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(20 ILCS 520/1-5)
Family foster care is an essential
for children and their families who have been separated due to the tragedy of
child abuse, neglect, or dependency. When children have been separated from
their families, it is the responsibility of the child welfare team to respond
to the needs of the children and their families by means including (i)
providing protection and nurture to children in a safe, healthy environment;
(ii) meeting the developmental and emotional needs of the children, including
maintaining and promoting a child's emotional attachment to his or her own
family; (iii) protecting and promoting the child's cultural identity and
heritage; and (iv) working toward permanency for children by connecting them to
safe, nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime, preferably with
their own family.
Foster parents are an essential part of and fulfill an integral role on the
child welfare team along with children in care who are old enough to
participate in planning and services, parents of children in care, caseworkers,
and other professionals serving the child and family. By providing care for
children and supporting the attachment of children to their families in a
manner sensitive to each child's and family's unique needs, the foster parent
serves the child, the family, and the community.
In order to successfully fulfill their role on the professional child welfare
team, foster parents must be committed to the goal of the child welfare program
and must provide care to children and promote the best interests of the
families served. In order to achieve this goal, foster parents must understand
and be sensitive to issues of culture, ethnicity, religion, and children's
connectedness with their families and must maintain a level of care, conduct,
demeanor that is consistent with the high professional ethics demanded of all
other members of the child welfare team.
The General Assembly finds that there is a need to establish public policy
role of foster parents. The General Assembly establishes this statement of
foster parents' rights
and responsibilities, which shall apply to all foster parents in the State of
Illinois, whether supervised by the Department of Children and Family Services
or by another agency under contract to the Department of Children and Family
Services to provide foster care services.
(Source: P.A. 89-19, eff. 6-3-95.)