TITLE 89: SOCIAL SERVICES
CHAPTER III: DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER a: SERVICE DELIVERY
PART 301 PLACEMENT AND VISITATION SERVICES
SECTION 301.80 RELATIVE HOME PLACEMENT
Section 301.80 Relative Home Placement
a) A child for whom the Department is legally responsible may be placed in the home of a relative when the Department has reason to believe that the relative can safely and adequately care for the child in the absence of formal licensing, including training. In determining whether relative home placement is in the best interests of the child, the placing worker shall consider the child's prior relationship with the relative, the comfort level of the child with the relative, and the extent to which the relative complies with the placement selection criteria of Section 301.60(b).
b) No child under age 18 for whom the Department is legally responsible shall be placed with a relative unless the conditions for placement specified in this Section have been met prior to placement of the child with the relative. Staff of the placing agency shall meet with the relative and ascertain that the relative meets the following conditions for placement and signs an agreement to that effect. The relative:
1) will care for no more than the number of children consistent with the number and ages of children permitted in a licensed foster family home (89 Ill. Adm. Code 402, Licensing Standards for Foster Family Homes);
2) is willing and capable of protecting the children from harm by the parents or any other person whose actions or inactions allegedly threatened the children's safety or well-being as determined by a child abuse or neglect investigation pursuant to the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act [325 ILCS 5];
3) agrees not to transfer physical custody of the children to anyone, including parents or other relatives, unless previously authorized in writing by the Department;
4) agrees not to allow the indicated or alleged perpetrators of abuse or neglect to reside in the relative's home unless previously authorized in writing by the Department;
5) agrees to notify the Department of any changes in the household composition;
6) agrees to notify the Department of any change of address prior to moving;
7) agrees to seek the prior written consent of the Department for non-emergency medical, psychological, or psychiatric testing or treatment;
8) agrees to take the children out of state only if previously authorized in writing by the Department;
9) agrees to abide by any conditions or limitations on the parent-child visitation plan;
10) is willing to cooperate with the agency, the children's parents and other resource persons to help develop and achieve the permanency goal recorded in the children's service plan;
11) agrees to adequately supervise the children so they are not left in situations or circumstances which are likely to require judgment or actions greater than the child's level of maturity, physical condition, and/or mental abilities would reasonably dictate;
12) agrees not to subject the child to corporal punishment, verbal abuse, threats, or derogatory remarks about the child or the child's family;
13) agrees that any and all firearms and ammunition shall be locked up at all times and kept in places inaccessible to children. No firearms possessed in violation of a State or federal law or a local government ordinance shall be present in the home at any time; and
14) agrees to sign, and have all members residing in the home age 17 and over sign, an authorization for a criminal background check and agrees to be fingerprinted no later than 30 days after the placement for a final child placement decision.
c) Prior to placement with a relative, staff of the placing agency shall visit the home of the proposed caregiver and shall determine whether the following conditions for placement are met:
1) background checks of the Child Abuse Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) as required by 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385 (Background Checks) and a check of the Statewide Child Sex Offender Registry have been completed on all adult members of the household and children age 13 and over, communicated to the supervising agency prior to placement, and appropriate decisions made. If a report of abuse or neglect exists, staff of the placing agency have made appropriate decisions whether the child should be placed with the relative based on the following considerations:
A) the type of indicated abuse and neglect;
B) the age of the individual at the time of the report;
C) the length of time that has elapsed since the most recent indicated report;
D) the relationship of the report to the ability to care for the related children; and
E) evidence of successful parenting;
2) a check of the Law Enforcement Agency Data System (LEADS) on all adult members of the household and children age 13 and over is completed prior to placement of the related children. If the results of the LEADS check identify prior criminal convictions listed in Appendix A for any adult member of the household, children shall not be placed in the relative's home unless a waiver has been granted in accordance with the requirements of Appendix A;
3) the home is free from observable hazards;
4) prescription and non-prescription drugs, dangerous household supplies, and dangerous tools are stored in places inaccessible to children;
5) any and all firearms and ammunition are locked up at all times and kept in places inaccessible to children;
6) basic utilities (water, heat, electricity) are in operation;
7) sleeping arrangements are suitable to the age and sex of the children;
8) meals can be provided daily to the related children in sufficient quantities to meet the children's nutritional needs;
9) supervision of the related children can be assured at all times, including times when the relative is employed or otherwise engaged in activity outside of the home;
10) the relative can provide basic necessities for themselves and their own children;
11) the relative can access health care and provide necessary in-home support for any health care needs of the related children;
12) no member of the household appears to have a communicable disease that could pose a threat to the health of the related children or an emotional or physical impairment that could affect the ability of the caregiver to provide routine daily care to the related children or to evacuate them safely in an emergency;
13) there is no evidence of current drug or alcohol abuse by any household member as determined by the placing agency's observations and statements provided by the relative;
14) the relative has the ability to contact the agency, if necessary, and the ability to be contacted;
15) the relative has immediate access to a telephone when the related child has medical or other special needs;
16) the relative shall cooperate with the supervising agency's educational and service plan for the child;
17) the relative is able to communicate with the child in the parent's or child's preferred language.
d) Within 90 days after initial placement of a relative child, a final placement decision shall be determined by a supervisor of the placing agency based on the criminal background check results of all persons 17 years and older who are living in the home and based on the best interest of the child.
e) Prior to or concurrent with placement in a relative's home, staff of the placing agency shall document, on the form prescribed by the Department, that the conditions for placement prescribed by this Section have been met.
f) The supervising agency shall reassess the appropriateness of the relative home placement on an on-going basis and at least prior to each administrative case review or at any point the supervising agency has reason to believe the relative caregiver can no longer safely or adequately care for the children. Appropriateness is determined by the extent to which the home is in compliance with the conditions described in subsections (b) and (c) and by an evaluation of the continued safety of the children, including an evaluation of any pending criminal charges against any adult members of the household.
g) The Department may, after providing notice as required by 89 Ill. Adm. Code 337 (Service Appeal Process), move the child to another placement if the Department determines, based on the consideration and assessment of the safety and well-being of the child, the child's permanency goal, and the best interests or special needs of the child, that an alternative placement is necessary.
h) Only placements in licensed foster family homes receive the foster care payment rate. Relatives who care for children for whom the Department is legally responsible may, but need not, apply for licensure as a foster family home in accordance with the requirements of 89 Ill. Adm. Code 402 (Licensing Standards for Foster Family Homes). When a relative is licensed under Part 402, the relative will receive the established foster care payment rate appropriate for the number and ages of foster children placed in care. Relatives who are unlicensed receive the child only standard of need.
(Source: Amended at 36 Ill. Reg. 2098, effective January 30, 2012)