Who Cares:
A National Count of Foster Homes and Families

Study: More children placed with relatives in Illinois foster care system

PEORIA — The number of minors in Illinois’ foster care system inched upward over the last few years, while the number of licensed adults caring for non-related foster children significantly dropped, according to a national study released this week.

The data reported by The Chronicle of Social Change reflect a growing trend with mixed implications: More children entering the foster care system are being placed with relatives.

“We definitely prioritize children staying with relatives, and really trying to preserve any relationship they have with neighbors or teachers,” said Jodi Schwindenhammer, vice president of foster care at Children’s Home. “There’s still plenty of need for licensed families — in fact, it’s one of the greatest needs we have right now, especially for teenagers.”

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