of Child and Family Policy


Department of Children and Family Services


Index No: 2000.15


Issuance Date: 11/22/00


Origin of Request: Regional Staff


Distribution: X, Z, and C-3


Key Words: Confidential information, foster parents, proper delivery of services


Approved by:




Question:                   Can a subsequent caregiver contact the previous foster parent for information regarding a child?


Applicable To:           Confidentiality of Personal Information of Persons Served by the Department


Policy Citations:        Rules 431, Subsections 431.90 (a) (4) (A) & (B)


With the exception of mental health records, as provided for in Section 431.100, personal information may be released by Department employees acting within their official capacity to professionals who are providing services to persons served by the Department.  These professionals may include psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, social workers, homemakers, contractors with the Department, social service agencies, foster parents, child care facilities and others providing services to persons served by the Department when such information is necessary for the proper delivery of services.  This information is confidential and cannot be released by the recipient except as is necessary for the proper delivery of services for the client.


                                    Rules 402, Section 402.24


All personal or identifying information concerning a foster child, including but not limited to, his background, his family, and the identity and location of all other persons or families with whom he has been, or will be placed, shall be treated as confidential by all persons involved with the child.




20 ILCS 520/Foster Parent Law


Section 1-20.  Foster parent responsibilities.  A foster parent’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:


(1)        The responsibility to openly communicate and share information about the child with other members of the child welfare team.


(2)        The responsibility to respect the confidentiality of information concerning foster children and their families and act appropriately within applicable confidentiality laws and regulations.


(16)      The responsibility to share information, through the child welfare team, with subsequent caregiver (whether the child’s parent or another substitute caregiver) regarding the child’s adjustment in the foster parent’s home.


Discussion:                Foster parents are valued and important members of child welfare teams.  Child welfare team members are required to share information about the child they serve to assure that the child receives appropriate and targeted services.  However, it is the responsibility of the child’s caseworker to share appropriate information (case, behavioral, medical, school) about the child with any subsequent caregivers.  Information that identifies or reveals the location of any previous foster or relative home caregiver may not be disclosed.  


Response:                 Only the child’s Department or purchase of service agency caseworker shall provide available information about the child necessary for the proper care of the child to subsequent foster parents or other caregivers.   Foster parents may request that the caseworker contact the child’s previous foster parents to obtain information necessary for the child’s care.    If the request is denied by the caseworker, the foster parent may make the request directly to the casework supervisor.