Official Early Intervention Taskforce Report
Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Bureau of Early Intervention


Recommendations:

Recommendation #3
The Bureau of Early Intervention will coordinate and undertake a number of activities targeted to improve the recruitment, development and retention of highly qualified and culturally and linguistically competent personnel.

Background

The Bureau of Early Intervention is required to provide children and families with high quality services provided in the family's native language. There are a number of factors that influence the recruitment and retention of highly qualified and culturally linguistically competent personnel. These factors include reimbursement rates (EI providers have only received one Cost of Doing Business increase in ten years), program structure, policies and procedures and communication strategies.

Rational for Recommendation

  • There are an inadequate number of service providers to meet the needs of all eligible children in the Part C Early Intervention Program, which is resulting in service delays for some children, and some providers do not fully understand or embrace recommended practices in Early Intervention or Illinois' EI principles.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention has difficulty recruiting and retaining providers with significant experience and expertise. Because of the unique challenges involved with serving infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities and delays, it is imperative that the personnel providing service to these children be highly qualified.
  • There is a shortage of culturally and linguistically competent personnel as demonstrated by the Program's over-reliance on language Interpreters. While Interpreters provide a valuable service, it is accepted that the preferred practice is to provide the child and family with a service providers who are culturally and linguistically competent themselves.

Required Actions

  • The Finance Committee of the IICEI will conduct a targeted review of the EI rate structure in order to assess the flexibility of the rate structure to adjust for factors such as:
    1. cultural and linguistic competence,
    2. experience,
    3. expertise and/or
    4. service area.

Recommendations will be given to the Bureau of Early Intervention.

  • The IICEI will review Bureau of Early Intervention policies and procedures that influence provider recruitment, including - but not limited to policies and procedures which restrict payment to associate level providers for IFSP Meeting participation and policies that preclude immediate access to Speech and Language Pathology graduating students, and provide recommendations for modification or enhancement to the Bureau of EI.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will review current procedures for communicating with CFCs and service providers to improve consistency in interpretation and implementation.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will strongly consider making select provider trainings mandatory, including, but not limited to, training on EI principles and recommended practices and Child Outcomes.
  • The IICEI will review existing marketing/provider recruitment materials and provide recommendations to the Bureau of Early Intervention to improve existing materials and develop new materials to assist with efforts to recruit highly qualified and culturally and linguistically competent personnel.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will work with Higher Education to focus on attracting students with varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds to pre-service programs.