Family Reunification

The foster care system is complex — and broken. Learn more and find ways to get involved here.


The following groups and organizations provide data and insight into the impact of parental incarceration:

Tips for Dealing with DCFS

When interacting with the Department of Child and Family Services, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Create a plan. Getting DCFS involved can be avoided if there is a plan in place. If someone you know has been arrested, talk to them about their plans for their children if they are not able to come home right away.
  • Lend your support. If you know someone whose child is in the DCFS system, ask if you can write a letter to the court on their behalf or consider becoming a visit monitor.
  • Be mindful. Do not call DCFS on someone unless you are absolutely certain that a child is in danger. Don’t assume a child is being abused just because he or she has a bruise.
  • Be vigilant. When DCFS wants to conduct a search, confirm that they have a warrant. However, only do this, if you feel safe to do so.
  • Educate yourself on the dependency court system, using the resources on this website, and consider writing to your representatives to ask them to create legislation to fix the system.
  • Don’t assume that people who are going through dependency court are bad parents. Children can end up in the foster care system for a variety of reasons not directly related to bad parenting.

The Pipeline to Prison

(Courtesy of Community Coalition)

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