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Statewide Adoption Advisory Council

James C. Jones & Elizabeth Richmond, Co-Chairs

Approved by Director 2/05/03; Adopted by IACC 2/07/03

Amended 10/5/07; Amended 6/5/09; Proposed Changes 4/1/10; Amended 9/10/10; Amended 6/7/13



Article I -- Name and Mandate

The Statewide Adoption Advisory Council of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is created with the object of advising and consulting with the Director of DCFS or his/her designee(s) on all matters involving or affecting the provision of adoption & guardianship services.

The responsibilities of the AAC shall include:

  1. Providing input on the issues that affect adoption & guardianship services received by children and their families.
  2. Identifying, analyzing, and recommending solutions to any issues concerning adoption & guardianship services.
  3. Interpreting to the public and the General Assembly the need for adoption and guardianship and the important service that adoptive & guardianship parents provide.
  4. Promoting the statewide exchange and pooling of information in the area of adoption and guardianship.
  5. Participating in statewide planning and promoting adoptive & guardianship parent involvement in local planning, including adoption & guardianship services.
  6. Reviewing and making recommendations on DCFS adoption, guardianship, and child welfare service delivery policies, guidelines, procedures, and practice.
  7. Developing recommendations concerning adoption & guardianship training to improve the quality of services families receive.
  8. Reviewing and advising DCFS on pending or enacted legislation, primarily as it concerns adoption & guardianship services, and on the Department’s responses or positions regarding that legislation.
  9. Advising the Department on activities to recognize Adoption Month each November, and assisting in developing and presenting such activities.

Article II -- Membership

  1. The Statewide Adoption Advisory Council shall consist of the following membership, which shall be phased in as charter members’ terms expire.
    1. 2 adoptive parents from each of the Department’s six administrative regions; with at least 1 of these parents representing the Department's Child Welfare Advisory Committee (CWAC).
    2. At the DCFS Director’s discretion, up to 6 adoption & guardianship service providers/professionals, with at least 1 of these professionals representing the Department’s Child Welfare Advisory Committee (CWAC) and others representing agencies providing adoption & guardianship services under contract with the Department.
    3. 4 adults who were adopted as children; all of whom were adopted in Illinois.
    4. The chair of the IFAPA Committee on Adoption, who shall serve as long as they hold that position.
    5. Two co-chairs appointed by the Director, consisting of one adoptive parent and one professional, both whom will serve on the Child Welfare Advisory Committee.

The Co-Chairs shall appoint a nominating committee at their first meeting after each January 1 to recruit and recommend to the DCFS Director new members to replace outgoing members who are filling slots allocated to adoptive and guardianship parents, adoptees, and adoption professionals. The Director shall make all appointments to the Council in writing. In soliciting and making appointments, efforts will be made to ensure the membership of the Council is geographically and culturally diverse and representative.

Terms of Membership/Reimbursement/Attendance

  1. Members appointed after 1/01/03 shall be appointed for a term of three years. No member shall be appointed to serve more than two consecutive terms. Members whose second terms have expired shall continue to serve until their successors have been appointed.
  2. Members who have completed two terms on the council may complete an additional one or two terms, so long as the consecutive additional terms do not exceed 7 years. Any member seeking reappointment beyond their initial two terms shall have been off the council for at least one year. Members seeking reappointment shall have maintained regular attendance at council meetings in accordance with section 2(e) and shall be in good standing with the council.
  3. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy in the midst of a term shall complete that term and then shall be eligible for reappointment to two full terms on the council not to exceed 7 years.
  4. Members of the AAC shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses necessary in connection with approved meetings and business, in accordance with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services rules, as approved by the Governor’s Travel Control Board.
  5. If a member is absent for 2 consecutive meetings a co-chair shall call to ascertain their ability to remain a member of the Council. Members shall notify a co-chair or the DCFS staff person, in advance, when they know they cannot attend a meeting.

Article III -- Officers/DCFS Support Staff

Officers of the AAC shall consist of co-chairs appointed by the DCFS Director. Co-chairs of the AAC shall be appointed by the DCFS Director and shall include one adoptive parent and one adoption professional. The co-chairs will serve at the discretion of the Director. The co-chairs will also serve on the Child Welfare Advisory Committee (CWAC). The Director shall appoint at least one staff member of DCFS to staff the AAC and to maintain records, prepare notices and agendas for each meeting, and otherwise assist the AAC with its operating functions.

Article IV -- Meetings

  1. Regular meetings of the Statewide Adoption Advisory Council shall be held at least bimonthly. The meetings shall take place at locations, dates, and times determined by the co-chairs, after consultation with members and the DCFS Director or the designated DCFS staff member.
    It shall be the responsibility of the designated DCFS staff member, at the direction of the co-chairs, to give notices of the location, dates, and time of meetings to each member, to the DCFS Director, and to staff consultants at least 30 days prior to each meeting.
  2. An agenda of scheduled business for deliberation shall be developed in coordination with the DCFS staff person and the co-chairs and distributed to the members at least 7 days prior to a scheduled meeting of the AAC.
  3. Should meetings need to be cancelled for any reason the Department shall consult with the co-chairs, and then give reasonable notice to all members.
  4. Should circumstances prevent the physical gathering of a quorum of members for a regularly scheduled meeting, the co-chairs, in consultation with the Department, may decide to have a meeting via conference call. Any official business conducted via conference call shall be in compliance with Roberts Rules of Order.

Article V -- Quorum

  1. A quorum at any regular or special meeting of the AAC shall be necessary to transact business and shall consist of a majority of the advisory group members then holding office.
  2. For the purpose of subcommittee action, a quorum shall consist of at least one-half of those members appointed to the subcommittee, but in no event fewer than two members.
  3. All business of the AAC meetings and its subcommittees shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order. The Chair(s) of the council may, at their discretion and with approval of the council, appoint a parliamentarian, who shall be responsible for ensuring appropriate compliance.

Article VI -- Committees

Standing and ad hoc committees of the AAC shall be appointed by the co-chairs. The majority action of the AAC shall give approval to the establishment of a committee, as well as determine the completion of a committee’s assignment. Final committee reports will be submitted to the DCFS Director.

Article VII -- Minutes

Notes will be kept of the business of each meeting and they shall be filed with the DCFS Director. Notes must be recorded in writing and must include:

  1. the date, time, and place of the meeting;
  2. the members recorded as either present or absent; and
  3. a summary of matters discussed or decided and a record of any votes taken.

Article VIII -- DCFS Professional Staff

The DCFS Director or a designated staff member shall serve as the Department’s representative to the AAC. The Director may designate other DCFS staff members to assist in that or other functions.

Article IX - Conflict of Interest

Members shall abide by the conflict of interest provisions contained in the DCFS Rule 428, Section 428.175. This provision shall be permanently attached to the Council’s bylaws. Charter members shall be given copies of the new bylaws during their February or April meeting in 2003. Thereafter, new members shall be given copies as they are appointed to the Council.