Turner Scholarship ReleaseSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Doris Turner (D- Springfield) is encouraging teens who currently or previously were under the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to apply for the 2022 DCFS Scholarship Program.

“This scholarship program provides a life changing opportunity to our most disadvantaged youth,” said Turner. “With the necessary tools being provided, students are able to take control of their destiny without the burden of student loans weighing them down.”

Former and current DCFS youth who are between the ages of 16 and 21 are eligible to apply. Applicants must submit a personal statement along with three letters of recommendation from non-relatives. The selection committee also requests that applicants submit their scholastic record, community involvement and extracurricular activities for further evaluation. Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2022.

The DCFS Scholarship Program covers up to five consecutive years of tuition and provides academic fee waivers for its DCFS scholarship recipients. The program includes other benefits such as a monthly grant to aid in additional expenses and a medical card.

“This scholarship program is a chance to break out of the unfortunate situation children in DCFS care are in. I strongly advise eligible students to take the time to apply and allow opportunity to present itself,” said Turner.  

Applications are available at any DCFS regional office and on the DCFS website, www2.illinois.gov/dcfs. The application will be titled Form CFS 438, and you may find it under DCFS Features on the homepage.

Students or caregivers may call the DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services at 217-557-2689 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions about the application process or for more information.

Category: Press Releases

022422HAO00055SPRINGFIELD – To address the teacher shortage across Illinois, State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield) is leading a measure to allow school districts to hire substitute teachers with a short-term license for longer periods of time.

“Advancing this bill will mean that schools across the state will have an easier time finding a well-qualified substitute to stand in their place,” said Turner “The pandemic has caused many aspects of our society to adapt – especially our schools.”

The pandemic has caused a great deal of disruptions, especially to the education system in Illinois. The state is currently facing a teacher shortage, and with COVID-19 causing a great deal of teacher absences, the need to have qualified individuals step in is vital time. The bill will raise the cap on consecutive days a short-term sub can teach from five to 15 days.

“I hope this bill alleviates some of the educational stress around our classrooms,” Turner said. “I am hopeful we can continue to work together on this commonsense solution that ensures the children of Illinois retain their access to a high quality public education.”

“Teachers across the state are being asked to sacrifice our planning time in order to sub for a different class,” Courtney Goss, a Springfield teacher, said. “This bill will help us reclaim our valuable planning time so we can focus on our students during this difficult time.”

Senate Bill 3907 passed the Senate Thursday and moves to the House for further consideration.


Category: Press Releases

Doctor PhotoSPRINGFIELD – To improve the quality of health care for people living in rural parts of the state, State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield) is championing a measure to provide financial incentives to physicians who perform medical services in rural areas.

“Passing this bill will mean that people across the state will have an increased access to high quality health care,” said Turner. “We must work to improve access to quality care in rural Illinois.”

Private rural health clinics have opened in more recent years, providing the same quality care as hospitals in communities across the state. Physicians working in private clinics, at times in underserved areas, are not currently eligible for loan forgiveness even though they sometimes work in underserved areas. Senate Bill 3017 will ensure that if the physicians who work in private rural health facilities also receive loan forgiveness.

"Senate Bill 3017 will help enhance recruitment and retention efforts,” said Phil Johnson, MD with Litchfield Family Practice. “Doctors, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses for rural health care facilities are very concerned about both recruiting and retaining skilled medical staff.”

SB 3017 passed the Senate and will move to the House for further consideration.


Category: Press Releases

Turner with President Harmon and Senator JohnsonSPRINGFIELD – To further support families of Department of Child and Family Services workers killed in the line of duty, State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield) is championing a measure that will treat the death of a DCFS worker similar to the death of law enforcement officers.

“In the aftermath of the fatal stabbing of Deidre Silas, we must ensure the families of those who serve our most vulnerable populations are cared for,” Turner said. “Deidre gave her life as a dedicated public servant for our state, and this is the least we can do to honor her commitment to our state.”

Under the Public Safety and Police Benefits Act, if a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty, his or her spouse and children under the age of 18 are eligible to receive health insurance benefits.

Under current law, an employee must have eight years of service to receive survivor benefits. Senate Bill 3197 will amend the State Employee Group Insurance Plan by expanding the occupational death benefit to ensure that any family members of DCFS caseworkers or investigators killed in the line of duty receive survivor benefits, regardless of how long they’ve worked for the agency.

The measure comes following the death of Deidre Silas, a DCFS caseworker who was killed during a home visit last month, and Pamela Knight, who experienced the same tragedy in 2017. The legislation will be retroactive for ten years to ensure the family of the late Deidra Silas receives benefits from the state.

“We must protect people like Deidre Silas,” Turner said. “I will continue to push for commonsense reforms to ensure our brave civil servants and their families are protected in the event of a future tragedy.”

SB 3197 passed the Senate on Tuesday and will move to the House for further consideration.


Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
108D Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0228

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