The Advocacy Office for Children and Families responds to complaints, concerns, inquiries and suggestions about the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The staff provides referrals to appropriate DCFS staff and suggestions to executive staff for improvements and changes to the department. Anyone can contact the Advocacy Office. Frequent callers include foster parents, biological parents, adoptive parents, service providers, children and adolescents, and DCFS staff.
What steps should I take before I call the Advocacy Office?
Problems may arise due to a difference of opinion or a misunderstanding. By taking the time to talk and listen, many issues can be resolved before contacting the Advocacy Office. First, voice your concerns to your DCFS or private agency caseworker. If the caseworker does not provide satisfactory assistance, contact the caseworker’s supervisor. If your issue is still unresolved, contact the Advocacy Office either by letter, telephone, or email.
What should I expect when I call the Advocacy Office?
Advocates will take the time to listen to your concerns. You and the advocate will work together to determine the specific issues. Once this has been accomplished, steps can be taken toward a resolution. The advocates are customer-friendly in that they address issues in a timely manner and maintain an impartial viewpoint. If the advocates are unable to answer your question, they will suggest a resource that is better able to assist you.
The Advocacy Office does not:
- Investigate actions that do not involve DCFS or the agencies with whom we contract;
- Investigate the acts or decisions of courts, judges or their staff;
- Investigate the Office of the Public Guardian or the Attorney General;
- Investigate agencies of the federal government; or
- Accept or investigate reports of child abuse or neglect.
Youth Hotline: 800-232-3798
The Youth Hotline is available to handle complaints, concerns, inquiries and suggestions made by youth served by the department. For more information about how the Advocacy Office helps youth in care, read the Advocacy Office Youth Services brochure in English.
Need help or want to know more?
Read the Advocacy Office for Children and Family Services brochure in English, español or Chinese (中国) for more information or contact the Advocacy Office:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
800-232-3798 or 217-524-2029
You may also refer to these resources for additional Information: