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Chicago IL 60601
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Springfield IL 62701-1498
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A young fairgoer meets Director Bryan Samuels at the DCFS state fair tent.

More Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

DCFS Offers Family Photos at State Fair and Helps Protect Children


Springfield, IL, Aug. 12, 2005 -- State Fair attendees can again look forward to having family photos taken while visiting the Department of Children and Family Services tent. Free popcorn and new giveaways, including beach balls, are also available while supplies last at the fair, that runs August 12th - 21st.

Located across from the carnival midway, the DCFS tent photo area will also play an important protective role. Foster children will be photographed as part of the Department's ongoing effort to ensure their safety. Photographs of foster children are stored in a missing children database to expedite the tracking and identification of children that are missing from care. Last year, 600 photos were added to the database.

"The State Fair provides us with a convenient opportunity to update our missing children database," said DCFS Director Bryan Samuels, noting that annual photographs are required for each of the nearly 18,000 foster children served by the Department.

"Each year, our Department sends State Fair entrance cards, meal tickets and discount ride tickets to more than 10,000 foster and adoptive family members as a way of saying thanks. Many of the families visit the DCFS tent during their stay, and it only takes a minute to take a digital photograph that may someday help save a child's life or return them to safety." Individuals with information about missing or abducted DCFS children should call the 24-hour toll-free HELPLINE at 866-503-0184.

"The State Fair has always been a great way for DCFS to show its thanks to the families that have opened their homes to children who need their love and protection, as well as to recruit new foster and adoptive families," said Director Samuels. "Now technology enables us to take quick and easy steps to ensure a safer future for children in our care."

Visitors to the State Fair can also pick up informational handouts, talk to child welfare experts about how to become a foster or adoptive parent, and apply for jobs at DCFS.

DCFS is the nation's largest accredited state child welfare agency, as well as a leader in the development of cutting-edge, child protection, foster care and adoption services. For more information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, call toll-free 800-572-2390.

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Diane Jackson
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services



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