The IDHS Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) expanded its categories of protective services child care to include children experiencing homelessness. CCAP is using the McKinney-Vento Act definition of homelessness.
Beginning in November 2018, any family that documents that they are experiencing homelessness will be granted a 3-month eligibility period regardless of if they are participating in an employment or educational activity, which is typically a standard requirement for families applying for CCAP. The family must meet other CCAP eligibility requirements, such as residing in Illinois, the age of the children (younger than 13, or younger than 18 with a documented special need for care) and the family's income is within program guidelines.
This 3-month period is being granted to allow a reasonable time frame for families experiencing homelessness to address their basic needs (safety, housing, employment, medical care, etc.) and to obtain and submit eligibility verification documentation. At the end of the three-month period, the family may be approved for 12 months of CCAP if they are engaged in an eligible employment and/or training activity, documentation is provided and all other CCAP eligibility criteria are met.
Families experiencing homelessness must also complete, sign, and return the Certification of Temporary Living Arrangement Questionnaire (CTLAQ) to describe their living situation and to document if the family meets the definition of homeless. Families must also certify on the CTLAQ that they have registered with an approved local agency or program to support families experiencing homelessness within 30 days of the CCAP approval date. If the family has not, they must indicate a plan to do so within the next 30 days on the CTLAQ.
Families that are experiencing homelessness, submit the required CTLAQ, and are employed or attending an eligible educational activity will be approved for CCAP for a 12-month eligibility period given all other eligibility criteria are met. The family's co-payment amount will be assessed at $1.00 per month for the first 3 months and will be based on the family's income for the remaining 9 months of eligibility.
For DCFS Licensed Providers
Policy 01.03.10: Under this provision, all providers must allow families a reasonable time to take any necessary action to comply with requests for copies of birth certificates, prevention or immunization documentation and other health and safety requirements. Families may receive up to ninety (90) days to verify immunization requirements. The ninety (90) day grace period will not postpone the eligibility determination and must be given to all families experiencing homelessness. For any exception for homeless children's medicals, please contact your DCFS licensing representative for further discussion.
DCFS is in the process of updating licensing rules to reflect this updated CCAP policy. Please keep a copy of this memo for reference during annual/renewal visits from DCFS Licensing.