Skip to main content

Possible online services disruption due to Internet related outage

A worldwide technology outage is causing disruption to some State of Illinois online systems.  We are aware of this issue and are diligently working on restoration.

Resources for Current Foster Parents

What help is there for foster parents?
Foster families provide children with the one thing they need most: love. DCFS and our nonprofit partners provide a wide range of assistance to foster families to ensure a safe, loving home and brighter future for foster kids, including:

  • Caseworkers to meet the particular needs of your family and youth in your care.
  • Health insurance coverage for youth in care that includes both medical care and prescriptions.
  • Therapy, counseling, academic counseling and special education services when needed.
  • Training programs, support groups and newsletters geared to foster families.
  • Monthly stipend for the foster child's basic needs, including: food, clothing and housing costs.
  • Daycare, after-school care and funding for extracurricular activities including sports and art programs for eligible youth in care.
  • Highly-trained DCFS staff available through our Foster Parent Helpline (866-368-5204) and Advocacy Office (800-232-3798) to provide additional support.

Startup Funds Program
To enhance support for foster parents and relative/kinship caregivers, Illinois DCFS provides preloaded VISA cards to caregivers of youth initially entering DCFS care to purchase essential items such as bedding, clothing and personal hygiene items for the youth. For more information, read the Startup Funds Program brochure in English, español or Polish (Polskie).

Everyone needs an ally! With the help of the State of Illinois Teams application, DCFS can now provide a supporting hand through Ally-IL. Ally teams provide a secure space to bring caseworkers, youth, caregivers and their alliances together.

Ally-IL does not replace in-person meetings but provides a virtual extension to continue discussions and engage with the primary caseworker one-on-one and in a team setting. As a guest, you can expect to use features like chat, virtual/audio calls and document sharing. These features promote communication, team alignment on goals and tasks and recognition when goals are met.

Please refer to our Ally-IL Frequently Asked Questions for helpful information to get started. Learn more with Microsoft Teams Help & Learning. Discover Microsoft Teams Video Training. The Microsoft Teams mobile app also features in-app Help articles and videos (Profile > Settings > Help) for on-the-go learning!

Foster Parent Support Specialists (FPSS)
Foster Parent Support Specialists (FPSS) work with licensed DCFS foster families or relative caregivers to prevent placement disruption, promote family reunification, stabilize foster care placements and facilitate youth development. For more information, read the FPSS brochure in English and en español.

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, click here: To learn more, read the SPIDER brochure in English or en español.

Learning and Development Center (LDC)
The DCFS online Learning and Development Center (LDC) is the entry point for training-related information and resources. Foster parents can use the Learning and Development Center (LDC) to:

  • See training news and general information.
  • Check available trainings.
  • View/print training transcripts.
  • Register and take on-line courses.
  • Download course materials to use in class or to access after training.

To access the LDC, go to