Section 301.20  Definitions


"Administrative case review" or "ACR" means case reviews required by 42 USC 675(1) and 20 ILCS 505/6a.


"Child only standard of need" means the assistance standard for cases in which no adult member is included, as established by the Illinois Department of Human Services in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 111 (Assistance Standards).


"Children for whom the Department is legally responsible" means children for whom the Department has temporary protective custody, custody or guardianship via court order, or children whose parents signed an adoptive surrender or voluntary placement agreement with the Department.


"Contact between siblings" means contact among siblings who are residing apart from one another, and may include, but is not limited to: telephone calls; video conferencing; in person visitation; sending/receiving cards, letters, emails, text messages, gifts, etc.; sharing photographs or information; use of any approved social media (e.g., Facebook); and any other agreed upon forms of communication technology.


"Department" as used in this Part, means the Department of Children and Family Services.


"Diligent search", as used in this Part, means the efforts used by the Department to find a joint placement for siblings who must be placed apart from their families.  Diligent search is further defined in Section 301.70(f).


"Family" means one or more adults and children, related by blood, marriage, civil union or adoption and residing in the same household.


"Father" means the parent-child relationship is established between a man and a child by:


An unrebutted presumption of the man's parentage of the child under Section 204 of the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 [750 ILCS 46] (Parentage Act);


An effective voluntary acknowledgment of paternity by the man under Article 3 of the Parentage Act, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged;  


An adjudication of the man's parentage;


Adoption of the child by the man; or


A valid gestational surrogacy arrangement that complies with the Gestational Surrogacy Act [750 ILCS 47] or other law.  [750 ILCS 46/201(b)]


AGENCY NOTE: When paternity has been established, the relatives of the biological father, as well as those of the mother, may be considered for the placement of related children.


"Federally-funded foster care" means foster care maintenance payments made in accordance with Title IV-E of the Social Security Act for which federal matching grants are received.


"Fictive kin" means any individual, unrelated by birth or marriage, who:


is shown to have significant and close personal or emotional ties with the child or the child's family prior to the child's placement with the individual; or


is the current foster parent of a child in the custody or guardianship of the Department pursuant to the Child and Family Services Act and the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 [705 ILCS 405], if the child has been placed in the home for at least one year and has established a significant and family-like relationship with the foster parent, and the foster parent has been identified by the Department as the child's permanent connection. [20 ILCS 505/7(b)]


"Foster care payment" means the amount paid by the Department for a child's room, board, clothing, and personal allowance in a licensed foster family home.


"Godparent" is a person who sponsors a child at baptism or one in whom the parents have entrusted a special duty that includes assisting in raising the child if the parent cannot raise the child.  If the person is considered to be the child's godparent, in order for placement to occur, the same placement selection criteria as contained in Section 301.60 (Placement Selection Criteria) must be met. If the godparent is not a licensed foster parent, all the conditions currently in effect for placement with relatives in Section 301.80 (Relative Home Placement) must be met.


"Joint placement", in the context of sibling placement, means the siblings are placed in the same substitute care setting.


"LEADS" means Law Enforcement Agency Data System.


"Parents" means the child's legal parents whose parental rights have not been terminated.  Biological fathers are considered legal parents when paternity has been established as required by the definition of "father" in this Section.


"Permanency goal" means the desired outcome of intervention and service, which is determined to be consistent with the health, safety, well-being, and best interests of the child.  A permanent legal status is usually a component of the permanency goal.


"Permanent connection" means a family-like relationship, consistent with a child's best interests, health, safety and well-being, that provides:


safe, stable and committed parenting;


unconditional love and lifelong support; and


permanent legal status between child and family.


For a child for whom the Department is legally responsible, a permanent connection may be the child's parents or another caregiver in the child's home of origin.  When the child cannot be safely returned home, a permanent connection may be the current or former foster parent or relative caregiver, an individual identified as an adoptive or legal guardianship placement resource, or another individual from among the child's or family's lifelong connections with whom a child has developed a familial relationship.


"Permanent family placement" means placement in a foster family home or a relative home that is intended to last until the child reaches age 21 or until the child is capable of self-sufficiency.  The Department may retain guardianship of the child or the foster parent or relative may assume guardianship of the child.


"Permanent legal status" means a legally binding relationship between a child and a family as established by birth or a court of law.


"Placement Clearance Process" means the approval of a child's placement in foster care or unlicensed relative care from the Placement Clearance Unit.


"Placement decision" means the decision made by the Department, within 90 days after the initial placement of a child with a relative, to leave or remove the child in the relative home based on the evaluation of the results of the criminal background check of the relative and household members and based on the best interest of the child. 


"Placing worker" means the Child Protection Specialist, Permanency Worker or Intact Family Worker with responsibility to select the substitute care placement for a child.


"Region" means Cook County or any of the downstate Department of Children and Family Services regions.


"Relative", for purposes of placement of children for whom the Department is legally responsible, means any person, 21 years of age or over, other than the parent, who:


is currently related to the child in any of the following ways by blood or adoption:  grandparent, sibling, great-grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, first cousin once removed (children of one's first cousin to oneself), second cousin (children of first cousins are second cousins to each other), godparent (as defined in this Section), great-uncle, or great-aunt; or


is the spouse, or party to a civil union, of such a relative; or


is the child's step-father, step-mother, step-grandfather, step-grandmother, or adult step-brother or step-sister; or


is the partner, or adult child of a partner, in a civil union with the child's mother or father; or


is a fictive kin as defined in this Section.


Relative also includes a person related in any of the foregoing ways to a sibling of a child, even though the person is not related to the child, when the child and its sibling are placed together with that person.  For children who have been in the guardianship of the Department, have been adopted, and are subsequently returned to the temporary custody or guardianship of the Department, a "relative" may also include any person who would have qualified as a relative under this definition prior to the adoption, but only if the Department determines that it would be in the best interests of the child to consider this person a relative.  [20 ILCS 505/7(b)]


"Residential facility", for the purposes of the Aristotle P. Consent Decree, means all non-foster care or relative home care placements.


"Service plan" means a written plan on a form prescribed by the Department in the plan toward the permanency goal for the children required by 42 USC 675(5), 325 ILCS 5/8.2, and 89 Ill. Adm. Code 315 (Permanency Planning).


"Siblings" means children who have at least one parent in common.  Children continue to be considered siblings after parental rights are terminated, if parental rights were terminated while a petition under Article II of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 was pending.  Children continue to be considered siblings after one or more of the children are adopted or placed in private guardianship, if they were in the custody or guardianship of the Department pursuant to Article II of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 [705 ILCS 405] immediately prior to the adoption or guardianship.  Step-siblings may be considered "siblings" when the children enter into substitute care together, have a positive relationship and share at least one parent in common.


"Substitute care" means the care of children who require placement away from their families.  Substitute care includes foster family care, care of a child for whom the Department is legally responsible provided in a relative family home, care provided in a group home, and care provided in a child care or other institution.


"Visitation" means face-to-face contact:


between parents and their children who are in substitute care;


between siblings in substitute care who are placed apart from one another; or


between siblings in substitute care with siblings who are not in substitute care (e.g., emancipated, case closed due to independence, adopted, placed in private guardianship, living in home of parent, etc.).


"Voluntary placement agreement" means a time-limited written request and consent from a parent, guardian or legal custodian of a child for placement of the child out of the home. When signed by designated Department staff, the Department agrees to provide child welfare services which include placement.


(Source:  Amended at 43 Ill. Reg. 5680, effective May 3, 2019)