October 13, 2022 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00am to 1:00pm


This meeting has occurred and was held via Zoom Teleconferencing. This meeting had open registration to the public prior to the meeting until the meeting had adjourned.


  •  Call to Order 10:00am
  •  Introduction of Council Members: Brenda Devito  10:00am - 10:20am
  •  Approval of July 14, 2022, Draft Meeting Report: Brenda Devito 10:20am - 10:25am
  •  Approval of August 15, 2022 Draft Meeting Report: Brenda Devito 10:25am - 10:30am
  •  Welcome Benny Delgado New Bureau Chief! 10:30am - 10:35am
  •  Recognition of Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award Honoring Amy Santos 10:35am - 10:40am
  •  Revisit IICEI Organizational Practices and Handbook: Brenda Devito 10:40am - 11:25am
    •  Workgroups
    •  Public Comment
  •  Telehealth Workgroup Update 11:25am - 11:35am
  •  Demonstration Project for Modified Service Delivery Approaches: Benny Delgado 11:35am - 11:45am
  •  American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds: Heather Hofferkamp 11:45am - 11:55am
  •  Legislation: Heather Hofferkamp 11:55am -12:15pm
    • Early Intervention/Extended Services (EI/ES)
    • Public Act 102-0926 - Substantiated Abuse/Neglect Auto Eligibility
    • Public Act 102-0962 - 30-days to IFSP services
  •  State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP): Heather Hofferkamp 12:15pm - 12:25pm
  •  Division of Early Childhood Strategic Plan - Open Call Submission 12:25pm - 12:35pm 
  •  Ongoing Updates: Heather Hofferkamp 12:35pm - 12:50pm
    •  IMPACT
    •  Cornerstone/EI Data Management System
    •  Bureau/Division
    •  DocuSign
  •  Draft 2023 Council Dates  12:50pm - 12:55pm
  •  Adjournment of Meeting: Brenda Devito 12:55pm - 1:00pm

Next Meeting - Tentative

Thursday, January 12, 2023 - 10am to 1pm
Location: To Be Determined/Northern Suburbs

Meeting Report


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Benny Delgado, IDHS, Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Brenda Devito, Clearbrook, Chairperson
  • Christine Doyle Morrison, Provider Representative
  • Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative
  • Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative
  • Michael Garner-Jones, IL Dept. of Human Services, Bureau of Subsidy Mgmt. (Child Care)
  • Heather Hofferkamp, IDHS, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Lynnette DeGraffenreid, Provider Representative
  • Jennifer Gentile, IL Dept. of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Dee Dee Lowery, CFC 1 Program Manager, Urban Representative
  • Nisha Sanghvi, Provider Representative
  • Shelly Roat, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Kate Ulmer, ISBE, McKinney-Vento, Homeless Representative
  • Angel Williams, Illinois Department of Child and Family Services


  • Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Rosie Perez, Parent Representative
  • Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative
  • Becca Trevino, Parent Representative
  • Marie VonDeBur, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative

Council Packet Contents:

  • Agenda
  • Draft Council Meeting Report - July 14, 2022
  • Draft Council Special Meeting Report - August 15, 2022
  • Draft Council Member Handbook
  • IICEI Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • IICEI Equity and Access Workgroup Update
  • Demonstration Project for Modified Service Delivery Approaches to Support Equitable Access to Early Intervention
  • IICEI Raising Illinois (PN3) Workgroup Update
  • Early Intervention Program Caseload Summary Report for:
    • June 2022 - August 2022
  • Draft 2023 Council Meeting Dates

1) Call to Order

Brenda Devito, IICEI Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:01 am.

2) Introductions of Council Members

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

3) Approval of the July 14, 2022, Draft Meeting Report

Lynette made a motion to approve the minutes. Christy seconded. No discussion. Motion passed.

4) Approval of the August 15, 2022, Draft Special Meeting Report

Brenda expressed concern that the minutes do not accurately reflect the essence of the meeting and recommended tabling approval until a revised version can be provided at the January meeting. Lynette made a motion to table approval of the minutes of August 15, 2022 special meeting. Margie seconded. No discussion. Motion passed.

Brenda announced that the order of the agenda will change slightly because Heather will not be available until later in the meeting. No objections.

5) Welcome Benny Delgado New Bureau Chief

Brenda welcomed Benny Delgado as new Bureau Chief. Benny thanked Heather for her work as Interim Bureau Chief. Benny provided a brief summary of his history in early intervention and shared his excitement about the future of Illinois EI.

6) Recognition of Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award Honoring Amy Santos

Although Amy was not present, Brenda acknowledged Amy's recent recognition from DEC with a lifetime achievement award. Congratulations Amy!

7) Revisit IICEI Organizational Practices and Handbook

Brenda laid out the topics to address in this discussion. In particular, she hoped to focus on: the formulation and organization of work groups, including how to make them compliant with the requirements in The Open Meetings Act, handling public comment, and voting protocol.

As the group moved through the handbook, Brenda raised the issue of how meetings are currently being held. The Executive Order by the Governor has allowed meeting virtually, but this could change once that is rescinded. Christy asked about the technology in place for audience member attendance. Margie asked about the possibility of having dual locations, e.g. Chicago and Springfield, for in person attendance. Shelly Roat mentioned that DSCC has access to newer video equipment and locations in Springfield and Chicago if that is useful. Benny feels it's important for meetings to be accessible to as many people as possible. Brenda noted her preference for in-person meetings. Council will revisit this again in future.

  • Workgroups - Brenda asked Benny to discuss the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and how it relates to workgroups. He is still seeking information about the definition of majority quorum since most workgroups currently include both Council members and non-members. This clarification may impact how workgroup meetings are held and it may impact the wording in this section of the handbook.
  • Public Comment - Brenda D asked for ideas about how to accept public comment as the Council is currently only getting feedback through the chat. She suggested making space for this either at the end of the meeting or after each agenda item. Dee Dee mentioned that public comments (PC) used to be made at the end of the meeting with requests to speak made beforehand. She is concerned that opening for comments at the end of each agenda item could make it confusing to follow and extend the meeting. PC is important but needs guidelines and boundaries. Christy asked how/if Sharepoint might be able to facilitate this process. Benny commented that Sharepoint might not be accessible to those without government emails. Teams may be what is used for Council members moving forward. Benny mentioned that he has also experienced a process where people submit their written comments prior to the meeting and indicate whether they would like time during the meeting to share verbally as well. Donna shared that she has experienced space being created for public comment at the beginning of the meeting which she feels is more respectful. Since there are many ways to elicit public comment, Brenda asked members to weigh in on their preference for comments at the beginning or end or threaded throughout the meeting. Nisha emphasized the importance of communicating clearly about how it will occur prior to the next meeting. Angel mentioned that flexibility is important, and she would like to entertain the possibility of Council members being able to ask for public input at any point during the meeting. Shelly recommended having a designated facilitator/moderator for public comment with stated time limits. Brenda recommended having a form developed to solicit for PC during the last 15 minutes of the January meeting.
  • Membership- Nisha asked for an update on the open positions on the Council and how to know when terms end. Benny mentioned some of the challenges with the current process and expressed the need to further discuss this with the Governor's Office. Nisha shared that it is important to communicate with those that have applied. Brenda said that part of the confusion is related to those who need to apply versus those who are designated as representatives of government entities. Benny confirmed that the ask is to develop a process to better inform Council members of appointments, to communicate the terms of appointments, and to transparently describe the pieces of the process.
  • Council voting/decision-making - Benny opened the discussion by sharing what he thinks needs to be considered, e.g. What constitutes a vote? What are the norms for participating?, What is the process for consensus-building or voting on recommendations to be made to DHS? It's also important to consider timelines for making decisions so that the members can determine when/if it is possible to table agenda items and still respond in a timely manner. Christy agrees that defining the process is needed but is curious why there is a need for majority vote when the Council has operated on consensus in the past. She has a concern that majority rule can suppress voices/views that need to be considered. She favors a process where all voices are heard. Nisha noted that we have protocols in place that are intended to improve communication and share information so that people are prepared for discussions. Benny asked for clarification on what is meant by majority, e.g. simple majority? 2/3 majority? DeeDee asked why we are raising this now since the Council has always operated with consensus. Brenda said that the question was raised as handbook revisions were being considered. Benny raised concern about clarifying the process so that all Council members understand the protocol and all voices are acknowledged. Margie asked if there would be a benefit in following Robert's Rules if consensus cannot be reached. Christy is still unclear on why a change might be needed so requested additional examples of when consensus-building has been challenging. Benny shared that it has been confusing, at times, when a motion was needed. Motions have come to the membership in a variety of ways and have afforded an opportunity for people to share their perspectives and concerns on matters being discussed. Nisha emphasized the need for clear communication and has appreciated the process of members sharing what they can support or what their concerns are. She feels that often this discussion, even without consensus, can be important for the Bureau to hear/consider when contemplating changes. Brenda tabled the discussion due to time constraints, but this will be revisited again.

8) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds

Heather shared that ARPA funds are now being used to support system work. Largest current expenditure is related to the development of the new data system. They officially began working with YahaSoft on October 3rd. Meetings included sharing with Bureau and stakeholders how system looks in Kentucky and making recommendations for modifications to implement in Illinois. Initial sessions held with YahaSoft covered referral to IFSP on Child Find screens. Also working on interfaces with state systems currently in place i.e IMPACT. The implementation process for the new data system is expected to take approximately 1 year. The Bureau is trying to bring in stakeholder voices at relevant points without making it an overwhelming amount of feedback for the developers.

ARPA Funds have also been provided to EITP to hire Kirsten Hammock as a consultant to guide the implementation of YahaSoft. Kirsten, a former IDHS employee and Kentucky Part C Coordinator, successfully implemented the YahaSoft system in Kentucky. Kirsten's experiences with both systems will be a great benefit to the development and implementation of this new data system. Brenda asked for the CFC managers' feedback about the excitement for what is coming. They are very excited about the possibilities and wish it could happen faster. They also appreciate the opportunity to provide CFC feedback on changes being contemplated.

The Bureau is also exploring how ARPA funds can be used to support recruitment and retention efforts. Trying to amend contracts to make sure ARPA monies fit with existing scopes of work. Heather apologized that she has not yet had an opportunity to update the amounts being allocated to the various projects.

9) Legislation Updates

  • Early Intervention/Extended Services (EI/ES)

Heather expects to be looking at the data soon. Once they've had a chance to analyze data from this first round, she'll reconvene the workgroup to determine what changes are needed.

  • Public Act 102-0926 - Substantiated Abuse/Neglect Auto Eligibility

Heather has been working with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) to enact policy for auto eligibility. She had hoped to get this organized quickly with the assistance of a workgroup. However, after meeting with OSEP, it was determined that a more formalized process would be needed. Workgroup is currently on hold. Heather and Ombudsman, Chelsea Guillen, are meeting with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center for guidance to ensure that we understand the implications of decisions that are made. Dee Dee asked if Heather could share any concerns from OSEP that are slowing the process. Heather stated that auto eligibility with DCFS requires changes in policy and procedure and has the potential to make Illinois an At- Risk state. This impacts a number of areas in our application. Due to the May 27, 2022, effective date, we need to update this year's (already submitted) application. We also need to ensure that as we continue our screening and referral process with Erikson, parents' rights are protected. This may involve developing an MOU with Erikson and/or DCFS to ensure protections are in place. Brenda asked what it means to be an At-Risk state. It requires some amendments to our Part C application. Still waiting to learn all of what this entails, but Heather continues to work with OSEP staff and technical assistance providers to put this in place appropriately.

As an aside, Christy asked about creating a position that would work with the Legislature to monitor bills in process. Heather shared that there is a position in place within the Division. Karen Yarbrough is in this role and works with all the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) bureaus. There is also a position within the Early Intervention (EI) Bureau that includes reviewing pending legislation as part of the job description. Benny recently participated in the interviews for this position. As positions are reviewed, they may be looking at some reorganization of responsibilities within the EI Bureau.

  • Public Act 102-0962- 30 days to IFSP services

Heather provided a brief update on developing policy and procedures for the 30- day IFSP timeline. She reported that there are many steps in the process to be worked out. The Bureau is working with OSEP to ensure appropriate compliance. The Bureau continues to track service delays. Christy asked if we have numbers of children who have fallen outside of the 30-day timeline. Heather doesn't have this information readily available, but she offered to include this report in future Council Packets. Brenda mentioned that some Council members have expressed interest in working on this project. Heather asked that people contact her if interested.

10) State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)

Heather reported that scale up is progressing. As currently projected, the entire state will be on board by state fiscal year 2026. Maria Kastanis, EITP, clarified that although a lot is currently happening in the southern region of the state, the official roll out has not yet happened.

11) Ongoing Updates

Heather reported that IMPACT will need to be integrated with new YahaSoft data system. IMPACT is behind on their implementation of the phases.

She shared that DocuSign will continue to be available when YahaSoft system is implemented

Benny reported that Kim Doyle, EI Fiscal Manager, accepted a position outside of early intervention. Benny thanked Kim for all that she has done to serve the Bureau. Kim shared that she is excited for this new opportunity but also grateful for her EI experience.

Benny was asked to clarify the new position in the Bureau that Heather referenced earlier. Benny explained that the role of the Public Service Administrator is a supervisory role over the contract unit. This person serves as a liaison with partners that have contracts with IDHS.

Benny mentioned that the CBO will be moving towards the end of this month.

12) TeleHealth Workgroup

Meghan Burke reported that there is nothing new to report. Since LVV is in place, what are the next steps for this workgroup? Original charge was to implement LVVs. Next step might be to examine equitable access to LVV services and to understand what barriers exist. Recent survey reported that rural families are reporting worse experiences with LVV across the board. Perhaps new focus is on what LVV services look like and the quality of those services. The document under development that would support service coordinators when presenting LVV/in person service options to family's needs to be finalized. The workgroup expects to finalize the document at its next meeting. Benny anticipates that there may be some additional requests coming to this group moving forward.

13) Demonstration Project for Modified Service Delivery Approaches

Benny reported that the Bureau is now moving into the planning phase to take recommendations from concept to process and procedures. He wants to make sure that we address core barriers families face related to accessing early intervention. He wants to center the voices of stakeholders throughout the planning process. He plans to read through the report again and develop a set of items and requests based on the four key modification areas that can be shared with the Council members. He anticipates that additional expertise may need to be considered. Brenda asked if there is a timeline for the start of implementation. Benny does not have a hard timeline but wants to be thorough/efficient/effective while getting moving. Christy asked who the 'we' is that will be implementing. He clarified that it is the Bureau. Brenda and Angel reported that the workgroup's charge has been completed and the project is now in the Bureau's hands. Workgroup members, however, are interested in serving in an advisory capacity if the Bureau finds that useful. Christy asked if Council would have concrete information by the next Council meeting and Benny said yes.

14) Division of Early Childhood Strategic Plan - Open Call Submission

Brenda reported that she received an email from Kirstin Chernawsky on October 2nd looking for input on DEC's five strategic goals. Feedback needs to be provided by October 24, 2022. Brenda wondered if the Council would like to provide joint feedback. Benny reminded members of the presentation on the strategic plan that was provided at an earlier Council meeting. Benny asked Brenda to share the email with Council members and collect feedback. Benny shared an infographic that Heather created showing Early Intervention activities from 2015 through 2022 and how those relate to the five goals. The email addresses the next step in the development of the plan. Council members are asked to share feedback with Brenda, but others can also respond to the call and submit input on how to enhance the 5 strategic goals of the DEC Strategic Plan. Nisha asked that the link for submission be shared with other EI stakeholders. Bethany Patten commented that yes, this information can be shared with other stakeholders. She also clarified that the presentation made to the Council has been shared with other advisory bodies. Brenda asked for immediate feedback that anyone wanted to share on the goals. Nisha wants to make sure any feedback provided is aligned with current activities. Christy raised an immediate concern about funding and the quality of services offered. The memo provides more details about the goals. It may be helpful to review this when organizing the feedback. Benny also recommended that people review the previous presentation for context.

15) Draft Council Dates

Brenda would like to have an in-person January meeting in the southern suburbs. Brenda requested a motion to approve the draft dates in the Council packet. A motion to approve the dates for 2023 was made by Dee Dee. Motion was seconded by Chuck. Brenda and Benny also feel that a Council 1-day retreat might be helpful in late winter/early spring.

16) Adjournment

Christy motioned to adjourn the meeting. Angel seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 12:53 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

For questions or requests for special accommodations, please email or call Jenni Grissom.