Interim Director Cynthia L. Tate, Ph.D.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Welcome to the website of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Our goal is to protect children by strengthening and supporting families, and we hope that the information available here will help you join us in this important work. From hotline calls to family reunification, foster care and adoption, you can be a part of everything we do. Thank you for your interest in the well-being of children and families in Illinois.
The mission of DCFS is to:
Protect children who are reported to be abused or neglected and to increase their families' capacity to safely care for them
Provide for the well-being of children in our care
Provide appropriate, permanent families as quickly as possible for those children who cannot safely return home
Support early intervention and child abuse prevention activities
Work in partnerships with communities to fulfill this mission
DCFS is committed to acting in the best interest of every child it serves and to helping families by increasing their ability to provide a safe environment for their children and by strengthening families who are at risk of abuse or neglect.
DCFS envisions a future in which children who have been abused or neglected:
Are served with respect, fairness, and linguistic and cultural competence
Live in families that are safe and healthy
Live safely at home or are placed for short-term care in capable, nurturing foster homes
Have no unplanned placement disruptions
Are quickly and safely reunified with their families through restorative services or are placed with adoptive families or permanent guardians when reunification is not possible
Are served by a comprehensive continuum of services including the provision of residential placement when that best meets the child's needs
Live in communities where partnerships between DCFS, which has immediate and direct responsibility for wards, and other public and private agencies provide an effective array of services to meet the needs of children and families and prevent child abuse and neglect
Are served by competent, highly trained staff who respond to every report of abuse or neglect and who act quickly and professionally to protect them and ensure their well-being
Are served by a legal system that will promptly and efficiently adjudicate their cases and provide for an appropriate and expeditious disposition