Determining the Best Interests of the Child - Illinois


Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 705, § 405/1-3(4.05) 

Whenever a 'best interests' determination is required, the following factors shall be considered in the context of the child's age and developmental needs:

  • The physical safety and welfare of the child, including food, shelter, health, and clothing
  • The development of the child's identity
  • The child's background and ties, including familial, cultural, and religious
  • The child's sense of attachments, including the following:
    • Where the child actually feels love, attachment, and a sense of being valued (as opposed to where adults believe the child should feel love, attachment, and a sense of being valued)
    • The child's sense of security
    • The child's sense of familiarity
    • Continuity of affection for the child
    • The least disruptive placement alternative for the child
  • The child's wishes and long-term goals
  • The child's community ties, including church, school, and friends
  • The child's need for permanence, which includes the child's need for stability and continuity of relationships with parent figures, siblings, and other relatives
  • The uniqueness of every family and child
  • The risks attendant to entering and being in substitute care
  • The preferences of the persons available to care for the child