Keeping children safe, strengthening families, and building healthy communities since 1899.

Foster Care & Licensing

Foster care services provided by Bethany for Children & Families (licensed and contracted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services) are supported 24 hours a day by experienced case managers and master's-level supervisors. Training is required for foster parents at all levels of care, as well as annual continuing education to enhance their skills.

Foster care is temporary care. The goal is to reunite the child with their birth parents or relatives whenever possible. Matching the needs of each child to the special strengths of each foster family is another major consideration. When locating a foster care placement, the child's home community is first considered so the child may attend the same school. Permanency is achieved through Return Home, Adoption, Guardianship, or Independence. The length of time a child will be placed in a foster home will vary for each situation, but the goal is for a child to be in foster care as short a time as possible.

Traditional Foster Care - Serves children who have been determined to be abused, neglected, or dependent, and who are in need of an out-of-home placement.

Relative Family Care - Serves children who have been determined to be abused, neglected, or dependent, or who are in need of an out-of-home placement, or are being stepped down from a more intensive placement to be placed in the home of a licensed relative.

Specialized Foster Care - Serves children who have been determined to be abused, neglected, or dependent. The children have significant behavioral, developmental, or emotional issues. They require more intensive services and monitoring, or may be in the process of being stepped down from placement.

(No fees are charged to the client if referrals are from the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.)

Home Licensing

Bethany provides supervision and guidance to applicant foster parents and/or adoptive parents in Illinois for foster home/adoption-only licensing.

What qualifications must a foster parent have?

Foster parents shall be stable, law abiding, responsible, mature individuals. Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age. Being a foster parent requires a lot of patience and understanding. Foster children have many needs that can be challenging for an agency or for a foster family to meet. Each person has many strengths and skills and can make a unique contribution to a child's life.

What is the process for becoming a foster parent?

A licensing representative will be assigned to work with you to obtain a foster care license for your home and schedule you for a required free training. After licensing and training are completed, children may be placed in your home.

Do foster parents receive any type of financial assistance?

Foster parents receive a monthly reimbursement to cover the costs of the child's:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Ongoing clothing and personal allowances
  • Personal items
  • Normal transportation costs

There may also be additional payments for daycare services.

How is financial assistance determined?

The reimbursement amount is based upon the type of foster care program the child is in, the age of the child, and any special needs the child may have.

Contact Information

Lynn Lohman
Program Supervisor
(309) 736-6628

Vicki Burke
Program Coordinator
(309) 736-6604

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