July 13, 2017 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00 am to 1:00 pm


Moraine Valley Community College
9000 College Parkway, Building M
Palos Hills, Illinois


  • Introduction of Council Members
  • Approval of April 6, 2017 Draft Meeting Report
  • Ongoing Updates
    • SSIP (Local Leadership Team Member)
    • IMPACT
    • Service Delivery Approaches (SDA) Workgroup Recommendations
    • Cornerstone
    • Parent Reimbursements
    • Bureau Update
    • Budget Update
    • Electronic Signature
  • Child & Family Outcomes Workgroup
  • Workgroup Updates
    • Tele-health
    • Lead 
  • Home Visiting Presentation Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Joint Statement on Collaboration and Coordination of the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Programs
  • Adjournment

Meeting Report


  • J. Diane Adams-Alsberry, CALM, Inc.
  • Karen Berman, Ounce of Prevention Fund
  • Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services
  • Benny Delgado, Leaps and Bounds Family Services, Inc.
  • Brenda DeVito, CFC 6 Program Manager
  • Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education
  • Donna Emmons, IL Head Start Association
  • Ann Freiburg, Part C Coordinator, IDHS, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Roselyn Harris, DHS, Bureau of Child Care & Development
  • Vicki Hodges, ISBE, McKinney-Vento
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley
  • Ralph Schubert, Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Lynette Strode, IL Assistive Technology Program
  • Rita Wahl, CFC 20 Program Manager
  • Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College
  • Amy Zimmerman, Legal Council for Health Justice


  • Teresa Bertolozzi, Parent
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Patricia Hooper, Parent
  • Brandy O'Connor, Parent
  • Rosalina Perez, Parent
  • Deanna Pratscher, Parent
  • Sylvia Riperton-Lewis, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Cynthia Tate, Illinois Early Learning Council
  • Kathy Ward, IDHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Angel Williams, IL Dept. of Child and Family Services
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health
  • Karen Woods, IL Department of Insurance

Council Packet

  • Agenda
  • Draft Council Report from April 6, 2017
  • Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and IDEA Part C Programs
  • Early Intervention Program Caseload Summary Report

1) Call to Order

Kathy Schrock called the meeting to order at 10:02 am.

2) Council Member Introductions

Kathy asked Council members to introduce themselves and share their affiliation.

3) Approval of April 6, 2017 Draft Meeting Report

Bob Cammarata moved for approval of the meeting report; Donna Emmons seconded. Kristi Doan is on list twice, so please remove one entry. Motion passed with correction.

4) Ongoing Updates - Ann Freiburg, Bureau of Early Intervention (EI)

  • SSIP (Local Leadership Team Member), Elana Mavromatis, Program Manager, CFC 4

Leadership Team at CFC 4 has been meeting for last seven months. They are working to improve the child outcomes process; have trained SCs to facilitate the process in the preferred manner; now training their providers. They are finding that meetings are more streamlined and families are more engaged. They are also really focusing on improving the accuracy of the ratings. Their third training will be held on July 20, 2017, but they are also holding reflection groups for providers after they are trained. They find that they are getting good feedback as people are trained. People want to do it right. Seeing real differences when IFSP meeting has both those who have and have not been trained. Moving forward, they plan to move to quarterly training with monthly reflections. Next piece to address is the second strategy which looks at how we do intervention.

Ann reminded everyone that there are three pilot sites and scale up will begin once we have a good understanding of effective practices. Karen asked if they ultimate goal of SSIP activities is for children to experience better outcomes; Ann confirmed that this is true. Therese asked about resources that would be needed for broader scale up and whether people were being compensated for participation. Most of those involved are not being financially compensated yet they are receiving EI credits for participation. Ellana shared that the providers are invested because they see real rewards in improved practices and more meaningful, rewarding work. Benny shared that his experience shows that providers want to do their work well and having an opportunity to learn how to do things better has its own inherent rewards. They are very appreciative to have these local opportunities to improve their competence and confidence. Bob also feels that the Training credits and actual practical training experiences are a big draw as well.


 It was previously stated that IMPACT would begin removing non-validated providers, but it really depends on timing of last renewal. Continue to have ongoing discussions to get EI Providers and all CFCs into the IMPACT system; only one CFC is still under review. No word yet about the beginning of Phase 2 which will also impact EI providers. Provider Connections is utilizing credential renewal as an opportunity to get people into IMPACT and correct their billing information. As soon as last CFC is in, Bureau can submit Targeted Case Management claims for FY'17 which should result in several million more dollars to EI

* Service Delivery Approaches (SDA) Workgroup Recommendations

 Ann has not had an opportunity to get back to these. Benny asked if it would be possible to get information about progress towards SDA recommendations prior to next meeting to keep us moving forward.

* Cornerstone

 Cornerstone will be ending by April, 2020 so Ann is meeting with Department of Information Technology (DoIT) folks to discuss program needs. She needs to meet with them again next week because MIS has identified technology that they think may work for EI. Kathy asked about timelines for this work and how different the system might be; Ann says that accessibility and ability to fulfill program requirements will drive the choice. Amy pointed out that there have been several workgroups/task forces that have made suggestions/recommendations for system needs; she encouraged Ann to consider that work when presenting program needs to her contacts. Bob asked whether the elimination of Cornerstone was certain; Ann affirmed that WIC has to use a federally-approved program and Cornerstone does not meet this approval. It is unclear whether the system chosen for WIC will work for EI as well. Bob shared that DoIT should raise their awareness of information management systems that providers and CFCs are already using effectively as these may provide an avenue for exploration. Ann confirmed that she plans to involve stakeholders in selection process once options are presented. She also shared that she has given them information about systems that other states are using. Therese asked if the variables that will go into the state's decision-making process have been shared. They have not, but DoIT is charged with considering a variety of factors. Karen reminded people that an ongoing concern has been that future choices take into consideration the system's ability to interact with other data systems. Ginger shared that the system they use works fine in other states, but it does not work as well for Illinois' program given our size and infrastructure.

Amy asked about the Cornerstone updates that have been previously requested and whether any of these have moved forward. Ann says that they are continuing to update Cornerstone for the near future and many of these changes have been requested. She also let Council members know that WIC has submitted a question about using public WiFi for signing into Cornerstone, but this is not allowed; Bob shared that there are, however, other state programs that are permitted to do this.

* Parent Reimbursements

 Ann has still not addressed this. She will schedule a meeting to discuss with Amy and Karen.

* Bureau Update

Claudia Fabián has accepted a job with IDHS in Child Care; Ann has requested that the position get posted and remain bilingual. Nick Marsters has moved into the contracts position within Bureau. Ticcoral Tolliver has accepted the advanced accountant position within the Bureau. Kim Doyle is Ann's new administrative assistant; Gina Rives is also an administrative assistant for the Bureau. Ann has to resubmit the Bureau's data manager position under a different title.

 The use of an automated attendant for the EI Bureau will no longer be used due to prohibitive costs. The main line will now be answered by EI staff. The 217-782-1981 number is no longer functional, but there is a message on it that currently redirects people to Jenni. Kathy asked for an updated list of staff assignments and contact information to be shared with Council members.

* Budget Update

 Illinois now has passed a budget. If legislation goes as proposed, $96.6 M will be coming to Early Intervention, but Ann is still awaiting confirmation on that figure. Amy shared information about how the consent decrees/court orders impact payments. Brenda asked about proposed 5% decrease across all state agencies, but Ann doesn't have information on this. Karen asked about the process for determining how the additional funding would be allocated and if the Council can be involved in a discussion about where to make investments. Kathy said that the discussion should include the entirety of EI funding sources. Ann said that when the picture is clearer, she is willing to have the conversation. Benny shared that providers are wondering how the Budget will impact their future as many are still trying to decide whether they are able continue within the EI system. Ann agrees that they deserve the answer, but she does not have answers just yet. The Bureau is doing everything they can to keep money flowing. Bob asked about the prompt payment requirements due to provider payments are typically made right before the interest penalty kicks in. Kathy shared the difficulties with recruiting new people to the field with existing payment delays.

* Electronic Signature

Ann has met with DHS security to get clarity on this issue. Digital signatures are permitted, but electronic signatures are not. DHS has a free electronic system that can create digital signatures. Ann will share that information soon. A notice will be shared with stakeholders soon, but digital signatures will not be permitted until that time.

5) Child and Family Outcomes Workgroup - Chelsea Guillen, EI Ombudsman/EI Training

Chelsea provided an overview of how the Family Outcomes Survey is currently conducted and reminded members of options that have been tried in the past. She also shared the results from the FY'16 surveys. Costs and representativeness are ongoing concerns. She discussed the potential for changing to whom surveys are addressed and the possibility of submitting a sampling plan to OSEP. Several Council members asked about the timing of the surveys and options for completion. A question about whether or not incentives had been tried also came up. Chelsea shared that incentives were provided the first couple of years with minimal impact on returns. The workgroup will continue to explore options for improving the process.

6) Workgroup Updates

* Telehealth - Bob Cammarata, Provider Representative/Kathy Schrock, Council Chairperson

This workgroup was reconvened following information received about Colorado's success with using telehealth in early intervention (EI). A variety of stakeholders are involved on the workgroup, including some providers who have been using this format for service provision. Information from the first iteration of the workgroup was that states had found this approach to be useful in addressing service delays in certain areas/states due to rural nature of homes, lack of mileage reimbursement, and provider shortages. States who explore this option do not only provide services via telehealth. Council members received an article about Colorado's attempt to use this in EI and Bob reviewed the highlights in terms of benefits. He also reviewed IL service delay information from the APR and shared information about maps of service delays.

The workgroup has generated a lot of questions and is excited to know that it can work. They are currently working to get more information from states that are using this approach. ECTA center suggested sending question to other Part C coordinators through the ITCA listserv. Kathy shared that there will need to be some education to the larger provider community about the benefits of this approach since it is a different way of working with families. Therese asked about availability of technology for utilizing this approach statewide. Ann shared that her Missouri contact said that they were working with both their providers and families to get the necessary equipment because it didn't always exist. Bob said that training for providers to be able to utilize this approach is also a critical element for success. Ginger cautioned people to think about potential differences between telehealth and tele-intervention as EDHI grantees have seen variations in success between diagnosis and intervention. Therese suggested that if we do find that we have some extra funding available, we should consider using this for a pilot in one of the areas experiencing the greatest service delays. Workgroup will try to generate some action items/steps for Council's consideration at next meeting. Karen asked if an update from the Access to EI group could be provided at the next Council meeting as well.

* Lead Poisoning - Amy Zimmerman, Legal Council for Health Justice

Amy talked about the ongoing work of the group and reminded everyone that this is an issue being addressed by the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Youth as well. Council members received a copy of a poster that has been presented at several conferences. The workgroup has produced some information about how the various CFCs might be impacted by the proposed eligibility definition. Some other states are already serving children with elevated blood lead levels. Illinois has adopted a different definition of concern than feds have identified (10 micrograms vs 5 micrograms). A second group is looking at what services/supports might be needed by these children/families. Many of the children potentially served via this eligibility route would not be exhibiting delays during the early intervention time period. To some degree, our work would be preventative, attempting to mitigate impact of exposure. Many states don't provide services beyond service coordination to these children/families. Karen shared that the Governor's office is bringing together different system representatives to talk about how IL children/families could be supported through the various systems. Roselyn reminded people about the importance of prevention work so that exposure can also be minimized.

7) Home Visiting Presentation - Teresa Kelly, Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV)

Teresa and Lesley Schwartz provided an overview of home visiting programs within Illinois. They provide voluntary, evidence-based (parents as teachers, healthy families, and early head start home based) programs to children and families. Home visiting is different than family case management. They are hoping to improve partnerships with early intervention as home visiting can be an important referral source and can be a potential service for children not found eligible for early intervention. Programs being used have well documented outcomes for families and children as a result of addressing parent-child attachment. A variety of issues can be addressed through home visiting up to age 5. Programs have mental health consultants to support their home visitors as they support families with multi-system issues. These programs have gone without state financial support for last two years so their infrastructure has been crumbling.

Contact them if more information about the program or outcomes are desired. They will share information about how to make referrals with Ann for distribution. Lesley will also share provider survey results with Ann to help get an understanding of current inclusion landscape. Amy reminded everyone that home visitors are doing developmental screenings. She also suggested that we should be capturing information about a family's involvement in home visiting programs when they come to EI. In Benny's experiences with the programs, there are lots of natural opportunities for collaboration. People can use the IGROW website to identify programs in their area. Illinois' home visiting programs capitalize on a variety of funding sources and serve over 10,000 children. Ten communities have also begun implementing coordinated intake systems to make it easier for children and families to get to needed programs.

8) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Joint Statement on Collaboration and Coordination of the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Programs - Karen Berman, Ounce of Prevention Fund

Karen shared that there are eight areas identified for collaboration and coordination in the joint statement. The hope is that we can go through the document at a future Council meeting and figure out how some of these suggestions might come to fruition. A joint meeting of the chairs of the Council and the Home Visiting Task Force could be an important first step, so Karen will work to support that happening.

9) Least Restricted Environment (LRE) Consortium - Kristi Doan, ISBE

The LRE Consortium has produced a brochure about Inclusion. This brochure is available at the sign in desk outside the meeting room.

10) Adjournment

Next meeting is October 5th. Benny motioned for adjournment and Rosalyn seconded. The meeting adjourned at 1:10 pm.

Contact Information

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