Child Welfare Services

VOA Illinois believes that all children need and deserve loving, nurturing families. If a child’s birth family is permanently or temporarily unable to provide such an environment, our Child Welfare Services Program works to place the child in a safe, caring alternative family environment.

Children may be placed with a relative or in a licensed foster home while supportive services designed to reunify the family are provided to the birth parents. The primary goal of our Child Welfare Services Programs to achieve permanency for children as quickly as possible either through reunification, guardianship or adoption. We believe the best permanency option is always the one that serves the best interests of the individual child. Our Child Welfare Services Program provides supportive services to the birth family, the child and the foster home/relative caregiver. Services may include counseling, parent training and support, crisis intervention, respite care, case management and emergency assistance.

Our philosophical approach to Child Welfare Services is anchored to a deep understanding of and commitment to the importance of preserving children’s attachments. Our interventions are designed to minimize the trauma and subsequent separation and loss issues experienced by children who are removed from their birth families. A collaborative and participatory approach to decision-making serves as the foundation of our casework practice. Foster parents, birth parents, extended family and the children themselves are actively engaged in the interventions and decisions that move the child to permanency. The goal of achieving the best permanency option for each child is always rooted to an ongoing commitment to ensuring their short and long-term safety and well-being.

Our Foster Care Program is supported by an active Foster Parent Recruitment, Licensing and Training Program that works diligently and in partnership with the communities we serve to generate committed, compassionate and well-trained foster homes to meet the unique and often challenging needs of foster children.

Child Welfare Services Leadership Team

LaShonda Ross

Director, Child Welfare Services

Shannon Dolan

Program Supervisor/Assistant Director

Regina Ruffin

Program Supervisor/Assistant Director

If you have questions about our foster care program, please contact us at:
Phone: (312) 564-2400 Email:

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