Learn More about Becoming a Foster Parent in Illinois

If you are interested in finding more information about becoming a foster parent in Illinois, I have some information from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) below that may be helpful.

Every year, thousands of foster families across Illinois provide a temporary safe haven for children placed in DCFS care by local courts. DCFS strives to reunite children with their birth families and nearly half of all foster children are reunified with their families within 12 months. When reunification is not possibly, as determined by the courts, many foster families choose to adopt the children for whom they care.

Difference between Licensed Foster Care and Unlicensed Relative Foster Care

When it’s in a child’s best interest, DCFS and the courts may place a foster child in the home of a willing and able relative who is not yet licensed as a foster home. While relative foster families help meet urgent needs and provide some continuity in a child’s life, it’s most beneficial for relatives to become fully licensed as foster parents. During the period they are unlicensed, they receive significantly lower reimbursements for costs than licensed foster parents. DCFS strongly encourages all family members providing relative foster care to become licensed foster parents, but because licensure can take several months, many family members start out in the relative foster care program.

More than 14,000 foster families open their homes to children in need of a safe haven annually, according to DCFS. By becoming a foster family, you are creating better outcomes for a child and making your community stronger and more supportive for all families.

How to Become a Foster Family

Foster families are needed all across Illinois and come from all walks of life.Foster parents must be at least 21 years old and can be married, in a civil union, single, divorced, or separated. Prospective foster families are required to:

You can send your information to a Recruitment Team in your area for follow up and next steps to become a foster or adoptive parent by clicking here!

You can also call 1-800-572-2390 to become a foster parent.

Some FAQs about Becoming a Foster Parent from DCFS

Links & Resources

Additional Ways to Help Children in Illinois

If you are interested in further information about helping children in Illinois outside of foster care, DCFS lists opportunities: