Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - Illinois

Date: February 2020

Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 705, § 405/2-28; Admin. Code Tit. 89, § 316.40

A permanency hearing shall be held as follows:

  • Within 12 months from the date temporary custody was taken, regardless of whether an adjudication or dispositional hearing has been completed within that timeframe
  • Within 30 days of termination of parental rights or a determination that reasonable efforts are not required

Subsequent permanency hearings are to be held every 6 months until permanency is achieved.

In regulation: The first administrative case review shall be conducted within 6 months after the temporary custody hearing. Following the 6-month administrative case review, administrative case reviews shall be conducted every 6 months.

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 705, § 405/2-28; Admin. Code Tit 89, § 316.50

The following persons must be present at a hearing:

  • The child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian
  • All parties named in a petition
  • The caseworker, who must testify

In regulation: Administrative case reviews shall include the worker and/or supervisor from the Department of Children and Family Services and/or the substitute care provider agency that has case responsibility for both the children and the family. The hearing shall be open to the participation of the following:

  • The children's parents and their representatives
  • Children who are age 12 or older
  • Children younger than age 12 if the caseworker and supervisor determine that the child can benefit from participation in the review process
  • Foster parents or relative caregivers, if the information being presented at the review is essential for understanding the needs of and providing care to the child
  • The child's guardian ad litem or legal representative

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 705, § 405/2-28; Admin. Code Tit. 89, § 316.30

The court shall consider the following:

  • The permanency goal contained in the service plan
  • Appropriateness of services in the plan and whether those services have been provided
  • Whether reasonable efforts have been made by all parties
  • Whether the plan and goal have been achieved

In regulation: Case reviews are conducted to review the following:

  • Whether the department's continuing intervention is necessary
  • Whether services, including placement services, are necessary, relevant, coordinated, and appropriate
  • The services needed that are not being provided to the child, family, or foster parents and the reasons why they are not being provided
  • The appropriateness of the child's educational placement and progress
  • Health information on the child and family
  • Any special physical, psychological, educational, medical, emotional, or other needs of the minor or his or her family
  • For a minor age 16 or older, programs or services that will enable the minor to prepare for independent living
  • Whether the department, service providers, family, any substitute care provider, and the child are complying with the service plan and, if they are not complying, whether changes in the service plan or goals are needed
  • Whether there is progress to resolve the problems of the child and his or her family, and whether the progress is satisfactory and the child can safely return home
  • The appropriateness of the permanency goal and recommend changes in the goal, if needed

Permanency Options

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 705, § 405/2-28

The court may consider the following permanency goals:

  • Return to the parent within a specified time
  • Adoption
  • Guardianship
  • Remaining in substitute care, pending independence for minors age 15 and older, with the department providing services to enable reunification and to strengthen the minor's connections with family, fictive kin, and other responsible adults, provided the services are in the minor's best interests
  • Remaining in substitute care because a home environment is unsuitable due to developmental disability or mental illness

Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, the court may select the goal of continuing foster care as a permanency goal if the following apply:

  • The department has custody and guardianship of the minor.
  • The court has ruled out all other permanency goals based on the child's best interests.
  • The court has found compelling reasons to place the minor in continuing foster care. Compelling reasons include the following:
    • The child does not wish to be adopted or to be placed in the guardianship of his or her relative or foster care placement.
    • The child exhibits such an extreme level of need that the removal of the child from his or her placement would be detrimental to the child.
    • The child who is the subject of the permanency hearing has existing close and strong bonds with a sibling, and achievement of another permanency goal would substantially interfere with the child's sibling relationship, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the relationship, and whether ongoing contact is in the child's best interests, including long-term emotional interests, as compared with the legal and emotional benefit of permanence.
  • The child has lived with the relative or foster parent for at least 1 year.
  • The relative or foster parent currently caring for the child is willing and capable of providing the child with a stable and permanent environment.