Please direct all program related information and questions to:

Brenda Matthews
401 South Clinton, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL  60607
Phone: 312-793-8811
Fax: 312-793-4666
Email: Brenda.Matthews@illinois.gov

I. Introduction/Definition

The mission of the Peer Counselor program is to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, long term health benefits of women, infants and children, and reduce the incidence of obesity in childhood and later life.

The program provides specialized breastfeeding education, encouragement and support to pregnant and breastfeeding women. Peer Counselors do on-site counseling and education, home visits, telephone consultations, hospital visits, and lead support groups. Peer Counselors also assist participants with breast pump use and provide outreach to hospitals and physicians on breastfeeding services offered.

The program works in collaboration and cooperation with local health departments, not-for-profit health and social service agencies, FQHCs, county boards of health and other organizations, such as the National WIC Association.

II. Policies & Procedures

The Provider will administer the Peer Counselor Program in accordance with the following:

  1. Guidelines and definitions developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Service as set forth in Title 7, Part 246, United States Code of Federal Regulations.
  2. Appropriate rules promulgated by the United States Office of Management and Budget, such as Circulars A-87, A-110, A-122 and A-133. Applicable circulars are hereby acknowledged as being reviewed and in compliance by the Provider.
  3. Illinois WIC Policy and Procedure Manual, and changes thereto which may be necessary for Department and Provider Peer Counselor program administration. Said manual is hereby acknowledged as being received by the Provider.
  4. Reporting Requirements - A portion of the funding for this grant agreement is from a federal award which requires a close out (separation of expenditures) as of September 30. This means documentation for expenditures incurred on or prior to September 30 must be submitted separately from documentation for expenditures incurred on or after October 1. The final documentation reporting expenditures incurred on or prior to September 30 shall be submitted to the Department by November 15.

III. Contract and Amendment Process

Contract Process

The contract between the Department and the Provider is generally referred to as the Agreement and consists of several parts:

  1. Community Service Agreement, containing the standard contract language used for all Department contracts
  2. Exhibit A, containing Scope of Services/Purpose of Grant
  3. Exhibit B, containing Deliverables
  4. Exhibit C, containing Payment Information
  5. Exhibit D, containing Contact Information
  6. Exhibit E, containing Performance Measures
  7. Exhibit F, containing Performance Standards
  8. Exhibit G, containing State Agency Contracts
  9. Attachment E
  10. The Program Manual, attached by reference to the Agreement, contains the program service provisions.

The Department will initiate the contract by having it online for the Provider to obtain and sign. The Provider will fax signature page to the Department to obtain the Secretary's signature and the Department will return a copy of the executed signature page of the contract to the Provider via pdf email.

Amendment Process

There are two types of amendments to an executed Community Service Agreement.

  1. Letters of increase or decrease - A letter is sent to the Provider stating the intent to increase or decrease dollars to specific program services existing in the Community Service Agreement. There is no need for the Provider to sign and return this document.
  2. Formal amendments - A two-party signed agreement to an executed Agreement is a formal amendment. The following process is required for a formal amendment to be processed:
    1. Adding new program services - An amendment to add a new program service must contain a detailed summary of services to be provided under the executed Community Services Agreement and a method of payment.
    2. Extending the service dates of the Community Services Agreement*- An amendment to extend the service dates of the Community Services Agreement must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the original Community Services Agreement; Provider name; clause stating the new term of the Agreement; signatures of the Provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services

      *NOTE: A Community Services Agreement end date should only be June 30 due to mandates in the State Finance Act regarding audit period. Language on pages one through nine in the Community Services Agreement may not be changed.

    3. Extending the service dates of an existing program attachment - An amendment to extend the date of a specific attachment in the existing Community Services Agreement must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the original Community Services Agreement; Provider name; clause stating the new term and the specific attachment name and number; signatures of the Provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services
    4. Changing language within an existing program attachment - An amendment to change language in an existing program attachment of the Community Services Agreement must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the Community Services Agreement; Provider name; clause(s) stating the new language; signatures of the Provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services

IV. Deliverables/Costs/Payments

  1. Payments to the Provider are scheduled on a monthly basis. The first payment is scheduled to be a prospective payment of 1/12 of the provider contract. All future payments will be reconciled based on submitted documentation. Failure of the Provider to submit documentation may result in a reduction to the total award. In the case of special circumstances, please contact the Department for consideration.
  2. The final payment from the Department under this Agreement shall be made upon the Department's determination that all requirements under this Agreement have been completed, which determination shall not be unreasonably withheld. Such final payment will be subject to adjustment after the completion of a review of the Provider's records as provided in the agreement.

V. Provider Responsibilities

Services to be provided include, but are not limited to:

  1. Provide specialized breastfeeding education, encouragement and support to pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
  2. Provide home visits, telephone consultations, hospital visits, and lead support groups of participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
  3. Provide assistance/education with breast pump use and provide outreach to hospitals and physicians on breastfeeding services offered to participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
  4. Provide safeguards against agency, vendor or participant abuse of Peer Counselor program funds or services
  5. Integrate/coordinate services with the Family Case Management (FCM) program serving the provider Peer Counselor program recipients.
  6. The Provider agrees to comply with requirements in accordance with Illinois WIC Policy and Procedure Manual.  Staff must receive breastfeeding training annually, appropriate to their job duties.
  7. The Program applicant hereby agrees that it will comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C.1681 et seq.) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.794), Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.); all provisions required by the implementing regulations of the Department of Agriculture; Department of Justice Enforcement Guidelines, 28 CFR 50.3 and 42; and FNS directives and guidelines, to the effect that, no person shall, on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination under any program or activity for which the Program applicant receives Federal financial assistance from FNS; and hereby gives assurance that it will immediately take measures necessary to effectuate this agreement.

    By accepting this assurance, the Program applicant agrees to compile data, maintain records and submit reports as required, to permit effective enforcement of the nondiscrimination laws and permit authorized USDA personnel during normal working hours to review such records, books and accounts as needed to ascertain compliance with the nondiscrimination laws. If there are any violations of this assurance, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, shall have the right to seek judicial enforcement of this assurance. This assurance is binding on the Program applicant, its successors, transferees and assignees, as long as it receives assistance or retains possession of any assistance from the Department. The person or persons whose signatures appear below are authorized to sign this assurance on behalf of the Program applicant.

  8. The Provider must conduct a self-monitoring evaluation of its operations annually to ensure compliance with state policies. Provider tools used for self-monitoring must be the State Peer Counselor Program Evaluation tool or other state approved tool. The Provider must maintain a file of completed self-monitoring evaluation forms for review by state or federal staff.

VI. Department Responsibilities

The Department will provide technical assistance and monitoring for all programs operated under Family and Community Services.

VII. Support Services

Utilization of Community Resources

It shall be the responsibility of each project director to coordinate the services provided through the project with other sources of care in the community, such as:

  1. The Illinois Medical Assistance Program
  2. Local Health Departments
  3. Neighborhood Health Centers
  4. Local Child Development Clinics
  5. Division of Specialized Care for Children
  6. Local Hospitals
  7. Local Children and Family Services Programs
  8. Local Schools
  9. Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  10. Regional Perinatal Centers
  11. Local Early Intervention Programs for Infants and Toddlers with disabilities
  12. Other related social service agencies

Please refer to 77 Ill. Adm. Code 630.160 and 630.170; Other Applicable Rules; and to the program-specific Exhibits for additional requirements.

VIII. Billing Instructions

Providers shall use the following methodology to document the use of these funds:

  1. The Provider shall provide summary documentation by line item of actual expenditures incurred for the purchase of goods and services necessary for conducting program activities. The Provider shall use generally accepted accounting practices to record expenditures and revenues as outlined in DHS Rule 509, Fiscal Administrative Recordkeeping and Requirements.
  2. Expenditures shall be recorded in the Provider's records in such a manner as to establish an audit trail for future verification of appropriate use of Agreement funds.
  3. Expenditure documentation must be submitted in the format defined by the Division of Family and Community Services. Expenditures must be received by the Department no later than the 15th day of the month following the month of service. Any change in this schedule must be submitted in writing to the Department. Final billings must be received by the 15th day of the month following the end of the Agreement period.

    The Provider shall submit expenditure documentation by one of the following means:

    1. Mailing Address
      Charlotte Heberling
      100 South Grand Ave., East, 2nd floor
      Springfield, IL  62762
      Phone:  (217) 524-5835
    2. Fax
      (217) 524-2491
    3. Email Charlotte.Heberling@illinois.gov
  4. All financial record keeping on the part of the Provider shall be in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles consistently applied.
  5. The Provider shall allocate and report WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program expenditures. This is a requirement of the federal award.

Expenditure Documentation Form Instructions

Expenditure Documentation Form

IX. Program Monitoring

Programs operated by the Provider under this contract will be monitored by the Department to review the program's progress according to stated goals, measurable objectives and administrative operations.

X. Program Budget

Providers agree to establish and utilize a budget approved by the Provider's Board of Directors.

XI. Appendices/Forms

The Peer Counselor Program does not require special appendices or forms.

In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.