Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop.

Extension of the Request for Information (RFI) - Self-Directed Service Options

The Illinois Department of Human Services recently sent out notification to heighten the awareness of a Request for Information (RFI) that has been issued related to Self-Directed Service Options. The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is interested in hearing from individuals and organizations on suggested ways to improve the quality of services and supports offered by the Division.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is extending the comment period of the RFI to ensure interested stakeholders have opportunity to submit input. The RFI comment period will be extended until Friday, January 12, 2018.

The RFI provides specific instructions on how to submit a response.

Please see below, the RFI web link for Self-Directed Service Options:


Person Centered Planning

The Person Centered Planning Process for Medicaid Wavier Services webpage, available at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=96986, has been recently updated! The webpage now includes a Person Centered Planning Policy and Guideline Manual. The manual is a compilation of the original overview, guidelines and procedures that were posted on the webpage. We have also incorporated information provided in DDD Scoop articles and Frequently Asked Questions. The information in the manual pertains to individuals/families receiving DD Waiver Services, guardians, provider agencies and ISCs. The Division has received numerous requests for an official Person Centered Planning manual. This manual is considered a "living, breathing document" with edits and changes made as needed.

In efforts to enhance our Person Centered Planning process, we would like to hear from you! Within the next two weeks, a survey will be sent electronically to all DD Waiver providers and ISC agencies. The feedback received from the survey will be used to edit the manual as well as provide additional training and communications to the field. The survey will be sent from the Life Choices email address to each agency.

Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) Clearance Process: Update

The process and procedure outlined in Information Bulletin DD 15.51 for obtaining CANTS clearance for new employees in private agencies is still in force. Here is the link to access the current CANTS Clearance Process: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=76662

The contact information for DCFS is as follows: Email: CFS689BACKGROUND@ILLINOIS.GOV Phone Number: 217-557-0758.

The timeframe for completion of this process is generally eight to twelve weeks.

On The Move

Dave Adden retired on December 31, 2017 after 25 years of working for the State of Illinois. Dave has been a valued Management Operations Analyst with the Division since 1999. Prior to beginning his career with the Division, Dave worked as a Disability Claims Adjudicator for several years. Dave has been an asset to the Division in many ways. He was lead on the implementation of DDD's fiscal intermediary process in home-based services, lead on various RFP's, headed up the Statewide Advisory Council, and worked on many projects to maintain compliance with the three DDD Waivers.

Tami Royer also retired on December 31, 2017. Tami has worked for the State of Illinois in various titles for more than 33 years! Tami joined the Division in early 2017 as an Administrative Assistant in the Bureau of Program Development and Medicaid Administration. Prior to beginning her career with the Division, Tami worked in an array of positions including Data Input Operator, Executive Secretary and Human Resources Associate.

Dave and Tami, we wish you both the best of luck in retirement.

Gloria Bean joined the Division's Bureau of Community Services on January 1, 2018 as a Public Service Administrator. She began a career in social services over 25 years ago with The Salvation Army and later Volunteers of America. In 1994 Ms. Bean transitioned to a state career as a Child Welfare Specialist with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Ms. Bean subsequently held several positions with DCFS as a Child Protection Investigator, Child Protection Supervisor and Clinical Coordinator.

Ms. Bean also worked as: an investigator with the Office of Inspector General investigating abuse and/or neglect of residents of SODCs and CILAs, a PSA in Contracts and Monitoring with Healthcare and Family Services Division of Child Support Services and a PSA with DHS' Office of Workforce Development.

Ms. Bean received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago; a Master's in Social Work from Aurora University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

The Division is proud to announce that Sybil Nash will permanently assume the role as Director at Fox Center effective January 16, 2018. Sybil has served as the Interim Director at Fox since November of 2016. Her work experience at Fox includes time as Assistant Center Director, Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional and Social Worker. Sybil's twenty-five years of work experience in the field of developmental disabilities also includes working with at-risk youth and children. She possesses a Master's degree in Social Work and two Bachelor's degrees - Speech Pathology and Audiology and Special Education with a minor in Psychology.

Sybil's experience and education make her ideally suited for the Center Director position, and we are fortunate to have her as part of our team.

We welcome Gloria to the Division and congratulate Sybil on her new role with the Division!

ICF/IDD and ICF/IID DT Wage Rate Adjustment

Several ICF/IID providers have recently inquired about the ICF/IDD and ICF/IID DT wage rate adjustment. The Division understands the wage increase had begun to show up in ICF/IID provider's remittance reports as of the processing of October ICF/IID and ICF/IID DT claims. We just learned from HFS staff that with the claims billing system HFS implemented in December 2016 they have been working to develop a new "Mass To Detail" (MTD) adjustment and claims reconciliation process. HFS currently anticipates the first run of the new Mass To Detail will occur in February 2018. When the new Mass To Detail runs in the HFS payment system it will adjust ICF/IID payments for the increased Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) retroactively back to July 1, 2017 for claims processed for the months prior to DHS Case Workers getting the adjustments entered into the HFS payment system. The MTD will also adjust and pay for the wage increase for ICF/IIDs and ICF/IID DTs for claims processed prior to HFS loading the updated August 1, 2017 rates.

Trainer's Corner-Quality Enhancement Unit

This edition will provide information about the third area of Emotional Intelligence, Self-Motivation. Self-motivation is an essential part of excelling at life. Those who are self-motivated have a passion to work with energy and persistence for reasons beyond money or status. It means being driven, goal oriented, optimistic, and committed to the organization, self, and family. Sub-points for self-motivation are: achievement, drive, commitment, initiative, and optimism.

Andrew Carnegie said it best with his quote "People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents."

There are several keys to building self-motivation:

  • Work toward a cause
  • Don't compare yourself to others
  • Make the conscious effort to not give up
  • Don't live in your past failures or successes
  • Utilize positive thinking

There are times when you may need motivation to get motivated. Positive thinking may not be doing the trick. What should you do?

Consider these suggestions:

  • Write down your plan for improvement
  • Briefly think about your past successes, what made them successful?
  • Read books that promote self-motivation

What have you accomplished today through self-motivation?

(This information is derived from the Bureau of Training and Support Services' Emotional Intelligence Training)

Helping Others Should Not Hurt

Work within the human services field can bring feelings of extreme satisfaction, but this work can also be taxing on the mind, body, and soul. Caregivers can experience chronic stress when performing this emotionally and physically draining work day after day. In an effort to guard against compassion fatigue, it is imperative that caregivers remember to care for themselves.

Compassion fatigue symptoms can include feelings of mental and physical tiredness, apathy, and isolation. An awareness of compassion fatigue is the first step towards a path of healing and wellness. Caring deeply for others should not require that you sacrifice your own health and wellbeing. Self-care can begin with just a few small changes.

A good Self Care regime can include simple practices such as: regular exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, enjoyable activities with family and friends, and journaling. As this New Year begins, let us be mindful and intentional in taking care of ourselves!

Problems arise in that one has to find a balance

Between what people need from you and what you need for yourself.

Jessye Norman

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama

The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you've lost it.


(Information derived from The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project: http://compassionfatigue.org/index.html)

How to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick

It's a brand new year and some of us have created a list of New Year's resolutions. In addition to the post-holiday slump, it's winter and this is the time of year when people want to hibernate and find it difficult to stick with their New Year's resolution goals. It is important to remember that the New Year isn't meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes, but rather, it is a time for people to reflect on their past year's behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes. This can be done by setting small, attainable goals throughout the year and working toward each goal, one step at a time. Be realistic and keep these tips in mind:

Start Small: Make resolutions that you think you can keep, don't go overboard. If you are aiming to exercise more frequently, schedule three to four days, not seven. If your intent is to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt.

Change One Behavior at a Time: Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Don't expect to change behaviors overnight and work toward changing one behavior at a time.

Talk about It: Share your experiences with family and friends. Support groups, such as a workout class or a group of coworkers, can help make your journey to a healthier lifestyle much easier and less intimidating. It will also assist you in holding yourself accountable.

Don't Beat Yourself Up: Trying to achieve perfection is unattainable and counterproductive. Minor missteps are completely normal. Don't give up because you ate a brownie and broke your diet regime or didn't make it to the gym for a week. Everyone has setbacks; recover from your mistake and do what it takes to get back on track.

Ask for Support: Accept help from those who care about you and will listen to your struggles and will encourage you to reach your goals. Sometimes a professional is the type of help you need to provide strategies, support you emotionally and help you adjust your goals so that you are successful.

(Information derived from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx)

Here are some interesting and unique New Year's Resolutions, if you need some ideas:

  • Turn off your phone for designated periods of time.
  • Remember your manners; greet people, smile more, say please and thank you.
  • Clean and polish your shoes.
  • Go to the theatre.
  • Cook a different recipe every week.
  • Read a book.
  • Stop buying material goods for 6 months (or maybe 1 month?) .
  • Plant some bulbs.
  • Try something new every day.
  • Visit an elderly relative.

(Information derived from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/good-new-years-resolution-ideas-11768219)

Here's to a healthy and Happy New Year!

State Operated Developmental Center News

Choate Center: The vocational department had their annual holiday sale raising more than $1,000 in the sale of wood crafts, wreaths, candles, plants, etc.

Fox Center: It's cold outside and Fox Center can hardly wait for spring! The Parent's Group is purchasing the Center a portable media system that will be used to show movies outside.

Kiley Center: The winners of the 2017 Holiday's Best Decoration Contest were homes 10 and 20 of unit II and homes 2 and 3 for unit V.

Ludeman Center: The Parents and Friends of Ludeman (PFL) donated Cupcakes to the Individuals to celebrate the holidays on December 21st. The celebration was a huge success and the individuals enjoyed it!

Mabley Center: New Year's Eve parties were held in each home. Snacks were purchased and distributed to all Mabley homes. A donation was given to purchase meat and cheese trays, crackers, chips and salsa, cookies and pop. Everyone had a great time!

Murray Center: Over the holiday season, we have taken full advantage of being able to go see the beautiful seasonal lights. A group of individuals were taken to see the DuQuon lights and another group was taken to see The Lady of the Snow lights and they also went out to dinner. Everyone really enjoyed all of the beautiful lights and decorations!

Shapiro Center: Over the holidays, individuals across campus enjoyed having holiday parties in their living areas. Everyone exchanged gifts, listened to holiday music, spent time with their peers, and enjoyed a holiday feast. Several groups of individuals enjoyed baking Christmas cookies, having hot cocoa and watching Christmas movies. Individuals also had fun ringing in the New Year with their peers during their New Year's Eve parties. They enjoyed making homemade decorations and talked about their goals for the upcoming New Year.

Predicting the Future

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very healthy and productive 2018. As anticipated, calendar year 2017 was extremely challenging with many twists and turns and a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty about whether we would start another fiscal year without a budget. Fortunately, a budget was approved for FY18, and notwithstanding the expected challenges of a system in the throes of change, last year we successfully advanced a number of important initiatives that brought us into full compliance with federal "conflict-free case management" and "person-centered planning" requirements, and thus strategically positioned the Division to get all three waivers renewed.

If this past year has affirmed anything, it is that successful system transformation requires the support of all stakeholders. And for that I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for your many contributions to our accomplishments in 2017. Change is rarely easy, and change within a system as complex as ours can at times be quite daunting. And while we attempted to solicit as much input as we could before embarking on major changes, I regret that there were a number of missteps along the way - for which I take full responsibility.

My commitment to you this year is that I will continue to be introspective and I will continue to take steps to cultivate a learning organization; more specifically, I will encourage our staff to seize every opportunity to learn how we can do better, get better and become smarter at the work we perform. Key projects planned for this year will focus on how we can streamline processes to make it easier for service providers to access necessary resources to meet individuals' needs and to assist families in successfully navigating through our complex system. Although this calendar year will undoubtedly be as challenging as last year, I'm optimistic that we can make this year our best ever as long as we have the courage to consider different ways of solving old problems, the courage of departing from doing what has not served us well in the past, and the courage of doing the right thing even though it might not be the popular thing.

Both Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker have been credited with the quote, "The best way to predict the future is to create it". And I look forward to our continued collaboration to create the type of future we want for those we serve.

Again, I wish you a happy and healthy New Year, and I look forward to your continued support and involvement in the challenging days that lie ahead of us.

Have a great weekend!