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


Recommendations:

Recommendation #5
The Bureau of Early Intervention will coordinate a comprehensive review of Illinois' current initial and annual eligibility criteria and eligibility determination processes in order to assure that children are appropriately identified in a timely manner, that service recommendations are unbiased and that children who are no longer eligible are transitioned smoothly out of the Part C EI Program to other community services, if necessary.

Background

State Part C Programs are required to establish rigorous definitions of the term "developmental delay" in order to be able to reliably and validly determine which children are eligible for the Part C EI Program and which are not. States vary in the structures used to facilitate eligibility determination, the personnel used to administer the testing instruments, measurement criteria (for developmental delay) and the testing instruments themselves.

Rationale for Recommendation

  • Many national experts in early childhood advocate strategies for eligibility determination that differ from the one currently used in Illinois.
  • In a Vendor system, such as the one Illinois is operating, allowing Evaluators to be the providers of ongoing services has the potential to create a conflict of interest.
  • Annual eligibility criteria are considered by a number of Taskforce members and system stakeholders to be too broad, resulting in children remaining in the Part C EI Program when it is no longer developmentally necessary.

Required Actions

  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will facilitate a targeted review of Illinois' definition of developmental delay for eligibility determination in light of current recommended practices and will seek input from the IICEI regarding any recommended changes to statute, policy, procedure and/or practice.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention will review models of evaluation and assessment, which will eliminate the conflict of interest that exists within the current system. This may take place as a part of the larger comprehensive review of the service delivery model detailed in Recommendation #2 above.
  • The Bureau of Early Intervention, in collaboration with its' advocacy partners (Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Voices for Illinois Children, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, Chicago Medical Legal Fund, and the Illinois Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children), will review the Program's annual eligibility criteria and identify changes which would more clearly delineate children who should remain eligible from children who should transition from EI.