Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
FFY 2012 Annual Progress and Services Report
community leaders have been convened; this advisory group continues to be in
development with a goal composition of community members throughout the state
including educators, Native American parents, religious leaders and downstate Native
American community leaders as well as Chicago area Native American participants.
The ICWA program will continue to collaborate with other Native American programs
within the State serving Indian children including the Chicago Public School Title VII
program, American Indian Center, American Indian Health, American Indian Association
of Illinois and Kateri Center of Chicago. The ICWA program is also participating in a
community planning initiative composed of agency leaders from Chicago area programs
that serve Native Americans. A community conference is scheduled in June 2012 for 300
community participants to better address the needs of the Native American community
and will include participation of ICWA program.
A webinar presentation has been developed on the Indian Child Welfare Act and has been
provided to child welfare professionals, attorneys, judges and community members
throughout the state.
A web site for the ICWA program within the Department’s D-Net has been developed
with links to resources within the Native American community throughout the state
including contact information for prospective Native American foster parents, community
programs and resources.
A foster care brochure targeted specifically at recruitment of Native American foster
homes was developed and has been used for recruitment efforts beginning in the summer
of 2010. A procedure to stream line licensing referrals was developed with the assistance
of the DCFS Licensing unit. Beginning in the spring of 2011, ICWA program staff began
checking in with prospective foster parents during the licensing process to provide
support and address any concerns that they might have with the anticipated goal of
expediting the licensure process of prospective Native American foster parents. This
continues to be area of need.
Development of downstate resources for Native American children and families also
continues to be an area of need. Currently most of the resources for Native American
families are centered in the Chicago metropolitan area. Outreach to Native American
faculty on staff at universities downstate and community programs has been made and
ongoing efforts to engage in collaborative work will continue. Prior communication
initiated with the United Methodist Native American community about building
relationships to support Native American children outside of Chicago did not result in
formal collaboration but will be re-attempted as will other avenues for Native American
As part of ongoing services to Native American children and their families, the Indian
Child Welfare program will continue to strengthen its case and clinical supports to the
child’s direct service team in situations in which ICWA has been determined to be
applicable. Potential resources for grants to expand services within the Department’s
Indian Child Welfare Advocacy program to fund an additional Advocate position
downstate will continue to be explored, as well as opportunities to support overall quality
services to Native American children and their families within the State.
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