DCFS has created services, often referred to as "Norman Services," for families who have one or more children who are at risk of being placed in DCFS care or who have children who cannot be returned home and one of the reasons for this risk is lack of food, shelter, clothing, or other items that if providing this service will keep your child in your care or, if the child is in DCFS custody, will help your child return home. Youth Housing Advocacy Services assist DCFS wards transition to independence.
About the Program
In order to assist families in finding affordable housing, DCFS had created the Housing Advocacy Program (HAP). HAP provides a worker to assist Norman Families obtain housing. HAP workers will provide the following assistance:
- refer families to an emergency shelter or domestic violence shelter
- develop relationship with landlords through ongoing contract
- provide apartment listings
- prepare families to meet with potential landlords
- assistance with transportation to view apartments or meet with landlords, when necessary
- assist the family in applying for income assistance programs
- link the family to community resources to meet subsistence needs, including the emergency cash assistance program
- provide follow-up services to prevent future housing problems
- transport appropriate families to domestic violence shelters
- negotiate with landlords
- provide assistance to obtain subsidized housing, such as Section 8
If you have children in DCFS custody, a referral for this program should be made in time to allow you to obtain housing before your children are returned to you.
Youth Housing Assistance
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services may provide housing advocacy services and/or cash assistance to stabilize the housing situation of an emancipating or emancipated ward (before his or her 21st birthday).Housing advocacy services assist clients in obtaining and/or maintaining stable housing. Services include:
- assistance in securing affordable housing
- consumer education
- budget counseling
- linkages to community resources (i.e. assistance with utilities, clothing and food)
- follow-up services for a minimum if three months after the client secures appropriate housing
Please apply at least 6 months before a youth's 21st birthday to allow sufficient time to locate housing and for follow-up services.
Assistance with the Illinois Department of Human Services
Assistance with the Illinois Department of Human Services' (IDHS) Public Aid Program (TANF).
DCFS and IDHS should work together to coordinate the service requirements of each program. Your DCFS caseworker can assist you in getting benefits through public aid.
If your children are about to return home and you will be eligible to receive TANF when your children are returned, IDHS will allow Norman families to apply for public aid (TANF) before the child is returned home.
If your children are being placed in DCFS care for less than 90 days and you currently receive public aid (TANF), IDHS will provide eligible Norman families an "adult only" grant if DCFS believes that the children will be placed in DCFS custody for 90 days or less.
Other Assistance Programs
Norman families are not excluded from receiving assistance from other DCFS programs. Talk to your caseworker about your service needs to determine if other programs may assist you.
Phone: (217) 819-4093
Fax: (217) 328-2426