Andrea Palmer
401 S. Clinton, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-793-7957
Fax: 312-793-4666

I.  Introduction/Definition

Illinois Project LAUNCH is a grant program of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which seeks to promote the wellness of young children birth to age eight. Using a public health approach, Project LAUNCH focuses on improving the systems that serve young children and address their physical, emotional, social, cognitive and behavioral growth. Illinois is one of 24 SAMHSA funded states. Illinois Project LAUNCH will work on the west side of Chicago over five years to test evidence-based practices, improve collaboration among child-serving organizations, and integrate physical and mental health services and supports for children and their families. Lessons learned from these communities will guide state level systems change and policy development.


All children reach physical, social, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive milestones. Project LAUNCH aims to have all young children reach their developmental potential, enter school ready to learn, and experience success in the early grades. The following goal is expected to be achieved by the following strategies:

  • Mental Health Consultation: Illinois Project LAUNCH Mental Health Consultants work with local agencies, providers and parents to increase community capacity to meet the mental health needs of young children. The goal of Illinois Project LAUNCH Mental Health Consultation is to ensure that families with young children maintain physical and social-emotional and behavioral health by providing support to providers and agencies to better address issues that arise from families they serve.
  • Home Visiting and Referrals: The Home Visiting component of Illinois Project LAUNCH is to ensure that "at risk" families are connected to services they need (e.g home visiting programs, WIC, FCM, Doula, and Health Care Providers). The electronic referral tracking database (GP³S: Guiding People, Providers, and Parents through the Systems) will allow Project LAUNCH participating agencies to have a seamless inter agency referral system for families with young children. A key advantage for becoming a Project LAUNCH partner will allow access to an array of services which entails: Tracking disposition of referrals, monitoring outcomes of services, improving accountability of service providers, providing history of services offered and provided to families, building greater understanding of community resources among families and service providers, and providing real time information about service ability. GP3S is designed with four Domains were families will be referred to services: Wellness and Health, Family Support, Community Support, Early Care and Education. In addition, providers will be able to conduct screenings on families to monitor needs related to exposure to violence, maternal depression and the need for a medical home.
  • Home-visiting programs are an important component of early childhood systems development efforts. Program goals vary across home-visiting programs, but most deal with issues such as health care, education, and development. Models such as the Nurse-Family Partnership have demonstrated the long-term positive benefits of such programs. Working directly with families and caregivers in natural environments, these home-visiting programs are able to offer the support and guidance families need.
  • Developmental Assessments: Within the service enhancement area of child development, Illinois Project LAUNCH hopes to ensure all young children birth through age 8 on the Westside of Chicago receive developmental screenings, reach physical, social, emotional, behavioral and cognitive milestones for school readiness and access appropriate services to improve child well-being. Child development work plans have been created to address the needs identified by the IPL Environmental Scan:
    • Improve mechanism of tracking screenings within the community
    •  Promote parent knowledge and consistent utilization of screenings
    •  Promote providers' knowledge/practice regarding developmental screenings
    • Support local Head Start and child care programs with specialized trainings
    • Identify "at-risk" children that are ineligible for services and are monitored
  • Targeted outcomes include: increased number of children are screened, referred for services and receive follow-up services, increased number of children receive developmental screening in primary care and early care and education settings and results and referrals will be tracked routinely in a formal referral tracking system, "at-risk" children are referred to prevention programs that decrease delays and an increased number of families transition seamlessly from Early Intervention/Part C to Early Childhood Special Education/Part B services and then to kindergarten.

Recent policy statements by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education have highlighted the importance of early childhood professionals' use of developmental screening and assessments to identify developmental delays and disorders. Many states, some through funding from the Commonwealth Fund's Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD), are adopting approaches to support universal developmental screening and assessment in primary care and/or early education settings.

  • Family Strengthening and Parent Leadership: Illinois Project LAUNCH has developed a Family Strengthening component that is tailored to address the need for families to obtain evidence-based information about parenting through the Chicago Parent Program, social networking and meaningful conversations through Parent Cafes and parent leadership skills that help families develop their skills within their families, communities and the early childhood system. In addition, we provider Family Engagement Trainings to providers that help agencies identify the importance in engaging families in programs as well as effective roles where parents are involved in ways that are both beneficial to them and to agencies.
  • Family strengthening activities and parent skills training are key components of the Project LAUNCH approach to family support. Some experts define family support as a constellation of formal and informal services and supports and tangible goods that are defined and determined by families. By building on family members' strengths and taking into account their culture, language, and values, Project LAUNCH supports family members in parenting their own children; providing support to other families; and informing the services and policies that affect their lives.
  • Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care and other provider settings: Recent studies indicate that one in five U.S. children and adolescents experience mental health problems. Because 75 percent of children with diagnosed mental health disorders are seen in primary care settings, pediatricians and other primary care providers are often in a position of having to address social, emotional and behavioral issues presented by their patients. Integration models seek to bring mental health expertise into the primary care practice both through having mental health consultants on site and through training primary care staff to be able to recognize, assess, and provide appropriate referrals to help their patients who have mental health needs. Illinois has chosen to pick The Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care Project (EDOPC). This is a resource for healthcare providers in Illinois. EDOPC trainings work to improve the delivery and financing of preventive health and developmental services for children birth to age three.

In addition to EDOPC trainings, Project LAUNCH also promotes trauma informed trainings as well as multi-dimensional trainings that serve as a foundation to conducting these trainings. These trainings include Mental Health First Aid, Children's Exposure to Violence, Adverse Childhood Experiences and their long-term impacts, Brain Architecture, Strengths Based Practices, Social Emotional Learning, Protective Factors, Community Collaboration, and Parent Engagement and Leadership. These trainings are being promoted in natural setting such as early care and education centers, schools, parenting programs, home visiting and other mental health services and supports that promote mental wellness and prevent mental illnesses and concerns.

  • Promoting Shared Vision and Leadership around Mental Wellness: An important part of the work that Project LAUNCH is doing is working with communities to reduce stigma around mental health services and promoting a healthy concept of positive mental health for families and providers. As part of this work, Illinois Project LAUNCH is working on Provider Wellness Cafes to support providers in working with families better as well as supporting the following campaigns:

II.  Policies & Procedures

This grant is a federally funded grant awarded by SAMHSA directly to IDHS to sub-contract out to community agencies to fulfill goals and objectives. The policies and procedures of SAMHSA in addition to IDHS are to be adhered to in the administration of this grant and any contracts.

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 from the Department 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 will be made on a prospective basis, rounded to the nearest $100.00. The final prospective payment may be greater or lesser than the previous payments due to rounding.
  2. The Department will compare the amount of the prospective payments made to date with the documented services and expenditures provided to the Department by the Provider. In the event the documented services provided by the Provider do not justify the level of award being provided to the Provider, future payments may be withheld or reduced until such time as the services documentation provided by the Provider equals the amounts previously provided to the Provider. Failure of the Provider to provide timely documentation may result in a reduction to the total award.
  3. 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

Service Area: Service areas covered by this grant include North and South Lawndale and East and West Garfield Park providers and families.

  1. Service Area: Service areas covered by this grant include North and South Lawndale and East and West Garfield Park providers and families.
  2. Reports:
    1. The Provider will be a part of collection activities as specified by State and Local Coordinators as needed for the Project Evaluation Plan
    2. The Provider is responsible for accurate monitoring employees hired to implement any activities for the grant. The Provider agrees to be fully liable for the truth, accuracy and completeness of all reporting. Any submittal of false or fraudulent reports or any concealment of a material fact shall be cause for immediate termination and may be prosecuted under applicable federal and state laws.
    3. The Provider shall provide information specified by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to the client's medical care provider and managed care entity to ensure care.
  3. Quality Assurance:
    1. The Provider shall maintain a quality assurance process and shall submit to the Department an updated Quality Assurance Plan.
    2. The Department, or its designee, will monitor the delivery of project activities through site visits and meetings.
  4. Training:  The Provider shall attend all Local and State Council (and A Team meetings and trainings) as identified by the State and Local Coordinators for their perspective areas.
  5. Performance Standards:  The Provider must meet the Performance Standards as required by the Federal funder SAMHSA.
  6. Program Goals: The Provider will work toward meeting the following program goals:
    1. Mental Health Consultation
    2. Home Visiting and Referrals
    3. Developmental Assessments
    4. EDOPC Trainings
    5. Family Strengthening and Leadership
  7. Measurement of Performance: The performance of an Environmental Scan and Strategic Plan will be monitored respectively by State and Local Coordinators for their perspective jurisdictions.
  8. Penalties for Failure to Meet Performance Standards: The Department may impose sanctions for lack of performance to include:
    1. The Provider will be placed on Provisional Certification (pursuant to the Maternal and Child Health Services Code) if the Provider fails to meet all standards as set forth in the Performance Standards presented above for three consecutive months. Provisional Certification can occur at any time during the full certification period if performance standards are not met. The Provider may be placed on Provisional Certification if the standards set forth in the Maternal and Child Health Code are not met.
    2. If placed on Provisional Certification, the Provider must submit to the Department a written corrective action plan within thirty (30) calendar days of notification of the provisional certification.
    3. If placed on Provisional Certification, the Provider must submit quarterly reports to the Department on progress toward the corrective action. If, in the opinion of the Department, sufficient progress is not made toward fulfilling the corrective action plan, monthly reports will be required.
    4. If the Provider fails to meet required standards or fails to submit or adequately perform a corrective action plan, the Provider may face loss of funds through termination for cause or non-renewal of this Agreement.
    5. If the Provider fails to achieve full Certification status for two consecutive periods, the Provider may face termination of this Agreement.
  9.  Legal Actions:
    1. Any action of law, suit in equity, or judicial proceeding for the enforcement of this Agreement or any provision thereof, shall be instituted only in federal and state courts in the County of Sangamon, State of Illinois.
    2. In the event that the Department shall bring suit or action to compel performance of or to recover for any breach of any stipulation, covenant, or condition of this Agreement, the Provider shall and will pay to the Department such attorney's fees as the court may adjudge reasonable in addition to the amount of the judgment and costs.
    3. In the event that any demand or claim is made, or suit is commenced, against any party to this Agreement, that party will give written notice thereof within ten (10) working days to the other parties. Each party shall have the right to compromise or defend itself to the extent of its own interests.

Project LAUNCH Strategies and Activities

  1. Activities - Project LAUNCH Strategies and Activities are to be provided by the Provider which includes the activities, as described in the Handbook, Strategic Plan and Logic Model.
  2. Exclusions - Not Applicable
  3. Performance Standards - The Provider will provide services to communities covered (North and South Lawndale, East and West Garfield Parks), in accordance with SAMHSA program standards and local Strategic Plan and Logic Model.
  4. Reports
    1. The Local Council and State Council Coordinators will receive regular evaluation reports from the local evaluator before submitting to online federal TRAC system, Portal or yearly evaluation to SAMHSA.
    2. The Providers will assist in collecting local data for various activities including submitting sign-in sheets, and surveys for providers and families participating in program activities.

VI.  Department Responsibilities

  1. The Department or Local Coordinator will provide responsibilities of providers to providers directly.
  2. The Department or its designee shall provide technical assistance to Providers when requested.
  3.  The Department or its designee will monitor the delivery of program activities through site visits and review data and other documentation as required by SAMHSA.

VII.  Support Services

Support Services are defined in Section V. Provider Responsibilities and are included in the required scope of services. 

VIII. Billing Instructions

  1. Provider costs- The Provider agencies will receive compensation as agreed upon with the IDHS.
  2. If the Provider fails to report required data for three consecutive months, the monthly prospective payments may be withheld until such time that all required data has been received by the Department.
  3. System Support Services, shall use the standard expenditure documentation as stated in Section VII of the Attachment, Reporting Requirements.
    1. Mailing Address
    2. Fax:  217-524-2491
    3. Email:

Expenditure Documentation Form Instructions

Expenditure Documentation Form (pdf)

IX. Program Monitoring

Programs operated by the Provider under this contract will be evaluated by the Department to review the program's progress according to stated goals, measurable objectives and administrative operations. The State Coordinator is responsible for the State level activities and the Local Coordinator is responsible for the local activities and strategies. IDHS will contract to a local evaluator who will be responsible for reporting to the TRAC system, GPRA, SAMSHA Annual Evaluation Report, as well as local evaluation. It is an expectation that the local evaluator will work collaboratively with the state and local level leaders in discussing findings to assist in improving program quality on a regular basis.

X. Program Budget

Providers agree to establish and utilize a budget approved by the Local Child Wellness Coordinator, State Child Wellness Coordinator and Project Director.

XI. Appendices/Forms

Not applicable.