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Illinois Adoption Support and Preservation Programs

All adoptions (including domestic private, intercountry and adoptions from foster care) and subsidized guardianship families can receive free and accessible adoption-informed services from the Illinois Adoption Support and Preservation programs by calling them directly. 

The ASAP map highlights service delivery agencies by county. The agencies can also connect families to other resources that the department offers, such as: therapy, respite, support groups, educational support, family connections and resources for legal issues.

Don’t wait until there is a crisis to reach out for help. Contact DCFS early, before things escalate to a point in which the child’s behaviors have become too extreme or unsafe. DCFS is building a wide network of resources and is looking at more ways to plug in the right support to meet your family’s needs.

The PATH Beyond Adoption phone line (866-538-8892) and/or an email will put you on the PATH to the adoption support and preservation agencies who can talk through what’s going on and what you need.

                     FamilyCore Newsletter

All young people eventually grow and develop towards independence, and they often need assistance to do so. Even though our post-adoption youth are with their forever families, they still can be provided opportunities by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to assist them in moving towards adulthood. These resources include assistance with housing, scholarships for college, and tuition waiver for all prior Youth in Care for state of Illinois public colleges and Universities.

Additional Post Adoption/Guardianship Services

Greenlight Family Services provides assistance in adult guardianship, educational advocacy, short-term guardianship, and assistance with subsidies after death and incapacitation of guardian/adopted parent

Midwest Adoption Center provides services for youth who were adopted or was a youth-in-care in Illinois for search and reunion of family members and access to their foster care file.


Illinois Adoption Advisory Council

The Illinois Adoption Advisory Council (IAAC) was established by the DCFS director for advising and consulting with the director (of DCFS) or his/her designee(s) on all matters involving or affecting the provision of adoption and guardianship services. The IAAC addresses the department's goals of safety, well-being and permanency through its members' expertise, experience, advice and advocacy.  Its bylaws list specific objectives and other rules that govern the council's activities and operation; however, those bylaws also authorize the IAAC to work broadly on the topics of adoption and guardianship services.

Council members are all appointed by the DCFS director. Members consist of adoptive parents and adoptees representing each DCFS administrative region, as well as experts in child welfare and adoption, some of whom are employed by contract agencies. Two adoptive parent members also hold joint appointments to the Child Welfare Advisory Committee. 

For more information on the council, follow the link below:

Family First

The Family First Program has several provisions to enhance support services for families to help children remain at home with their families, reduce unnecessary use of congregate care, and build the capacity of communities to support children and families. This is being achieved by emphasizing prevention, early intervention, and the use of family-centered, trauma informed, and strength- based interventions throughout Illinois.

Family First Interventions:

What is Trauma-Informed Practice?
For successful implementation of FFPSA, i.e. Family First, it’s important to define Trauma Informed and Evidence Based Interventions. Trauma-informed practice involves recognizing and responding to the impact of traumatic experiences on those who have contact with the child welfare system, including children, caregivers, and service providers. Programs and agencies that work with trauma systems must infuse and sustain trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills into their organizational cultures, practices, and policies to maximize physical and psychological safety, facilitate the recovery of child(ren) and families, and support their ability to thrive.

What are Evidence-Based Interventions?
Understanding the impact of trauma and shifting our mindset to view families through a trauma[1]informed lens creates a more compassionate and effective approach while serving families using interventions that are known to be effective. Evidenced Based Interventions involve approaches to prevention and/or treatment that are validated by documented scientific evidence. This includes findings established through controlled clinical studies, but other methods of establishing evidence are valid as well. This, along with providing the appropriate Evidenced Based Intervention to families, will lead to more positive, sustaining outcomes for children and their families.

Service Provider IDentification and Exploration Resource (SPIDER)

The Service Provider IDentification and Exploration Resource (SPIDER) is a free, comprehensive service resource database for youth and families in Illinois. SPIDER connects you to nearby organizations offering programs and services to support children and families, including detailed information on more than 1,700 agencies and over 4,200 social service programs. All agencies and programs are geo-coded to allow you to locate resources near your preferred location.

SPIDER provides detailed information on agencies and programs that offer mental health services, caregiver support, educational advocacy, vocational and employment training, mentoring, enrichment programs like leadership development and after school programs and much more. To begin using SPIDER, visit To learn more, read the SPIDER brochure in English or en español.

Education 7 Transition Resources

All young people eventually grow and develop towards independence, and they often need assistance to do so. Even though our post adoption youth are with their forever families, they still can be provided opportunities by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to assist them in moving towards adulthood. These resources include assistance with housing, scholarships for college, and tuition waiver for all prior Youth in Care for state of Illinois public colleges and Universities. To find out if you or your child qualifies for any assistance and how you should apply for these opportunities, please see the link below in Get Goal’d. Get Goal'd

Post Secondary Education Resources:

DCFS provides a scholarship to 53 students each year.  To find out about eligibility, benefits, and application high school graduates may follow the links below:

All prior youth in care (including those who were adopted and obtained subsidized guardianship through Illinois DCFS) are eligible for the tuition waiver for in state public schools and some trade schools.  To find out futher information regarding the waiver, follow the links below:

Financial Grants for CPS Students with Disabilities

Families may be eligible for financial assistance through a new lottery program called the Diverse Learners Recovery Fund, an initiative designed to help lessen the financial burden that families of students with disabilities faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families may apply to receive a one-time grant of $500, and these grants are open to as many as two students per household making the maximum possible grant $1,000 per family.

Families may apply for grants if they:

  • Live in the city of Chicago
  • Have a household income less than or equal to 300% of the federal poverty level (i.e., $90,000 for a household of four)
  • Have 1-2 students in a household with an identified disability who are currently enrolled in a K-12 public or private school

Applications will be accepted through October 30, 2024. To apply or learn more, visit

CEDA Post-Secondary Scholarship

CEDA are offering scholarships for post-secondary education to Suburban Cook County residents. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 14, 2024 at 5:00pm. Find out more by visiting the links below.


Additional Resources

These resources are not created or endorsed by The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services. Please do your own research into the below resources.

Provides community, encouragement and support for families who foster or adopt vulnerable children, so that their families will flourish! Their support focuses on helping parents understand trauma-informed, evidence-based care (from T.B.R.I.©) for children who have been adopted or spent time in foster care. They hold monthly, in-person events at multiple locations, tangible support, resources, and provide content & support for people who want to start support groups in their area.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Speaks Inc. is an autism organization that provides advocacy, education and resources for the family and children. It is also the largest autism research organization in the United States. They can be reached at 888-288-4762

Tax Credit

Tax benefits for adoption include both a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child and an exclusion from income for employer-provided adoption assistance. For addional information visit the IRS Website.


Families Rising (formerly the North American Council on Adoptable Children – NACAC) resources on the Federal Adoption Tax Credit:

Parents' Support

Parent Coaching - Lifeline Children's Services is a great program specifically designed for parents who need additional insight into their child’s behavior who has experienced attachment issues and trauma in his or her past. This resource if strongly recommended by foster and adoptive parents.

Styles 4 Kidz

Tamekia Swint, founded Styles For Girlz, NFP in 2010 after teaching a hair braiding class on a Missions Trip to Poland to a group of students at an English Language learning camp. Upon her return to the United States, she was introduced to a transracial adoptive mom, who was in need of affordable, hair care for her three daughters. Pleased with Tamekia’s work, Mary referred her to a network of adoptive parents, who were in similar positions of needing hair care services for their little ones and a safe place to learn how to properly care for their transracial children’s hair without judgment and negative criticism.

Discovering that there was a need for Styles for Girlz not only among Mary and her friends but among transracial foster and adoptive families throughout Illinois, the organization grew from serving 3 clients in 2010 to over 500 clients throughout the United States. 

In 2013, the organization expanded its mission to provide, in-home, hair care education, training, and services to all foster children, underserved children residing in residential facilities and detention centers, and special needs children with Afro-textured hair; changing its name to Styles 4 Kidz (S4K) in 2016.

Transracial Adoption and Cultural Awareness

Learn more about historic African American people, places and events at:

Learn how to properly wash, dry, and style (including braiding) hair for African American/Black youth at this event hosted by Metropolitan Family Services:

Transracial Adoption Resources in Peoria, Illinois :

The following list includes programs and resources with a respect to cultural diversity, and is not endorsed by The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.:

Knock Out Kings Boxing (309) 420-3538

Groves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Academy (309) 453-6599

Learn how to ride a Segway with World on Wheels Peoria.  309-453-0916

Do football with JFL.  Phone - (309) 682-8910 E-mail -  

Explore Black History.

Visit an African American-led church with a diverse or predominantly African American congregation.

Angela Tucker is a transracial adoptee, a filmmaker, and an author. 

The Adopted Life, Episode #1 -- Washington, D.C. - YouTube


Finding African American Racial Mirrors and Cultural Connections in the Quad Cities Area

Take classes or lessons with an African American teacher

  • ApolloRa - Dance Company 1533-6th Avenue Moline, IL 804-926-8059 
  • Black Girls Golf Tiffany Fitzgerald 
  • Imani Dance Studio - dance classes in lyrical, afro-modern, African, beg. ballet, hip hop, and children's creative movement. 627 24th Avenue, Rock Island, IL 309-269-7260

Visit an African American -led church with a diverse or predominantly African American congregation.

  • Grace Family Church, 4020 N Brady St, Davenport, IA 52806, (563) 949-4042
  • Spirit of Liberty Evangelist Church, 2202 W 4th St, Davenport, IA 52802, (563) 322-3322
  • Word of Life Christian Center, 1804 7th Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201, (309) 786-1000
  • Community Christian Fellowship, 1702 6th Ave, Moline, IL 61265, (309) 762-2027​

Explore Black History.

  • Quad Cities African-American Museum, 1000 21st Rock Island, IL 61201


Sequoia Families

Sequoia Families is a non-denominational adoptive family support community that serves all domestic and international adoptive families, at all stages of the adoption experience in the northern Chicagoland and Illinois area. Continue reading...