Partners For Hope Program (PFH)
Youth and Adult Services
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


The Partners for Hope (PFH) program targets the faith-based community in Illinois.


The purpose of the Partners for Hope program is to build strong partnerships between state agencies and faith-based organizations, with the following specific goals:

  1. Increase an ethic of service and volunteerism in the state of Illinois;
  2. Increase the capacity of faith-based organizations within the state to better compete for funding opportunities; and
  3. Increase collaboration among the people and organizations that are trying to meet the greatest social service needs of our state.


  1. Work with both state agencies and faith-based organizations to raise awareness of the federal charitable choice mandate, which allows the use of certain government funds to purchase social services from religious organizations.
  2. Work with state agencies to make all necessary changes to actively engage in collaborative efforts with faith-based organizations for the provision of social services on the same basis as other non-governmental providers, using neutral criteria that neither favor nor disfavor religion, to the fullest extent permitted under the law.
  3. Take all necessary steps to implement the charitable choice provisions of the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, the Welfare-to-Work grant program, the Community Services Block Grant program, the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act, and any current or future legislation adopting a charitable choice provision.
  4. Take affirmative steps prescribed by the charitable choice provision of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act to respect the religious integrity and the functional autonomy of participating faith-based social service providers and the religious freedom of their beneficiaries.
  5. Develop a mechanism in the state of Illinois to link faith-based organizations with the various departments of state government; and
  6. Serve as a primary point of contact for faith-based organizations seeking to partner with state government for funding opportunities, program development, etc.

Delivery Method

PFH delivers services through workshops, conference presentations and one-on-one consultation.

Program Data

Program Expenditures (Numbers in 000's) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Number of Grantees N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number Served 2,500 3,500 2,500 2,000

Program Effectiveness

The PFH program has succeeded in increasing the number of faith-based organizations interfacing with IDHS.

  •  Worked to achieve integration into the discussions and activities of the Serve Illinois Commission.
  • Administered PFH questionnaire to the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI) offices of Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, and Indiana and conducted evaluation of their offices and functions.
  • Contacted all associates listed in PFH database via telephone, email, or mail.
  • Developed a Partners for Hope newsletter, The Messenger.
  • Developed Partners for Hope brochure, The Messenger.
  • Created PFH training presentation and strategy plan.
  • Developed list of federal funding opportunities for the Department's PFH web page.