Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
FFY 2012 Annual Progress and Services Report
Local Recruitment Councils meet no less frequently than quarterly and maintain an ongoing
calendar of events/activities that are scheduled for each site.
Quarterly reports are generated that include a description of activities and specific data from
those efforts. Licensing supervisors identify inquiries from the local Recruitment Council
activities and report on their progress to their respective Licensing Manager.
The downstate recruitment councils have been charged with developing two monthly events
each. The focus of these events has been to reach targeted populations of potential foster
parents. Schools, hospitals, churches and social service agencies have been the most productive
targets. A stronger emphasis on faith-based contacts has been implemented in the past year. The
use of all units within the Department to assist with these events has been crucial to success.
Child Protection Investigators are in contact with these populations during their routine job
duties. They also have the ability to put a face and a story to the need. Placement workers and
adoption staff have a responsibility to insure that good foster homes are available when needed.
Many staff know different church leaders and community leaders, and they are encouraged to
view these folks as potential resources.
These downstate Recruitment Councils have been established at 14 specifically selected field
office sites. In addition to recruitment events, some councils have also begun retention activities
for existing foster parents. Training for field office staff, conducted by current foster parents, has
also been delivered in an effort to promote teamwork. Three trainings have been completed and
were well received by the staff attending. In 2010, the four statewide foster parent institutes also
focused on foster parents as members of the professional team.
The specific focus of recruitment efforts in each area downstate is also determined by an analysis
of statistical data from the School Minder Database. These data have shown in a number of
communities that the schools are in high poverty areas and are in neighborhoods with large
numbers of non English-speaking citizens. This has been a challenge for recruiting, but it also
has given us entry into communities and thus, higher visibility and presence. We believe that
over the next year this will aid us with recruiting foster homes in these areas. In the three
downstate DCFS regions, this process identifies the critical field office areas needing recruitment
Institutionalizing the Development Focus of the Licensing Process
One important benefit of this initiative has been to identify licensed foster homes that have not
been actively fostering. This has allowed to both DCFS and its private partner agencies the
opportunity to refocus resources from idle homes to help develop more homes.
During the previous report we discussed the outcome of the efforts that were made to work with
foster homes that were not participating in the fostering process. From that point we learned
many things about regular and non-activity with these homes. This process has led us to a more
developmental relationship with our active foster parents while creating an environment for
foster parents to take a break after years of dedicated service without termination of their
licenses. With this said, the State is currently piloting a non-active hold status that will allow for
Foster Parents in good standing to voluntarily place their license on hold. This status allows
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