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Education Resources for Youth in Care

The DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services (OETS) is responsible for ensuring that youth in care have the necessary tools and resources to support educational success; encourage early workforce engagement; support post-secondary education and training options; navigate the demands of parenting while preparing for their family’s future; and successfully transitioning into adulthood. Our vision is that youth in care will “Get on Track and Stay on Track” to a successful future if they are provided the proper resources and supports.

The School Readiness Program is responsible for ensuring that every youth in care age 3-5 is enrolled in a high-quality early childhood education program.

K-12 Education Services supports the educational needs of youth in care from kindergarten through 12th grade, including enrollment assistance, homeschooling, tutoring, special education advocacy, educational resources and support.

The Post-secondary Education Program provides resources, mentoring and financial assistance to current and former youth in care seeking various post-secondary options, including two-year and four-year college programs, vocational programs, apprenticeships and internships.

Transition Services promote transition into adulthood through financial education and life skills programming, guidance in developing post-secondary plans and building support networks.

The Youth Advisory Board provides a forum for youth in care to effect change in policy and practice within the child welfare system.

The Youth Workforce Development Program prepares youth in care for the workforce in a supportive learning environment and incentives skill development.

Pregnant and Parenting Teen programing provides supportive services and placements for pregnant or custodial/non-custodial parenting youth in care. Parents of all genders are eligible for services offered through this programing. Services may include prenatal and health care, placements and services to support parents, educational support, employment support, day care support, counseling and mental health services and discharge planning focused on the family.

Other resources
Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois
Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)
Illinois State Board of Education


Chevelle Bailey
Deputy Director
DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services
1911 S. Indiana
Chicago IL 60616

Darlene D. Harbin
Business Manager
DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services
100 W. Randolph, Ste. 6-200
Chicago IL 60601

Stacy Fuoss
Administrative Assistant
DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services
406 E. Monroe, Station #23
Springfield IL 62701