Division of Family and Community Services (Fact Sheet) - DHS 4030

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS)

The Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS) recognizes Illinois' communities as its most significant partners in preventing conditions that keep children and families from reaching their full potential. The division administers a range of programs that provide services and supports that build toward truly healthy environments in which children develop and families live and work.

More than 100 Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) -- the local offices across the state -- provide a doorway to a variety of benefits, programs and services offered directly by us or through our contracted providers. Cash assistance, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and medical assistance are three benefits our customers most often seek through this division. Staff in each office assists families to apply for and receive these benefits and help link them to other state agencies and community-based organizations in their area for needed services. Customers are fully involved in their service planning and share responsibility for reaching their goals for self-sufficiency or maximum independence.

The types of services we offer are described below

  • Cash Assistance - Persons who need direct cash assistance can apply for programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD).
  • SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps low-income families buy food. An online eligibility calculator can be used to get an estimate of benefit amounts.
  • Medical Care - Medical assistance, including Medicaid, and medical treatment for the blind, disabled, persons over 65, families with children under age 19, and pregnant women, are available by qualifying for a medical card.
  • Child Care - IDHS subsidizes child care services for low-income working families to assure them of quality, affordable child care while they work. Families share the costs on a sliding scale.
    • Visit www.dhs.state.il.us/applications/ChildCareEligCalc/eligcalc.asp for the Child Care Eligibility Calculator, as well as links to contracted Child Care Resource Referral Agencies (CCR&R) located throughout the state. Applications are taken at the CCR&Rs, where families can also get referrals for licensed child care providers.
  • Refugee and Immigrant Services - IDHS contracts for counseling services to help refugees and immigrants adjust to their new environment. English Language Training and employment programs are offered to promote economic independence and social self-reliance. Other aid includes culturally sensitive mental health assistance and services for K-12 refugee children, youth and foreign born seniors. Additionally, IDHS arranges for citizenship instruction and application assistance, supported by a broad network of interpreter services for limited-English individuals seeking access to public benefits and programs, and offers child care and social services for preschool children of low income migrant and seasonal farm workers.

    In addition to temporary assistance the division also improves the health and well-being of families and individuals through partnerships and services that build strong communities. We offer a wide array of programs and services, including:

    • Healthy Mothers and Babies - Family planning; aid in acquiring medical care for pregnant women and young children; nutrition counseling and additional food for young children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; services for infants and toddlers with developmental challenges and home visits to support new parents.
    • Healthy Children and Adolescents - Services to help prevent teen pregnancies, substance abuse and juvenile crime through positive youth development, education, service learning and school/after-school health programs. There is also supplementary assistance for at-risk and runaway/homeless youth who must cope with additional challenges, as well as supervised support for teen parents.
    • Helping Troubled Families - Domestic violence services, including shelter, counseling, rape prevention and crisis intervention to troubled families. Substance Abuse Prevention prevention specialists work with youth and educators in schools and with community stakeholders, parents and local coalitions, to deliver an array of substance abuse prevention strategies that have been proven effective in addressing local needs.

The Division's Gateway to Other Services

IDHS is the gateway to many services. Some are funded and monitored by the Department through the Division of Family and Community Services, but are delivered through contracted providers. See the IDHS web site at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=27893 for more information about these programs and services and where you may find them close to your location:

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) puts cash back in your pocket. IDHS can assist with getting local help for filing your taxes to show you how to use this benefit.

Homeless Prevention serves households in immediate danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness or are currently homeless due to an economic crisis beyond its control.

Supportive Housing helps prevent people returning to or falling into homelessness by strengthening their ability to function independently.

Emergency and Transitional Housing provides funding for meals, shelter and supportive services to non-profit organizations and local governments.

Emergency Food Program (EFP) provides food at no cost to help supplement the diets of needy low-income households.

Financial Literacy helps limited-resource individuals understand and develop good financial management and consumer practices. Classes are taught by non-for-profit agencies or University of Illinois Educators.

Immigrant and Refugee Services help meet the special needs of our foreign-born population with outreach programs, interpretation and other specialized services, and classes such as English as a Second Language, civics, and US history.

Healthy Child Care Illinois provides a network of registered nurses who help child care workers provide quality care for the well-being of Illinois' children, including training, consulting, assessments, policy development, conference planning, and playground safety.

For more information call or visit your

Illinois Department of Human Services' Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions.

If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

1-800-843-6154 (Voice)

1-800-447-6404 (TTY)

You may speak to a representative between:

8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Monday - Friday (except state holidays)

For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services

Bureau of Customer Support and Services

100 South Grand Avenue East

Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our web site at: www.dhs.state.il.us

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4030 (R-07-14) Fact Sheet - Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS) Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.

2,000 copies P.O. #15-0060