Section 402.2  Definitions


"Adoptive placement" means a living arrangement with a family that is directed toward establishing that family as the child's new legal parents.  To be considered an adoptive placement, the child must be placed in a licensed foster family home or license exempt relative home for purposes of adoption and:


be legally free (parental rights have been terminated or both parents have surrendered their parental rights); or


be placed in a legal risk adoptive placement that has passed legal screening as described in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 309 (Adoption Services for Children for Whom the Department of Children and Family Services is Legally Responsible).


"Appropriate activities" means activities or items that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or developmental level of maturity.  Appropriateness is based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacity that is typical for an age or age group, taking into account the individual child's cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral development.  [20 ILCS  505/7.3a(b)]


"Approved smoke detector" or "detector" means a smoke detector of the ionization or photoelectric type that complies with all the requirements of the rules and regulations of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. [425 ILCS 60/2]


"Approved in-service training" means:


Foster PRIDE module or other Department approved training;


foster parent conferences sponsored by the Department;


other conferences approved by the Department;


training provided under the auspices of a licensed child welfare agency when the agency's foster care program has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, Inc., 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2202B, New York NY 10018;


materials borrowed from the Department's Foster/Adoptive Parent Lending Libraries;


training toward first-aid, Heimlich maneuver, and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification; or


other training, substantially meeting the Department's Foster PRIDE/Adopt PRIDE training, approved in writing by the Department of Children and Family Services.


"Background check" means:


Individuals 18 years of age or older:


a criminal history check via fingerprints that are submitted to the Illinois State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for comparison to their criminal history records, as appropriate; and


Individuals 13 years of age or older:


a check of the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) and other state child protection systems, as appropriate, to determine whether an individual is currently alleged or has been indicated as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect; and


a check of the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.


"Child" means any person under 18 years of age. [225 ILCS 10/2.01]


"Child care assistant" means an adult, 18 years of age or older, (whether a volunteer or an employee) who assists a licensed foster parent in the care of children within the foster home.


"Child care facility" means any person, group of persons, agency, association, organization, corporation, institution, center or group, whether established for gain or otherwise, who or which receives or arranges for care or placement of one or more children, unrelated to the operator of the facility, apart from the parents, with or without the transfer of the right of custody in any facility as defined in the Child Care Act of 1969 [225 ILCS 10], established and maintained for the care of children.  Child care facility includes a relative who is licensed as a foster family home under Section 4 of the Child Care Act. [225 ILCS 10/2.05]


"Classifiable fingerprints" means fingerprints obtained through an electronic or ink printing process that were determined to provide sufficiently clear impressions to identify the individual from whom the prints were obtained.


"Common parentage" means having the same biological or adoptive father, the same biological or adoptive mother, or the same biological or adoptive father and mother.


"Complete application for foster family home license" means, at a minimum, a completed written application 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; the name and address of at least one relative who can attest to the applicant's capability to care for the child or children; and fingerprints submitted by the applicant and all adult members of the applicant's household.  [225 ILCS 10/4]


"Contact between siblings" means contact between or 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.


"Corporal punishment" means hitting, spanking, beating, shaking, pinching, and other measures that produce physical pain. 


"Department" means the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.  [225 ILCS 10/2.02]


"Discipline" means the process of helping children to develop inner controls so that they can manage their own behavior in socially acceptable ways.  Discipline does not include the use of corporal punishment as defined in this Part.


"Educational advocacy training" means the 6-hour training that prepares foster parents to effectively advocate for the special educational needs of the children in their care by providing information on children's educational rights and foster parents' responsibility to protect those rights.


"Expanded capacity license" means the foster family home has been issued a license from the Department authorizing the foster family to accept more than six children for care (including the family's own children under age 18 and all other children under age 18 receiving full-time care) as permitted in Section 402.15(c) (for foster care placements) or (e) (for adoptive placements).


"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 [20 ILCS 505] 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 family home" means a facility for child care in residences of families who receive no more than 6 children unrelated or related to them, unless all the children are of common parentage, or residences of relatives who receive no more than 6 related or unrelated children placed by the Department, unless the children are of common parentage, for the purpose of providing family care and training for the children on a full-time basis, except the Director of Children and Family Services, pursuant to Department regulations, may waive the numerical limitation of foster children who may be cared for in a foster family home to allow: 


a parenting youth in foster care to remain with the child of the parenting youth;


siblings to remain together;


a child with an established, meaningful relationship with the family to remain with the family; or


a family with special training or skills to provide care to a child who has a severe disability. 


The family's or relative's own children, under 18 years of age, shall be included in determining the maximum number of children served.  [225 ILCS 10/2.17]  The Department requires foster family homes to receive an expanded capacity license allowing them to receive more than six children, including their own children under age 18 and all other children under the age of 18 receiving full-time care.  No more than 6 children in a foster home shall be youth in care, unless the youth meet exceptions in Section 402.15, i.e., siblings, parenting youth, respite and adoption.


"Full-time care" means the child is a resident of the household, whether on a temporary, emergency, or permanent basis, and is receiving family care usually provided by a parent or guardian.


"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.


"In-service training" means approved training provided to currently licensed foster parents.


"License" means a document issued by the Department of Children and Family Services that authorizes child care facilities to operate in accordance with applicable standards and the provisions of the Child Care Act.


"License applicant" means the operator or person with direct responsibility for daily operation of the facility to be licensed. [225 ILCS 10/4.4]


"Licensed physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine in the State of Illinois.


"Licensee" means those individuals, agencies, or organizations who hold a license or permit issued by the Department of Children and Family Services.


"Licensing representative" means persons authorized by the Department under the Child Care Act to perform licensing activities.


"Licensing study" means a written review and assessment of an application for license, on-site visits, interviews, and the collection and review of supporting documents to determine compliance with the Child Care Act of 1969 and the standards prescribed by this Part.


"Member of the household" means a person who resides in a family home as evidenced by factors including, but not limited to, maintaining clothing and personal effects at the household address, or receiving mail at the household address, or using identification with the household address.


"Minor traffic violation" means a traffic violation, under the laws of the State of Illinois or any municipal authority in Illinois or another state or municipal authority, that is punishable solely by fines as a petty offense.


"Multi-purpose room" means a room in the foster family home that has been designed for several purposes.  A multi-purpose room that is temporarily converted into a bedroom may only be a pass through room in the home if the privacy of the children using the room for a bedroom can be ensured. Activities within the room shall be normal bedroom activities such as sleeping, dressing and playing while used as a bedroom.


"Non-active status" means a licensed foster home has no foster placements and maintains continuous compliance with this Part that, by mutual written agreement with the Department, does not receive regular licensing monitoring visits by the Department or supervising agency.


"Normalcy parenting" means empowering a foster parent to approve or not approve a child's participation in appropriate extracurricular enrichment, cultural and social activities based on the caregiver's assessment using the reasonable and prudent parent standard, without prior approval of the Department, the caseworker or the court.  The goal of normalcy parenting and the reasonable and prudent parent standard is to allow the child's participation in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities that are appropriate for the child's normal growth and development.


"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.


"Permit" means a one-time only document issued by the Department of Children and Family Services for a 2 month period to allow the individuals to become eligible for an initial foster family home license.


"Petty offense" means any offense for which a fine only is provided, and a sentence of imprisonment is not an authorized disposition.  [730 ILCS 5/5-1-17]


"Premises" means the location of the foster family home in which the family resides and includes the attached yard, garage, basement and any other outbuildings.


"Reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard, characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child's health, safety, and best interests while at the same time supporting the child's emotional and developmental growth, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in out-of-home care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.  [20 ILCS 505/7.3a(b)]


"Relative", for purposes of placement of children for whom the Department is legally responsible, shall include 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)]


"Reputable character" means there is satisfactory evidence that the moral character of the applicant is trustworthy.


"Respite foster care" means temporary (not to exceed 30 days), full-time care in a licensed foster family home, group home, or child care institution, or in a license exempt relative home, when such temporary, full-time care is provided to children in care.  Respite foster care is provided to children in care in order to give the full-time caregivers a rest from caregiving responsibilities.


"Responsible" means trustworthy performance of expected duties that serves the best interests of the children in care as evidenced by established child welfare standards, State and federal law, and the rules of the Department.


"SACWIS" means the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System operated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.


"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 immediately prior to the adoption or guardianship.  Step-siblings may be considered "siblings" when the children enter into substitute care together and have a positive relationship.


"Specialized care" or "specialized foster care services" means care provided to a child in the custody or guardianship of the Department who requires such services due to emotional, behavioral, developmental or medical needs, or any combination thereof, or any other needs that require special intervention services, the primary goal being to maintain the child in foster care or in a permanency setting. [20 ILCS 505/5.30(a)]  Specialized foster care services are further described in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 301.90 (Foster Family Home Care).


"Supervising agency", for the purpose of this Part, means a licensed child welfare agency, a license-exempt agency, or the Department of Children and Family Services.


"Universal precautions" means an approach to infection control.  According to the concept of universal precautions, all human blood and certain body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other blood-borne pathogens.


"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.).


(Source:  Amended at 44 Ill. Reg. 6019, effective April 1, 2020)