REDESIGNED IDHS WEBSITE
The Illinois Department of Human Services is happy to reveal its redesigned website which can be found at dhs.illinois.gov. The new site is designed to be much more user-friendly and to ensure that those in need can quickly and accurately locate information and resources for the help they require.
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.
IDHS reminds us that every person in Illinois needs to be counted! Visit My2020census.gov to complete the census online or call 1-844-330-2020. For more info text 987987 or go to census.illinois.gov.
CHILD CARE RESTORATION
Governor JB Pritzker announced a $270 million Child Care Restoration grant program that will support Illinois' vast network of child care providers as they continue to provide care to children across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services, is charged with developing the grant program for licensed child care providers. The Child Care Restoration Grants will be administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).
An "Intent to Apply" survey launched today and is available online HERE. The information gathered will help to inform the development of the grants program to be released in July 2020, with providers receiving their first installments later this summer.
The Illinois Department of Human Services announced that the federal government has issued approval for continued Emergency Allotments through June for all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. These allotments ensure that families receive maximum SNAP funds for their household size during the pandemic. No action is required by the customer. To apply for SNAP benefits, please visit abe.illinois.gov.
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) recently received $1.7 million 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
The 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 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.
Each Division communicated with its respective providers to instruct them on how to request these resources.
If you have any questions about the appropriate use of PPE, please visit the CDC website guidance on PPE use.
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.