Effective Date:  12/01/05
Reference:  89 Ill. Adm. Code, Chapter IV, §50.210

Policy Statement:

Family composition is determined by identifying only those members who fit into the definition of family stated below.

The term "parents" and the phrase "parents or other relatives" refer to applicants for or recipients of child care services.  They include a child's custodial biological or adoptive parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or caretaker relative within the fifth degree of kinship.

Family means the applicant, his or her spouse, and the biological or adoptive children or stepchildren of the applicant or his or her spouse under age 21 living in the same household.  Family must also include the child for whom care is requested, the child's dependent blood-related and adoptive siblings, and the child's and sibling's parents living in the same household.  The applicant may include in his or her family other persons related by blood or law to the applicant or his or her spouse living in the same household if they are dependent upon the family for more than 50 percent of their support.  The applicant may include in his or her family a child of the applicant or his or her spouse under age 21 who is dependent upon the family for more than 50 percent of his or her support and who is a full-time student away at school, provided he or she has not established legal residence outside the family household.

Teen parent means parents through age 19.

Procedure:

Whenever an applicant does not provide a social security number or refuses to supply a social security number for a member of the household included in the family size, verify and document the existence of the family member using the following items:  Birth Certificate, Baptismal Certificate, Medical Record, Census Record, Court Record, Marriage Certificate, DCFS record verifying DCFS children returned home, Hospital Record of Birth, Social Security Record, Veteran's Administration Record, Death Certificate, Adoption Record, or Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity.

Prior to requesting documentation for a child under the age of 18, staff shall perform a search in KIDS.  If the child is not found, request documentation from the parent.

NOTE:  A Birth certificate issued in the City of Chicago for 1950 or later must have a file number starting with "6" or "7".  A birth certificate issued in downstate counties or Cook County outside of Chicago for 1950 or later must have a file number starting with "0" or "1".

Include only those members who fit into the definition of family as stated above.  Both biological parents, if living in the household, are included in the family size regardless of their marital status.  If the family member's existence cannot be verified, exclude that member from the household composition.

Example 1
Applicant - Mother, Age 25
Child of applicant, age 3
Child of applicant, age 1
FAMILY SIZE = 3

Example 2
Applicant - Mother, age 28
Child of applicant, age 2
Sister of Applicant, age 24 - is not dependent upon the applicant for more than 50% of her support
Niece of applicant, age 3, child of applicant's sister
FAMILY SIZE = 2 (2 households consisting of 2 members per household)

Example 3
Applicant - Mother, age 46
Father, age 46
Child, age 3
Child, age 4
Child of Applicant, age 20 (dependent upon family for more than 50% of his support)
FAMILY SIZE = 5

Example 4
Applicant - Mother, age 15 attending high school
Child of applicant, age 18 months
Mother of Applicant, age 40
Sibling of Applicant, age 13
FAMILY SIZE = 2

Example 5
Applicant - Mother, age 27
Boyfriend, age 28
Child of Applicant only, age 8
Child of Applicant and boyfriend, age 3
FAMILY SIZE = 4

Example 6
Applicant - Mother, age 39
Father, age 38
Child, age 10
Child, age 19 (full-time student away at college and has not established legal residence outside the family household)
FAMILY SIZE = 4

Example 7
Applicant - Mother, age 32
Child, age 8
Child, age 10
Stepfather, age 36
FAMILY SIZE = 4

Example 8
Applicant - Mother, age 28
Father, age 29 (currently living away from home due to military service)
Child, age 5
FAMILY SIZE = 3

Example 9
Applicant - Mother, age 21
Child, age 3
Grandmother & Grandfather (not dependent upon the applicant for more than 50% of their support)
FAMILY SIZE = 2

A caretaker relative within the 5th degree of kinship must be one of the following:

  • Blood Relative
    • first degree
      • Father or Mother
    • 2nd degree
      • Brother or Sister
      • Grandfather or Grandmother
    • 3rd degree
      • Aunt or Uncle
      • Nephew or Niece
      • Great Grandfather or Great Grandmother
    • 4th degree
      • Great Aunt or Great Uncle
      • First Cousin
      • Great Great Grandfather or Great Great Grandmother
    • 5th degree
      • Great Great Aunt or Great Great Uncle
      • First Cousin once removed
      • Great Great Great Grandfather or Great Great Great Grandmother
  • Step Relatives
    • Stepfather or Stepmother
    • Stepbrother or Stepsister
  • Adoptive Relative
    Adopted children are related to their adoptive parents and their relatives. The degree of kinship for adoptive parents and relatives is the same as blood relatives. A biological relative of an adopted child can be a caretaker relative.
  • Spouse of Relative
    The spouse of a blood, step, or adoptive relative is the same degree of kinship as the relative. The spouse can be a caretaker relative even if the marriage has ended by death or divorce.