Nondiscrimination Policy in Placement Decisions
1200-500.00 | Revision Date: 7/1/2014


This policy guides outlines the DCFS nondiscrimination policy regarding clients, out-of-home caregivers, and adoptive parents in regards to placement decisions.

Table of Contents

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 02/11/09 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan. The title of this policy guide has been changed from “Nondiscrimination regarding Clients, Out-of-home Caregivers, and Adoptive Parents Concerning Placement Decisions” to "Nondiscrimination Policy in Placement Decisions".


Nondiscrimination Policy

Federal laws prohibit discrimination in programs receiving federal and state financial aid.

DCFS expects that staff and service providers will be sensitive towards the children, foster parents, and adoptive parents it serves regarding the following types of differences:

  • Culture
  • Economic status
  • Heritage
  • Lifestyle
  • Religion
  • Values

Clients, foster parents, and adoptive parents have the right to receive the same service, consideration, and treatment given to all other persons when making placement decisions DCFS is prohibited from considering the race, color, national origin, religion, sex, political affiliation, handicap, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic that is protected by state or federal law. DCFS may not:

  • Assume that the needs of a child in exceptional cases can be met by only by a racially and ethnically matched caregiver.
  • Determine that a child is ineligible for foster care or adoption based on his/her or a prospective families’ race, color, or national origin.
  • Delay a placement based on race, color, or national origin.
  • Delay the placement of child for adoption when an approved family is available outside the county or state where the child resides.
  • Honor a parent’s preference for placing a child in a particular home, based on race, color, or national origin.

Sensitivity and Impartiality

The selection of adoptive parents or foster care placements must be made with sensitivity and impartiality. DCFS may not discriminate based on any of the factors listed above.

Services are provided and placements matches are made according to what is best for the child and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In addition, the procedure for selecting adoptive parents or for selecting foster care placements, relative placements, placements with NREFM, or group homes are the same regardless of the child, the adoptive parent, and or the caregiver’s history. Sensitivity for the child takes precedence over what is in the foster caregiver/adoptive applicant’s best interest.

If a CSW believes that his/her work with a client may be adversely affected by the client’s background, he/she must bring this case to the attention of his/her CSW. The SCSW must discuss the case with the CSW and remind him/her that, as a representative of DCFS, he/she is expected to serve all clients. For cases where the CSW still cannot meet a client’s needs with sensitivity and impartiality, the case should be immediately reassigned.

In a designated relinquishment or independent adoption, a parent may identify a specific family to adopt their child.


0300-503.25, Removing a Child from the Home of Prospective Adoptive Parent(s)


Family Code (FAM) Section 8708 – Concise summary of statute. This may be multiple lines long and may also include bullet points. Use square bullet points unless the list is sequential, in which case, use numbers.

FAM Section 8709 – Once you have written out Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC), Penal Code (PEN), etc. once, writing out the acronym WIC/PEN/etc. is sufficient.

Department of Justice Title VI – Prohibits, in pertinent part, discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 361.3 – States, in part, that when a child is removed from the physical custody of his/her parents, preferential consideration shall be given to a request by a relative of a child for placement of the child with the relative, regardless of the relative’s immigration status. Also states, in part, the factors that the county social worker and court will consider when placing a child.

WIC Section 366.26(n)(2) – Lists, in part the criteria that an adoptive applicant must adhere to during the adoption process.

WIC Section 366.26(n)(3) and (4) – States, in part, the requirements and legal procedures that must be followed to remove a child from the home of a designated prospective adoptive parent or adoption applicant and/or following an emergency removal.