January 12, 2023 - Agenda and Meeting Report


Open to the general public.


10:00am to 1:00pm


This meeting was held via Zoom teleconferencing with pre-registration for all public participants.


  •  Call to Order 10:00am
  •  Introduction of Council Members: Brenda Devito  10:00am - 10:15am
  •  Approval of October 13, 2022, Draft Meeting Report: Brenda Devito 10:15am - 10:20am
  •  Approval of Revised August 15, 2022 Draft Meeting Report: Brenda Devito 10:20am - 10:25am
  •  Message from the Parent 10:25am - 10:30am
  •  Revisit IICEI Organizational Practices and Handbook: Brenda Devito 10:30am - 10:50am
    • Workgroups
    • Public Comment
  •  Annual Performance Report: Chelsea Guillen 10:50am - 11:10am
  •  Discussion of New Member Retreat: Brenda Devito 11:10am - 11:20am
  •  Telehealth Workgroup Update: Meghan Burke 11:20am - 11:30am
  •  Birth to Five Illinois Presentation: Sonja Clark 11:30am - 11:45am
  •  Progress of Demonstration Project for Modified Service Delivery Approaches:  Benny Delgado 11:45am - 11:55am
  •  American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds: Benny Delgado 11:55am - 12:00pm
  •  Legislation: Benny Delgado 12:00pm - 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
  •  Ongoing Updates: Benny Delgado 12:25pm - 12:45pm
    • IMPACT
    • Cornerstone/EI Data Management System
    • Bureau/Division
    • DocuSign
    • Teams
  •  Public Comment 12:45pm - 12:55pm
  •  Adjournment of Meeting: Brenda Devito 12:55pm - 1:00pm


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Benny Delgado, IDHS, Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Brenda Devito, Clearbrook, Chairperson
  • Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education
  • Christine Doyle Morrison, Provider Representative
  • Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative
  • 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
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • 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
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative


  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative
  • Michael Garner-Jones, IL Dept. of Human Services, Bureau of Subsidy Mgmt. (Child Care)
  • 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

1) Call to Order

Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:00 am

2) Introductions of Council Members

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

Before proceeding through the Agenda, the Board Chair noted that no submissions for Public comment have been received; however time will be allotted at the end of the meeting to receive public comments should there be interest. Attendees were invited to enter requests for such through the Zoom Chat feature.

3) Approval of the October 13, 2022 Draft Meeting Report

Dee Dee L. made a motion to approve the minutes. Nisha S. seconded. Motion passed.

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

Margaret H. made a motion to approve the minutes. Lynnette D. seconded. Motion passed.

5) Message from the Parent

A new agenda item added to quarterly Council meetings is presented as assurance that the family voice is key to the mission of this Board and is heard. A recorded message from a parent, Jen Hodgeman is introduced. Jen briefly shares her story and personal experiences with Illinois Early Intervention that began while her son was in the NICU. Referred to EI by NICU staff, services began in her home when her child was about four months of age and continued until he aged out at 3 years old. Forever grateful for the EI Team that supported her son and her family, Jen stressed the power that early intervention providers have in making such an overwhelmingly stressful time in the lives of families better. She also shared that her EI Team was not only instrumental in helping her child, but also focused on her family. Jen also shared that in-person therapy visits had the greater impact in the success of her son's and family's progress through early intervention. She found virtual visits to be difficult to process, frustrating and gained little from them. Overall, Illinois Early Intervention is a wonderful program and its services a valuable support to her family.

Benny restates his stand that staying connected to the families that are impacted by the works of this Council in moving policy forward is a good way to help stay grounded and working in the best interests of all.

6) Revisit IICEI Organizational Practices and Handbook

This work continues to progress. The most current version of the Handbook was issued to Council members for review. Brenda calls for questions/comments from council. Topics put to the floor for discussion by Amy Z were the consensus process vs majority rule and public comment. Discussion quickly turned to the details of soliciting and hearing Public Comment.

Public Comment

There is general agreement of the Council that including public comment in the agenda is a step in a positive direction. However, making it part of the agenda so that it serves a purpose requires the consideration of many details. Brought to the table for consideration:

  • Time
    • How much time to allow for public comment
    • Where in the agenda to open the floor for public comment
    • Determining the limits of how many will be allowed time to make public comment
    • Would including public comment require the Council to extend the meeting time
    • How to be proactive and determine time appropriately
  • Remain compliant with Open Meetings Act
  • Appropriately soliciting public comment
    • Options for those to sign up in advance of the meeting
    • Options for those who do not sign up in advance of the meeting and allowing for comment on topics that are not on the agenda
  • How/When will Council respond to and address public comment
  • Remain compliant with the Open Meetings Act
  • Significance of having policy in place that allows for flexibility to adapt the process by learning through experience what does and does not work well.

Brenda D. shares what is currently in Handbook. Amy Z. would also like to discuss consensus process and recommends majority rule. Due to time constraints, Brenda D. asks to table discussion on Workgroups and consensus.

7) Annual Performance Report (APR)

Chelsea Guillen presents a preview of APR. This preview presentation includes more detail than presented previous years and is similar to the final report to be submitted to OSEP on February 1. The report to OSEP will include the required narrative.

All indicators were presented with preliminary results. The distinction between Compliance Indicators that must be met at 100% and Results Indicators in which council members and stakeholders have the flexibility of setting targets explained. Indicators that show a somewhat significant slippage (decline) over the previous year, enough that it is likely not a subtle statistical variation, require an explanation to be included with report to OSEP.

All Indicators show steady decline. Much discussion as to the possible reasons for such including the overwhelming challenges of the pandemic.

8) Agenda Item 8

IICEI Retreat addressed at the end of the meeting.

9) Telehealth Workgroup Update

Because Meghan needs to leave at 11:30 her update presented as #8 on the agenda

Megan reported that the Group has met several times since the last Council meeting to develop a document that service coordinators can use with families when presenting available options for service delivery. The document was included in the Council packet. Follow-up discussion by the Council raised questions regarding how, when, where will the document be posted/shared; will there be information collected? If so, how will it be disseminated? How will this impact ES? Does document reflect that parents/caregivers can change their mind about this service delivery?

Meghan will continue to flush out concerns of the Council with the understanding that this document was intended as a resource for SCs to use to help explain the telehealth service model. If this resource is to be shared with the broader population, Meghan recommends that the purpose and content of the document be made very clear.

Before moving to the next agenda item, further questions regarding the APR were raised by Amy Z. Discussion returned to Agenda Item #7Return to Agenda Item #7 - APR for comment. Council members expressed concern over the data presented, next year's APR that will further reflect the ramifications of the pandemic, and possible remedies for improvement of quality services accessible to all children and families.

10) Birth to Five Illinois Presentation

Cicely Fleming, State Director of Birth to Five Illinois provided a presentation of this Program with the purpose of requesting partnership, collaboration, and support of IDHE-Bureau of Early Intervention.

Born from the Governor's Funding Commission for Early Learning that started before the pandemic, the vision of this program is to reimagine a more equitable ECEC system that respects the family and community voice working to create a statewide regional infrastructure that amplifies input from communities in the development of policies and funding priorities.

To ensure all children and families have access to the needed services requires a wide range of stakeholders; parents/families; school districts; child care providers; Head Start leaders, early learning advocates, county and municipal officials, and the business communities working together to identify family needs, challenges in our early learning system, and gaps in services. Under the Department of INCCRRA, the goal of Birth to Five Illinois is to prioritize the family community voice so that it is understood and at the center of its work.

Organized under 39 statewide Action Councils aligned with ISBE Regional Office of Education localities, objectives include providing a statewide mechanism to engage local stakeholder; gather family opinion; create a strategic plan identifying the need for expansion of quality early learning in every region; and enable local stakeholders to come together and address early childhood needs within their own communities.

Benny has met with Cicely and Birth to Five Illinois staff to discuss the challenges of data collection and appropriate service delivery in Illinois Early Intervention. Cicely and staff continue to explore the development and fostering of regional supports to build upon the work of this Program.

Benny expressed the need for early intervention to evaluate our data and its various sources dynamically so that we can provide a comprehensive picture of our current situation. Our challenges are large and sharing the voices of our community, providers, CFC managers and service coordinators and families is important. Benny also encouraged any council member interested in Birth to Five Illinois to reach out to him for discussion regarding potential next steps for the Bureau and Council Members to further collaborate and support the efforts of Birth to Five Illinois.

Several council members thanked Cicely for her presentation and expressed appreciation to her and the Program for laying groundwork for continued growth.

11) Progress of Demonstration Project for Modified Service Delivery Approaches:  

Benny shared a brief update of the project. In mapping out resources some of Birth to Five work was included in part of preschool development. The modified service approaches for the Equity and Access work group document is also part of the plan. Cost models for delivering EI services are being explored as well as looking into cross-state research in terms of identifying best practices.

An open and transparent process to ensure bi-directional engagement with families and providers is key.

There is no current timeline in place as we await further information from the legislative caucus. The role of the new Project Coordinator will be to guide and flush out a plan to move forward integrating the work of the Center for Equity and Excellence. Benny hopes for the Council to include this work as part of their retreat agenda.

12) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds

The Bureau continues to meet weekly to ensure the use of these funds maximized based on priorities, our system's needs, and the available use of these funds. ARPA funds are to be earmarked by September 2023 and expended by 2024.

Council members would like further details when available.


  • Early Intervention/Extended Services (EI/ES)

This process will continue to be refined and amended using the feedback from CFCs, families, providers, school districts. The Bureau is working towards having an action plan in place by April. Heather H is leading this work group. Interested council members are encouraged to participate.

  • Public Act 102-0926

Substantiated Abuse/Neglect Auto Eligibility

Heather and Benny have been meeting with DCFS. Conversations with Erikson have been held. Consultation and collaboration with national and state partners are taking place so that policies can be written. A Council workgroup will be implemented once OSEP has reviewed our applications. Heather reported that there are still many questions regarding working with OSEP. Ensuring that the Federal aspects of Part C meet appropriately with Illinois' System.

Is there a Council workgroup for this? Workgroup to be implemented once OSEP reviews application. Lots of questions, uncertainties when working with OSEP so that Federal Part C meets appropriately with Illinois' System. How to educate/inform all stakeholders of the many, many pieces that need to be in place.

Currently a process is in place with DCFS and Erikson related to screening. Where? What? How?

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

This work continues to move forward.

13) Discussion of New Member Retreat (Moved from Agenda Item #8)

Chair refers back to Agenda Item -#8 - IICEI Retreat - Benny shares his objectives for this retreat . Concerns regarding individual Council Members cost of such an event were mentioned. Benny will look for funding sources to pay for all participation. Because there are open seats on the Council, the status of Council membership is in question. The retreat is on hold until possibly late Summer/Early Fall.

There has been a request for Public Comment. Having run out of time, Brenda asks that any updates on remaining agenda items be forwarded to the council.

14) State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)

Nothing Reported

15) Ongoing Updates

* Illinois Medicaid Program Advanced Cloud Technology (IMPACT)

Nothing Reported

  • Cornerstone/EI Data Management System

Process is moving forward. Stakeholder input continues.

  • Bureau/Division

Nothing Reported

  • DocuSign

Nothing Reported

  • Teams

Nothing Reported

16) Public Comment Period

Karen Berman of START EARLY has the floor and comments that APR data sobering; there is a dire crisis currently in IL; there are thousands of children on waiting lists; we are lacking over 100 service coordinators; the EI provider pool exhausted. Karen pleads for additional funding to support EI providers in IL and for IICEI to advocate on behalf of EI before the end of this fiscal year.

Brenda and Benny thanked Karen for her comments. Before adjourning, Benny states that in terms of Bureau and leadership.

17) Adjournment

Christine Doyle motioned to adjourn. Dee Dee Lowery seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 1:00 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 in need of special accommodations, please email or call Jenni Grissom.