Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
FFY 2011 Annual Progress and Services Report
they are able to commit to providing foster care at this time. Efforts continue at supporting and
re-engaging these families, as well as outreach efforts with other members of the Native
The ICWA program supported by DCFS continues to focus on the recruitment and
development of Native American foster homes through the following:
ICWA advocates participate in weekly outreach activities within the Native American
community. These activities include volunteer work at the American Indian Center,
Kateri Spiritual Center (formerly Anawim), American Indian Health Center, as well
as participation in major Native American events including the annual largest Mid-west
Pow-wow sponsored by the American Indian Center and the Second Annual
American Indian Conference sponsored by the University of Chicago.
The ICWA program continues to collaborate with other Native American programs
within the State, serving Indian children including the Chicago Public School Title
VII program, which serves Native American students and their families within the
Chicago Public School district. This program has a Native American parents’
advisory board in operation and has worked collaboratively with the ICWA program
on community outreach activities. Most recently, it was suggested that the ICWA
program’s foster care recruitment brochure could be included in one of the mailings
to identified Native American children and families within the Chicago Public School
A foster care brochure targeted specifically at recruitment of Native American foster
homes was developed in 2010 and continues to be used at community events and
ICWA presentations. Feedback from community members is being used to help refine
the brochure to help address common questions of prospective foster parents. A web
site within the Department’s D-Net has been developed as part of recruitment efforts
including links to other resources within the Native American community and contact
information to the Department’s ICWA program for prospective foster parents. A
procedure to streamline prospective foster parent licensing referrals was developed in
2010 with the assistance of the DCFS Licensing unit to facilitate the licensing process
for prospective Native American foster parents.
Participation in a national ICWA work group sponsored by the Child Welfare League
of America continues to be utilized as a forum to collaborate with other states
regarding ICWA issues including effective foster care recruitment.
Outreach with religious leaders within the Native American community to develop
state-wide care resources for Native American children continues to be ongoing. In
addition to regular volunteer work at Kateri Center of Chicago and at the American
Indian Ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the ICWA advocates serves on
their advisory board. A meeting was held in mid-April with one of the Native
American religious leader having state-wide affiliations to discuss how to best serve
and engage Native American families, particularly those residing downstate.
Outreach efforts continue with Native American faculty at downstate universities to
assist in the development of resources for Indian children downstate including
recruitment of prospective foster families.
A DCFS Native American advisory group composed of educators who are active
members of the Native American community has provided direction and guidance to
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