It is the mission of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to provide equitable access to social/human services, support, programs, and resources to enhance the lives of all who are served by IDHS. The Department provides the state's residents with streamlined access to integrated services, especially those who are striving to move from welfare to work and obtain economic independence, and others who face multiple challenges in achieving self-sufficiency.
Commitment to Diversity
Secretary Grace B. Hou is committed to keeping all levels of IDHS diverse to better reflect the population of this state and enhance the service delivery capacity. To that end, Secretary Hou continues to support efforts to diversify all levels of the agency to better represent all of Illinois, whose urban and rural areas include many ethnic populations throughout the state. Additionally, she continues to work to ensure the development of inclusionary practices in all advisory and task force activities.
IDHS is comprised of approximately 13,217 employees. Under the direction of Secretary Hou, the Department is responsible for a wide variety of human service programs, through the offices and divisions described below. The primary focus of the Department is on providing needed services to individuals and families while assisting them to become self-sufficient members of society. The Department has instituted an approach to service delivery that enables Illinois' residents to seek solutions to their various needs with user-friendly technology.
Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS)
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS) recognizes Illinois' communities as its most significant partners in preventing conditions that keep children and families from reaching their full potential and in providing services and supports that build toward truly healthy environments, in which children develop and families live and work.
DFCS offers an extensive array of integrated services and supports that work not just to reduce and prevent the many complex health and social issues facing Illinois' families, but also to foster health, family support, positive development, self-sufficiency, and success for children, youth, and families in need across Illinois. Services are available through local community-based organizations and full-service Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) throughout the state of Illinois. FCRC staff in each office assist families to apply for and receive the benefits and help link them to other state agencies, local health departments, and community-based organizations in their area for needed services. Customers are fully involved in their service planning and share responsibility for reaching their goals for self-sufficiency or maximum independence.
The IDHS Division of Family and Community Services manages the Family Community Resource Centers throughout the state, where cash, SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps), and medical assistance were provided to over 3.5 million Illinois residents in the Fiscal Year 2022.
In addition to the cash and food assistance programs, access to medical and childcare, and help with employment and training, DFCS provides and monitors services to at-risk and homeless persons, immigrants, and refugees. DFCS staff also administer and monitor Community Service Agreements with providers for a multitude of different services including career planning, training and preparation for employment, and many specialized needs. The programs administered by or directly delivered through DFCS provide support to help low-income families move toward self-sufficiency. As of June 15, 2022, DFCS has 918 bilingual staff on board.
Highlights of DFCS Programs:
Public assistance benefits include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD), SNAP, and medical programs, which are administered centrally and delivered locally through the FCRCs, statewide. Customers receive their cash and SNAP benefits via the Link card and IDHS has contracted an automated toll-free helpline for assistance in several languages, with website assistance. The toll-free number is 1-800-678-LINK (5465).
The Title XX Social Services Block Grant is administered through DFCS, which funds services that are also directed toward achieving economic self-support or self-sufficiency; preventing or remedying neglect, abuse, or exploitation; preventing or reducing inappropriate institutionalization, and securing referrals for institutional care. These funds help target needed resources and provide assistance with programs that support a diverse public with a wide variety of needs.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provide health screenings, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, supplemental foods, and linkage to other health services for women and children up to age five who are eligible by income and nutritional status. Other services include Farmers' Market programs for eligible target populations and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor services. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides USDA commodity food items to low-income seniors in targeted areas of the state. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) provides SNAP customers and SNAP eligible customers information on nutrition, physical activity, and developing a healthy lifestyle. The SNAP Outreach program raises awareness of the nutrition benefits of SNAP, eligibility rules, and how to apply. It also is designed to correct myths and misperceptions about SNAP and enable potentially eligible people to make an informed decision on participation.
Case management services are provided to pregnant women, infants, and children through the statewide Family Case Management program. Clients are screened for risk and when enrolled are assigned a case manager who provides education, assists in referrals, and coordination of medical care monitors needs, and assists the participant in accessing other needed services throughout pregnancy and up to 13 months of age for the child. Infants and children meeting Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Reporting (APORS) criteria receive High-Risk Infant Follow-up (HRIF) services through 24 months of age. These services are provided by a Registered Nurse (RN) with training in pediatric assessment. Medical case management is provided by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for children in care aged 0 to 6 years of age to assure they are receiving recommended health, dental, and vision services.
Very high-risk pregnant women are eligible for enrollment in the Better Birth Outcomes program, which is offered in areas of the state with the highest cost of deliveries. Women who have had a prior premature birth and/or who have medical and social risks that are likely to lead to a poor pregnancy outcome are assigned a Registered Nurse (RN) or Master of Social Work (MSW) who provides case management through 6 weeks after the birth of the baby. The case manager acts as the care coordinator, working with the participant's medical and specialty providers, assuring that the client is receiving all needed services, providing education related to pregnancy/childbirth/birth spacing, and assisting the woman in completing the postpartum health visit. After the delivery, the woman and her infant are transitioned into a Home Visiting or Family Care Management program for ongoing services.
In Chicago and Cook County, DFCS provides screening and treatment for women suffering from postpartum depression; and the Teen Parent Services Program which focuses on pregnant and parenting teens to ensure they are accessing appropriate services to secure housing, education, and employment. The Teen Parent Services program assists teen parents 20 years and under with completing high school and connecting to educational and training opportunities, through mentoring coordination of services, and partnerships with schools and various community organizations. Services provided are designed to address and alleviate issues and barriers that prevent teen parents from accomplishing their goals of self-sufficiency through activities such as Parenting, Nutrition, and Early Childhood Development classes and a variety of other specialized activities.
Early Intervention is a statewide, family-centered service system to find and help children under 36 months of age who have disabilities, developmental delays, or are at risk of substantial developmental delay. These infants and toddlers are eligible through the Illinois Early Intervention Services System Act for Early Intervention services as defined in Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The Healthy Families Illinois program provides intensive Home-Visitation services to new and expectant families whose income is less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Parents are recruited prenatally or within two weeks of birth and provided home visits normally lasting at least sixty minutes. During each home visit, parents are provided strength-based comprehensive services that reduce the parents' risk for child maltreatment by enhancing parenting skills, encouraging healthy growth and development, and improving family functioning. Services are implemented according to the national standards established by Healthy Families America.
DFCS works to reduce first-time teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, and to improve access to health services through a variety of approaches including reproductive health education, parental involvement, and public awareness. Other programming targets subsequent pregnancies among teen mothers through home visiting, case management, and group meetings.
DFCS operates a variety of programs that provide support and assistance to pregnant or parenting low-income teens to help them obtain a high school diploma (or its equivalent), delay subsequent pregnancies, and enhance their parenting skills. Services are also available to the families of these teens to increase family employment rates and education.
DFCS believes work creates opportunities for individual growth, instills personal dignity, and creates a clear pathway out of poverty to financial self-sufficiency. SNAP and TANF offer employment and training programs, which can support individuals in obtaining work experience, training, and credentials, or attaining a General Education Development (GED). At a minimum, these programs can help individuals meet the work requirements for either SNAP or TANF, but at best these programs can provide participants with the training and experiences they need to gain beneficial employment leading to greater independence.
DFCS provides a continuum of prevention, diversion, intervention, and treatment services for youth to support families in crisis, prevent juvenile delinquency, encourage academic achievement, and divert youth at risk of involvement in the child welfare, juvenile justice, or correctional systems. DFCS also seeks to reduce Illinois' population of homeless youth and increase their self-sufficiency by providing transitional living, emergency and interim housing, and outreach services.
Multi-faceted programs foster positive youth development and help youth grow into mature and successful adults by promoting positive relationships with peers, emphasizing youths' strengths, providing opportunities to learn healthy behaviors, connecting with caring adults, and empowering youth to assume leadership roles. Services include out-of-school time programs, academic counseling, job readiness activities, life skills education, volunteerism, service-learning opportunities, college and career planning, employment programs, and community planning activities.
In FY22 DFCS, the Office of Community and Positive Youth Development is funding programs and services identified in the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA), in coordination with the newly formed Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP) to provide evidenced-based violence prevention services. The services are designed to engage individuals at the highest risk of firearm violence and include street outreach, case management, and victim services.
DFCS, Office of Welcoming Centers for Immigrant and Refugee Services, Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services is responsible for providing human services in a linguistically, culturally sensitive manner to immigrants, refugees, and limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals. The goal of the programs is to eliminate systemic barriers to state services, strengthen the overall human service delivery system and build the capacity of immigrant and refugee communities. The Welcoming Center and Immigration Integration programs provide comprehensive and holistic case management, citizenship education, and application services to help legal immigrants become naturalized United States citizens and provide outreach and interpretation services to assist limited-English-proficient immigrants in accessing human services.
DFCS' Office of Adult Services and Basic Support, Bureau of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, & Human Trafficking has oversight for three statewide systems: Domestic Violence Prevention & Intervention (DVPI), Partner Abuse Intervention Programs (PAIP), and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.
DVPI and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response are grant programs that support comprehensive community-based services to reduce the incidence of domestic and sexual violence and to ensure that survivors have access to safety, medical care, crisis support, legal advocacy, and counseling services for themselves and their significant others. All services are available at no charge to victims. The bureau provides additional access to services through the State Domestic Violence Helpline, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The bureau works closely with other state entities to improve the statewide response to violence. Efforts include the IDHS federally funded initiative, Envision Illinois which focuses on improving the identification and response to victims with disabilities and Deaf victims, and the Improving Criminal Justice Response (ICJR) a federally funded grant administered by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. These two collaborative efforts bring together numerous state agencies and community partners to enhance response and services addressing domestic and sexual violence.
Partner Abuse Intervention Programs (PAIPs) complement Domestic Violence Prevention Intervention (DVPI) programs, as they work with perpetrators of intimate partner violence to promote change, reduce the incidence of violence, and provide an option for the criminal justice system for offenders. PAIPs provide assessments, information, and referrals, conduct groups, and service coordination with mandatory referral sources and other providers as well as participate in community efforts to address intimate partner violence.
Human Trafficking, which was established originally as an Initiative in 2014, was merged with the Bureau of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in March of 2016 to provide support and facilitate local office processes for survivors of Human Trafficking. The initiative works internally and externally with partners to provide identification, response, and support for survivors in the fight against Human Trafficking as well as organize/coordinate training for other state agencies, service providers, and communities. There are two taskforces (Cook County & Statewide) consisting of services providers, State, and federal agencies. There are currently eight known shelters for human trafficking survivors in the state.
In FY20, through the Info Net data system funded by the Bureau of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault service providers were able to collect data and report on human trafficking survivors as primary or secondary presented issues. Two new other/secondary presenting issue checkboxes related to Human Trafficking were added to the DV interface in July 2019:
- Human Sex Trafficking and
- Human Labor Trafficking. Human Sex Trafficking was added as a new option to the primary presenting field for the Sexual Assault interface in July 2019.
Through the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program, sub-recipients may use ESG funds for five program components, which include: street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance, and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). The ESG program provides funding to improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; help operate these shelters; provide essential services to shelter residents; provide essential services necessary to reach out to unsheltered homeless people and connect them with housing and/or services; rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families and prevent families/individuals from becoming homeless.
DFCS' Emergency and Transitional Housing Program provides immediate emergency shelter, meals, transitional housing, and supportive services to approximately 40,000 homeless adults and children each year. This work is completed by utilizing three components, including Overnight Shelters, Voucher Shelters, and Transitional Shelters. These programs provide case management, advocacy, and counseling services. The Emergency and Transitional Housing Program provider will adhere to requirements outlined in the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which is located at 89 Illinois Administrative Code Section 130.400.
DFCS' Supportive Housing Program provider will deliver supportive services to low-income persons residing in permanent housing units who are formerly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; or to homeless persons residing in transitional facilities who are prepared to move into permanent housing as specified in the provider's program plan. The provider must provide case management, advocacy, and counseling. The Supportive Housing Program provider will adhere to the requirements outlined in the Supportive Housing Statute, which is located at 305 ILCS 5/12-4.5.
The primary purpose of The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is to provide an emergency response to hunger. Foodbanks receive USDA food commodities and administrative funding from the IDHS Emergency Food Program. Foodbanks establish contracts with food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters to distribute USDA commodities and privately donated food to needy persons. The type of agencies operating food pantries and soup kitchens are usually churches, community groups, and governmental agencies such as township offices. Food for household use is distributed through food pantries and prepared meals are provided by soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Food pantries and soup kitchens rely almost exclusively on volunteer labor.
All Illinois residents with household incomes at or below 185% of the poverty level are eligible for Emergency Food Program (EFP) food for household use. Self-declaration is an allowable method for establishing eligibility for EFP food at food pantries. Persons requesting meals at soup kitchens are presumed to be eligible. Food is distributed on a first come-first serve basis during the scheduled hours of operation at the distribution facility.
IDHS/DFCS launched several programs' "Community Wellness and Equity Initiatives" from the onset of COVID-19 to provide education, awareness, and additional resources to Black and Brown communities and other disproportionately impacted Illinois residents.
Division of Early Childhood (DEC)
In 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker declared his goal "to make Illinois the best state in the country to raise young children," and subsequently created the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education & Care (ECEC) Funding. Following the recommendations of the Commission, in April 2021, Governor Pritzker announced the creation of a new Division of Early Childhood as part of the Illinois Department of Human Services. The Division of Early Childhood was established to strengthen and centralize Child Care, Home Visiting, and Early Interventions services within the Department.
DEC equips pregnant persons, young children, and families with the support they need to achieve their full potential by providing equitable access to whole child development through childcare, home visiting, and early intervention programs and services. To achieve this vision, the Division has defined eight guiding values - whole child focus, quality service delivery, equity, relentless pursuit of mission, respect, dignity, stability, and sustainability.
Highlights of core DEC programs include:
- The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides eligible, working families with access to affordable quality childcare that allows them to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, thus allowing families to contribute to the healthy, emotional, and social development of their child. CCAP can also help families pay for care in center-based or home settings. Families are required to cost share on a sliding scale based and on family size and income.
- DEC home visiting programs support pregnant people and parents with young children ages 0-5 who live in communities that face greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes. Home visiting provides family support and coaching through planned, regular visits with a trained professional based on a family's needs and schedules. Home visiting is a free and voluntary program, and home visitors work with parents on practical parenting skills as well as family bonding before birth and as children grow up. In addition, home visiting helps families connect with other community services.
- DEC home visiting programs prioritize the enrollment of families who are in priority populations identified by the federal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV): low-income families; pregnant women under age 21; families with a history of child abuse or neglect; families with a history of substance use or with members who need substance use treatment; families with users of tobacco in the home; families with children who have low student achievement; families with children who have developmental delays or disabilities; and families with individuals who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, including those with multiple deployments. The Illinois Early Learning Council priority populations are also prioritized.
- The core DEC home visiting programs are:
- Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)
- DEC State-Funded Home Visiting (formerly Healthy Families Illinois)
- Maternal Child Home Visiting (formerly Parents Too Soon)
Family Support Programs
- Pregnant Teens Doula provides support to low-income pregnant teens and young adults, in partnership with medical providers and clinical consultants.
- Parents Care and Share is a network of self-help parental groups that provide peer-to-peer leadership and support so that parents and caregivers can gain self-esteem, overcome isolation, and improve their parenting skills by exchanging support and positive parenting suggestions. The Parents Care and Share network is supported by a team of Regional Coordinators that work with local providers to establish groups, train facilitators, and support group operations.
- Responsible Parenting provides a comprehensive array of services to adolescent mothers to delay subsequent pregnancies; consistently and effectively practice family planning; enroll in/continue attending high school, or its equivalent; earn a high school diploma or its equivalent; develop parenting and life skills that will enable them to cope with social and emotional issues inherent to adolescent pregnancy and parenting, and to encourage the healthy physical and intellectual growth and development of the teen's child.
- Early Intervention is a statewide, family-centered service system to find and help children under 36 months of age who have disabilities, developmental delays, or are at risk of substantial developmental delay. These infants and toddlers are eligible through the Illinois Early Intervention Services System Act for Early Intervention services as defined in Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Division of Mental Health Services (DMH)
The federally designated State Mental Health Authority (SMHA), (DMH) is responsible for assuring that children, adolescents, and adults throughout Illinois have the availability of, and access to necessary mental health services that are recovery-oriented, evidence-based, community-focused, value-dedicated and outcome-validated. Working collaboratively with a network of approximately 200 certified community mental health agencies, health centers, and hospitals, DMH offers a continuum of services from intensive in-patient hospitalization to outpatient care backed by supportive housing and employment programs. All services are provided by mental health practitioners in accredited, certified mental health centers and hospitals. Service providers include licensed physicians, board-certified psychiatrists, licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, and registered nurses. They are assisted by mental health professionals including Recovery Support Specialists-people whose life experiences and training prepare them to provide recovery support and who are directly supervised by qualified mental health professionals. The goal of services is to maximize community support and develop skills for persons with or at risk of serious mental illnesses and children with or at risk of serious emotional disturbances. The services and supports provided include interventions that are billable to insurers, including Medicaid, as well as supports such as 24-hour crisis response involving telephone hotlines, mobile crisis response, and physical locations staffed to provide support to individuals during psychiatric crises such as Living Rooms. A list of Certified Community Mental Health Centers can be found here: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=29735.
DMH also operates seven state psychiatric hospitals, which include both civil and forensic units. These hospitals are located throughout the state and work closely with the community mental health agencies and community hospital psychiatric units in their region. Chester Mental Health Center operates as the statewide maximum-security treatment setting for individuals (men only) sent by the criminal courts or who are in need of more intensive behavior modification services. In addition, DMH operates a treatment detention facility that provides statutorily required treatment and oversight for individuals determined to be sexually violent persons. A list of the state-operated psychiatric hospitals can be found here: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=61890.
DMH administers the Title XX Mental Health Block Grant as well as a number of other federal grants, utilizing the funding to support the development of evidence-based practices (EBPs) through targeted technical assistance and training, as well as direct resources to support the provision of services to individuals in need. Among the EBPs that the Division is actively supporting are:
Assertive Community Treatment: a comprehensive, team-based approach provided within the community that has shown the most success for individuals with serious mental illnesses whose symptoms have not responded to more traditional community-based care.
Wellness Recovery Action Plan®: a self-directed plan proven effective in supporting recovery from mental illnesses, which focuses on self-help, recovery, and long-term stability, which was created by persons in recovery.
Individual Placement and Support: a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illnesses that assists individuals in working at regular jobs of their choosing.
Coordinated Specialty Care: an individualized team-based approach for teens and young adults who are experiencing the onset of psychotic symptoms, with the goal of reducing the duration of untreated psychosis to increase the likelihood of recovery.
In the past year, DMH has launched three new initiatives funded by Cannabis Tax Revenue to address the behavioral health workforce shortage. The goal of these programs is to increase the number of individuals working in behavioral health through recruitment and retention efforts that will also lead to a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The three programs are:
CRSS Success: Designed to support students with lived experience of mental health or substance use recovery to successfully complete all requirements necessary to obtain certification as a Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) or Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) and enter the behavioral health workforce. The program will also provide support for students to overcome practical barriers to success, such as childcare and transportation, during the time of program completion. Eleven colleges and universities in Illinois have been funded to implement this program.
Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center: The BHWEC is being implemented in partnership with the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago have been funded to run the Center. The purpose of the Center is to develop and implement a strategic plan in Illinois to expand the BH workforce.
Community Behavioral Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program: This program will provide up to $5M in student loan repayment for individuals working in the behavioral health field. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission will administer the program
Williams vs. Pritzker Consent Decree
The Williams vs. Pritzker Consent Decree (2010) requires the State to facilitate and actualize transition for all consenting adult residents in one of the twenty-two formerly designated nursing facilities (NF)/ Institutes for Mental Disease (IMDs), now identified as Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRFs), who have been assessed and recommended for transition to community-based living options, ideally to Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) - lease held, open market rental apartments - with the provision of flexible wrap-around mental health treatment and support services to meet individualized needs, based on medical necessity. This Class Action lawsuit follows the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision, which ruled that individuals residing in institutional settings have a right to live in the least restrictive settings possible with available services. The 22 SMHRFs are located in Cook County (15); Lake County (3); Kankakee County (2), Peoria (1), and Decatur (1). The 2010 estimate of the number of individuals who resided in these facilities was 4,500. Of this number, it was projected that 3,200 Class Members would consent to be assessed and may be appropriate for transition. Since full implementation in February 2011, through June 30, 2022, approximately 3,154 Williams Class Members have transitioned or have signed a lease from one of the SMHRFs to community-based settings. Information on the Williams Consent Decree and program details can be found at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=98210.
The Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health is the lead agent for this Consent Decree. Its co-defendants are the Office of the Governor, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of Public Health, and the Department on Aging.
Colbert vs. Pritzker Consent Decree
The Colbert vs. Pritzker Consent Decree (2011) requires the State to facilitate and actualize transition for all consenting adult residents in Cook County Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) who have been assessed and recommended for transition to community-based living options, ideally to Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) - lease held, open market rental apartments - with the provision of flexible wrap-around support services to meet individualized needs, based on medical necessity. This Class Action lawsuit follows the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision, which ruled that individuals residing in institutional settings have a right to live in the least restrictive settings possible with available services. The 2011 estimate of the number of individuals who resided in all Cook County Skilled Nursing Facilities was 20,000. Since its inception in December 2011, through June 30, 2022, approximately 3,302 Colbert Class Members have transitioned from one of the Cook County Skilled Nursing Facilities to other community options. Information on the Colbert Consent Decree and program details can be found at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=98210.
The Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health is the lead agent for this Consent Decree. Its co-defendants are the Office of the Governor, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of Public Health, and the Department on Aging.
DMH convenes a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice (DEIRJ) committee in the central office and a committee at each of the seven State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals. Each committee has begun drafting plans for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all staff and consumers. This work is guided by IDHS DEIRJ efforts and training from the University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy.
Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDD)
The Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) oversees the Illinois system of programs and services specifically designed for individuals with developmental disabilities. Persons with developmental disabilities include persons with intellectual disabilities and related conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism. The Division works as a partner with many local entities statewide to offer an extensive array of services that enable persons with developmental disabilities to reside with their families or in other community living situations and to attain their wants, needs, and dreams. DHS funds over 358 of these community service providers in every part of Illinois. In addition, the Division has administrative oversight and funds over 193 private Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (ICFs/DD). These residential settings in the community provide a program of specialized and generic training, health services, and related services to support the individual to function with as much self-determination and independence as possible. The Division also manages the operations of residential services to individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in seven state-operated developmental centers (SODCs). These developmental centers generally provide residential services to persons with developmental disabilities who have a higher level of need or who are in crisis.
As an arm of the Division, the DHS is funding eight Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies in FY2023. These agencies maintain the PUNS database to register individuals seeking DD Waiver services, conduct Pre-Admission Screens to determine eligibility for services, provide Individual Service and Support Advocacy to people in a DDD Waiver and provide specialized service coordination to Bogard class members. In addition, ISC agencies conduct outreach, serve as the front line for information and assistance to help individuals and families navigate the system, ensure informed choice, develop, and monitor a person's Personal Plan, link individuals to services, and address problems related to outcomes and quality. ISCs collaborate with service providers to ensure individuals' health, safety, well-being, and satisfaction with DD services.
Subject to the appropriation of available funds, the Division funds services to children and adults in the following service areas.
- Day Program Services - for adults who seek developmental disability-funded day programs, the Division provides funding for Community Day Services, supported employment, adult day care, at-home day services, and other day programs. These services are provided by community-based agencies and organizations to individuals throughout Illinois. These services are designed to enhance a person's skill levels in major life areas, work-related activities, and employment skills.
- Residential Services - are provided in a variety of settings including ICFs/DD, Supported Living Arrangements (SLAs), Special Home Placements (SHPs), Community Living Facilities (CLFs), Children's Group Homes (CGH), Child Care Institutions (CCIs), and Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs). In addition, SODCs serve adults, many of whom have been unable to access community-based residential services because of a higher level of need.
- Home Based Support Services - an option within the Adult Medicaid Waiver and the Children's Supports Waiver. HBS includes individually designed, separately covered services, or assessment of the need for these services, to assist individuals to live in a private family home or a private house or apartment that they own or lease. Home-Based Support Services are tailored to meet individuals' evolving needs and preferences for support, without having to leave their homes. Individuals and their guardians may choose from an array of services, up to a monthly dollar cost maximum set by DHS, that best meets the evolving needs of the individual.
- Other Support Services - the Division funds respite (short-term relief to caregiver), nursing services, therapies, transportation, adaptive equipment, and home and vehicle modifications.
On June 15, 2011, a federal court approved a consent decree in the Ligas vs. Hamos lawsuit. Under this consent decree, the Division of Developmental Disabilities committed to serving an additional 3,000 individuals over the subsequent six years, as well as to transitioning those individuals who choose to move from Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICFs/DD) to less restrictive community-based services. The Division of Developmental Disabilities met those benchmarks during the first six years of the Decree and also served an additional 600 people from the PUNS list in FY 2018 and FY 2019. In May 2019, the Department of Human Services and the Plaintiffs established a "reasonable pace" for implementing services for FY 2020 through FY 2025, in which the Division will serve 600-630 individuals from the PUNS list each fiscal year. In addition, by FY 2025, no individual will wait more than 60 months for services. The Division met the reasonable pace goal in FY 2020 through FY 2022 and is meeting the 60-month wait for services threshold earlier than anticipated (FY 2022). Ligas Data Reports are posted approximately every six months to document implementation activities. The Reports can be found on the DHS website at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=64489.
The Division provides information through the IDHS website at the following internet address, https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32253.
Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
DRS is the state's lead agency for providing services to individuals with disabilities. DRS operates 47 local offices across the state and works in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.
DRS Programs and Services Include:
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) - Assists people with disabilities prepare for and find quality employment that pays a living wage and offers opportunities for advancement. Services include evaluation, guidance and counseling, job development, job placement, and follow-up services to ensure that individuals remain on the job.
Bureau of Blind Services - (BBS) - Bureau of Blind Services (BBS) Vocational Rehabilitation - Assists individuals who are blind or visually impaired in rediscovering their independence and freedom by providing training in Orientation and Mobility, braille, technology, and independent living skills. BBS works with customers to help them prepare and obtain competitive integrated employment by assisting them in achieving their education, training, and independent living goals. BBS also provides those services listed in the Vocational Rehabilitation section.
Home Services - A Medicaid waiver program that provides services to individuals with significant disabilities, so they can remain in their homes and live as independently as possible. Home Services Program customers are empowered to live self-directive lives, be actively involved in their communities, and retain control over the services they receive.
Specialized Services and Functions:
Services for Person who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing - DRS assists people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, or Deaf/Blind prepare for employment, find employment, attend education, learn about community services, and obtain other services to meet their employment needs. DRS counselors use English and American Sign Language to communicate.
Services for Persons with Disabilities who are Hispanic/Latino - Services for Persons with Disabilities who are Hispanic/Latino - DRS in collaboration with Latino community partners, assists Latinos with disabilities find employment, apply for DRS Services and learn about other community services.
Education Service - DRS operates three residential schools for children with disabilities: the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville, and the Center for Rehabilitation and Education-Roosevelt in Chicago.
Independent Living Services - DRS assists people with disabilities in maintaining their independence by funding 22 Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the state. CILs offer a variety of services to people with disabilities and their families, including five core services. These core services are: advocacy; peer counseling; independent living skills training; information and referral services; and transition services, which includes assisting individuals in transitioning out of long-term care facilities back into the community, assisting individuals in avoiding institutionalization, and assisting youth with disabilities in transitioning into postsecondary life.
Disabilities Determination Services - Determines which Illinois citizens are eligible to receive benefits under two Social Security programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Customer Referrals to DRS Services:
- DRS staff provide services to people with disabilities in 47 local offices located in communities throughout the state. Use the DHS Office Locator and search for Rehabilitation Services to find the nearest local office or call toll free: (877) 581-3690 (Voice, English or Español) or (866) 324-5553 (TTY).
- For information on the Home Services Program, call 800-843-6154 (voice) or 866-264-2149 (TTY) or 312-957-4881 (videophone) and select Rehab Services.
- Information on CILs can be accessed by calling 800-843-6154 (voice) or 866-264-3464 (Nextel).
- Use the online Rehabilitation Services Web Referral to refer yourself or someone else for services.
- For general questions about DRS, email DHS.DRS@illinois.gov.
Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR)
The Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) is the state's lead agency for addressing the profound personal, social, and economic consequences of substance use disorders. SUPR is charged with designing, coordinating, funding, and regulating a comprehensive community-based culturally and gender-appropriate array of substance use disorder (SUD) services throughout the state. SUPR SUD treatment and recovery support services assist youth and adult individuals living with a SUD as well as their families. SUPR-funded services are delivered under contract through a network of over 100 agencies at over 400 community-based sites. They include community intervention, outpatient, residential care, medication-assisted recovery, withdrawal management, and recovery home services. Treatment services are delivered through a continuum approach, with the patient moving from one level of care to another, based upon assessed need. SUPR is also responsible for the licensing and Medicaid certification of most sub-acute SUD treatment facilities. SUPR is also responsible for a comprehensive and coordinated community-based array of services that include, prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services related to gambling disorders (GD).
Primary or Universal prevention services are delivered through grant agreements with a network of nearly 70 organizations serving communities across Illinois focused on reducing underage drinking and marijuana use. In addition to substance use prevention services provided within schools and communities, some organizations provide youth leadership programs focused on promoting healthy behaviors; alcohol and cannabis policy support for municipalities and communities; general substance use prevention education for youth, and opioid prescriber training. The prevention network also includes a training and technical assistance organization and an evaluator. Indicated prevention services include overdose education and naloxone distribution services that can be accessed by all 102 Illinois counties, topic-specific public education projects, and a student-athlete opioid prevention program. Tobacco prevention programs include tobacco enforcement programs delivered through local police departments to decrease sales to individuals under 21 years of age and direct compliance checks conducted by the bureau directed by the FDA. SUPR coordinates prevention programs and services with other Illinois state agencies to assure that they reach youth, parents, and communities without duplication of effort.
Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP)
The Office of Firearm Violence Prevention's (OFVP) mission is to address the statewide public health emergency that is firearm violence through increased community capacity to (1) address root causes of violence, (2) provide those most-at-risk access to evidence-based and trauma-informed services, and (3) advance equity and racial justice. OFVP's vision for this future is that every community, every neighborhood, and every home in Illinois will be free from violence.
OFVP was created as a result of the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2021. The RPSA is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention in response to the State of Illinois' heightened experience of loss, harm, and trauma at the hands of firearm violence, especially during the COVD-19 lockdown. Firearm violence is a multi-faceted challenge that requires a public health approach to stop the cycles of violence in disproportionately impacted communities.
The Bureau of Violence Prevention Services, within the Division of Family and Community Services serves as the program bureau for the DHS Office of Firearm Violence Prevention, investing in high-risk communities throughout the state offering an array of violence prevention and intervention programs and services for at-risk youth 6 - 24 intended to mitigate, reduce, and prevent violent behavior. Services include but are not limited to programming identified in the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) to include Youth Development programs such as after-school and Summer programs; Violence Prevention programs including street outreach and employment programs; and High-Risk Youth Intervention services such as trauma recovery and other therapeutic and mental health services. Program models will vary based on community, youth, and family needs. Services are designed to:
- to ensure the safety of youth
- to reunify, stabilize and preserve families
- to reduce homelessness among youth
- to develop/increase the life skills in youth necessary to achieve self-sufficiency
- to increase academic outcomes for school-age youth
- to increase employability skills, career development & employment for transition age youth
- to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors in youth
- to reduce individual and community violence
- to divert youth at risk of involvement in the child welfare system
- and to divert youth at risk of involvement or further involvement in the juvenile or criminal justice system.
Reimage Public Safety Act Grant Programs
Conveners have expertise in gathering community members, agencies, and stakeholders which strengthens the community safety net for all. These grantees convene RPSA grantees and other community agencies and stakeholders monthly. Collectively the agencies can host community events, provide safe spaces, and share resources. They also address crisis situations and coordinate responses between providers. They also serve as the connector between the community and the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention, prioritizing the issue of gun violence in the state of Illinois.
Violence Prevention Services include Street Intervention, Case Management, and Victim Services for those at the highest risk of harming someone or being harmed by gun-related violence. Participants have a history of street involvement, justice-system involvement, prior victimization, and trauma associated with community gun violence and or exhibit violence behavior. Funded staff include street outreach worker(s), case manager(s) and victim service worker (s) who often have life experience and can build trust with participants. Street outreach and victim services require a relationship with local law enforcement for shooting notification and response.
Youth Development Services provides evidence-based after-school and summer programming. Evidence-based youth development programs shall provide services to teens that increase their school attendance, school performance, reduce involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and develop nonacademic interests that build social-emotional persistence, and intelligence. Youth development organizations will prioritize services for youth residing in the municipal blocks where more than 35% of all fatal and nonfatal firearm-shot incidents take place.
High-Risk Youth Services are provided by four Certified Comprehensive Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) which are assigned to the sixteen Chicago communities to ensure evidence-based intervention services that reduce involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice system, increase school attendance and refer high-risk teens into therapeutic programs that address trauma recovery and other mental health improvements. High-risk youth intervention program participants shall receive a comprehensive mental health assessment and needed services identified by the assessment. These grantees work in closely with the Youth Development grantees for seamless connection to more intensive services. These grantees can serve all RPSA youth participants to address trauma recovery.
Training and Technical Assistance includes one-time and ongoing training for the RPSA grantees. There are six TTA providers for the RPSA grantees can select from. The Violence Prevention and Youth Development grantees are required to complete a programmatic assessment and work with their selected technical assistance provider to develop and implement a technical assistance plan.
Division of Early Childhood Development
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides eligible, working families with access to affordable quality childcare that allows them to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, thus allowing families to contribute to the healthy, emotional, and social development of their children. CCAP can also help families pay for care in center-based or home settings. Families are required to cost share on a sliding scale based on family size and income.
IDHS is committed to providing excellent services to the diversified communities we serve. The Department has numerous operational divisions which continue the commitment that IDHS has pledged.
The Office of the Budget; Office of Business Services; Office of Clinical, Administrative and Program Support; Office of Communications; Office of Contract Administration; Office of Fiscal Services; Office of the General Counsel; Office of Grants Administration; Office of Hispanic and Latino Affairs; Office of Human Resources; Office of Innovation and Technology; Office of Strategy, Equity and Transformation; Office of the Inspector General; Office of Legislation; Procurement Office; and the Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness are all operational divisions within IDHS that are committed to addressing and advancing the goals set forth in our Affirmative Action Plan.