Friday, June 5, 2020
HUMAN TRAFFICKING RECOGNITION TRAINING
Victims of human trafficking often do not know where to turn for assistance and can be too intimidated to ask for help. To help recognize and disrupt human trafficking, the Illinois Department of Human Services developed a Human Trafficking Recognition Training curriculum under the provisions of the Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition Training Act, which requires that a lodging establishment provide its employees with training in the recognition of human trafficking and protocols for reporting observed human trafficking to the appropriate authority. The employees must complete the training within 6 months after beginning employment with the lodging establishment and every 2 years thereafter, if still employed by the lodging establishment.
You can find the IDHS curriculum guide to help train hotel and motel employees about human trafficking at this website.
OLDER ADULT CONNECTIVITY
The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) and Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) received $1.7 million last week from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Administration for Community Living to better serve older adults and persons with disabilities who are disproportionately affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will be used to purchase technology devices and facilitate access to increased social engagement and connectedness, targeting those who live alone, who do not normally receive in-home services, and/or who live in rural areas. If you or an older family member, friend, or neighbor need assistance, please visit www.illinois.gov/aging or contact the Senior Help Line at 1-800-252-8966.
PPE FOR COMMUNITY PROVIDERS
Last week, Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced that it will be distributing non-NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) KN95 masks to community-based organizations across the state. To make this as efficient as possible, IDHS identified partner organizations to distribute these face coverings, based on the division or program type. For provider organizations funded through the Divisions of Developmental Disabilities, Family and Community Services (except child care), Mental Health, and Substance Use Prevention and Recovery, IDHS has partnered with the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF) for the distribution.
For those funded by the Division of Rehabilitation Services, providers will be able to request these KN95 masks through DRS local offices and the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL).
Child care centers will be able to request these masks through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and through Minerva Promotions.
The process for requesting these KN95 masks was provided via communications from each specific Division to their providers.
If you have any questions about the appropriate use of PPE, please visit the CDC website guidance on PPE use.
IDHS COVID-19 INFORMATION
All Illinois Department of Human Services guidance, communications, updates, links, resources, announcements, and releases regarding COVID-19 are available on the IDHS Coronavirus Information Page.
The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery announced that they have received approval for Blanket Extended Take-Home Methadone as part of the COVID-19 response to reduce clinic and transportation contact in Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP). This policy change allows stable patients to receive 14-28 bottles of take-home methadone. The additional availability of methadone is an important safety measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but also increases the potential for opioid overdoses.
To offset this risk, IDHS/SUPR is increasing access to naloxone for OTP patients by partnering with funded Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) providers across the state. IDHS/SUPR is giving the OEND providers enough funding to supply two naloxone kits per OTP patient.
REOPENING CHILD CARE UNDER RESTORE ILLINOIS
While many child care homes and centers remained open and provided emergency care to the children of essential workers during the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration, the majority of licensed child care programs have been closed during Phases 1 and 2 of the Restore Illinois Plan. Providers are encouraged to safely reopen in Phases 3 and 4 to serve the many families who will be returning to work. Detailed guidance is available here.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) continues to work to maximize federal funds for food banks and pantries across Illinois. To find a food pantry or soup kitchen near you, visit www.illinoisfoodbanks.org/sites.asp.
DEALING WITH TRAUMA
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) recognizes that people across the nation are experiencing pain and anguish as injustice, violence, and health inequities - as demonstrated by COVID 19-have a stark and disparate impact on people of color.
Please remember there are resources and services available if you or anyone you know needs someone to talk to during these times. IDHS has a collection of resources on the IDHS website, and you can also text "TALK" or "HABLAR" to their Call4Calm line at 55-2020 for free, emotional support.
FOOD FOR STUDENTS
The Pandemic Emergency Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) was established to help Illinois families buy food for school-aged children and young adults who would receive National School Lunch Program free or reduced-priced meals when schools are in session.
If you currently receive SNAP benefits, your school-aged children and young adults are automatically eligible for P-EBT benefits and do not need to apply.
If you do not currently receive SNAP benefits, please visit abe.illinois.gov to learn more and apply for P-EBT benefits for the student(s) in your household.