July 8, 2021 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00am to 1:00pm


Due to the current pandemic, this meeting will be held by Zoom teleconferencing. To participate, please utilize the link below provided by EI Training to register for the meeting.

IICEI Registration: 07/08/2021

Once you register, you will be provided with an immediate confirmation, that will indicate Zoom participation information will be forthcoming. You will receive an email with specific access instructions and your unique Zoom link closer to the meeting date.


  • Call to Order
  • Introduction of Council Members
  • Approval April 01, 2021 Draft Meeting Report
  • Lead Poisoning Project
  • Re-Open EI Workgroup Update
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Communication Workgroup Update
  • Equity & Access Workgroup Update
  • Prenatal to 3 Initiative (PN3) Workgroup Update
  • Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)
  • American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds
  • Legislation
  • State Performance Plan (SPP)
  • FY2022 Contract Awards
  • Ongoing Updates
    • IMPACT
    • Cornerstone/EI Data Management System
    • Bureau
    • Digital Signatures
  • Adjournment of Meeting

Meeting Report


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • Kisha Davis, IL Dept. of Human Services, Bureau of Subsidy Mgmt. (Child Care)
  • Benny Delgado, Provider Representative
  • Brenda Devito, Clearbrook, Chairperson
  • Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education
  • Christine Doyle Morrison, Provider Representative
  • Ann Freiburg, IDHS, Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Lynnette DeGraffenreid, 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
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Nisha Sanghvi, Provider Representative
  • Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative
  • Angel Williams, IL Dept. of Child and Family Services
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative


  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Kelly Cunningham, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative
  • Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative
  • Jennifer Gentile, IL Dept. of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Lori Orr, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development
  • Rosie Perez, Parent Representative
  • Shelly Roat, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Becca Trevino, Parent Representative
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health

Council Packet Contents

  • Agenda
  • Draft Council Meeting Report - April 1, 2021 Meeting
  • ReOpen Early Intervention Workgroup Update
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Communication Workgroup Update
  • Prenatal to Three Initiative (PN3) Workgroup Update
  • Equity and Access Workgroup Update
  • Early Intervention Program Caseload Summary Report for: ?March 2021 - May 2021
  • EI Lead Workgroup Report
  1. Call to Order
    Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:03 am.
  2. Introductions of Council Members
    Members introduced themselves and stated their agency/role on the Council.
  3. Approval of the April 1, 2021 Draft Meeting Report
    Benny made a motion to approve the minutes. Amy seconded. Motion passed.
  4. Lead Poisoning Project
    Pam Epley presented information about the activities to date. Erikson has been in charge of the evaluation of the project. Work began in the summer of 2018. Currently doing interviews and follow up assessments. Will continue data collection and report writing in coming year. Twenty-one families currently enrolled in the pilot. Key findings to date are around barriers to enrollment:
  • no demonstrated delay,
  • physician focus on reducing blood lead level,
  • family fee,
  • undocumented and immigrant families' fear of using a public system

Key findings related to challenges to service provision:

  • reactive versus preventative model and
  • how to effectively use service guidelines.

Key findings from parents:

  • majority received DT services,
  • those without delays received biweekly or monthly monitoring,
  • parents found SCs well informed with useful information about lead,
  • providers shared useful strategies for supporting development,
  • environmental inspections inconsistent (those referred by IDPH had more success in obtaining the inspection as compared to those referred by their physicians),
  • the focus, encouraged by physicians, was on reducing lead levels.

Key service coordinator findings:

  • telehealth increased availability of services for families in low-income communities,
  • tech resources needed for families to access telehealth services,
  • limited info from providers to SC regarding specific children/families.

Key findings from physicians and IDPH:

  • doctors unaware of automatic eligibility,
  • referral forms in other languages,
  • doctors varied opinions about need for EI at BLLs below 10,
  • doctors unclear regarding EI services (free services),
  • doctors varied in frequency and method of lead testing,
  • doctors varied in knowledge of effects of lead poisoning,
  • IDPH more likely to refer environmental specialist,
  • all wanted more info regarding long-term effects of lower lead levels.

Demographic information about participants was shared. Eleven of the children would not have qualified for early intervention without automatic eligibility; ten had delays of more than 30% but had not been referred prior to lead issue. Brenda asked about age of children in pilot. Pam responded that original intent was to recruit those under the age of 2 so that they could benefit from a year of early intervention, but the age was raised a bit due to recruiting difficulties. Still working on obtaining missing data, completing interviews and synthesizing information collected. Amy Z asked how the focus group physician and IDPH reps were selected. Pam clarified that everyone involved had referred children to the pilot. Benny would like Council members to think about what the pilot tells us about system challenges/barriers and what can be done to address them. Amy Z submitted the final EI and Lead workgroup report, but it includes some additional action items that she would like the Council to consider, e.g. sharing/posting of service guidelines. She also thinks it is important for the Council to think about how to support interagency collaboration. Christy asked if we know how many children could have potentially been involved in the pilot. Pam responded that there were estimates provided initially, but the information hasn't been updated recently. Likely only capturing a portion of the eligible children. Nisha asked about availability of information about lead exposure and importance of EI. Pam shared that the PowerPoint includes some links to what is available. Angel asked about opportunities to ask about lead exposure for children in care. Benny made a motion that the Bureau post the EI and lead service guidelines and other pilot resources on the Bureau and Partner websites, conduct a public awareness campaign around lead exposure, and develop strategies for opportunities for interagency collaboration with IDPH and the ICAAP to support this work. Amy Z seconded. Motion passed.

5. Re-Open Workgroup Update
Dee Dee Lowery reported that this workgroup is nearing a close. Group continued to meet monthly, and the last meeting is anticipated in July. Work currently focuses on what the system will look like after the pandemic. She highlighted key points in the guidance that was recently released. Additional focus on the role of live video visits is still needed. The workgroup has asked the telehealth workgroup to develop recommendations for this. Family fee discussions and methods for electronic payments have also occurred. Brenda commended workgroup members and shared her hopes that the work would be successfully coming to a close. Ann provided more details about the options for family fee payments while acknowledging that in the President's proposed budget, states will receive a funding increase while eliminating family participation fees. Given the uncertain status of this change, the Bureau will continue their planning for making it easier for families to pay. Brenda asked if the increase would cover what would be missed by family fees. The amounts are still to be determined, but the first figures do appear to cover the difference if we are no longer able to collect fees. There would likely be other resource savings as well, e.g. service coordinator time, structure for collection, etc. Christy asked if the proposal would impact family insurance use, but Ann replied that it would not. Benny sees this as a win for families and offered the Council's help if needed. Amy Zimmerman asked if information about the proposed budget could be shared to assist with advocacy. Ann shared the link through chat: (https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget22/index.html) . Benny asked about reports on the success of electronic signatures, and DeeDee shared that managers reported on their call yesterday that DocuSign is working well and keeping the process moving. The anticipated last meeting for this workgroup is scheduled for July 27th.

6. Telehealth Workgroup Update
Benny Delgado began with an apology for not being more responsive to those who have reached out about this workgroup's effort. He and Meghan have had at least some electronic communication with the workgroup to collect information that could be used to form recommendations for the Bureau. They have also completed some family interviews. They are drafting a document to share with the workgroup to obtain feedback. Amy Z provided an update on telehealth legislation. HB3308 passed both houses and affords future opportunities to continue the use of telehealth in early intervention. It covers state-regulated private insurance but does not include language for Medicaid. Legislation is currently awaiting the Governor's signature. Legislation covers both behavioral and physical health services and ensures parity for telehealth and in-person services. There is a sunset built into the current legislation in regard to physical health services. Ann shared a bit about the work still needed for full post-pandemic telehealth implementation. DeeDee asked about timeline for convening the workgroup, but although a date has not been set Benny is hoping this happens prior to next Reopen workgroup.

7. Communications Workgroup Update
Nisha Sanghvi and Christy Morrison reported that they have had one meeting since the last Council meeting. They continue to encourage stakeholders to use Partners' websites. No update on Zoom Council meetings yet. Workgroups have been using the template that was proposed and approved. Workgroup reports will be posted when reorganization of EI website is complete. They have created a system infographic. Christy thanked Alissa for her ability to transform their work into such a nice interactive document. It has been posted in several places (Nisha provided link in chat: https://eitp.education.illinois.edu/Files/Resources/EIGraphic/index.html). The workgroup is also working on a billing infographic for stakeholders.

8. Equity & Access Workgroup Update
Angel Williams reported that they have met a few times. Many of the initial items brought up have been addressed through some other groups' work. She hopes they will meet soon to hone in on some priority issues. Ann shared that this work is in alignment with the Bureau's focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Brenda asked if there are things that are covered during personnel preparation in regard to equity and access. Amy Santos shared that many programs embed information in coursework. One of the grants that UIUC has for preparing EI and ECSE professionals focuses on trauma and how to provide trauma-informed services. EITP has also been focusing on this for those already in service. EITP staff are also currently building their capacity to support the field through this journey.

9. Prenatal to Three Initiative (PN3)/Raising Illinois Workgroup Update
Margaret Harkness reported that they have met a few times. They have largely been updating progress toward identified items. She noted priority items in the report that was submitted. One of these is related to communication with system stakeholders. A second item is related to the use of specialized teams for addressing the needs of certain populations. Brenda asked what that would look like. Margie is not quite sure but asked that those who have previously been involved in these efforts share information with her. More needs to be determined, e.g. structure, funding, etc. in order to make this viable. Amy Z shared that there is some reference to teams in the SDA workgroup recommendations. Ann said that there may be opportunities to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support this work, but only initial discussions have begun. Christy asked where the specialized teams are defined and/or discussed. Can people be directed to information on this? Ann does not think it has been defined, but there is a recommendation in the Black Caucus bill. The Bureau is working to collect more information about how these have been used in other systems. Benny shared that these teams could be particularly useful for families who have experienced trauma. This could provide resources for both families and those who are supporting them. Ann suggested renaming workgroup to reflect name change for the statewide initiative. It will now be called the Raising Illinois Workgroup.

10. Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)
Ann reported that the Bureau has been meeting with Lori Orr at GOECD to discuss how these funds will be used. The money is going to be used in two ways- first, going through EI Clearinghouse to improve access to technology for families (will expand amount of tech available) and second, increasing the amount of culturally and linguistically diverse system materials available. Additional materials in Arabic, Polish, Russian and Urdu will be made available. They hope to create some videos as well in multiple languages. Amy Z asked if the equipment would be for loan only or if families would be able to keep materials. Ann will ask.

11. American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds
Ann reported that all states will be receiving funds. Just received guidance from OSEP about how funds are to be used. She believes Illinois received just under $5M in addition to regular IDEA funds. These funds are to be used in ways that are similar to how regular IDEA funds are used. We typically utilize our IDEA funds for direct services. OSEP requires stakeholder engagement for how the ARPA funds will be used. Ann presented results of initial discussions to gather input. Ann anticipates that there will be staff to support communication through the Division's restructuring. Ann can share this list with Council members after today's call to get more feedback. We will need to amend our state application (Section 3) to show how we plan to spend the additional funds by August 3rd. Also have to report on how the funds are spent. Funds must be used by January 2024. She encouraged the Council to think about enhancements that are one-time spending projects. Amy Z. asked that the list, the guidance, and the due date be shared with Council members. Different early childhood systems have had different requirements for accessing and spending ARPA funds. Benny suggested exploring incentives for enrolling in the EI system as a more immediate way to enhance provider supply. Bureau could also consider incentivizing providing service in areas that have been underserved. Amy Z. suggested using the money to fund pilots and assess outcomes, e.g. screening during intake, improving under 1 referrals, expanded at-risk eligibility. Lynnette thinks that the focus on recruitment within higher education programs is important as she has experienced programs discouraging working in early intervention. Nisha suggested piloting a program to provide reflective supervision and support for coaching practices. Amy Z. asked who will be doing the final decision-making about how funds are spent. Ann is seeking feedback from Council members about listed and missing items as well as priorities, given the available funding. Bureau and IDHS staff (perhaps in conjunction with representatives from other EC systems) will review and ultimately decide how funds are spent.

12. Legislation
Ann reported that they are working to address program initiatives required by legislation.

13. State Performance Plan (SPP)
Ann shared information about Illinois' past performance on the various performance indicators from the APR. She also showed information about whether or not targets were met and what we still need to determine. Ann will share the spreadsheet once they have had a chance to include the most recent fiscal year and revisit target information at October meeting.

14. FY2022 Contract Awards
Ann reported that all CFC, EITP, EI Clearinghouse, and Provider Connections contracts have been awarded. No changes in who will provide these services.

15. Ongoing Updates

  1. Illinois Medicaid Program Advanced Cloud Technology- No new information right now.
  2. Cornerstone- Data system has not been awarded yet.
  3. Bureau- No new information right now.
  4. Digital Signatures- CFCs currently using DocuSign. Benny asked if there has been any progress on including providers within that system. Ann just received outreach to discuss current use, so not yet.

16. Adjournment
Brenda asked everyone to consider meeting in person in October. IPHCA can accommodate providing Zoom access for attendees, but Council members would be in person. Email Ann or Brenda if you have concerns about attending in person. Christy motioned to adjourn. Nisha seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 1:03 pm.

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.