What makes a successful SOS Foster Parent Applicant?

The SOS Children’s Villages Illinois model of care is a unique one: we employ full-time, professional Foster Parents who care for up to six siblings in a single-family home in one of our Village communities.

For SOS Illinois Foster Parents, their job is not just a full-time job—it’s a full-time vocation. Because Foster Parents are the foundation of the SOS Illinois model, we are looking for passionate and dedicated candidates to create stable home lives for our children. By creating a stable home life, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois Foster Parents help children overcome devastating pasts and gain confidence about their world and their dreams for the future.

Learn more about the history of the organization and the Sibling Foster Care Program here.

To understand the commitment required, we encourage you to take a moment to get to know our incredible Foster Parents:


Core Requirements

Successful Foster Parents must meet the following minimum criteria in order to move forward in the application process.

  • Valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and clear driving record
  • DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) background clearance
  • DCFS medical clearance
  • Must be at least 25 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • If applicable, must adhere to the policy of bringing only one biological or adopted child into the Village home
  • Must be willing to move to any one of our three Villages (Lockport Village, Chicago Village, and Roosevelt Square Village)
  • Must be willing to commit to three years of service as a full-time, professional Foster Parent

Background and Skills

SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is looking for nurturing individuals, domestic partners, or married couples interested in devoting their lives to the profession of Foster Parent, who are:

  • Experienced with children, either as parents or by working with children in another environment
  • Adept at supporting the needs of behaviorally complex children with a history of mental, emotional, or physical trauma
  • Able to discipline fairly and willing to learn behavior-management skills
  • Skilled in managing a household and a budget
  • Self-sufficient thinkers with a collaborative spirit and positive outlook on life


Beyond the minimum criteria and experience, successful SOS Illinois Foster Parents excel by possessing the following qualities:

Adaptability: Becoming an SOS Children’s Villages Illinois Foster Parent is a lifestyle change. Having the ability to swiftly settle into your new home and environment is essential to being as responsive and supportive to your children as possible—from day one—no matter the challenge or change.

Patience: All of our children have endured some sort of deep trauma. SOS Illinois Foster Parents have the patience and fortitude that helps heal the deep emotional, mental, and sometimes physical wounds of abused and neglected children whose families are in crisis.

Positivity: We all have our good days and our bad days. SOS Children’s Villages Illinois Foster Parents are treasured optimists who can see the silver lining in a less positive situation or turn any frown into a smile.

Resourcefulness: Sometimes not every answer or resource is available to us on a whim or when we need it. SOS Illinois Foster Parents know how to improvise and tackle any problem or task with composure and without even blinking an eye. They also know when and where to ask for help.

Most importantly, SOS Illinois Foster Parents are ready to make a full-time commitment to providing a loving, safe, and secure home for the children in their care.

If you are interested (or know someone who is), please consult our FAQ for more details and apply here. If we feel that you would make a great addition to the SOS Illinois family, a recruiter will contact you to attend an informational session or invite you to learn more about the application process.

Interested in other opportunities? Visit our Careers page.