Section 337.20  Definitions


"Adequate notice" means a notice that contains all of the elements identified in Section 337.90(c) of this Part.


"Administrative Hearings Unit" means the Department's unit responsible for receiving requests for and acting upon a service appeal and conducting fair hearings on appeal.


"Administrative law judge" means an attorney who is appointed by the Director of the Department and who is responsible for conducting the fair hearing.


"Administrator of the Administrative Hearings Unit" means the person who is responsible for receiving requests for a service appeal and for coordinating the fair hearings.


"Appellant" means the person who requests a service appeal or on whose behalf a service appeal is requested.


"Authorized representative" means a person authorized in writing by the appellant to assist the appellant in the appeal process.  If the appellant is unable to reduce such authorization to writing, the Department shall assist the appellant in doing so.  The representative may be legal counsel or other spokesperson.


"Clinical Intervention for Placement Preservation" or "CIPP" means a regionally based, multidisciplinary team consisting of designated DCFS staff, the child (when age-appropriate), the child's family, extended family and others who have relevant and current information about the child, and professionals who are critical to achieve informed, sound decision-making.


"Clinical Intervention for Placement Preservation (CIPP) Action Plan" means a written document summarizing a clinical assessment of a child's or youth's service needs, identifying the resources required to meet those needs, and establishing time frames for their achievement.


"Child welfare services" means public social services that are directed toward the accomplishment of the following purposes:


protecting and promoting the health, safety and welfare of all children, including homeless, dependent, or neglected children;


preventing, remedying, or assisting in the solution of problems that may result in, the neglect, abuse, exploitation, or delinquency of children;


preventing the unnecessary separation of children from their families by identifying family problems, assisting families in resolving their problems, and preventing breakup of the family where the prevention of child removal is desirable and possible, when the child can be cared for at home without endangering the child's health and safety;


restoring to their families children who have been removed by the provision of services to the child and the families, when the child can be cared for at home without endangering the child's health and safety;


placing children in suitable adoptive homes, in cases where restoration to the biological family is not possible or appropriate;


assuring safe and adequate care of children away from their homes, in cases where the child cannot be returned home or cannot be placed for adoption.  At the time of placement, the Department shall consider concurrent planning so that permanency may occur at the earliest opportunity.  Consideration should be given so that, if reunification fails or is delayed, the placement made is the best available placement to provide permanency for the child;


providing supportive services and living maintenance that contributes to the physical, emotional and social well-being of children for whom the Department is legally responsible who are pregnant and unmarried;


providing shelter and independent living services for homeless youth; and


placing and maintaining children in facilities that provide separate living quarters for children under the age of 18 and for children 18 years of age and older, unless a child 18 years of age is in the last year of high school education or vocational training, in an approved individual or group treatment program, or in a licensed shelter facility, or secure child care facility.  The Department is not required to place or maintain children:


who are in a foster home; or


who are persons with a developmental disability, as defined in the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code [405 ILCS 5]; or


who are female children who are pregnant, pregnant and parenting or parenting; or


who are siblings;


in facilities that provide separate living quarters for children 18 years of age and older and for children under 18 years of age. [20 ILCS 505/5(a)(3)]


These services include but are not limited to:  counseling, advocacy, day care, homemaker, emergency caretaker, family planning, adoption, visitation, placement, child protection and information and referral.


"Clinical placement review" means a process in which designated clinical Department staff will review a disputed decision by the Department or purchase of service agency to remove a child from the home of a foster family or relative caregiver, when the child will be placed in the home of another foster family or relative caregiver.


"Date of action" means the effective date of the action or proposed action by the Department or provider agency that resulted in the appeal.


"Date of appeal" means the postmark date or date of receipt of appellant's written request for an appeal, whichever is earlier, at the address specified in the notice.


"Date of notice" means the date on which the appellant receives written notice of the Department's intended action or decision or the date on which the appellant learns of the intended action or decision, if a written notice was not provided.


"Day care services" means care provided to children for less than 24 hours per day in facilities requiring licensure under the Child Care Act of 1969 [225 ILCS 10] in facilities exempt from licensure, in the homes of relatives, or in their own home.


"Department representative" means an attorney or designated individual responsible for presenting the Department's position in mediation, staffings and negotiations and at an emergency review and fair hearing.


"Emergency review" means a limited review of the actions or decisions of the Department or provider agency that may adversely affect an individual or individuals served by the Department.  An emergency review provides for an interim decision pending a fair hearing.


"Fair hearing", as used in this Part, means a formal review of the action or decision of the Department or provider agency to determine whether that action or decision is in compliance with applicable laws and rules and will be in the best interests of the child.


"Family" means the biological or adoptive parents (provided a court has not terminated parental rights), legal guardian, or any relative who has assumed custody and control of the child in the absence of the child's biological or adoptive parents.


"Final administrative decision" means the Department's final decision, order, or determination on an appealed issue rendered by the Director in a particular case that affects the legal rights, duties or privileges of appellants and that may be appealed in a circuit court under the Administrative Review Law [735 ILCS 5/Art. III].


"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, 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)]


"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 89 Ill. Adm. Code 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 89 Ill. Adm. Code 301.80 (Relative Home Placement) must be met.


"Imminent risk of harm" means that individuals' actions, omissions or conditions endanger the life, or seriously jeopardize the physical or mental health or safety of themselves or others, if protective action would not be taken immediately.


"Individual legally acting on a person's behalf" means an individual who has been appointed by a court to act on behalf of a person when the person is incompetent, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to speak for himself or herself.


"Mediation" means a meeting open to all parties affected by the decision being appealed to attempt agreement on the issue in dispute with a mediator, who assists the parties in resolving issues and drawing up an agreement.


"Mediator" means a neutral third party appointed by the Director of the Department who conducts the mediation and assists the parties in resolving issues and drawing up an agreement.


"Parties" means the Department or its agents and those persons who have appealed the service decisions made by the Department or its agents.


"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


a 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.


"Preponderance of the evidence" means the greater weight of the evidence or evidence that renders a fact more likely than not.


"Provider agency" means an agency offering case management and/or casework services through a signed contract with the Department for paid services.


"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, and documents, that it would be in the child's best interests to consider this person a relative. [20 ILCS 505/7(b)]


"Request for an appeal" means the written request by an appellant for a fair hearing to review an action taken or a decision made by the Department or a provider agency on behalf of the Department. If the appellant is unable to request an appeal in writing, the Department or provider agency shall help the appellant put the request in writing.


"Reviewer" means the person appointed by the Department to conduct an emergency review.


"Service appeal process" means the appeal system offered by the Department to parents, children, guardians ad litem, foster parents and relative caregivers to challenge service decisions of the Department.


"Services" means child welfare or day care services, including placement services or benefits provided by the Department or its provider agencies under Titles IV and XX of the Social Security Act (42 USC 601 et seq. and 1397 et seq.) or the laws of the State of Illinois.


"Stay of action" means the action or decision made by the Department or its provider agency will not be implemented pending an emergency review or final administrative decision by the Department.


"Timely written notice" means a notice that complies with the requirements of Section 337.90(b).


(Source:  Amended at 42 Ill. Reg. 2228, effective January 17, 2018)