Foster Parent Law Executive Summaries
On May 18, 2007 the Statewide Foster
Care Advisory Council sponsored its annual awards and recognition ceremony for
the four foster care agencies and one DCFS region having the top-scoring 2007
Foster Parent Law implementation plans. Implementation plans are required by the
Foster Parent Law, which is described below.
that foster parents are an essential part of and fulfill an integral role on the
child welfare team, the Illinois General Assembly determined that there was a
need to establish official public policy regarding the rights and the responsibilities
of foster parents. This policy is known as the Foster Parent Law. This law requires
that each DCFS region and every agency providing foster care by contract with
DCFS is required to develop an annual plan to implement the law. This Council
(Statewide Foster Care Advisory Council) is responsible for ensuring that the
plans are submitted and scored each year. Plans must score a minimum of 75 out
of 104 points to be accepted by the Council.
four foster care agencies and one DCFS region having the top-scoring 2007 Foster
Parent Law implementation plans have submitted the following executive summaries
describing the highlights of their 2007 implementation plans:
PLACE TIE - Beatrice Caffrey Youth Services - 103.993 points
The most successful
element of this year's Foster Parent Law Implementation Plan was the in-service
training for the foster parents. Foster parents assisted with developing the curriculum
by giving input on topics that will enhance their ability to care for the foster
children. The BCYS Clinical Department conducted the majority of training along
with other service providers.
parents are more trustworthy toward service delivery. Our relationship with the
foster parents has been tremendously improved by the use of quarterly surveys
and support from the agency.
overall goal when developing this plan was to focus on the deficiencies, making
revisions and changes. We felt the quality of improvement was addressed when developing
the plan and having realistic expectations of the plan.
PLACE TIE - Casa Central- 103.993
The 2007 Casa Central Implementation
Plan is a success due to the commitment the Child Welfare Team has to the well-being,
safety and permanency of our foster children. One key issue addressed was updating
the Foster Care Grievance Policy so that the supervisor may respond to a foster
parent grievance within 48 hours. This delineated timeline was discussed and implemented
on the basis of the Implementation Plan Committee meeting where team members discussed
the need to have a more prompt response to concerns involving foster parents and
foster children. A second key to the success of the FY' 07 plan is the development
of additional resources to satisfy Foster Parent Law right number eight (8) "The
right to be notified of scheduled meetings
" As per Casa Central's policy,
during each monthly home visit to the foster home the primary caseworker meets
with foster parent(s) in order to discuss and review any/all current case planning
activities as related to foster child(ren) and the established permanency goals
and objectives. To further ensure that our foster parents are being informed and
receiving information regarding scheduled meetings, staffings, etc. via the notification
of scheduled meetings form, the licensing department will add to their six-month
monitoring home visit form the point, "Are foster parents being informed."
If they are not being informed, the licensing coordinator will discuss with the
clinical supervisor the issue/concern so it can be addressed immediately. This
will ensure a proper check and balance between the child welfare team. A third
key to success is the "Red Child Folder," a resource used to keep current
and new foster parents informed of policies and procedures. The folder is given
to foster parents at the time of initial placement to maintain policies and procedures
as well as emergency contact information and identifying information on the foster
child. Foster parents report that this is a useful tool in maintaining information
in a centralized location. Families are consistently reminded of the importance
of maintaining accurate records via visits, staff meetings, training etc. These
changes and improvements are just some of the key highlights that have made this
plan a success.
PLACE TIE - DCFS Cook North - 103.993
The Cook North Regional Implementation
Plan is the result of an annual collaborative process with our foster parent community,
licensing and casework staff, supervisors and regional administration. Recommendations
for enhancements to the next year's plan are developed through discussions of
our successes, challenges, and changes in policy and practice. These changes and
suggestions are then incorporated into the upcoming plan, discussed in our annual
report, and implemented over the next year.
we work together to support the region's commitment to enhancing the lives of
children and families. We believe that children and families must be treated with
dignity and respect, and that they have the right to receive community-based services
that are culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate. We strive to create
and advance an atmosphere of teamwork that is invested in achieving permanency,
safety and well being in the best interest of children and families.
PLACE - Hephzibah Children's Association - 103.960
The past year of foster
care at Hephzibah has focused on utilizing the teamwork and leadership strengths
of our foster families in meeting the changing needs of the children and families
that are served in our foster care program. Hephzibah has successfully utilized
foster parents as leaders and empowered them to utilize their individual strengths
and experiences to provide successful family experiences for children in foster
care. The Foster Parent Advisory Committee at Hephzibah has developed into a cohesive
group that has direct participation in important decisions made by the agency.
As a result of this committee, many new programs, services and supports were developed
and implemented for Hephzibah families. The overall goal this past year of teamwork
and leadership has truly made our foster parents agents of success.
PLACE - Kids Hope United - 103.950
Kids Hope United's mission is to protect
children and strengthen families. In order to ensure that there is open communication
and team-building between the agency and our foster parents, we have utilized
the Foster Parent Law Committee as a mechanism to develop and implement a series
of expectations and responsibilities that bridge any gap that may exist. Our committee
is comprised of foster parents and agency staff that worked collaboratively to
achieve an honest and meaningful document that allows all interested parties to
make informed decisions. We have utilized a team approach to provide an avenue
in which each stakeholder serving our children has a voice.