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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

DCFS Proposes Stricter Rules For Illinois Foster Homes

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is proposing new rules for licensed foster homes that include vaccination of children and a no-smoking policy.

DCFS spokesman Jassen Strokosch says the proposed rules are meant to comply with National Model Foster Family Home Licensing Standards adopted in February by the Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families, a part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.

Among the new rules proposed by DCFS, foster homes must be equipped with a stove, oven, refrigerator and sink in the kitchen. They also must have a properly functioning toilet, sink, shower and tub in the bathroom; and a first aid kit and supplies.

All individuals in the foster family over age 18 would have to undergo background checks.

The proposed rules were published earlier this month in the Illinois Register. They could go into effect later this year after public comments are received.