500 Illinois Children in Foster Care Find Forever Homes

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

As the Department of Children and Family Services’ 50th year of protecting children and supporting families came to a close, Acting Director Bobbie Gregg announced an exciting – and ambitious – initiative: to help 500 children currently living in foster care find loving and permanent homes, within 50 days, through adoption and guardianship by January 5, 2015. “All children deserve a safe, permanent and loving family,” said Gregg. “I’m so pleased that together with the courts, our partner organizations and DCFS staff, we were able to finalize these adoptions by the year’s end. It was a fitting way to finish our 50th year.”

The “500 in 50” project’s success was made possible due to the commitment of Department leaders and staff, private agency and court system partners who came together to remove barriers and identify resources to clear the path for permanency. In all, 512 children found their forever home. Statewide, 1,499 adoptions and guardianships were finalized in Fiscal Year 2014: 363 in the Northern Region; 551 in the Central Region; 287 in the Southern Region and 298 in Cook County.

“Illinois DCFS has done a tremendous job of recognizing the significance of permanency,” says Anita Shannon, senior director of strategic consulting at Casey Family Programs. “For DCFS to accomplish big task in such a short timeframe shows dedication and leadership.” The project’s efforts were focused on two primary populations: the 307 children statewide who have a goal of adoption or guardianship and whose cases are in the final stage of approval; and the 374 children statewide who are waiting for a court date for finalization.

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