3/18/20 - Message for IDHS Youth Providers

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020


Dear Providers,


The Office of Community and Positive Youth Development is receiving many questions with respect to programming in light of COVID-19. We wanted to address some of these specific concerns as well as a few more general concerns in the hope to provide consistent information across programs.

Most importantly, every effort will be made to support the social service system and in the event grant programs are asked to (or decide to) close temporarily in response to COVID-19, IDHS will continue to fund operations as much as possible. This means that you may use grant dollars to continue to pay your grant staff in the event the programming is suspended or reduced. You may also use grant dollars to sustain critical grant services as deemed necessary by your organization. The Department considers crisis intervention services and any service providing basic needs (such as food and shelter) as critical services and efforts should be made to continue these services where possible and when they can be provided safely.

We expect that your agency is looking at internal policies and procedures and adjusting as necessary to respond to this rapidly evolving situation to ensure the health and well-being of the staff and the youth and families that you serve. We also ask that your agency keep us informed of any changes that will affect your ability to meet the program deliverables of your contract agreement. It is crucial that you keep us informed so that we can work with you to provide any necessary accommodations and guidance.

As a reminder, please make sure that ALL reports; Monthly Expenditure Reports, Periodic Performance Reports, and Periodic Financial Reports, etc. are emailed to DHS.YouthServicesInfo@illinois.gov. This process ensures that the email will be received. You may also copy your respective Program Administrators, but we are not able to guarantee that we will receive and process them if they are not also sent to the DHS.YouthServicesInfo@illinois.gov email account. IDHS staff will continue to monitor this account and work to ensure that your expenditure reports are processed timely for payment during this period of uncertainty. We will be flexible with regards to due dates for these reports for the near future. However, we will continue to follow up when reports are not received timely. This will help us to ensure we are not missing any expenditure reports.

Staff will also be available as normal to respond to programming questions and concerns (see below).

CCBYS & Homeless Youth

These programs provide critical services to youth. We are asking that each provider share with us your plans to maintain your most critical services (Crisis response, food, shelter, basic needs etc.). It is understood that services will be reduced and that safety measures will be put in place. Please provide your plans as soon as possible to your program administrator.

Teen REACH

Some Teen REACH programs are temporarily suspending programming while some are working within their communities to make programming more readily available. Please remember, if your program site location will no longer allow you access to the building, you are able to identify an alternate program site. This is not new. Many providers have alternate program sites, particularly those that operate in schools. Should you choose to identify an alternate site, please notify your program administrator.

Youth Employment

Please make every effort to continue to pay the youth the remainder of the maximum subsidy during this period if their jobsite shuts down or they become ill. Please also make efforts, where possible, to work with these youth remotely to focus on other case plan goals.

Redeploy Illinois, Community Youth Services, Juvenile Justice programs, and all special appropriation programs

As stated above, we expect that your agency is looking at internal policies and procedures and adjusting as necessary to respond to this rapidly evolving situation to ensure the health and well-being of the staff and the youth and families you serve. We ask that your agency keep us informed of any changes that will affect your ability to meet the program deliverables of your grant agreement. It is crucial that you keep us informed so that we can work with you to provide any necessary accommodations and guidance where possible.

FY2021 Grant Process

Although a lesser priority, IDHS staff will continue to develop and post the competitive and non-competitive Funding Opportunity(ies) to ensure that contracts are in place July 1, 2020. It is expected that these applications will be made available at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=114157

available over the coming days/weeks.

We know this situation is ever changing, and it is imperative to keep communication open between IDHS and our providers. We understand that many of you may be working remotely and we want to make sure that you are able to connect with us as necessary. Below, please find the email address for each program administrator and the other staff that you regularly communicate with.


Please stay safe and healthy!!!

Karrie Rueter,

Associate Director,

IDHS, Division of Family & Community Services


OFFICE EMAIL - DHS.Youthservicesinfo@illinois.gov

Bax, Brandon M. Brandon.M.Bax@illinois.gov

Brimberry, Karlee Karlee.Brimberry@Illinois.gov

Byrd, Thurman Thurman.Byrd@illinois.gov

Cheng, LuLu LuLu.Cheng@Illinois.gov

Collins, Frances Frances.Collins@Illinois.gov

Dobson, Dena J. Dena.J.Dobson@Illinois.gov

Elimon, Ty Ty.Elimon@Illinois.gov

Foster, Jacqueline Jacqueline.Foster@Illinois.gov

Haefner, Logan Logan.Haefner@Illinois.gov

Hughes, Erica Erica.Hughes@illinois.gov

Irlam, Carrie Carrie.Irlam@Illinois.gov

Marshall, Kristen Kristen.Marshall@Illinois.gov

McKinney, Nicolle Nicolle.McKinney@Illinois.gov

Nussbaum, Wendy Wendy.Nussbaum@illinois.gov

Pohlman, Steve Steve.Pohlman@illinois.gov

Roth, Nathan Nathan.Roth@Illinois.gov

Rueter, Karrie Karrie.Rueter@illinois.gov

Sandidge, Mike Mike.Sandidge@illinois.gov

Stremlau, Julie A. Julie.Stremlau@illinois.gov

White, Mary D Mary.D.White@illinois.gov

Woodson, Brian Brian.Woodson@illinois.gov

Mike Sandidge at mike.sandidge@illinois.gov