The DDD Scoop (5-19-17)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop!

First and foremost, as you may be aware, Secretary Dimas recently announced a new vision, mission, core values and motto for the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Importantly, more than 900 employees provided invaluable input into what they believed best defined IDHS' purpose. The vision, mission, core values and motto are as follows:

Mission. Our mission statement defines what we are here to do. Our mission is: Strengthening Illinois by building up lives and communities.

Vision. Our vision defines what we aspire towards. Our vision is: Healthy independent people of Illinois living in safe, strong communities.

Core Values. Our core values shape our behavior and actions. Our values were created by identifying what makes IDHS successful - and what will help us continue to be successful in helping the people and communities we serve. They are: Human dignity, teamwork, learning, and integrity.

Human Dignity

We believe that self-sufficiency meets human needs in ways dependency cannot

We want to serve people in the least restrictive way possible that promotes independence and relationships within the community

We serve people where they are, with empathy, dignity, respect, and cultural competence


We work together so that there is no wrong door/desk for our customers. We take personal responsibility for helping or connecting customers to the right person that can help

We are accountable to each other for quality and results


We make decisions based on evidence and data and change our assumptions when the facts don't support them

We value business processes that are simple, efficient and user friendly


We are good stewards of public resources and accountable to the public to optimize social and economic benefits for the people of Illinois

We conduct ourselves with integrity and honesty and will swiftly act against any behavior that enriches a person at the expense of public trust


Finally, our motto helps guide us, putting our beliefs into action every day. Our motto is: Committed to treating people the way we wish to be treated.

National Core Indicators - Staff Stability Survey Progress

While the number of providers that have completed their 2016 Staff Stability Survey is increasing, only one-third of the agencies that received an invitation have responded. A significant number (44%) of those invited have not yet started their survey. Our goal is 100% participation to ensure accurate data about DSP staffing issues statewide. If you are a provider that serves adults and employs DSPs, please help by completing your survey!!

See previous editions of the DDD Scoop for additional details or contact for assistance.

A Glance at the Person Centered Process in Illinois

In order to provide greater clarity of our expectations relative to the development of the personal plan, we offer the following descriptions of critical elements of Illinois' Person Centered process:

The Person Centered process can be described as finding the balance between what is important to a person and what is important for a person. It is a way to identify strengths, preferences, needs (both clinical and support needs and desired outcomes of a person. Person Centered Planning includes 3 main components: 1) the Discovery Tool and process, 2) the Personal Plan, and 3) Implementation Strategies.

Discovery is the information gathering component of Person Centered process. The Discovery process is designed to gather information in order to capture what is important to the person and what is important for the person. The Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies will be responsible for facilitating the Discovery process and documenting what they gather in the Discovery Tool. The information captured during this process is used to develop the Personal Plan. The sections in the Discovery Tool include: Self-Description, Home, Important Relationships, Home, Career and Income, Health and Well-being, Communication, Life in the Community, Recreation/Interests/Hobbies, Choice and Decision Making, and Future Plans.

The Personal Plan is the single, integrated personal vision for a person's life. It focuses on the individual's strengths, preferences, needs and desires in each of the sections listed in the Discovery Tool. The Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies will be responsible for developing the Personal Plan in conjunction with the individual, guardian, family and current provider(s). The Personal Plan will contain the outcomes that the person desires in his/her life and document choice of qualified providers. In addition, it will reflect what is important to the person regarding delivery of services in a manner which ensures personal preferences, health and welfare. The Personal Plan also includes risk factors and plans to minimize them.

The Implementation Strategies are then developed by provider agencies. Provider agencies will provide services and supports that will assist the person to pursue the outcomes identified in the Personal Plan. The Implementation Strategy describes how the provider agencies will support the person to achieve his/her desires and needs. Provider agencies can design their own tool, but it must at least contain the requirements detailed below:

Outcomes identified in the Personal Plan

  • A description of how supports and services assist the individual to engage in community life and maintain control over personal resources
  • Opportunities to seek employment and work in competitive integrated employment if desired
  • Functional goals/training areas and methods to measure progress
  • Documentation that services and supports are linked to individual strengths, preferences and assessed clinical and support needs
  • Risks included in the Personal Plan and any others subsequently identified; strategies that will be used to mitigate risk and identify who is responsible for implementing these strategies
  • All services and supports to be provided regardless of provider or funding source, including type, methods if applicable, frequency, duration and staff assigned if applicable
  • Justification for any restriction(s) or modifications that limit the person's choice, access or otherwise conflict with HCBS standards
  • Basic descriptive, diagnostic, demographic and medical information
  • Documentation for any situation where a person lives in a residential setting owned or controlled by a service provider and modifications to the expectations of community settings are requested

Provider Implementation Strategies must reflect ongoing review, monitoring and updating if necessary by the Provider Agency. It must also be updated to reflect changes in the Personal Plan at least annually and more often if warranted by circumstances, a change in functional status or at the request of the individual.

The Division will host a live webinar regarding Implementation Strategies, as a part of the Person Centered process webinar series, no later than the first week of June 2017. An invite will be forthcoming to register for the webinar.


Book Group

Division central office staff recently formed a book group which meets on Tuesdays during the lunch hour. Members are currently reading and discussing The7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Additional participants are welcome. For more information, please contact Pamela Manning.

Mother's Day Event

A Mother's Day celebration for Central Office staff was held on May 17. Jenny Spraggs (pictured below) organized the event. Thank you, Jenny, for your thoughtfulness.

Jenny Spraggs

Ethics Training

Ethics Training is underway for all Division employees. If you haven't yet completed this annual requirement, please make it a point to get started. June 7, 2017 is the deadline, and it will be here before you know it.

On the Move

The Division welcomed two new employees earlier this week.

Joy Hodgson joined the Bureau of Quality Management as a Social Service Program Planner III/Quality Reviewer. She was previously a Human Services Caseworker with IDHS Fulton County Family and Community Resource Center. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Psychology. She has completed an additional 12 graduate hours in professional counseling and received her Master's Degree in Human Services last year. Joy is married with two children, one of whom will be a junior in College and the other a junior in High School next year. She also has a Labrador/Rhodesian Ridgeback named Wrigley.

Sam Silva has joined the Bureau of Quality Management as an Administrative Assistant. She began her state career with the Illinois Department of Corrections as a Correctional Officer in 2014. She later began working as an Office Associate with IDHS. More recently Sam worked in IDHS Human Resources and has experience doing Administrative Assistant duties from a temporary assignment. Sam has her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from UIS. Sam lives in Springfield, and just before starting with the Division, she got married!

I would also like to use this section of the DDD Scoop to confirm rumors that some of you may have heard. A few weeks ago, Reta Hoskin indicated her plans to retire from State Government by the end of this calendar year. Reta has not established a specific date or given official notice to the Department, but has expressed her desire to retire sometime between September 1, 2017 and the end of the year. Reta shared her intentions early with me, other senior managers within the Division, and her staff within the Bureau of Program Development and Medicaid Administration in order to ensure ample time for transition.

We will provide more information as Reta's plans become more defined. In the meantime, as word has spread, we have received some inquiries regarding continuing work on some of her assigned projects - specifically the Waiver renewals and the Ligas Consent Decree. Please be assured these areas are of high priority for the entire Division Central Office.

  • We are fortunate that all three Waiver renewal applications have been submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We have received informal feedback from CMS on the two children's applications and anticipate that they may be approved prior to the end of this Fiscal Year. The adult Waiver renewal application is now being reviewed by CMS and we should receive initial feedback soon. While the application will probably not be renewed by the time Reta is intending to leave - based on Illinois' experience with other Waivers - the renewal process will be well underway. In addition to other Bureau staff who are now familiar with this process, staff at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) are also very involved with any Waiver renewal Furthermore, over the course of the last year, staff from our national organization, the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), have been providing training sessions to Division staff on Waivers in general to increase the overall knowledge in this area.
  • We are also fortunate that the first six years of the Ligas Consent Decree, with its established benchmarks during those years, will now be behind us. While there is much work to do with the next phase of the Decree, the three Section Managers within the Bureau (Jim Eddings, Stephanie Leach and Troy Markert) are all significantly involved in the implementation and management of the Consent Decree issues, regularly attending Parties meetings and internal management meetings. We have great confidence in their ability to carry on the work without disruption.

Reta is committed to completing her assigned responsibilities as long as she remains with the Division. I appreciate her advance notice and look forward to continuing to work with her and others within the Division on succession planning and transition issues.

Special Olympics

Earlier this month, individuals in our state operated developmental centers attended Special Olympics events throughout the state. Between them, the Kiley and Ludeman Centers accounted for a total of 69 medals (gold, silver and bronze). Nineteen athletes from Mabley Center participated in track and field events at Rockford Harlem High School while another 32 athletes from Shapiro Center competed in their regional area. Many of these athletes will be advancing to the Summer Games being held June 9-11.

In the last year, Glenda Corbett and her team of Kim Kilpatrick, Reginald Booker, Christine McGee and the Special Olympics Committee have increased participation in the Special Olympics by 92%. Our individuals have already received over 30 gold medals this spring. This dramatic improvement was accomplished by establishing goals for each center and by conducting regular meetings of the Special Olympics Committee to review progress toward meeting those goals.

Every Center was encouraged to be represented in the Special Olympics Annual Torch Run. Not only have the state operated developmental centers been represented in official events this year, but a group of individuals obtained their yellow belts in Tae Kwon Do during a Special Olympics Demonstration event. As a result of the Committee's involvement with the Special Olympics Capitol Day on March 30, 2017 in Springfield, the Division was honored to have one of our individuals selected to be a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics!

All seven Centers are represented on the Special Olympics Committee:

Choate - Paul McIntire

Fox - Lisa Greene

Kiley - Sue Berggren

Ludeman - Zhong Zi Tan

Mabley - Steve Caudillo

Murray - Greg Strickland

Shapiro - Nina Williams

Pictured below with Governor Bruce Rauner is Moses Holden, the Division's Global Ambassador for Special Olympics.

Governor Rauner

Other SODC Operations News

Choate - Eight individuals from Cypress Hall Upper enjoyed an awesome outing to the St. Louis Zoo and Dave & Buster's (an arcade for adults). The Residential Supervisors from this unit, who accompanied these individuals, volunteered their time to take the individuals on this community outing. Besides being fun, this outing offered the individuals an opportunity to experience a new atmosphere, money management and interaction training opportunities.

Choate - Two individuals successfully transitioned to community CILA placements this week. Both are doing well and like their new homes.

Ludeman - On May 31, Ludeman will recognize its veteran employees during its Annual Military Recognition Day.

Mabley - A memorial service was held for one of Mabley's residents on May 8. Reverend Rachel Cocar presided over the service which was well attended by residents and staff.

Shapiro - Vocational Coordinators met to discuss community employment and shared ideas to improve programs at the Center. Vocational Coordinators continue to explore opportunities for individuals to be involved in community employment.

Social Media Posts

Before I close out a busy week, I wanted to share with all of you that it was recently brought to our attention that a number of Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) components have unofficial Facebook pages. These pages are not authorized or maintained by IDHS. After reviewing a number of the pictures and comments posted on a few pages, I was frankly alarmed and disappointed.

I must admit that my young friends and family members refer to me as "old school" because I don't have a Facebook Page or know anything about Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. My rationale is simple: after spending the bulk of my day in front of a computer, the last thing I want to do when I leave work is to email, tweet or text - anyone - including family and friends. But that aside, I am troubled by the things that I see people posting on the Internet. Unquestionably social media can be a useful vehicle for networking, bringing people together and improving lines of communication. However, it's amazing to me how many people either don't understand or forget the consequences of uploading information on the Internet, or putting negative comments on social media posts. If an unflattering picture or inappropriate remark is seen, or if it gets in the wrong hands, it could damage a person's standing, reputation, credibility, and even his or her career.

As indicated at the beginning of this newsletter, our core values should guide and shape our behavior and our actions - both on the job and outside of work. It is expected that our vision, mission, values and motto will empower and guide each of us to make a positive impact on the people and a positive contribution to the communities we serve. As such, IDHS employees should always conduct themselves with a high level of integrity and professionalism. In doing so, we uphold the IDHS values and enhance our image as true public servants.

I trust that I have your support in that regard.

Have a great weekend!