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Illinois No Longer Will Call Children 'Wards' of State


Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order banning the state from calling children under its care wards and instead instructing they be called "youth in care."  Rauner signed the order this afternoon at the Illinois State Fair. It says the change is necessary because referring to foster children as wards make them "feel they are part of a bureaucracy instead of a family." 

It states that the way children are treated and labeled "has a substantial effect on their self-confidence and their trust in those they rely on."

Rauner's order calls the term "ward" outdated and says it will only be used going forward in situations required under Illinois law. It says the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services should instead use terms that show "respect and encouragement."