January 9, 2020 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00 am to 1:00 pm


Double Tree Hotel
5000 West 127th Street
Alsip, Illinois


  • Call to Order
  • Introduction of Council Members
  • Approval of October 3, 2019 Draft Meeting Report
  • Transition of Council Members
  • Homeless Presentation
  • Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update
  • Early Intervention/Home Visiting Convening Update
  • Tele-Practice Workgroup Update
  • Prenatal to 3 Initiative Update
  • Ongoing Updates
    • Budget - Child & Family Connections Rate Increase Survey Results
    • IMPACT-Ordering/Referring Physician (ORP) National Provider Identifier (NPI)
    • Cornerstone
    • Bureau
    • Digital Signatures
    • Service Delivery Approaches (SDA) Workgroup Recommendations

* Annual Performance Report (APR) Preliminary Data

* Service Delay Data Analysis Update

* Adjournment of Meeting

Council Report


Esther Beard, Advocate Representative

Meghan Burke, Parent Representative

Benny Delgado, Provider Representative

Brenda Devito, Clearbrook, Chairperson

Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education

Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative

Ann Freiburg, IDHS, Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention

Lynnette DeGraffenreid, Provider Representative

Tracy Gunderson, Provider Representative

Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities

Vicki Hodges, ISBE, McKinney-Vento, Homeless Representative

Dee Dee Lowery, CFC 1 Program Manager, Urban Representative

Lori Orr, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development

Nisha Sanghvi, Provider Representative

Ralph Schubert, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)

Becca Trevino, Parent Representative

Angel Williams, IL Dept. of Child and Family Services

Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative


Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance

Kelly Cunningham, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services

Christine Doyle Morrison, Provider Representative

Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative

Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health

Rosie Perez, Parent Representative

Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative

Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health

Call to Order

Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:05 am.

Introductions of Council Members

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

Approval of the October 3, 2019 Draft Meeting Report

Benny made a motion to approve the minutes. Amy seconded. Motion passed.

Transition of Council Members

Brenda invited former Council members to the front of the room to receive plaques commemorating their service to the Council. Ann presented plaques to Kathy Schrock, Bob Cammarata, and Therese Wehman. Since there are many new Council members, Ann invited Kathy, Bob, and Therese to stay at the table and join the discussion on items with which they have previously been involved. She also asked that they consider joining or continuing their work on Council workgroups.

Homeless Presentation

Ann introduced Vicki Hodges who presented information on ISBE's Homeless Education program. Vicki shared that Illinois is recognized as one of the top states for their early childhood efforts. Vicki provided some history on the McKinney-Vento (MV) Homeless Assistance Act. Children who are homeless are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems and are also more likely to experience delays in development and learning disabilities. On a single night in January 2018, an estimated 180,413 people in families or 56,342 family households were identified as homeless. Vicki reviewed the causes of homelessness and the challenges that homeless children face. Homeless education services are organized into seven regions in Illinois. The number of Pre-K to 12 homeless children served in Illinois in 2018 was 53,696. Numbers for 2019 are down, unclear if this is due to changes in population and/or a lack of data entry. For instance, zero children are reported as homeless currently in Chicago Public Schools. Currently working to address data concerns. 2437 preschool homeless students were served last year. This year, 1467 homeless preschoolers have been served. The barriers homeless children experience were discussed. These include not being identified as needing special education services, difficulty with diagnosis due to mobility, lack of timely assessment, lack of continuity of services, lack of timely or efficient records transfer, lack of an available parent or surrogate. There is a child find expectation with MV as well. The MV definition of homeless was shared and it was noted that this definition does not align completely with HUD definition. Hoping this changes in the near future as people are aware of the challenges differing definitions present. Vicki explained more about the nuances around defining fixed, regular, and adequate housing. Unaccompanied youth can also receive homeless education services. A link to the form for caregivers and additional resources were shared.

Amy asked what trainings/resources are available for early interventionists and CFCs to help with the child find and other components of the Act. Vicki referred people to Carie Bires at the Ounce for more information. Vicki will ask other state coordinators what they do within their states. Lori reminded everyone that there are a variety of resources on the state's early learning website that were developed through PDG efforts. Benny shared that the presentation made him think about ways EI could support these efforts, perhaps starting with better tracking/data collection. Bob said that the breadth of the definition of homelessness was surprising to many of his providers. Amy suggested that the Bureau provide some additional guidance to the field around the MV definition, expectations, and related resources. Lori asked Vicki to talk about the benefits of being identified under McKinney Vento. Primary benefit is that the child will get support removing barriers to school attendance. Margaret asked for clarification about children in DCFS' care that are homeless. DCFS takes over responsibility for support once the child is in their care. Amy asked if something could be prepared for the next Council meeting to share existing data and resources. It may also be beneficial to have regional liaisons present at manager meetings, CFC staff meetings, and/or LIC meetings.

Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update

Amy Zimmerman reported on recent progress with the lead poisoning pilots. Amy thanked the many partners that have been involved in these efforts. We are only six months away from implementation of the lead legislation related to EI eligibility. We are at a critical point for ensuring awareness of physicians, public health, and early interventionists. Ongoing training is still a need to help interventionists understand the proactive approach to serving these children. Rulemaking for the legislation still needs to be completed and new legislation has been introduced to fix implementation date. Amy asked if the rulemaking has been completed and if it could be shared with Council members. Service guidelines are in a finalized form and being reviewed by the pilot CFCs. Where those guidelines will ultimately reside still needs to be determined so that they are easily accessible to all. DeeDee shared a story of how this collaboration benefited a family whose child had been lead exposed and who was having trouble with a property owner. DeeDee shared the importance of the training addressing the role of the service coordinator.

Early Intervention/Home Visiting Convening Update

Benny Delgado updated the group on recent activities. The suggested edits for EI materials have been sent to the Bureau. A recommendation to update the Principles of Early Intervention was made at the last Council meeting. Recommended changes were shared with Council members. Benny would like to make a motion to adopt the suggested changes to the Principles. Since new Council members are just seeing it for the first time, Brenda suggested discussing this when they meet and saving approval for a future date. Lynnette stated her appreciation for additional time for review and the opportunity to provide input as these should guide the work of those in the field. Kathy shared a historical perspective on the development of the Principles and how these have guided the Council's work. Megan raised concerns about the wording and wants to make sure they are understandable to parents/families. Brenda encouraged members to share with families they encounter to check for clarity. Amy asked that a Word version be sent to Council members and that a brief introduction to the document be provided so that people understood the purpose of the Principles. The group discussed options for gathering feedback from other stakeholders prior to the April meeting.

Next steps for the EI/HV convening are unclear. Benny shared that home visiting is looking at their procedures for better collaboration with EI. He is not sure if the larger group will be reconvening. He will follow up and let Brenda knew if it is an option for new members to join.

Telehealth Workgroup Update

This workgroup will need a new chairperson moving forward. Bob Cammarata will remain involved but feels that the chair should be a Council member. The workgroup has had one call since the last meeting. The group has focused on planning for a pilot of telehealth services. Electronic platforms and consents have been a focus of several discussions. Lauren Little from Rush shared her work on preparing interventionists for teletherapy with the workgroup. It is currently a two-day training that will be shared with workgroup members. Amy and Kaylan shared a report that outlines the status of telehealth across the nation. Nisha asked if Council members would have access to the Google doc that the workgroup is using. Since it is still a working document, it is primarily accessed by workgroup members. Others will be asked for input as it progresses. Angel asked how the three pilot sites were selected. Bob shared that those who were selected had historically demonstrated the greatest need. A willingness to attempt this approach was also a factor. Benny reiterated that a number of factors influenced the selection. Amy reminded members that legislation may need to be introduced to support large scale use of this approach.

Prenatal to Three (PN3) Initiative

Ann shared an update on the continued PN3 efforts. The initiative had monthly meetings for four months to consider how to reach more birth to three-year old children who are living in poverty. The group developed strategies for how we could serve more children. The core group is currently finalizing the recommendations.

Preschool Development Grant (PDG) and Governor's Office Updates

Lori Orr talked about what we have been doing with PDG birth to five. Strategic planning was a primary activity for the first year. The report on these efforts should be ready soon. Inclusion was also a focus of the first year. Illinois recently received an additional $13 million for round two of the grant; need to revise focus slightly since $15 million was requested. New grant will focus on expanding supports that Early Choices can provide to include children under three. Primary support to childcare providers will be in three, as yet to be identified, areas. Lori will let the Bureau know when the report is ready.

Governor's early childhood funding commission met for the first time in December. Commission is establishing funding goals for equitable access to young children. Recommendations need to be to the Governor by January 2021. One group is charged with looking at early childhood special education and early intervention funding. Next meeting is January 14th. At that time, they will be determining rules of how groups will work. They may seek outside feedback. Fiscal health workgroup's efforts may be useful to this commission.

An Inclusion workgroup has requested feedback from the Council around the total cost of serving children in inclusive environments, how funding should move from source to recipient, and how we can ensure transparency and coherence in the system. Brenda shared that the systems seem fragmented and that it is difficult to know the array of services available in a given area. Some way to help people understand program requirements and variance of availability could be useful. Things that the Council has discussed related to total funding includes no-shows, supervision, and team member communication. Benny wondered if we have data to support our understanding. He shared what he learned from a recent meeting with providers who are planning to leave the system. Nisha shared that a challenge is communication and coordination of information within the system. Amy raised that since it is a funding commission, we should encourage them to think about not only what EI is now, but also what it could be. Consideration should be given to the type of funding that would be necessary to support the Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup recommendations. Therese suggested that those recommendations be revisited for consideration when thinking about total costs as well as a vision for what the system could be. Lori requested an update on the status of the recommendations in that document. An effective data system also needs to be considered in the request. Lori shared where people can find more information on the Commission. (https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/OECD/Pages/Governor's-Early-Childhood-Funding-Commission.aspx)

Ongoing Updates

a) Budget

 Ann Freiburg shared that the results of the Child and Family Connections (CFC) survey were included in the Council packet. Provider survey still needs to go out. Received 17 responses from CFCs. Many were passing along the increases to personnel. CFCs have been asked to revise their budgets to reflect the increase. Amy asked if Ann knew what the budgetary ask for EI would be in the coming year. Ann reported that she has been asked to provide data, but that is her primary role. Lori asked if we knew what advocates were suggesting. Benny shared that they are asking for an additional $25 million. Part of this would support an additional rate increase for providers. Ann announced that Nakisha has left DHS and that Linda Saterfield has returned as Interim Associate Director.

b) Illinois Medicaid Program Advanced Cloud Technology

 Ann reported that the requirement for the Ordering Referring Physician's NPI number on early intervention claims has been put on hold. IMPACT audit has identified a need for intergovernmental agreements with various entities. Waiting to get many of our questions answered. EI continues to pay people, but these issues may impact our ability to claim reimbursement. Bob mentioned that as of 2020, providers are getting notified that they need to re-verify enrollment every three years. This does not happen automatically like license renewals do. A Provider Informational Notice will be going out soon to alert people to this requirement and the steps they need to take. Ann clarified that if a provider has changed anything since initial enrollment, that will reset the three-year clock.

c) Cornerstone

 Ann has been working on the draft for a request for proposal (RFP). Getting very close to finalizing this with procurement. She is hoping to meet her goal of posting the RFP by April. She has asked for a system that will streamline many procedures. Ongoing Cornerstone support is limited. Ann doesn't have cost estimates for a new system yet.

d) Bureau

 Ann reported that the Bureau's Grants Manager and Administrative Assistant I positions have been filled by Crystal Gunn & Charmaine White. Grants Manager works on all grants and contracts. Crystal started on January 2nd. Charmaine will start on January 16th. Two open positions (fiscal) are in process. Outreach position is also vacant. Ann has requested to add five more members to her staff. Meeting with Linda next week to talk about this request. She is looking for additional support for monitoring, public relations, and data. This would optimally provide opportunities for staff advancement while staying with Bureau.

e) Digital Signatures

 No updates on digital signatures. Ann now has the name for the new security officer. Ann has put a request for this to be included in the new data system.

f) Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup Recommendations

Ann did not have an opportunity to provide an update for this meeting. She will prepare this and send to members.

Annual Performance Report

Ann provided a preliminary look at the data for this past fiscal year. We will be reporting data through a new system. It is the same system that is used for reporting 618 data. State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) efforts appear to be impacting our data. State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report will be extended another year. Will need to update targets for non-compliance indicators. Ann will request feedback for these via email. Ann presented preliminary data on the Indicators and noted that they may change slightly as we finalize the report. Indicator 1 (timely services) dropped a bit to 96.31%. Indicator 2 (natural environments) dipped slightly to 98.87%, but target is 90%. Indicator 3A and 3B have mixed results with SS1 increasing and SS2 decreasing. Indicator 3C had both statements decrease slightly. We feel this is primarily due to better data accuracy. Indicator 4 shows increases for all three parts (knowing rights, effectively communicate child's needs, help child develop and learn). Still considering sampling with more intense follow up in the future to improve representativeness. Indicator 5 increased slightly to 1.42%. Indicator 6 decreased slightly to 3.3%. Have seen a decrease in the state's population as well. Indicator 7 dipped slightly to 99.91%. Indicator 8A (transition steps and services) data still needs to be compiled. 8B (LEA notification of potentially eligible toddlers) is still 100%. Plan to change notification to children in system at 25 months. Indicator 8C (transition planning conference for potentially eligible toddlers) dropped slightly to 80.61%.

Service Delay Report

More information on this will be forthcoming. Ann needs to look more closely at the data. Alli Lowe-Fotos said that some suggestions for more specialized approaches to addressing these challenges will be discussed in the future

Council Orientation

Everyone will receive a poll for dates to conduct an orientation. Will look for a centralized location in February and March.


 Amy motioned to adjourn. Lynnette seconded.

Contact Information

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

Email: jennifer.grissom@illinois.gov

If you are need of special accommodations, please email or call Jenni Grissom.