Unified Deliquency Intervention Services Program Standards


Section I Purpose

The purpose of this document is to specify:

  1. The requirements of the Illinois Department of Human Services (Department) for planning, promoting, developing, coordinating, integrating, monitoring, and providing technical assistance to community-based agencies which administer the Unified Delinquency Intervention Services (UDIS) program to youth who are delinquent.
  2. The process for delivery of UDIS services including: referral, assessment, intake, case planning, case management, case termination, and follow-up.
  3. The program expectations of service providers who administer the UDIS program.

Section II Mission Statement

The mission of the Unified Delinquency Intervention Services (UDIS) program is to divert delinquent youth from entering the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) and assist them in becoming productive members of society.

Section III Program Goals

Utilizing the principles of Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ), the goals of the Unified Delinquency Intervention Services (UDIS) Program are to work with delinquent youth to:

  1. Divert youth from further involvement with the criminal justice system.
  2. Provide a normalizing experience for youth using community-based resources.
  3. Provide services with the expectation of family preservation, family reunification or independence if appropriate.
  4. Prevent commitment to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
  5. Demonstrate the programmatic and economic feasibility of short-term community-based services.

Section IV Program Outcomes

All UDIS providers shall agree to provide services toward the following outcomes:

  1. Outcomes while active in the program
    The youth will:
    1. Attend school and make satisfactory progress, enroll in a GED program, and/or obtain employment;
    2. Make progress toward established UDIS Case Plan goals.
  2. Desired outcomes at program completion
    The youth will:
    1. Have no new technical violations that result in a filing of a Petition;
    2. Have no new criminal offenses; and
    3. Not be committed to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Section V Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the program, a youth must:

  1. Be at least 13 years of age and not have reached age 18. Youth who turn 18 while enrolled in the UDIS Program may continue to receive services provided they are making progress toward established goals
  2. Be committable to the Illinois Department of Corrections by a juvenile court under the Juvenile Court Act
  3. Not be a ward of DCFS
  4. Be court ordered into the UDIS program and:
    1. Found guilty of at least two delinquent petitions. Petitions which are dropped with no findings are not to be considered as delinquent petitions, or
    2. Found guilty of a delinquent offense, such that, were UDIS not available, the youth would otherwise be committed to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Section VI Intake and Assessment

  1. Upon referral by the local Court Services (or in some regions, the Court Liaison) the UDIS provider must verify eligibility and assess program openings. If there are no program openings, youth will be placed in a Pending Status.
  2. Upon initial acceptance into the program or upon court order, an intake assessment, as prescribed by the Department, must be completed within 30 days. The provider will interview the youth, youth's parents, and the probation officer, and review all available records of the youth.
  3. If it is determined the UDIS program is appropriate for the youth, the UDIS case manager will work with the youth to develop a Case Plan, have it signed by the youth and the youth's parent/guardian, and make it available for court services as requested. Where required, the provider will present the Case Plan to court services for approval.

Section VII Case Plan

  1. Each youth and family served shall have a UDIS Case Plan with a copy on file at the office of the service provider.
  2. The written Case Plan must be available in a language that the youth and their family can understand. It shall reflect the overall plan designed for the youth, his/her family, and service provider(s), and focus on the youth's strengths and needs in order to accomplish program objectives. The youth and, to the extent possible, his/her family and probation shall be involved in each phase of the planning and preparation of the Case Plan.
  3. At a minimum, the Case Plan should include:
    1. Identification of the youth and service provider(s);
    2. Stated goals and objectives for the youth and family to be accomplished while involved in the program;
    3. Timeframes for reviewing and achieving goals and objectives;
    4. A statement of the issues to be resolved and the needs to be met;
    5. Services to be provided to resolve issues and meet needs;
    6. A statement defining the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in the Case Plan;
    7. Dated signatures of youth, guardian(s), probation, and providers.
  4. Any programmatic changes and/or extensions in the service plan shall be reflected in a dated and signed revision of the Case Plan.
  5. The service provider will have documented contact with court services staff at least monthly to discuss the youth's progress toward meeting the goals and objectives identified in the Case Plan. In addition, UDIS providers are expected to be responsive to their local probation departments' need for information, meetings, and/or staffings.

Section VIII Services Provided

The needs of the youth enrolled in the UDIS program are met through a variety of services. Core Services must be provided as needed either directly by the provider agency and/or through service linkage and collaborations. Supplemental services for needs identified by the assessment may be provided by the provider agency or through linkage agreements with other service providers. Agencies are encouraged to utilize evidence-based models of therapeutic intervention when appropriate. In addition, services should be provided in a culturally sensitive manner. Core services include:

  1. Case Management
    Involves the development and implementation of a Case Plan. Activities in Case Management include: intake and screening; assessment; case planning; referral; documentation of services provided; documentation of the youth's progress toward meeting specified goals; case supervision; follow-up services; travel time associated with case management activities; direct face to face contacts; telephone contacts; attempts to make contact; and reporting time.
  2. Service Linkages/Collaborations
    UDIS providers ensure that youth are referred for needed services not available with the provider agency via linkage agreements and collaborations with other community programs such as substance abuse and mental health treatment.
  3. Court Advocacy
    Involves supporting the youth and his/her family at court appearances and providing progress summaries to court personnel.
  4. Advocacy
    Includes activities with youth that provide emotional support, role modeling, personal and family resource development.
  5. Education Assistance
    Offered to youth for obtaining access to educational programs and achieving educational goals. This service may include tutoring and/or educational advocacy.
  6. Counseling Services
    Individual, family, and group counseling services are provided to assist youth and his/her family in resolving or coping with barriers as well as identifying, obtaining, and utilizing community resources and services.
  7. Response System
    All youth in the UDIS program have access to 24-hour crisis intervention services.

Section IX Minimum Staff Requirements

  1. Advocates
    Advocates are paraprofessionals providing direct services to clients enrolled in the UDIS program. Advocates are often engaged in individual and group recreational, educational and social skill development activities with clients. Advocates must be at least 21 years of age and have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, and two years of human services experience.
  2. Case Managers
    Case managers are responsible to develop and oversee the implementation of the case plan for each UDIS client. Case Managers are the primary liaison with the Juvenile Court on behalf of assigned clients. Case Managers must be at least 21 years of age and have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a related field or five years of human services experience.
  3. Supervisors
    Supervisors are responsible to oversee the UDIS program and staff/volunteers assigned to the UDIS program. The Supervisor provides regular guidance to UDIS staff as it relates to individual client issues, program administration and communication with community stakeholders. Supervisors must be at least 25 years of age; and have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a related field; and two years of human services experience.

Section X Program Timeframes

  1. UDIS is an intensive service program. The services provided to each youth are based on needs, risk level, current involvement in other services or pro-social activities, and the stage of involvement in the UDIS program (e.g. first month - assessment; middle four months - program engagement; last month - step-down). The type and amount of direct service contact provided to youth may vary but are expected to include identified core services as well as appropriate supplemental services. It is anticipated that services will be more intensive upon initiation of UDIS and that service intensity may decline as the youth progresses toward goals. Over the course of a six-month time frame, approximately 150-260 hours of services should be provided to and on behalf of each youth, the majority of which must be in direct services.
  2. Duration of participation in the UDIS program is based on the needs of the youth and his/her level of risk. The standard participation period is six (6) months. Youth may continue in the program for up to six additional months if the youth's needs and risk level indicate further services. Additional services beyond six months require prior written approval from the Department.
  3. Program Extensions - Approval may be granted for the youth to remain in the program beyond the initial six-month time period when additional time is needed to complete a specified activity in the youth's Case Plan. The activities must have clearly stated beginning and ending dates. Such activities may include, but not be limited to: completion of an employment orientation period, a pending court date, or the accomplishment of a specific goal or task identified in the Case Plan. Program extensions may be requested by contacting the Department's Youth Services Administrator.
  4. Program Service Suspensions - The service timeframe of six months for UDIS may be temporarily suspended when a youth is in a residential setting, such as therapeutic wilderness services, psychiatric hospitalization, substance abuse treatment, or juvenile detention.

Section XI Discharge from the Program

  1. Actions resulting in discharge of a youth from the UDIS program include the following:
    1. Successful discharge occurs when a youth has met the goals and objectives of the program as outlined in Section IV, Program Outcomes.
    2. Unsuccessful discharge may occur when:
      1. The youth or Court Services requests discharge from the program prior to achieving the agreed upon goals and objectives stated in the signed Case Plan.
      2. A case manager recommends discharge of the youth prior to successful completion of the agreed upon goals and objectives. In this instance, the youth has refused to abide by the terms of the Case Plan signed by the youth and intensive outreach efforts have been unsuccessful in gaining the youth's cooperation.
      3. The youth is unsuccessfully discharged from Probation.
      4. The youth is committed to the Department of Corrections by an order of the court.
    3. Neutral discharge occurs when a youth has not re-offended, but there are extenuating circumstances such as, but not limited to: the youth moved out of the provider's service area or the youth is placed in a long-term residential facility.
  2. Case Closing Activities
    Discharge Summary - Within 30 days, a final report must be presented to court services by the provider summarizing the youth's involvement and progress, discharge status, and recommendations for follow-up services. A copy must be offered to the youth and his/her family.