Division of Family and Community Services (Fact Sheet) - IDHS 4030

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS)

The Illinois Department of Human Services' (IDHS) Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS) recognizes Illinois' communities as its most significant partners in preventing conditions that keep children and families from reaching their full potential. The division administers a range of programs that help build healthy environments where children develop and families live and work.

Approximately 80 Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) -- the local offices across the state -- provide a doorway to a variety of benefits, programs and services offered directly by us or through our contracted providers. Cash assistance, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and medical assistance are three benefits our customers most often seek through this division. Staff in each office assists families to apply for and receive these benefits and help link them to other state agencies and community-based organizations in their area for needed services. Customers are fully involved in their service planning and share responsibility for reaching their goals for self-sufficiency or maximum independence. Customers can also apply online through our Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE) or over the phone at our call center.

The types of services we offer are described below

* Cash Assistance - Persons who need direct cash assistance can apply for programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD).

* SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps low-income families buy food. An online eligibility calculator can be used to get an estimate of benefit amounts.

* Medical Assistance - Medical coverage, including Medicaid, is available for low-income individuals and families.

* Child Care - IDHS subsidizes child care services for low-income working families to assure them of quality, affordable child care while they work. Families share the costs on a sliding scale.

Visit www.dhs.state.il.us/applications/ChildCareEligCalc/eligcalc.asp for the Child Care Eligibility Calculator, as well as links to contracted Child Care Resource Referral Agencies (CCR&R) located throughout the state. Applications are taken at the CCR&Rs, where families can also get referrals for licensed child care providers.

* Refugee and Immigrant Services - IDHS contracts with multi-lingual and culturally competent community-based service providers to provide refugee resettlement and immigrant integration services. Refugee resettlement services include case management, employment services, English language training and health screening. Special program to help refugee youth and the elderly are also available through federal funding support. The goal of the program is to help refugees achieve social and economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. Immigrant integration services include citizenship training and application assistance. Low-income immigrants and migrant farm workers are also provided with translation and interpretation services, as well as case management support, to gain access to state human services.

In addition to temporary assistance the division also improves the health and well-being of families and individuals through partnerships and services that build strong communities. We offer a wide array of programs and services, including:

  • Healthy Mothers and Babies - Case management for at risk pregnant women and infants; aid in acquiring medical care for pregnant and parenting women and young children; nutritional counseling and additional food for young children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; formula for infants; screening and referral for women experiencing prenatal or post-partum depression; doula services; services for infants and toddlers with developmental challenges; and home visiting programs to support new parents.
  • Healthy Children and Adolescents - Services to help prevent teen pregnancies, substance abuse and juvenile crime through positive youth development, education, service learning and school/after-school health programs. Prevention programs work with youth and their parents, schools and community, in partnerships with local institutions such as schools and coalitions, to deliver an array of prevention strategies that have been proven effective in addressing local needs. There is also supplementary assistance for at-risk and runaway/homeless youth who must cope with additional challenges, as well as supervised support for teen parents.
  • Helping Troubled Families - Domestic violence services, including shelter, counseling, rape prevention and crisis intervention to troubled families.

The Division's Gateway to Other Services

IDHS is the gateway to many services. Some are funded and monitored by the Department through the Division of Family and Community Services, but are delivered through contracted providers. See the IDHS web site at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=27893 for more information about these programs and services and where you may find them close to your location:

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) puts cash back in your pocket. IDHS can assist with getting local help for filing your taxes to show you how to use this benefit.

Homeless Prevention serves households in immediate danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness or are currently homeless due to an economic crisis beyond its control.

Supportive Housing helps prevent people returning to or falling into homelessness by strengthening their ability to function independently.

Emergency and Transitional Housing provides funding for meals, shelter and supportive services to non-profit organizations and local governments.

Emergency Food Program (EFP) provides food at no cost to help supplement the diets of needy low-income households.

Immigrant and Refugee Services help meet the special needs of our foreign-born population with outreach programs, interpretation and other specialized services, and classes such as English as a Second Language, civics, and US history.

Healthy Child Care Illinois provides a network of registered nurses who help child care workers provide quality care for the well-being of Illinois' children, including training, consulting, assessments, policy development, conference planning, and playground safety.

For more information call or visit your local Illinois Department of Human Services office.

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)?program, call or visit your local IDHS?office. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your local IDHS?office is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

1-800-843-6154 (Voice)

1-800-447-6404 (TTY)

You may speak to a representative between:

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays)

For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services

Office of Customer and Support Services

100 South Grand Avenue East, 2nd. Floor

Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our website at: www.dhs.state.il.us

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4030 (R-02-15) Fact Sheet - Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS) Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois. 500 Copies PO#15-1143