Every child deserves to be loved and protected. The Baby Fold foster care programs provide safe, nurturing home environments for children. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) have removed the children referred for foster care placement from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect. The families are referred to us at a time of crisis and the children need a safe, stable place to stay until either their family can be reunited or another permanent living arrangement can be made. Services are provided for children from infancy to 21 years old.
Children in foster care include:
- Children of all ages
- Brothers and sisters
- A variety of different ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds
- Children who have been traumatized by the situations that brought them into foster care
- Children with special behavioral, social, medical, educational and emotional needs
- Children who need a loving and stable family to care for them in a time of crisis
- Children who need someone to show them they matter and help them continue to grow, learn, and develop their potential.
Types of Foster Care
Relative Foster Care
Children are placed with a relative in order to lessen the traumatic impact of leaving their home. Relative caregivers must completed required background checks, fingerprints and other requirements to assure a safe living environment. The Baby Fold works with the relative caregivers to become licensed foster parents and provides them with the training, support and services they need while caring for the children of an extended family member. Services are provided to the child’s parents as they work to resolve the issues that led to abuse or neglect, and support the relative caregiver as they care for the child and support the continued familial relationships.
Traditional Foster Care
Children are better able to adjust to a foster care placement when they can remain in their same community and school setting. When a relative placement is not a viable option for a child or sibling group, we place the children with a licensed foster family in or near their home community whenever possible. Traditional foster caregivers are families from the community that open their heart and home to comfort children who require out of home placement. We consider foster caregivers an integral part of our professional team and we work together to meet the needs of the children placed in their home. Our foster caregivers are licensed and receive ongoing training and support in their critical roles. Click here to learn more about Becoming a Foster Parent.
Specialized Foster Care
This program is designed for children who exhibit more significant behavioral difficulties or have an identified mental health diagnosis or have been diagnosed with a medical condition and require intensive, ongoing medical assistance. The Baby Fold develops specially trained foster caregivers to provide safe, stable, and nurturing care for these children. The foster caregivers are provided with additional training annually where they receive the knowledge, skills, and necessary tools and interventions to meet the needs of these children. Foster Care staff provides frequent contact with the children and family to support, stabilize and help each child on a path towards permanency either through reunification, guardianship, or adoption. The Baby Fold works with a licensed child psychiatrist to provide services to our children and medication oversight. We have a nurse on staff to provide medical consultation to foster caregivers and parents to ensure the children are receiving the best medical care possible.
The Baby Fold’s Foster Care program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation.
Adopting a Child from Foster Care
Adoption provides permanent homes for children who are unable to have that permanence with their own birth families. At The Baby Fold, children in need of adoptive homes have been in foster homes; many require a range of therapeutic services to help them build trusting relationships with adults and succeed in adoptive placements. For these reasons, adopting a child from foster care is also called a “special needs adoption.”
Children in Need of Adoptive Homes
Children available for adoption have been in foster care and have experienced the effects of abuse, neglect, prenatal substance abuse, and separation from their birth families. Parents are given opportunities to correct the conditions that caused the child to enter foster care. When a decision is reached that a child in foster care cannot return to the care of the biological parents, the child’s foster family may be asked to consider becoming the child’s forever family. Children of all ages, races, and religions are in need of adoptive homes.
The Baby Fold gathers as much information as possible about children who are in need of adoptive homes in order to select families that will meet their needs. At their level of understanding, children receive counseling to help them understand why they cannot return to their birth families. Children and adoption workers work together to create “life books” for children that help prepare them for adoption. Many children in foster care who are adopted will be eligible for adoption assistance, which will provide ongoing financial support, medical coverage, and counseling services after the adoption is finalized. All adopted children in Illinois are eligible to receive free Adoption Preservation services until they are 18 years old.
Adoptive parents must meet the requirements specified in the Illinois Adoption Act. Intensive training and support services are provided to prospective adoptive parents. They must become licensed and receive training to help them prepare for the challenges of adoptive parenting and understand adoption issues. Because adoption is a lifelong commitment to a child, our focus is to ensure the best interests of the child are met by completely educating adoptive families on adoption and adoption related issue. Adoptive parents in Illinois are required to complete specific training on adoption related issue. Typically, there is no cost for finalizing the adoption of a child placed in foster care. You may be eligible for a monthly subsidy, a medical insurance card and other possible benefits that assist in defraying expenses associated with raising a child.
Contact Cindy Musick at (309) 557-1037 or Brittany Tweedt at (309) 557-1108 to learn more about adopting a child from foster care.
The Baby Fold’s Special Needs Adoption program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation.