KANKAKEE – To recognize May as National Foster Care Month, State Representative Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) is promoting the importance of foster care and connecting Illinois families with foster care resources. Each year, thousands of Illinois foster families provide temporary safe haven for children placed in Department of Children and Families Services (DCFS) care by local courts. According to Let it Be Us, approximately 20,000 children are in foster care in Illinois and 3,300 can be legally adopted today.
“Foster care is a selfless and beautiful act families can do to help children in need in Illinois,” said Rep. Haas. “Many children need foster families in Illinois and I highly encourage eligible families and individuals to look into foster parenting. Your act of love can make a huge difference in the life of a child and bring joy to your life as well.”
DCFS aims to reunite children with their birth families, but when reunification is not possible as determined by the courts, many foster families choose to adopt their foster children. Foster parents in Illinois must be at least 21 years old, participate in a home inspection and social assessment, complete 27 hours of training focused on foster care and the needs of children in foster care, complete a criminal background check of all household members, be financially stable, and complete a health screening. Foster parents can be single, married, divorced, separated, or in a civil union.
Individuals and families can find more information on foster care and becoming a foster family online here: https://dcfs.illinois.gov/loving-homes/fostercare.html.