2008 PROGRAM REVIEW AND EVALUATION

SERVICE DESCRIPTIONS

Cash Assistance

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Income assistance to eligible families with a child under age 18 is provided through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program. A child aged 18 may also qualify for TANF cash if attending high school full-time. A pregnant woman (and spouse in the home), with no other eligible children, may receive assistance from the time the pregnancy is medically verified.

No family may receive TANF if one or both parents have received 60 months of benefits unless certain criteria are met. All months of TANF benefits are counted against the 60-month limit, including those received in other states, except as follows:

  • An adult is working at least 30 hours per week (35 hours per week for a 2-parent family)
  • A teen parent is under age 18 and has their own TANF case.
  • A family is approved for a Family Care barrier due to the medical condition of a child or spouse that prevents the parent from working 30 hours per week.
  • A single parent is in an approved full-time post-secondary degree program and has a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. This can stop the 60-months time limit for 36 months.
  • An adult is the victim of a domestic violence crisis and has been approved for Domestic Violence Exclusion.
  • The family has a child in the home that is approved for a Home and Communitybased care waiver.

Assistance beyond the 60-month lifetime limit may continue if one of the following exists:

  • the adult has a pending Supplemental  Security Income (SSI) application and is determined probably eligible for SSI by the Department;
  • the adult is determined unable to work at least 30-hours per week due to a medical condition;
  • the adult is in an intensive program that prevents working at least 30 hours per week (includes DCFS, domestic violence, homeless services, mental health, substance abuse and vocational rehabilitation);
  • the adult is in an approved education or training program that will be finished within 6 months after the end of the 60 months;
  • the adult is approved to care for a related child under 18 or spouse due to their medical condition; or
  • the adult has a child approved for the Home and Community-based care waiver.

The Illinois TANF Program is designed to help needy families to become self-supporting, to strengthen family life, and to reduce the instances of economic need in Illinois families.

This will be accomplished by: emphasizing to the parents that the first responsibility for supporting and providing guidance for the children rests with them; providing support services to help the parents move into employment; providing parenting classes; providing support services so that elementary and middle school children will form and maintain proper school attendance habits; and acting to reduce the instances of teenage pregnancy and unmarried pregnancy. The participation of adults in community life will be encouraged by recognizing the value of volunteer services as an effective training endeavor for the development of sound work habits.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 was signed into law by President Bush in February 2006 reauthorizing TANF through  September 2010. With TANF reauthorization:

  • the 50 percent work participation rate requirement for States was maintained.
  • the base year for calculation of caseload reduction credit was updated from SFY 95 to SFY 05.
  • families receiving assistance in separate state programs who were previously excluded from the participation rates must now be included.

TANF Reauthorization tightened the definitions of countable activities, established uniform methods for reporting hours of work, provided guidelines for the type of documentation needed to verify reported hours of work, and added additional categories of individuals who must be included in the work participation rate.

It also required submittal of a Work Verification Plan. The Work Verification Plan must include a description of:

  • how the State determines the number of countable hours of participation;
  • the State's procedures for identifying all work-eligible individuals;
  • how the State ensures that it properly tracks the hours of participation and accurately reports the hours; and
  • the internal control that the State has implemented to ensure a consistent measurement of the work participation rates.
Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD)

The federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays a monthly grant to persons with low income who are certified as aged, blind or disabled. The AABD program provides a state supplemental payment equal to the difference between these individuals' state-determined needs and their income, including SSI payments.

General Assistance

General Assistance (GA) is mandated by State law to provide basic income and medical assistance to persons who are not eligible for TANF or Assistance to the Aged, Blind or Disabled.

The Department administers the GA program in the City of Chicago. The Department also funds some downstate GA Units that are then required to follow Department rules including the Department's payment level.

State funded General Assistance (GA)

State Family and Children Assistance Program

This program covers needy families who do not meet the requirements to receive TANF. Most of these families represent legal guardians of children who are unrelated. State Family and Children Assistance provides income and medical assistance. The payment level is the same as TANF.

State Transitional Assistance Program

This program covers adults without dependent children who have barriers to employment. This includes, for example, disabled persons who have an SSI application pending (formerly Interim Assistance customers) and persons 55 and over with a limited work history. State Transitional Assistance provides a cash payment of $100 and limited medical assistance that does not cover hospital services.

Food Stamps

The Department provides help through the federal Food Stamp Program. This nonappropriated program provides benefits that are used to purchase food at retail stores throughout the state using the IDHS Link (EBT) card.

Depending on the amount of the family's income and allowable deductions, the level of monthly benefits can be as little as $2, or as much as the total necessary for the household to purchase a nutritionally adequate diet according to USDA's Thrifty Food Plan.

While the presence of certain assets and other particular circumstances can disqualify a household or certain of its individuals, eligibility for food stamps depends primarily on the amount of monthly income available to the household. It is offered to persons receiving benefits under other IDHS programs but is available to persons and families receiving no other assistance. Food stamps serve as an income supplement for working people as they move toward self-sufficiency, an essential support service for the unemployed, and a source of nutritional assistance for elderly and disabled people.

Employment and Social Services
TANF Employment and Training

Under welfare reform and human services reorganization, the movement of customers from welfare to work is the focus of the TANF program. The provision of employment and training services has been integrated into the functions of all staff working with the TANF population. Customers are required to complete a responsibility and services plan and comply with the steps in that plan to move toward selfsufficiency.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 reauthorized the TANF program. Under TANF reauthorization, the work and training activities that count toward the federal work participation rate were clearly defined as follows:

  • Unsubsidized Employment: full or part-time employment in the public or private sector where the employer is not subsidized by TANF or any other public program. Self-employment is included as unsubsidized employment and includes farming, sales, small business, domestic work, and providing child care.
  • Subsidized Employment: paid employment in the private or public sector for which the employer receives a subsidy from public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employment. The purpose of subsidized employment is to increase the employability of the client providing needed work experience that will help transition them to unsubsidized employment.
  • Work Experience: a work activity that is performed in return for TANF and Food Stamp benefits. Partnerships with individual employers are created to provide individuals with experience in a work setting to develop work skills while receiving their TANF assistance.
  • Work First: Illinois' pay after performance work experience program. Work First enables individuals to develop work skills and work habits while earning their assistance as if it were a paycheck.
  • Community Service: a structured program of activities in which the client performs work for the direct benefit of the community. Community Service programs serve a useful community purpose in fields of health, social service, environmental protection, education, urban and rural redevelopment, welfare, recreation, public facilities, public safety, and child care.
  • Vocational Education: training in an organized educational program that is directly related to the preparation of an individual for a specific occupation. Vocational education programs are provided by vocational-technical schools and may also include degree or certificate programs based in secondary schools but may not consist of secondary school training.

    Vocational education programs may also be provided by postsecondary educational institutes.

  • Job Search and Job Readiness: Job search is the act of seeking or obtaining employment. Job Readiness is the preparation necessary for a person to seek or obtain employment. Job Readiness includes barrier reduction services such as substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, and rehabilitation activities.
  • Job Skills Training: training or education for job skills required by an employer to provide an individual with the ability to obtain employment or to advance or adapt to the changing demands of the workplace. Job Skills training may be customized training for a specific employer or specific employment. It may also include participation in training or retraining that develops or enhances skills in the areas of writing, reading, math, oral and written business communication, or new industry technology.
  • Education Directly Related to Employment: education for a customer who has not received their high school diploma or GED that is related to a specific occupation, job, or job offer. This includes adult basic education, English as a Second Language, and GED classes where required as a prerequisite for employment.
  • Satisfactory Attendance at a Secondary School: an education program for teen parents age 19 or younger who have not completed secondary school or received their GED. It includes enrollment in a secondary school, a course of study leading to a GED or a basic remedial education. Supportive services are provided to employed customers and to customers in approved work and training activities, within the limits of State resources. Supportive services are provided in accordance with the Cash, Food Stamp, and Medical Manual.
Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSE&T)

Programs consist of Earnfare, Job Placement with Retention, Special Projects and Supportive Service programs. These programs assist customers to acquire work skills, find employment and meet their supportive service needs such as transportation and work-related expenses through the first 30 days of employment.

Participation with these programs is mandatory for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) who receive non-assistance food stamps, are between the ages of 18 through 49, and are not exempt. In addition, special populations may be targeted for services.

Volunteers who receive non-assistance food stamps may also participate in FSE&T programs as resources permit. Those who participate in FSE&T programs gain work skills and experience, meet the federal work requirement, and become self-sufficient. Some participants are hard-to-serve individuals with limited work histories and experience. Some may need additional education and training to find and keep a job or have other barriers to employment. Individuals participate in specific programs based upon their assessments which identify strengths and areas for development. All individuals who participate in FSE&T programs must be assigned to the required number of participation hours, based upon the food stamp allotment and/or the component activity into which they are placed.

In addition to activities provided by staff, the following are descriptions of FSE&T programs and/or activities contracted by the Division of Human Capital Development, Bureau of Employment and Training Resource Development Services.

Earnfare

Earnfare is an employment and training program which offers eligible participants an opportunity to gain work experience and earn cash assistance. Participation is limited to adults who receive non-assistance food stamps and who volunteer and to persons who are court-ordered to participate. Participants work off the value of their food stamp benefit at the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to a maximum number of hours per month before earning cash assistance.

Participants may be assigned to an Earnfare work site or to other approved activities in order for them to earn cash assistance, meet the federal work requirement and/or increase their self-sufficiency.

Cook County Earnfare

In Cook County, staff in the Department's Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) - previously known as ''Local Offices'' - orient and assess participants, determine supportive service needs, and refer them to appropriate Earnfare employers developed and contracted directly by the Department. These Earnfare employers do  not receive administrative payments.

Downstate Earnfare

The Department may contract with downstate private sector businesses, for-profit and not-forprofit organizations, community and faith-based organizations and governmental agencies to administer the Earnfare program. Providers recruit, orient and assess individuals, recruit employers, and refer individuals to appropriate employers. These Earnfare Providers do not receive administrative payments. The Department's FCRCs may also refer individuals to these providers.

NCP Earnfare

NCP Earnfare provides court-ordered, unemployed non-custodial parents of children receiving TANF an opportunity to gain work experience while meeting a portion of their child support obligation. Participants are courtordered to NCP Earnfare when they tell a court that they are unable to provide financial support to their children due to unemployment. NCP participants may or may not receive food stamps. NCP Earnfare services are available in Cook County and in select Downstate locations.

NCP Earnfare employers do not earn administrative payments.

FSE&T Job Placement With Retention

The Department may contract with private sector businesses, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, community and faith-based organizations and governmental agencies to provide intensive education, job skills training, and/or pre-employment services and unsubsidized job placement services to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance food stamps. Special populations may be targeted for services. Job Placement with Retention Providers may offer Earnfare as an activity under this program. Earnfare participants may be assigned to a work site, Vocational Training, or Basic Education or to a combination of these activities. Providers recruit, orient, assess, and refer eligible individuals and recruit employers who provide suitable work sites and unsubsidized employment opportunities for participants. Providers are also responsible for providing case management to participants to reduce barriers to employment and maximize self-sufficiency. The Department's Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) have the opportunity to refer individuals to Job Placement with Retention providers.

FSE&T Special Project

FSE&T Special Project contracts provide services to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance food stamps. Programs are negotiated individually when special needs are identified.

FSE&T Support Services

FSE&T Support Services contracts provide only support services in accordance with the FSE&T Program Manual or provide special support services, over and above those itemized and explained in the FSE&T Program Manual, to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance food stamps. These programs are negotiated individually when special needs are identified.

The Homeless Prevention Program

The Homeless Prevention Program may provide mortgage assistance, rental assistance, utility assistance and/or supportive services directly related to the prevention of homelessness to eligible individuals and families that are in danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness. The program is designed to stabilize individuals or families in their existing homes, shorten the amount of time that individuals and families stay in shelters, and/or secure affordable housing.

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EF&S) was developed to provide immediate food and shelter to homeless persons and families or persons and families at imminent risk of becoming homeless. The EF&S Program funds nonprofit organizations to provide meals, shelter, and supportive services to homeless individuals and families that may assist them to return to self-sufficiency.

Supportive Housing Services

The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) provides supportive services coupled with housing to enable formerly homeless individuals and families, or those in danger of becoming homeless the opportunity to maintain their residence in the community. The program is designed to prevent individuals and/or families from returning to homelessness by receiving an array of supportive services while residing in permanent or transitional housing.

USDA Emergency Food Program

Emergency food may be obtained through the Emergency Food Program (EFP) which is a federal program, administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The primary purpose is to provide an emergency response to hunger. The EFP provides food at no cost to help supplement the diets of needy low-income households.

Programs for Refugees

Programs for refugees facilitate the relocation and economic self-sufficiency of refugees by procuring community-based services that include adjustment counseling, orientation, English as a second language, vocational training, job readiness, and job placement. Bilingual mental health services are provided for those refugees who experienced severe trauma and require therapy.

Programs to Assist Immigrants

Immigrant Services increased to $6,025,000 in SFY 09. The funds enhanced healthcare for limited English proficient clients through bilingual staffing and interpreter services at four clinics and the DuPage County health care network, provided case management and interpreter services for clients seeking support from IDHS, and expanded citizenship instruction and assistance through 35 community-based organizations.

Child Care

IDHS Child Care is an income-based program for working families at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($35,208 for a family of three). The program supports the welfare to work effort by serving parents receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) whose personal responsibility and services plans document a need for childcare. It also serves teen parents pursuing a high school diploma or its equivalent. The program is administered through a network of 16 Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) and through contracts with approximately 52 sites administered Child Care providers including the City of Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services. Other notable characteristics of the IDHS Child Care program are listed below:

  • Currently serves eligible families without time limits.
  • Parents share costs based on co-payments assessed according to a sliding scale.
  • Parents choose the type of childcare they prefer, e.g. Child Care centers or private homes, etc. provided it meets all state and local requirements.
Title XX Social Services

The State receives an annual formula allocation of Social Services Block Grant funds based upon population. The Bureau of Title XX Social Services is the entity responsible for planning and overseeing service delivery, insuring compliance, and mandatory reporting. The State plan for use of the funds reflects 24 separate categories of social services provided through a network of four state agencies and communitybased agencies, making the Block Grant program one of the main sources of funds for providing social services to the families. Service categories range from services for the elderly, people with developmental disabilities or mental illness, neglected children and adults, exoffenders, victims of domestic violence, families in need of health services, and the unemployed  or under-employed. The State's allocation from the Block Grant is $51 million.

Additional funds are transferred to the Social Services Block Grant from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant (SSBG) (up to 10 percent of TANF). The State's eligible expenditures exceed the federal funding received. In FY 2008, the State's plan for eligible Social Services Block Grant expenditures reflects projected expenditures in excess of $120 million to more than 138,023 adults and children. An  amount of $21 million of the State's Block Grant allocation is appropriated by the State Legislature for the Donated Funds Initiative.

The Donated Funds Initiative is directly administered by the Bureau of Title XX Social Services through collaborative social service delivery effort between State and public, private, and faith-based agencies, allowing for the expansion of service funding without an additional commitment of state/federal funds through a local match requirement.

Block Grant services help people by connecting children and families to social services that will enable them to achieve or maintain self-support and self-sufficiency; preventing or remedying neglect, abuse or exploitation; preventing or reducing inappropriate institutional care; and securing referral or admission or institutional care when other forms of care are not appropriate or providing services to individuals in institutions.

Illinois was allocated $30.5 million dollars which may be used to address social and health services (including mental health services) for individuals, and for repair, renovation or construction of health care facilities, mental health facilities, child care centers and other social services facilities affected by floods and severe storms. Funds are to be obligated by September 30, 2010.

During FY 2009 the Bureau will initiate the Kinship Care Initiative. Through inter-agency collaboration, information, referral, advocacy and linkage information will be developed for nonparental custodial relatives who are raising children. 50 percent (60,000) non-parental custodial head of household with children will be targeted to receive kinship care information.

During FY 2009 the Bureau will provide funding for The Open Door pilot program. This program is a collaboration between the DuPage Federation and IDHS Villa Park Family Community Resource Center that addresses a family's immediate crisis needs and ongoing support service needs to assist families with selfsufficiency. Approximately 100 families will be served during the first year of operation.

Additionally, the Bureau provides funding for an ex-offender reentry program. The program focuses on ex-offenders and their families, primarily in the Englewood community by providing intervention and family reunification support services.

During Fiscal Year 2008 agencies providing transportation services to elderly citizens served more than 6,341 individuals allowing access to medical appointments, financial services and socialization activities. In many cases these services eliminated or reduced the need for institutionalization. Over 3,621 ex-offenders received crucial services aimed at providing skills leading to self-sufficiency and, thus, reducing the rate of recidivism. In excess of 1,456 adults received employability development services to  enable families to escape from the welfare system and become productive citizens.

Alcoholism and substance abuse treatment was provided to over 524 victims of these debilitating diseases. Rehabilitation services were offered too more than individuals with disabilities. Developmental and mental health treatment services were provided to over 8,934 individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for these services. 104,299 youth and their families received treatment and prevention services from IDHS and IDCFS sponsored programs. Services allowing some of Illinois' most fragile families, many whom experience a crisis due to violence, family dysfunction, medical emergencies or lost employment, have hope and opportunity through services provided by the Department's partnership with five crisis nurseries. In FY 08 over 1,900 individuals were served in the Crisis Nursery Initiative.

FAMILY IMPACT

The Division of Human Capital Development (DHCD) approaches its programs and services through the IDHS mission of self-sufficiency for individuals and families. The Division is compelled by the intrinsic human need to attain and maintain independence to the highest level  possible, and the work that is accomplished supports this goal through a variety of benefits and services, either provided directly or through contracted services.

A decade of Welfare Reform has moved families into a stronger position in the workforce, but the need for support services remains crucial to families who are trying to maintain their status and want the opportunity to move forward. With our goal of helping individuals and families realize their strengths and correct or develop areas of weakness, the Division of Human Capital Development continues to concentrate on making support services more easily accessible. Technological advances include an online application process for cash, medical, and  food stamps, allowing twenty-four-hour-a-day access to services. We have made reapplying for food stamps easier through an interactive phone interview system, which is currently offered to 41 percent of the Food Stamp caseload. Through a planned expansion, this option will be made available to over 60 percent of the caseload. A federally sponsored program to enhance outreach capabilities for the Food Stamp program continues to be tested.

The financial value and the impact of these benefits have a significant effect on Illinois families. While assistance provided through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program provided cash support in the amount of $81.9 million to families and children in SFY 08, other programs also help. As an example, the nutritional needs of qualifying Illinois families were supplemented by $1.7 billion in food stamp benefits in SFY 08. And although medical programs are paid through the Illinois

Department of Healthcare and Family Services, families who want medical benefits assistance apply for them, and are served by staff at IDHS Family Community Resource Centers, the same offices where families apply for cash and food stamps. In SFY 08, eligible Illinois families served by these offices received approximately $8.8 billion in medical benefits.

With the reauthorization of TANF through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, families who receive cash assistance are affected by the federal requirement to participate in specific countable employment and training activities.

They will also be held accountable for their work hours. TANF related training programs have become more focused on federally allowed countable activities to help an individual gain employability skills and jobs. IDHS partners and providers are required to provide supervision and submit documentation capturing the number of hours that were completed in each activity.

During SFY 08, an average of 172,200 families benefited each month from childcare assistance. However, this benefit goes beyond the flexible support that allows families to participate in the workforce. It also contributes to the development and education of children and provides a focus for early intervention and prevention initiatives for vulnerable families and children.

Programs, such as Emergency Food and Shelter, which provide housing supports, offer emergency food services, and attempt to prevent homelessness, are lifelines to many Illinois families. Immigrants and refugees benefit from health services, citizenship education and interpretation services. The Division also administers federal Title XX Social Services funds that are used to help individuals and families through a wide variety of programs, often carried out by contractual providers. Families facing changing economic, health, and social conditions benefit, with services ranging from crisis nurseries and youth programs to substance abuse counseling programs, transportation for the elderly and disabled, long term counseling and case management, and many other types of  services.

To ensure the availability of services to all who may qualify, the Division continues to develop and enhance its ability to share information and resources between the Family Community Resource Centers and the provider network.

NEED AND POPULATIONS SERVED

The Division of Human Capital Development encompasses a large percentage and a wide variety of the customers served by IDHS. The 115 Family Community Resource Centers, located in most counties of the state, serve families and individuals who need food stamps, medical, and  cash assistance. They assist with a vast array of self-sufficiency needs, from education and training for the adult to childcare for the  children. Programs within the division and programs that are contracted out also serve those who are disabled, blind, elderly, hungry, seeking shelter and housing, needing childcare, learning English, wanting to pass their citizenship exam, needing transportation, and in need of many other services.

HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT SERVICE DATA

?Program Unit of Service or Measurement SFY08 Actual SFY09 Estimated SFY10 Projected
INCOME ASSISTANCE (Persons)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Average Monthly Cases 28,431 28,400 28,400
Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD) Average Monthly Cases 30,091 29,000 28,000
General Assistance Average Monthly Cases 7,775 7,850 7,900
GA Families Average Monthly Cases 829 850 875
Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD) no grant Average Monthly Cases 391,150 405,000 415,000
Family Health Plan Average Monthly Cases 619,942 675,000 725,000
Foster Care Medical Average Monthly Cases 56,304 53,000 51,000
Food Stamp Program Average Monthly Cases 588,037 630,000 675,000
EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SERVICES
TANF Job Placement, TANF Work First, TANF Special Projects Persons 24,057 24,207 24,207
Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSE&T) Job Placement, FSE&T) Regular Earnfare Persons 13,238 13,606 13,606
Homeless Shelter Persons 47,697 45,418 45,418
Supportive Housing Persons 8,071 7,961 8,000
USDA Commodities Households (Duplicated) 1,858,127 1,895,290 1,933,196
Homeless Prevention Households 12,441 12,441 12,441
Refugee Programs Persons 3,650 3,892 4,148
Immigrant Assistance Persons 81,958 85,600 89,190
Child Care Average Monthly Children 172,300 172,715 172,715
Title XX Social Services Persons 138,023 120,000 120,000

PERFORMANCE MEASURES

?Performance Measures Description SFY08
Actual
SFY09
Estimated
SFY10
PRojected
Number of refugees and immigrants receiving Outreach and Interpretation services. 52,872 55,500 55,000
Percent of TANF clients working and/or engaged in the required number of average countable activities per week. 42.1% 50% 50%
TANF clients working as a percent of TANF clients available to work. 12.2% 12% 12%
Average monthly percentage of TANF Available To Work (ATW) caseloads canceled due to earnings. 6.5% 6% 6%
Number of grandparents/non parental custodians provided with Kinship Care initiative information. 0 50,000 50,000
Clients receiving Food Stamps as a percent of persons living in Poverty. 85.8% 87% 90%
Federal Q.C. Food Stamp payment error rate (FFY). 5.12 5.10 5.08
Percent of working families receiving child care services. 91.9% 91% 92%
Percent of children receiving child care services who are in licensed care. 56.2% 55% 55%
Number of child care providers attaining tiered/quality star ratings. 104 300 400
Number of communities served through food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. 797 851 875
Number of households served. 1,858,127 1,895,290 1,933,196
Pounds of Food Distributed. 12,779,788 166,656,720 171,656,422
FCRC Caseworker Staff Ratio. 757 824 850

STRATEGIC GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS SFY 08

Priority I - Self Sufficiency

Collaborate with human service agencies to help families and individuals obtain economic stability.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 3

Implement TANF work and training programs according to TANF Reauthorization Requirements.

Objective(s)
  • Through June 30, 2008, assist providers with developing resources to help clients achieve required countable activities.
  • By September 30, 2008, help customers engage in activities and meet required work hours and regulations.
  • By September 30, 2008, meet the federal work participation rate of 50 percent for all families with one adult working or in work-related activities.
Accomplishment(s)

During FY 2008, and continuing in FY 2009, resources were developed with paid and unpaid providers, including faith-based organizations and community-based partners, to assist clients in achieving their required countable activities.

Individual and quarterly meetings have been conducted to strategize different methods to achieve success with client participation. Staff have assisted providers in identifying best practices and ways to improve their service delivery. Tools and desk aids were developed to help providers help clients achieve their required hours. Outcomes are measured by weekly and monthly data reports that reflect customer engagement. Customers are currently meeting required work hours. The federal work participation rate of 50 percent appears to be on target for FFY 08 which ended in September.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 5

Improve Food Stamp Participation.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2008, evaluate the Express Stamps Demonstration Project for success in reaching target groups, determining how many reapply and are approved for the regular Food Stamp Program and for payment accuracy.
  • Through September 30, 2008, reduce the state food stamp error rate to 5.89 percent.
  • By December 30, 2008, work with Central Management Services, MIS to resolve existing system issues and launch the on-line cash, medical and food stamp application system.
  • From October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2011, maintain the Q.C. Federal food stamp error rate to at or below 105 percent of the National average.
Accomplishment(s)

The evaluation of the Express Stamps Demonstration Project was completed at the IDHS level. The USDA Food and Nutrition Services is revisiting the evaluation methodology  to address their concerns. Evaluation of the food stamp phone determination system was completed in July 2008. As a result of its success, IDHS requested permission from USDA to expand the program.

Achieving a food stamp error rate of 5.89 percent appears on target. The Division has been working steadily with MIS and Central Management Services to resolve existing system issues and the online application system is currently in its testing stage with actual customers.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 6

Increase customer access to DHCD services through technology based programs.

Objective(s)

By June 30, 2009, provide EBT/LINK card clients access to an internet portal.

Accomplishment(s)

The Division has successfully implemented changes to the EBT/LINK system, whereby new and replacement cards are mailed to customers. The Link toll-free number was expanded for customers to select a PIN, order a replacement card, or get transaction information. To accomplish the same customer service needs as the toll-free number, an Internet portal is being developed for the planned target date.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 7

Support families and children by improving the quality of child care and increasing the number of families served following eligibility increases.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2008, design the automated child care case management system.
  • By June 30, 2008, begin a tiered reimbursement program with rate enhancements for 8,800 child care providers meeting programmatic, operational or staffing requirements.
  • By June 30, 2008, evaluate the Quality Rating and Tiered Reimbursement System (QRS).
  • Through June 30, 2008, maintain the current number of children receiving child care subsidy to at or above 172,852.
  • By June 30, 2008, develop an implementation plan to provide child care assistance for families with an income of up to 200 percent of the Federal poverty level.
Accomplishment(s)

The design of the automated child care case management system has been completed and the RFP has been written and awaits posting.

The tiered reimbursement program with rate enhancements was implemented flawlessly. The Division is working with National Louis University to analyze data that has been collected during the first year. The evaluation is due to be completed by December 2009. The implementation of a plan to provide child care assistance for families with an income of up to 200 percent of Federal poverty level was implemented ahead of schedule.

Priority II - Independence

Collaborate with human service agencies to effectively help individuals with disabilities to maximize independence.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 19

Design a process to ensure individuals approved for the Home and Community Based Services Waivers (HCBS) are approved for and continue to receive Medicaid.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2008, develop inter/intra agency communication and tracking tools.
  • By December 30, 2008, implement a tracking process to ensure eligible children and young adults with disabilities are approved for Medicaid.
Accomplishment(s)

A tracking tool was developed for the Home and Community Based Services Waiver. Waiver approval letters are received, logged-in, and tracked for Medicaid Approval. Approval letters are forwarded to the IHFS All Kids Unit, informing them of individuals with pending applications at their offices that have been approved for the waiver program. IDHS Offices are alerted about individuals that are approved for the waiver. New coding has been developed for entering into the system for medical cases that were approved for the waiver.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 20

Enhance transportation services for refugees with disabilities.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2008, establish coordination procedures among refugee resettlement agencies.
  • By June 30, 2008, solicit participation of service providers in the assessment of transportation and service delivery needs of refugees with disabilities.
  • By June 30, 2008, work with IDPH to identify possible funds to fulfill transportation needs.
Accomplishment(s)

An upward amendment to IDPH was approved to initiate accessible transportation to rehabilitation services.

Priority III - Health

Collaborate with human service agencies to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families and provide effective treatment to individuals in need.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 38

Evaluate current programs addressing the social, emotional, and mental health needs of young children and their families and the mental health consultative services for caregivers.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2008, research and analyze the goals and processes of expulsion from early childhood settings.
  • By June 30, 2008, identify childcare programs that are coordinated, complimentary, and provide the continuum of care needed.
Accomplishment(s)

In FY 08, 5,920 mental health consultation services activities were conducted in early childhood settings and out of those, 131 referrals were made to community based mental health providers for additional services to the child and their family.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 40

Increase food resources for Illinois residents living in poverty.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2008, implement the Food For Families Initiative.
  • By June 30, 2008, increase the number of households served by food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters to an estimated 37,500 additional households.
  • By June 30, 2008, increase the amount of food available for distribution to 1 million pounds.
Accomplishment(s)

The Food For Families initiative was implemented in the time frame between March and June 2008. 865,808 families (2,765,738  individuals) were served. Included in that number is 3,184,118 meals that were served by soup kitchens, shelters and other organizations. 1,723,670 pounds of food were distributed statewide.

STRATEGIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES SFY 09 - 11

Priority I - Self Sufficiency

Collaborate with human service agencies to help families and individuals obtain economic stability.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 3

Implement TANF work and training programs according to TANF Reauthorization Requirements.

Objective(s)
  • By December 31, 2011, implement electronic tracking system to capture countable activities and attendance.
  • By September 30, 2009, meet the federal work participation rate of 50 percent for all families with one adult working or in work related activities.
  • By June 30, 2009, maintain the percentage of TANF clients working (of clients available to work) at or above 12.2 percent.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 4

Develop and expand a Coordinated Kinship Care program.

Objective(s)
  • By July, 1, 2009, develop, implement, and coordinate a program model with information, referral, advocacy, and linkage services for non parental custodian relatives.
  • By October 1, 2009, communicate Kinship Care initiative information to 50,000 grandparents raising grandchildren.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 5

Improve Food Stamp Participation.

Objective(s)
  • By December 30, 2009, expand the Food Stamp phone redetermination system to households allowed by USDA Food and Nutrition Services.
  • By December 30, 2009, implement Expanded Simplified Reporting for the Food Stamp Program per USDA Food and Nutrition Services regulations.
  • By December 30, 2009, improve Food stamp participation by 3 percent.
  • From July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011, maintain the percentage of clients receiving Food Stamps (as a percent of persons living in Poverty) at a rate of 90 percent or above.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 6

Increase customer access to DHCD services through technology based programs.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2009, provide EBT/LINK card clients access to an internet portal.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 7

Support families and children by improving the quality of child care and increasing the number of families served following eligibility increases.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2009, increase the percent of working families receiving child care to 92 percent.
  • By June 30, 2009, increase the percent of children receiving child care services who are in licensed settings to 55 percent.
  • By June 30, 2009, increase the number of children receiving child care in QRS rated settings by 1 percent.

Priority II - Independence

Collaborate with human service agencies to effectively help individuals with disabilities to maximize independence.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 19

Design a process to ensure individuals approved for the Home and Community Based Services Waivers (HCBS) are approved for and continue to receive Medicaid.

Objective(s)
  • By December 30, 2008, implement a tracking process to ensure eligible children and young adults with disabilities are approved for Medicaid.
  • By June 30, 2009, collaborate with agency, interagency and community partners to coordinate an application process for waivers and Medicaid.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 20

Enhance transportation services for refugees with disabilities.

Objective(s)

Through June 30, 2009, monitor utilization to assess the viability of continuance.

Priority III - Health

Collaborate with human service agencies to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families and provide effective treatment to individuals in need.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 38

Support the social, emotional, and mental health needs of young children and their families by providing mental health consultative services for caregivers, children, and their families.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2010, ensure the training of childcare teachers in effective programming for children with social/emotional challenges.
  • By June 30, 2010, help in the development of treatment resources needed in the community.
  • By June 30, 2010, provide on-site observation and technical assistance to retain children in child care settings.
  • By June 30, 2010, provide referrals to community resource when ongoing treatment of child/family is required.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 40

Increase food resources for Illinois residents living in poverty.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2010, increase access to food by participants in remote areas with the Illinois Food banks utilization of the Mobile Food Pantry.
  • By June 30, 2009, increase by .5 million pounds the amount of fresh produce available to needy households.
  • By June 30, 2009, purchase and distribute an  additional 1.3 million pounds of food through the food network.

Priority VI - Integration

Implement cross-cutting processes that enhance achievement of the agency's core mission and provide seamless integrated services for individuals, families and communities.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 71

Collaborate with community providers serving DHCD customers to achieve DHCD strategic initiatives.

Objective(s)
  • By March 1, 2009, distribute an informational publication for providers, internal resource units, legislators and pertinent community/governmental entities.
  • By June 30, 2009, provide information to community partners to improve food stamp participation and create better knowledge of Title XX programs and services.

Priority VII - Workforce

Implement hiring, training and development processes that enhance achievement of the agency's core mission and ensure an ethical, diverse and competent workforce.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 92

Achieve staffing requirements/standards in all FCRCs/DHCD offices.

Objective(s)
  • By June 30, 2010, achieve Caseworker Staffing Ratios of 1: 597 in FCRCs.
  • By June 30, 2011, achieve the ''Community Standard'' of Caseworker staffing ratios in FCRCs of 1:450.
  • By June 30, 2011, achieve an Intake ratio of 1:110 in all FCRCs.
  • By June 30, 2011, achieve a case worker to manager ratio of 10:1 in all FCRCs.
  • By June 30, 2011, achieve a clerical to other staff ratio of 1:7 in all FCRCs.