DHS Comprehensive Class Member Transition Program: Consent Decree Fact Sheet

Consent Decree Fact Sheet

Respect for yesterday. Support for today. Hope for tomorrow

he Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is the State Agency that leads the Colbert and Williams Program. Other State Agencies involved are the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Illinois Department on Aging, Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Colbert Consent Decree

The Colbert Consent Decree is the largest of three Olmstead settlements in Illinois. There are nearly 20,000 Colbert Class Members in Cook County. The Colbert v. Pritzker lawsuit claimed that people were living in nursing homes in Cook County, when they could live in the community, which violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Through this settlement and ongoing Consent Decree, the State agreed to provide supports and services to help Class Members move to and live in the community, in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.

Williams Consent Decree

The Williams Consent Decree is another of the three Olmstead settlements in Illinois. There are over 4,000 Williams Class Members. The Williams v. Pritzker lawsuit claimed that people with serious mental illness were living in specialized facilities, when they could live in the community., which violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act (laws that protect against discrimination of disabled people). These facilities are called Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRFs) and used to be called Institutes for Mental Disease (IMDs). Through this settlement and ongoing Consent Decree, the State agreed to provide supports and services to help Class

Outreach and Education

  • Outreach is where workers from certain agencies give Class Members information about Colbert and Williams to see if they want to participate in the program. These agencies work with people who are elderly, who have disabilities, or who have mental illness. They can answer questions Class Members have. A Class Member is a person who is eligible to participate in Colbert or Williams.


? Each nursing home or SMHRF works with one Colbert/Williams agency. To be in the Colbert/Williams program, a person can contact that agency. This can be done by Class Members, family, friends, or other people. To find the right agency or learn more, contact IDHS. Email DHS.DMHConsentDecrees@illinois.gov. You can also call 1-312-814-3784 to find out what agency is assigned to a facility.


  • Assessments are done by specially trained staff in the Colbert/Williams program. These staff know about people with special and complex needs and how to identify what that person might need to live in the community. They look at the person's needs, strengths, abilities and preferences, and whether the person can safely and successfully move to the community.
  • Class Members who are not recommended to move to the community are told the reasons why. They are given goals to work on for 6 months. They also get the "Your Right to Appeal" document, which tells them how to file an appeal if they disagree with the recommendation.
  • Class Members who are recommended to move to the community are linked to services to help them move.
  • Class Members can be assessed every 90 days. All Class Members are re-assessed once a year.
  • Class Members can decide not to be assessed or re-assessed. A Class Member who decides not to be assessed or re-assessed can change their mind later.

Care Management

  • Once a Class Member is recommended to move into the community, a Care Manager makes a Service Plan to identify the Class Member's needs, wants, and goals, and the services and supports they will need. The Care Manager works with the Class Member in making the Service Plan, and also involves family or other people the Class Member wants to include.
  • The Care Manager works with facility staff and other providers to do the activities in the Service Plan and move the Class Member into the community.
  • After the Class Member moves, the Care Manager stays involved. The Care Manager coordinates services, makes sure they are getting good care, building skills, and helps make sure they are safe. The Care Manager does these things in person or by phone.
  • Other agency workers may also be involved after the Class Member moves to the community.

Housing Resources

  • IDHS works with other agencies to find and develop many types of housing that meet the needs of Colbert and Williams Class Members.
  • Class Members are linked to a Care Management agency. This agency may work with someone else to help find housing. This might be a housing locator agency or a Community Mental Health Center.
  • Housing staff work with the Class Member to:
    • Find and apply for housing where they want to live;
    • Get housing-related supports and services; and
    • Manage and use transition funds.

Transition funds are used to pay for things needed to start a home. This includes security deposits, application fees, the start-up of utilities, and other needed items or services.

  • Class Members can get accessibility help if they need it. This includes equipment or changes to their home to help them be independent and safe in the community.
  • Class Members can get Bridge Subsidies if they need help to pay rent. Class Members who get subsidies may pay up to 30% of their income for rent.

Important Notice

Class Members who participate in Colbert/Williams activities keep all of their rights and services.

Facility staff cannot:

  • take actions against Class Members when they participate in Williams/Colbert activities; or
  • pressure Class Members to stay in the facility or not participate in Williams/Colbert activities.

Class Members can report retaliation, discrimination, or other similar actions to their Colbert/Williams staff, the facility's assigned Ombudsman, the Williams/Colbert retaliation hotline(1-833-515-0846), or the Illinois Department of Public Health Nursing Home Hotline (1-800-252-4343).