The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Community Services, contracts for the establishment and operation of an Early Intervention (EI) Training Program. Both state and federal laws require the establishment of a comprehensive system of personnel development for the EI Program. This system must provide pre-service and in-service training for providers serving children in the EI Program. IDHSs goal is to improve the quality of services offered to infants and toddlers in the EI system through an effective network of EI Providers. Training of EI providers ensures that an understanding of the basic components of the EI Services System along with access to information in birth to three evaluations and treatment of children with developmental disabilities and delays.

The EI Training Program helps ensure that the Illinois EI Program meets Federal rule (34 CFR Part 303.118) requirements for a comprehensive system of personnel develop, which must include the following:

  • The EI Training Program will use IDHS-approved training curricula and will be responsible for updating training materials as needed, with the approval of the Department. Curricula will be provided in a combination of in-person and online training modules.
  • EI Systems Training includes the following:
    • Systems Overview Training (online and 1 day follow-up)
    • Parent Liaison Training
    • Service Coordinator Training

These sessions are offered in order to comply with the requirements in the Early Intervention administrative code found at 89 Illinois Admin. Code 500.60(f)(2).

Additional training sessions will include:

  • Early Intervention Pediatric-Specific Learning Experiences, with input from EI Providers, training topics will be identified and training sessions provided in support of the appropriate delivery of services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. The EI Training Program will identify, develop, or adapt curricula to address the identified priority topics and provide training sessions statewide. Qualified subcontractors may provide curriculum development and instruction with DHS-approval.
  • Birth to three evaluation and treatment of children with developmental disabilities and delays that cover topics within each of the disciplines including of audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language pathology, and developmental therapy, including the social emotional domain, in compliance with 325 ILCS 20/13.30(a).
  • Professional education sessions on topics requested and approved by the Department, with emphasis on Early Intervention principles, procedures, and services, based upon peer-reviewed research, to the extent practical, to meet the unique needs of the child and family to achieve the outcomes identified in that child's individualized family services plan (IFSP).
  • Service Coordinator Conferences, annually by gaining input on topics from CFC offices that focus specifically on the role of service coordinators in the early intervention program.

Additional training includes:

    • Transition Training, in coordination with STARNet
    • Assistive Technology (AT) Evaluator Training
  • Develop a one-stop-shop for EI training to provide adequate support for training sessions to allow Coordinated Training Support
  • Provide registration services, site arrangements, handout materials, and evaluation surveys for each training session and provide EI workshop certificates to training participants.
  • Develop and maintain database of training participants
  • Maintain a toll-free phone number(s), Monday through Friday, excluding holidays to provide training information.

In order to assist with Public Awareness efforts, the EI Training Program will utilize a brochure, the provider newsletter, their Website, social media, attendance at state-level conferences, presentations at Universities, and information provided through its own training sessions to increase public awareness of EI Training program services. In order to maximize training resources available throughout the state, the EI Training Program will provide a coordinated approach to informing EI Providers of continuing professional education opportunities for EI Providers offered by public-, private- and state-funded entities.

  • Develop, publish, and distribute hard copy or notification of electronic posting of a quarterly training newsletter.
  • Develop and maintain a website that includes a comprehensive, statewide calendar of EI training opportunities that are updated on at least on a monthly-basis; provide registration information; and contain accurate and up-to-date information about each training.
  • Develop EI policies and procedures based on peer-reviewed research, to the extent practical, that are necessary to meet the unique needs of the child and family to achieve the outcomes identified in the Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP); including a database of sessions approved for EI credit, and additional information as requested by IDHS.
  • Conduct an annual training needs assessment and report in a preapproved IDHS format to the results to IDHS providing an assessment to document feedback on the quality and appropriateness of EI training and to identify training needs.
  • Collaborate with other EI stakeholder entities (private, public, and state) on upcoming workshops.
  • Accept, review, and approve EI Credit Requests within 30 business days of receipt of a completed request, EI Credit Requests from sponsoring organizations (approximately 2,000/year), submitted through an online process.
  • Accept, review and approve EI Video Credit requests within 30 business days. Video credit requests (approximately 150 per year) for contact hours for watching one of the approved for EI credit video/DVD selections available from the IL EI Clearinghouse.
  • Arrange for meeting site facilities for the Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention for regular quarterly meetings, annual two-day planning meeting, and a one-day training session for new members. Meeting facilities must include one large room with a 80 person capacity. Seating configuration must include tables and chairs for members and a public audience. The meeting room and rest rooms must be handicapped accessible. Arrangements should include the ability to use four tabletop microphones, make PowerPoint presentations, and provide water and coffee for participants.
  • Administration of bilingual interpreter proficiency tests and training to provide support and administration of proficiency tests to approximately 100 individuals requesting enrollment in the EI Program as bilingual interpreters: test scheduling through the Illinois EI Training Programs via web-based registration or a toll free phone number, testing site arrangements and scheduling of proctors/graders; training of proctors/graders; administration of IDHS-approved proficiency tests; submission of the tests to a IDHS-approved entity(s) for grading, if not completed as part of the administration of the tests; collection of a testing fee and processing payment for the grading of tests, and notification of interpreter/applicant and the EI Credentialing office of the outcome of proficiency tests. Testing must be provided for:
  • Arabic
  • Bulgarian
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • Provide a minimum of six (6) Systems Overview for Bilingual Interpreters/ Translators in the Illinois EI System sessions, or more frequently to meet system needs.
  • Provide technical assistance and support to families and CFC offices as part of a federal-required family outcomes survey process. Coordination of the family outcomes survey process includes: training, technical assistance; project coordination; compiling and mailing the survey to all families enrolled in the EI Program on a designated date; upon request, assisting families in completing the survey, with strategies targeted to populations with pour return rates; receiving and tracking surveys; surveys data analysis, including linking and analyzing related child outcome data; and following-up with CFC offices regarding survey results. Other outcomes-related duties include: providing staff support to an Outcomes Workgroup, which will meet quarterly; providing training on the use of the Child Outcomes Summary Form; providing consultation to the EI system regarding the states process for measuring and reporting child outcomes; sharing data with CFC offices; and representing the Department regarding child and family outcomes evaluation, as needed.
  • Provide staff to include an EI Ombudsman to promote the highest attainable EI practices which support the principles of Illinois EI Program by working with CFC offices and local EI programs and providers to ensure fidelity with EI laws, policy, practice, and procedure. The EI Ombudsman will study local, state and national issues affecting early intervention across the spectrum of services and supports needed by families; identify evidence-based practices and forward looking solutions that will meet the future challenges for the Illinois EI System; collect and analyze of quantitative and qualitative Illinois EI System data; develop strategies to promote compliance with program principles and procedures; act as a facilitator and liaison with identified system resources (e.g., Bureau of EI, EI Training Program, EI Monitoring, Provider Connections, EI Central Billing Office, EI Clearinghouse, CFC offices, provider professional organizations etc.) to develop short and long term action plans promoting the implementation of early intervention practices which support the principles of Illinois EI Program and support the focused verification monitoring process; and develop and implement training strategies based upon research, data analysis, and focused verification monitoring activities and apply these strategies, with coordination of all EI training resources and supports, to target CFC-area specific and statewide training needs.
  • Participate, upon request, in workgroups of the IICEI that address issues related to training.