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Institutional Review Board

All research involving children and families receiving services from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS, also referred to as "the department") must be approved by the department's Institutional Review Board (IRB). Research involving staff, foster parents, grantees and contractors of the department may also require IRB review. For complete guidelines, please refer to DCFS Rules and Procedures 432: "Protection of the Human Subjects of Research". It is also expected that all protocols will follow the federal regulations 45 CFRF Parts 50 and 56, described in the "Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects," published in the June 18, 1991, Federal Register.

Federal regulations concerning the use of children and other classes of vulnerable people may restrict the research that can be conducted with children and families receiving services from the department. Specifically,

  1. Youth in care cannot be used as subjects in research involving greater than minimal risk, in which there is no benefit either directly to the child or to the class of children who are youth in care. An exception to this rule may be made when the majority of the sample does not consist of youth in care, but the child's school, camp, hospital, or other similar institution has been selected to participate in the research.

  2. Youth in care cannot be selected as the majority of the subjects in a study solely on the basis of their convenience to the researcher, regardless of the cost entailed in obtaining subjects from another population.

  3. An advocate who is not compensated by the research project must be appointed for youth in care whenever research involves more than minimal risk, unless the research provides direct benefit to the child and the relation of the benefit to the risk is at least as favorable to the subjects as that presented by available alternative approaches.

Review and approval by the department's IRB does not constitute consent for participation in research, nor does it assure that consent for research participation will be granted for youth in care. Approval by the IRB indicates that the research was found to adequately protect the rights of human subjects as presented to the IRB. Investigators are responsible for obtaining consent to participate from all subjects who are 18 years of age; written assent from subjects 12 years of age and older; and consent from all parents who retain guardianship of any children to be involved in research. For children under the guardianship of the state, consent must be obtained from the guardianship administrator.

In order to conserve natural resources and provide for an expedient review, the IRB prefers to receive proposals via email or in electronic format submitted on disk or CD. If you cannot submit your proposal, with all of the required components electronically, then you must submit ten (10) paper copies.

The DCFS IRB meets on a monthly basis, generally on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Research proposals must be received no later than one week prior to the scheduled meeting in order to be placed on the meeting agenda.


​Meeting Agendas ​Meeting Minutes
June 28, 2022 Meeting Agenda
May 24, 2022 Meeting Cancellation Notice
April 26, 2022 Meeting AgendaApril 26, 2022 Meeting Minutes
March 22, 2022 Meeting AgendaMarch 22, 2022 Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2022 Meeting Cancellation Notice
January 25, 2022 Meeting AgendaJanuary 25, 2022 Meeting Minutes
January 5, 2022 Meeting Agenda​January 5, 2022 Meeting Minutes​

December 28, 2021 Meeting Cancellation Notice
November 23, 2021 Meeting AgendaNovember 23, 2021 Meeting Minutes
October 26, 2021 Meeting Agenda
September 28, 2021 Meeting AgendaSeptember 28, 2021 Meeting Minutes
August 24, 2021 Meeting AgendaAugust 24, 2021 Meeting Minutes
July 27, 2021 Meeting AgendaJuly 27, 2021 Meeting Minutes
June 22, 2021 Meeting AgendaJune 22, 2021 Meeting Minutes
May 25, 2021 Meeting AgendaMay 25, 2021 Meeting Minutes
April 27, 2021 Meeting AgendaApril 27, 2021 Meeting Minutes
March 23, 2021 Meeting AgendaMarch 23, 2021 Meeting Minutes
March 23, 2021 Meeting Cancellation Notice
January 26, 2021 Meeting AgendaJanuary 26, 2021 Meeting Minutes
December 22, 2020 Meeting AgendaDecember 22, 2020 Meeting Minutes
November 24, 2020 Meeting AgendaNovember 24, 2020 Meeting Minutes
October 27, 2020 Meeting AgendaOctober 27, 2020 Meeting Minutes
September 22, 2020 Meeting AgendaSeptember 22, 2020 Meeting Minutes
August 25, 2020 Meeting AgendaAugust 25, 2020 Meeting Minutes
July 28, 2020 Meeting Cancellation
June 23, 2020 Meeting AgendaJune 23, 2020 Meeting Minutes
May 26, 2020 Meeting Cancellation Notice
​April 28, 2020 Meeting AgendaApril 28, 2020 Meeting Minutes
​March 31, 2020 Meeting Agenda
​March 24, Meeting Reschedule
​February 25, 2020 Meeting Agenda​February 25, 2020 Meeting Minutes
January 28, 2020 Meeting Agenda​January 28, Meeting Cancellation