(225 ILCS 10/4) (from Ch. 23, par. 2214)
    Sec. 4. License requirement; application; notice.
    (a) Any person, group of persons or corporation who or which receives children or arranges for care or placement of one or more children unrelated to the operator must apply for a license to operate one of the types of facilities defined in Sections 2.05 through 2.19 and in Section 2.22 of this Act. Any relative, as defined in Section 2.17 of this Act, who receives a child or children for placement by the Department on a full-time basis may apply for a license to operate a foster family home as defined in Section 2.17 of this Act.
    (a-5) Any agency, person, group of persons, association, organization, corporation, institution, center, or group providing adoption services must be licensed by the Department as a child welfare agency as defined in Section 2.08 of this Act. "Providing adoption services" as used in this Act, includes facilitating or engaging in adoption services.
    (b) Application for a license to operate a child care facility must be made to the Department in the manner and on forms prescribed by it. An application to operate a foster family home shall include, at a minimum: a completed written form; written authorization by the applicant and all adult members of the applicant's household to conduct a criminal background investigation; medical evidence in the form of a medical report, on forms prescribed by the Department, that the applicant and all members of the household are free from communicable diseases or physical and mental conditions that affect their ability to provide care for the child or children; the names and addresses of at least 3 persons not related to the applicant who can attest to the applicant's moral character; and fingerprints submitted by the applicant and all adult members of the applicant's household.
    (b-5) Prior to submitting an application for a foster family home license, a quality of care concerns applicant as defined in Section 2.22a of this Act must submit a preliminary application to the Department in the manner and on forms prescribed by it. The Department shall explain to the quality of care concerns applicant the grounds for requiring a preliminary application. The preliminary application shall include a list of (i) all children placed in the home by the Department who were removed by the Department for reasons other than returning to a parent and the circumstances under which they were removed and (ii) all children placed by the Department who were subsequently adopted by or placed in the private guardianship of the quality of care concerns applicant who are currently under 18 and who no longer reside in the home and the reasons why they no longer reside in the home. The preliminary application shall also include, if the quality of care concerns applicant chooses to submit, (1) a response to the quality of care concerns, including any reason the concerns are invalid, have been addressed or ameliorated, or no longer apply and (2) affirmative documentation demonstrating that the quality of care concerns applicant's home does not pose a risk to children and that the family will be able to meet the physical and emotional needs of children. The Department shall verify the information in the preliminary application and review (i) information regarding any prior licensing complaints, (ii) information regarding any prior child abuse or neglect investigations, and (iii) information regarding any involuntary foster home holds placed on the home by the Department. Foster home applicants with quality of care concerns are presumed unsuitable for future licensure.
    Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection (b-5), the Department may make an exception and issue a foster family license to a quality of care concerns applicant if the Department is satisfied that the foster family home does not pose a risk to children and that the foster family will be able to meet the physical and emotional needs of children. In making this determination, the Department must obtain and carefully review all relevant documents and shall obtain consultation from its Clinical Division as appropriate and as prescribed by Department rule and procedure. The Department has the authority to deny a preliminary application based on the record of quality of care concerns of the foster family home. In the alternative, the Department may (i) approve the preliminary application, (ii) approve the preliminary application subject to obtaining additional information or assessments, or (iii) approve the preliminary application for purposes of placing a particular child or children only in the foster family home. If the Department approves a preliminary application, the foster family shall submit an application for licensure as described in subsection (b) of this Section. The Department shall notify the quality of care concerns applicant of its decision and the basis for its decision in writing.
    (c) The Department shall notify the public when a child care institution, maternity center, or group home licensed by the Department undergoes a change in (i) the range of care or services offered at the facility, (ii) the age or type of children served, or (iii) the area within the facility used by children. The Department shall notify the public of the change in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or municipality in which the applicant's facility is or is proposed to be located.
    (d) If, upon examination of the facility and investigation of persons responsible for care of children and, in the case of a foster home, taking into account information obtained for purposes of evaluating a preliminary application, if applicable, the Department is satisfied that the facility and responsible persons reasonably meet standards prescribed for the type of facility for which application is made, it shall issue a license in proper form, designating on that license the type of child care facility and, except for a child welfare agency, the number of children to be served at any one time.
    (e) The Department shall not issue or renew the license of any child welfare agency providing adoption services, unless the agency (i) is officially recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or any successor provision of federal tax law) and (ii) is in compliance with all of the standards necessary to maintain its status as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or any successor provision of federal tax law). The Department shall grant a grace period of 24 months from the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly for existing child welfare agencies providing adoption services to obtain 501(c)(3) status. The Department shall permit an existing child welfare agency that converts from its current structure in order to be recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization as required by this Section to either retain its current license or transfer its current license to a newly formed entity, if the creation of a new entity is required in order to comply with this Section, provided that the child welfare agency demonstrates that it continues to meet all other licensing requirements and that the principal officers and directors and programs of the converted child welfare agency or newly organized child welfare agency are substantially the same as the original. The Department shall have the sole discretion to grant a one year extension to any agency unable to obtain 501(c)(3) status within the timeframe specified in this subsection (e), provided that such agency has filed an application for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service within the 2-year timeframe specified in this subsection (e).
(Source: P.A. 98-804, eff. 1-1-15; 99-779, eff. 1-1-17.)