Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
FFY 2011 Annual Progress and Services Report
Informing the community that the need exists to foster a child of Asian heritage is a piece of
information that would be instrumental in motivating some members in the community to
consider fostering children. DCFS’ continued attendance at all major Asian American events
will help to raise awareness in the community of the need for foster parents and DCFS’ interest
in recruiting foster parents. The more opportunities the Department has to inform the
community of the need, the more likely the community will respond with people willing to
become foster parents.
Within the Asian American community, there are several Asian languages that are spoken (i.e.
Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Korean, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese), Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian,
Japanese, Laotian, Hmong, etc). Many social service agencies already exist in the community.
DCFS will seek partnerships and contracts with those agencies to gain access to the
community. Partnering with the pre-existing infrastructure of social service agencies is a useful
means of gaining creditability within the community as well as a potential and strong source of
recruitment resources. We can use their already existing infra structure and community network
to promote the Department’s initiatives.
Another resource within the Asian American community that DCFS will attempt to explore is
the faith-based organizations. Like many other ethnic communities, the Asian American
community is deeply rooted in religion. Making an entrance into the community through
community faith-based organizations also lends some credibility to the Department’s efforts to
recruit as well as giving creditability to the Departments’ mission to strengthen families.
Currently there exists one Asian American foster home of Asian Indian origin. Previously, an
Asian private agency had foster homes but received no referrals from the Department for Asian
foster parents and because of lack of referrals, the private agency was not able to maintain nor
retain those foster homes. To avoid that type of loss in the future, the Council recommends that
once an Asian foster home becomes licensed, the Department’s Asian American Advisory
Council and Asian Affairs staff maintain a data base of the foster home to centralize the
information and make referrals. Our council recommends the Department prioritize these foster
homes in receiving referrals by skipping over any rotational intake by Case Assignment and the
Placement Unit. Also, that Asian homes are assigned at least one placement of a child (of any
ethnic origin) within 3 months of their licensure, to encourage maintenance of these special
Additionally, an annual Asian American Advisory Council Institute Day is instrumental in the
recruitment of foster parents and retention of foster parents. The Council just presented its third
annual Asian Institute Day and the Council is grateful to DCFS for its unwavering support of
this important educational event. It is important to educate the Department’s staff as well as
the private agency staff about current issues within the Asian community. The training is an
opportunity for the Department to demonstrate its interest in issues affecting the Asian
community which serves to provide continued education and best practices on issues related to
that community. The Institute provides the Department with yet another opportunity to engage
the community to participate in a dialogue with the Department and to jointly develop
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