July 10, 2014 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00 am to 1:00 pm


Council meetings will be held via Video Conference at the following locations:

IDHS - Chicago Location
401 South Clinton, 7th Floor
Large Executive Conference Room
Chicago, Illinois
IDHS - Springfield Location
McFarland Mental Health Center
901 Southwind Road, Video Conference Room - 2nd Floor
Springfield, Illinois


  1. Introduction of Council Members
  2. Approval of 4/3/2014 Draft Meeting Report
  3. SSIP Update 
  4. Greater East St. Louis Innovation Zone 
  5. Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup
  6. Parent Reimbursement Workgroup 
  7. Telehealth Update 
  8. Adjournment

Meeting Report


  • J. Diane Adams-Alsberry, CALM, Inc.
  • Karen Berman, IL Early Learning Council Designee
  • Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services
  • Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Brenda Devito, CFC #6 Manager
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Deanna Pratscher, parent, Thornton
  • Pam Reising-Rechner, IL State Board of Education
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley 
  • Amy Tarr, Division of Family and Community Services
  •  Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College
  • Susan Tromley, IL Department of Children and Family Services
  •  Amy Zimmerman, Health & Disabilities Advocates


  • Julie Doetsch, IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Sheila McCurley, IL Department of Public Health
  • Beatrice Nichols, IICEI Chairperson, Head Start
  •  Mary Petersen, Department of Insurance
  • Gina Ruther, DHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development
  • Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Constance Williams, PhD, DHS/Division of Mental Health

Contents of Council Packet:

  • Agenda
  • Draft Council Report - April 3, 2014 Meeting
  • Draft SSIP Timeline
  • Draft List of Approved Assessment Instruments
  • IFSP Implementation Ideas
  • Transition Ideas
  • Illinois Part C Determination letter and supporting documents

 Call to Order

The Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention (IICEI) convened at 10:00 a.m.

 Introduction of Council Members

Council members introduced themselves. 

  •  Approval of April 3, 2014 Meeting Report

Kathy Schrock moved for approval. Dee Pratscher seconded the motion. Meeting minutes were approved with no changes

 SSIP Update

Amy Tarr reviewed the SSIP timeline with Council members. DHS is still working with NCRRC to finalize data analysis. When the State Identified Measurable Result (SIMR) is determined, it will be shared with Council members at the October Council meeting. OSEP will be in Illinois to visit with DHS on October 15th and 16th to review SSIP efforts. Additional information about this process will continue to be shared at the January Council meeting. We are currently on target for meeting February reporting deadline. Next two Council meetings will entail more information sharing with, and input from, Council members. Bob asked about involvement of Innovation Zones (IZ) outside of CFC#21. Additional sites are also being considered. Leah Pouw will join SSIP planning team later this month to assist with identification of other IZs that have a birth to three focus. Karen asked about NCRRC's ability to gather participation information that could be used for other efforts' planning purposes, e.g. Early Head Start- Child Care Partnership. Amy Tarr will forward available data to Council members and Governor's office so that it can be used in other planning efforts.

 Greater East St. Louis Innovation Zone

Nicole VanHise shared information about IZ efforts in their CFC. They have been fortunate to have wide stakeholder input in their planning process. Initial efforts have focused on prioritizing needs. They are trying to be very thoughtful about their priorities and approaches. The plan to target five zip codes in the East St. Louis area, particularly families living in the deepest poverty and children with disabilities. Group is committed to working with 0-3 population and also children with disabilities. One priority focuses on identification and referral for young children with special needs. Families in the area have been sharing barriers to receiving early intervention services. The CFC's focus will be on improving the CFC's referral and retention processes. Therese asked about whether or not referrals have increased as a result of the proposed child find efforts, but Nicole indicated that this first year has been more about planning rather than implementation. She expects to see differences once purposeful, collaborative implementation begins in the fall. Typically, screenings in this area have been targeted for determining school readiness. It is not a widely accepted message that developmental screenings can be a regular part of quality care. Therese asked about the CFC's role in the implementation process. Nicole sees their role as primarily public awareness and education about the EI system. Also, they will work to improve coordination with other programs that serve young children so that children are getting to appropriate services for meeting their needs. Not sure at this point how much referrals will increase or the area's capacity for meeting needs if more children need to be served. Concerns about the EI system's ability to serve more children were raised and a question about Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) funds being used to support growth was posed. It was clarified that RTT-ELC funds are primarily expended to support the planning and collaboration efforts, not additional funds to support specific early intervention services. Karen encouraged stakeholders to advocate for additional funding for the early intervention system as many of the RTT efforts will likely lead to increases in the EI caseload. She also said that EI has been lauded as a champion in these efforts and has been recognized for the great work the system does. Bob shared information about efforts in other IZs that are strengthening partnerships between childcare providers and the CFCs. Susan Tromley offered to identify a DCFS contact for Nicole if a DCFS representative is not already participating in the efforts at CFC 21. Amy Zimmerman asked about the pediatric medical community's involvement in these planning efforts and if planning has been directed at retention/barriers to service as well as referrals. She also asked if DCFS could come to next meeting to discuss their current screening and referral efforts.

Service Delivery Approaches (SDA) Workgroup

Therese reviewed the materials provided to Council members; particularly the group's working documents around IFSP implementation and transition. The workgroup has finished its comprehensive system review and has begun developing its recommendations. Therese reminded everyone that group is now meeting face to face each month to keep the work moving. A request for more explanation about the IFSP implementation item related to use of consistent teams was made. The importance of team members knowing each other, communicating, and coordinating their efforts for a child and family was discussed. Also, the importance of developing and ensuring adherence to expectations was described. Concerns about how the system might impose team structures were expressed. Concerns with how our fee-for-service system works against desired practice were also discussed. Amy Tarr expressed a desire for this group's efforts to hopefully inform the improvement strategies utilized in the SSIP process. The process for bringing recommendations to the Council and the Bureau was also outlined. Acknowledgments that if recommendations are accepted, changes will be required and not everyone will necessarily like the change were also made. Changes mean that it will no longer be business as usual, which means people will have a choice about continuing to participate in the system. Recognition that potential changes will need to be supported structurally by the system was also raised. Making changes will necessarily be a balancing act as funding is currently flat moving forward. The item around inconsistency of EI payments was discussed and most felt while it may be more delayed than some other sources, it has been more regular in recent years. Several members felt that this inconsistency may be partly based on past experience, but also on lingering perceptions. Margaret Harkness asked that more information about what families should expect and advocacy options when services are not received should be considered. Work of the statewide transition committee was highlighted. CFC transition processes and materials were described. Council members moved to accept revised list of tools with consideration of feedback received by next Friday. Any suggested changes to the tool list from Council members should be sent to Chelsea by next Friday, July 18, 2014. Amy Tarr will send the draft tool list to Megan at CPS for CPS review and input.

Parent Reimbursement Workgroup

Brenda discussed charge of workgroup. The group has met twice prior to today's meeting. The group's membership was shared. During meetings, concerns were expressed about the equitability of a parent reimbursement policy since families who could not pay upfront would not be able to utilize the process outlined in the draft parent reimbursement policy. The group proposed an alternative, in the form of a service voucher, to make the process more equitable for a wider group of families and to put some cost-protections in place for the system. The proposed voucher would reimburse at the state rate. Council members expressed concerns about the potential quality of the services provided, the providers' adherence to system parameters and philosophy, and the potential disincentive to enroll in the system. Other considerations discussed by the workgroup included the need to contain costs, the need for continuing provider recruitment, and the need for IFSP teams to really consider multiple alternatives for how IFSP outcomes could possibly be addressed and achieved. Options for how the transition from voucher to a within system provider could occur were discussed. The idea of having a "voucher" provider pool attached to a CFC was also considered because people had concerns about how families would be able to identify and access (travel to) these types of providers. This process should not be something that undermines system provider recruitment efforts or attempts to provide services in the natural environment. Brenda asked for Council support to pursue this voucher option, but members felt they needed more information and a written proposal before weighing in on this. Council members asked for more information about how many children were waiting, how long, and for what services. Amy said that this information could be provided for their consideration. Karen requested that the Bureau provide staff to attend future workgroup meetings to help with pursuing potentially viable options. Amy said that this was possible and that the Bureau staff's role on the workgroup would be to provide information.

Telehealth Update

Committee has met once since last meeting. They have interviewed 5 Part C coordinators who allow telehealth service provision. Reasons and methods for this service provision vary across states. The amount of service provided via this mechanism is quite small in each state. In order to implement this methodology successfully, technology must be part of the family's life. Coordinators reported that provider buy-in has been essential to success; difficult to impose from top-down. Different coordinators have different opinions on this method's congruence with EI ideas of family coaching and natural environments. A recommendation was made at the last Council meeting to pilot this method. An initial meeting with Bureau staff suggested that exploring the possibility of providing sign language interpretation as the first service might be warranted. Amy has made contact with the Commission on Deaf and Hard of Hearing and their legal representative is to get back to the Bureau in the next couple of weeks, after gathering information from providers and families. An Illinois Bill (SB2366) has passed both Houses that may support telehealth use. Kathy asked for DHS legal to review the Bill to determine its applicability to their work. The workgroup has noted that the number of states utilizing this methodology has grown since this group's formation.


Program/Administrative contracts are paid through May 2014. Provider payments are current through June 4, 2014; additional funds were received yesterday which should allow provider payment through the end of June 2014. Kathy asked for clarification around system acceptance of electronic signatures. Amy clarified that EI does not currently accept electronic signatures on EI documentation. Some people in attendance claimed that they have documents that allow the provision of official electronic signatures. Amy will look into this and get back to everyone.


The meeting adjourned at 12:51 p.m

Contact Information

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe
Springfield, IL 62701
Phone: 217/524-1596
Email: jennifer.grissom@illinois.gov