August 15, 2022 - Special Meeting Agenda and Meeting Report


Open to the general public.


Monday, August 15, 2022


10:00 am to 1:00 pm


This meeting has occurred and was held via Zoom Teleconferencing.  This meeting had open registration to the public prior to the meeting until the meeting had adjourned.


This meeting is a special meeting to specifically discuss the following topics:

  • Discussion of Council Guidelines 
  • Discussion of Equity and Access Workgroup Proposal on Specialized Teams

Meeting Report


  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Benny Delgado, Provider Representative
  • Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education
  • Christine Doyle Morrison, Provider Representative
  • Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative
  • Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative
  • Heather Hofferkamp, IDHS, Interim Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Michael Garner-Jones, IL Dept. of Human Services, Bureau of Subsidy Mgmt. (Child Care)
  • Jennifer Gentile, IL Dept. of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Dee Dee Lowery, CFC 1 Program Manager, Urban Representative
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Nisha Sanghvi, Provider Representative
  • Kate Ulmer, ISBE, McKinney-Vento, Homeless Representative
  • Marie VonDeBur, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Angel Williams, Illinois Department of Child and Family Services


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Brenda Devito, Clearbrook, Chairperson
  • Lynnette DeGraffenreid, Provider Representative
  • Rosie Perez, Parent Representative
  • Shelly Roat, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative
  • Becca Trevino, Parent Representative
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative 

1) Call to Order

Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention (IICEI) Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:03am

2) Introductions of Council Members

Members introduced themselves and stated their agency/role on the Council.

3) Equity and Access Workgroup Proposal on Specialized Teams

Angel Williams shared that the council and Bureau of EI have access to previous work and any data analysis done, and she hopes they would share that information. Additionally, this information can answer the questions related to this demonstration project's connections to other state work, the Center for Excellence and Equity (CEE), funding, commission recommendations, and the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). More details will be shared within the next six months through planning and collaboration as proposed regarding funding, pay, Child and Family Connections (CFC) guidelines, and analyses. She encouraged everyone to read the documents developed by the workgroup. The document's information includes potential evaluation methods and expected outcomes. There is a recommendation for a private advisory body to be established for assessments, guidance, and refinement. Regarding stakeholder input and transparency, Angel shared that in response to the legislation, the Bureau asked the workgroup to provide additional information regarding learning, evaluations, and structure as they moved forward. The understanding is that legislation called IDHS to launch this project and for the council to vote on, not whether or not they should move forward according to the Act and email communications. The workgroup has put forth a diligent effort over several months to ensure they had open access and a diverse representation and that they produce something they would be proud of. However, it was also shared that the questions regarding the information's source, partner inclusion, and evidence felt like an invalidation of efforts.

Open discussion: Nisha Sanghvi and Christine Doyle Morrison said that the work was essential and working together positively was important.

Members shared their views and asked how questions would be answered. Workgroup chairs shared that questions have been received and will be addressed by the Bureau of EI (Bureau) directly.

Discussion continued on how questions and clarifications requested were intended to support a collaborative approach to support this project in an effective way.

Benny Delgado said that all viewpoints are valid. This is a big topic to address, and we are all committed to the same goal of ensuring all families have the same access, and timing is also considered. Moving forward, we can consider the project's needed support with current constraints and what will be required to support the efforts.

Heather Hofferkamp shared that the purpose of this discussion was to reach a consensus that these ideas be put forth to the Bureau. Changes will need to be made. All comments and questions are being considered. Today is for questions that you may have. Everyone's work, questions, and efforts are valued.

Discussion took place between members in regard to the need of the project, the specific communities this project would target, and how it would lessen waiting lists for those children aging out of the program without having needed EI services.

Benny said this work is essential because it was recommended by the Black Legislative Caucus to make the required systemic changes in EI to provide equity and access.

The work of the CEE and SSIP differ from this directive.

Heather said that she couldn't comment on what operations would look like until the information was given to the Bureau. We are looking at how other state programs are run, considering that we are in the top five for the number of children we serve. Funding will not come from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Equity work is a high priority right now; spending, budget, need initiatives, credential changes, apprenticeships, and data will all be considered with this initiative. The charge today is to say if this is a good idea for the Bureau to look at, answer and tie into all of the other considerations in the process for EI. It was clarified that the recommendations had been developed, the blueprint was created, and we are getting clarifications today to forward to the Bureau for implementation. Heather said that additional requests may be made of the council or other different workgroups as we move forward.

Angel made a motion to forward the recommendation to the Bureau for considerations, Benny seconded. A vote was taken, consensus was achieved, and the motion passed.

4) Review of Updated Council Guidelines Discussion

Benny raised a question regarding the Open Meetings Act, that a need to establish a quorum and agenda, and having the meetings open to the public regarding the portion of council members within our workgroups. Jenni agreed with Benny and will follow up with legal for clarification. Jenni also shared that she is close to completion with the SharePoint Initiative, and it should be available within the following weeks. Christine shared that it may need to be included in the handbook. Nisha shared a possibility about posting the IICEI meeting notes via other platforms.

Regarding consensus, Benny raised a question regarding reaching a consensus promptly and efficiently and how timeframes will be critical moving forward. He further explained the benefits and drawbacks regarding consensus versus majority vote. Christine shared her support for consensus. Dee Dee Lowery shared her support for Christine and consensus. Nisha shared her support for consensus and asked the Bureaus' views on the benefits of continuing with consensus. Angel shared that in certain situations, there will be a need for a different approach aside from consensus, where time will be a concern. Donna Emmons shared that consensus could be time-consuming considering how large the group is and favors the majority vote. Brenda brought up family voice and that as a Council should we have majority vote if the family voice is in opposition.

Brenda shared that the next meeting discussions will include handbook revision, consensus, work groups, and council meeting reports. She also asked for clarification on if virtual council meetings will be allowed outside the public health emergency. Heather clarified that the rules are written to support virtual meetings only due to the crisis. Finally, Dee Dee raised a question regarding the council being made aware of mailed and emailed public comments.

5) Adjournment

Dee Dee motioned to adjourn the meeting; Christine seconded. The Meeting adjourned 2:25pm.

Contact Information

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Ph: 217/524-1596


For questions or requests for special accommodations, please email or call Jenni Grissom.

Thank you.