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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
​February 25, 2020 Meeting Agenda
January 28, 2020 Meeting Agenda​January 28, Meeting Cancellation
December 24, 2019 Meeting Cancelation Notice
November 26, 2019 Meeting Agenda
October 22, 2019 Meeting Agenda​October 22, 2019 Meeting Minutes
September 24, 2019 Meeting Cancellation
August 27, 2019 Meeting AgendaAugust 27, 2019 Meeting Minutes
July 23, 2019 Meeting Cancellation
May 28, 2019 Meeting Agenda
April 23, 2019 Meeting Minutes
March 26, 2019 Meeting Minutes
February 26, 2019 Meeting Minutes
January 22, 2019 Meeting Cancellation
December 18, 2018 Meeting AgendaDecember 18, 2018 Meeting Minutes
November 27, 2018 Meeting Agenda​November 27, 2018 Meeting Minutes
October 23, 2018 Meeting AgendaOctober 23, 2018 Meeting Minutes
September 25, 2018 Meeting Agenda​September 25, 2018 Meeting Minutes
August 28, 2018 Meeting Agenda​August 28, 2018 Meeting Minutes
July 24, 2018 Meeting Agenda​July 24, 2018 Meeting Minutes
June 26, 2018 Meeting Agenda​June 26, 2018 Meeting Minutes
May 22, 2018 Meeting AgendaMay 22, 2018 Meeting Cancellation
April 24, 2018 Meeting AgendaApril 24, 2018 Meeting Minutes
March 27, 2018 Meeting AgendaMarch 27, 2018 Meeting Minutes
February 27, 2018 Agenda February 27, 2018 Meeting Minutes
January 23, 2018 Meeting AgendaJanuary 23, 2018 Meeting Minutes