• Are served by a comprehensive continuum of services including the provision of
residential placement that best meets the child’s needs;
• Live in communities where partnerships between DCFS, which has immediate
and direct responsibility for wards, and other public and private agencies provide
an effective array of services to meet the needs of children and families and
prevent child abuse and neglect;
• Are served by competent, highly trained staff who respond to every report of
abuse or neglect and who act quickly and professionally to protect them and
ensure their well-being; and,
• Are served by a legal system that will promptly and efficiently adjudicate their
cases and provide for an appropriate and expeditious disposition.
The Department considers the following principles, listed in 45 CFR 1355.25, as a guide
for developing, improving, administering, and delivering the continuum of child and
• The safety and well-being of children and of all family members is paramount.
When safety can be assured, strengthening and preserving families is seen as the
best way to promote the healthy development of children. One important way to
keep children safe is to stop violence in the family, including violence against
• Services are focused on the family as a whole. Service providers work with
families as partners in identifying and meeting individual and family needs.
Family strengths are identified, enhanced, respected, and mobilized to help
families solve the problems that compromise functioning and well-being.
• Services promote the healthy development of children and youth, promote
permanency for all children, and help prepare youth emancipating from the foster
care system for self-sufficiency and independent living.
• Services may focus on prevention, protection, or other short-term or long-term
interventions to meet the needs of the family and the best interests and needs of
the individual(s) who may be placed in out-of-home care.
• Services are timely, flexible, coordinated, and accessible to families and
individuals. Services are principally delivered in the home or the community.
They are delivered in a manner that is respectful of, and builds on, the strengths
of the community and cultural groups.
• Services are organized as a continuum, designed to achieve measurable
outcomes, and are linked to a wide variety of supports and services which can be
crucial to meeting the families’ and children’s needs. Examples are housing,
substance abuse treatment, mental health, health, education, job training,
childcare, and informal networks.
• Most child and family services are community-based, involve community
organizations, parents and residents in their design and delivery, and are
accountable to the community and the client’s needs.
• Services are intensive enough and of sufficient duration to keep children safe and
meet family needs. The actual level of intensity and length of time needed to
ensure safety and assist the family may vary greatly between preventive (family
support) and crisis intervention services (family preservation), based on the
2008 State Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Plan Prelude Page 3 of
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