Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
FFY 2011 Annual Progress and Services Report
Will Counties and southwest Illinois. During the past year, the Consortium’s contract has been
rewritten to put more focus on recruiting Spanish-speaking foster families because there is a
greater need as the Latino population continues to increase in the state. In addition, the
Consortium will be increasing its membership to reach out to other counties in Illinois where
there is a greater need for Spanish-speaking foster families. The Consortium will seek to
identify barriers faced by Spanish-speaking families and develop and/or provide support and
resources for these families who are being served by the child welfare system. The Consortium
continues to work closely with the DCFS Office of Latino Services on a variety of activities to
ensure that policy, practice, resources and recruitment are supportive of and responsive to the
culturally-unique needs of Latino children and their families.
The Latino Consortium expanded its outreach activities and continues to work with community
partners to engage citizens in communities around developing greater understanding of the
needs of Latino families, and much energy is focused on recruiting Latino families and other
culturally-competent families to serve as foster and adoptive homes. Utilizing targeted
recruitment approaches centered around the strengths-based perspective and focusing on
effective engagement of citizens about the need and the opportunities, the Consortium will
continue to attend community and information fairs, produce quarterly publications, engage
Spanish-speaking media, and work through community faith centers to pursue recruitment of
substitute care and adoptive homes for children who are Latino. The Consortium will also seek
resources to strengthen families so children can be returned home as quickly as possible
whenever it is safe to do so.
The Latino Consortium’s goal during its organizational retreat was to maintain an effective
recruitment plan to attract and retain bilingual Spanish foster parents. It assists with the
outreach work of all Consortium member agencies engaged in recruiting and licensing
prospective Latino foster parents. The Consortium worked with DCFS PRIDE training
administrative staff to select host sites and assist in recruiting trainers for these sessions, also
making every effort to recruit and increase the number of prospective foster parents to be
referred for PRIDE training.
The Foster/Adopt PRIDE unit assigned one of the Regional Training Managers to meet
regularly with the Latino Consortium to inform members of training options for Spanish
speaking foster parents. Special efforts have been made to ensure that PRIDE pre-service
training is available to prospective foster parents, and training was offered in centralized
locations to minimize travel for participants. Special consideration was also given for Spanish
language foster parent training, allowing those classes to take place despite low enrollment.
Classes with as few as 4 participants were allowed to be conducted. The Foster/Adopt PRIDE
program is also working to increase the number of bi-lingual trainers throughout the state. At
this time, however, the number of referrals for Spanish language pre-service PRIDE classes
remains quite low. In order to ensure that Spanish speaking families are able to fulfill ongoing
training requirements to remain licensed, the DCFS Office of Training has also initiated the
translation of materials for Education Advocacy Training for foster parents. Special attention
will be given to undocumented homes of relatives supervised by member agencies to advise
and help these families obtain a foster care license and/or seek to assist the families to comply
with new home of relative requirements.
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