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Baby's Hand
Baby's Grasp

Your Responsibility

Your Rights

Types of DCFS Cases

It is very important to know the kind of case you have.  There are two types of cases, "Intact" and "In-Care"

Intact DCFS Case

When you have an intact case, your children will stay home with you.  DCFS has decided that it is safe for your children to live with you, but you need services to help you take better care of them.  You and the case worker develop a "Safety Plan" which is an agreement to complete services so that your child remains safe with you.  Your case-worker will work with you to improve how you parent and provide for your children.  

In-Care DCFS Case

When you have an in-care case, your children will be placed in foster care with someone they don't know, or with a family member who is considered safe.  DCFS will give you an "Integrated Assessment" that helps them identify the services the family needs.  You will be under court supervision and your caseworker will report to the judge how you are doing with your services.

What Is An Integrated Assessment?

The integrated assessment also know as "IA" is a set of questions you will be asked to find out more about you and your family.  You will be asked about how you were raised, your parents, any drug use, mental illness, and other things that help them to identify the areas you need help in.  A DCFS staff person or another professional will sit with you to do the assessment.  Some of the questions will be very personal but it is important to be honest.  DCFS uses the answers you give to create a service plan.  You have a right to be a part of planning the services you need.

The Difference between a "Safety Plan" and a "Service Plan"

A safety plan is given to parents with an intact case to make sure their children are safe living with them while they work on the issues the family has.  A service plan is given to parents whose children have are in foster care and cannot come home until the parent completes services satisfactorily.

Know Your Rights

Families involved with DCFS have the right to:

  • Receive quality services in a respectful manner without discrimination;

  • Make an informed choice of services;

  • Know the qualifications of staff who provide them with services;

  • Receive and understand information and instructions about their service needs;

  • Consent to or refuse services before they are provided;

  • Know the nature and purpose of services;

  • Refuse services, with the receipt of information on the consequences of refusal;

  • Be informed prior to any transfer or discharge from services;

  • Expect confidentiality of information and protection of their child welfare records;

  • Receive timely response to their needs along with reasonable continuity and coordination of services;

  • Know about charges for services;

  • Know how to voice any grievance about their services;

  • Receive services based on an individual service plan;

  • Be part of the process of updating the service plan when their needs change; and

  • Receive all services at DCFS or be referred to another agency.       

Know Your Responsibilities

Families involved with DCFS have the responsibility to:

  • Give accurate information about their mental health, substance use, and domestic violence issues as well as other circumstances which might impact upon the care of their children;

  • Assist by making and keeping a safe environment;

  • Notify the agency if scheduled appointments need to be changed;

  • Notify the agency if there is a change in your living arrangements;

  • Work with staff in planning, reviewing and changing their individual service plan; and

  • Inform staff immediately if they have any concerns or problems with the service they are receiving.


You can get a copy of your rights and responsibilities here:

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