Teens Against Bullying

Kids Against Bullying 

Heroin Epidemic Hits Home

We all think it can't happen to us--until it does. While many of us have kept our families' struggles with addiction in the shadows, the heroin epidemic sweeping through suburban Chicago means we no longer have that option. People are dying, and some of them are our children. In DuPage County, for example, 84 people died of heroin overdoses between 2012 and 2013--that's an average of 3 deaths a month. The youngest victim was only 15, and he wasn't the only teenager among the 84.
While this is a deeply distrubing state of affairs, we are not powerless. Addiction destroys lives and families, but it is treatable. I'm proud to support a non-profit agency called TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities), which helps people with substance use and mental health disorders connect to the treatment they need. For more information on TASC, please visit their website. I'm serving on the committee for their Leadership Awards Luncheon, December 10th, 2014 event. I hope you will take a moment to click on the links above and learn more about this organization and upcoming event.
                                                  ~Micki Moran 
Recommended Reads

The Fall: A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps, by Diogo Mainardi (translated from Portuguese)
Last weekend, while I listened to the radio, I heard an interview on NPR of a father whose son was born with cerebral palsy as a result of a medical error. The interview compelled me to sit in the car for the next 10 minutes and to buy the book later that afternoon. The father talked about his journey with his son, Tito, and all that he learned from him and how life changing the experience was. As the interview by Scott Simon of NPR states, "Tito has taught his father much about life."

"I was a pretentious prick and after him I was a better person," he states.

It was an interview that was not filled with self-pity but reminded me of the common bond we as parents of children with disabilities share with each other. As a result of the injury he suffered at birth, Tito was awarded a large settlement. In the book, the father says that he knew when he learned that they had won the case and had won a large settlement, "I felt I could die. And it's wonderful to be able to die. I could die."

The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore is a unique legal practice that specializes in providing legal services to families and children in the areas of special education, IEP consultations, divorce and custody, parenting agreements, mediation, guardianship and juvenile law, including criminal law, DCFS and mental health. Where possible, we have initiated flat fee billing for appropriate matters.


The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore 

1950 Sheridan Rd. - Suite 201

Highland Park, IL 60035 


We provide representation in the following Northern Illinois counties:  Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, McHenry, and Will. Consultations by appointment in our Lisle, IL office.


For more information about The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore, please call 847-926-0101 or visit our website at www.lawforchild.com.  


Representation and Consultation
in the following areas:
  • Special Education and School Law
  • Family Law
  • Juvenile and Criminal Law
  • Mental Health and Disability Law
  • Divorce Mediation

Micki Moran
The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore