Agency Profile

Mission

It is the mission of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to provide equitable access to social/human services, supports, programs, and resources to enhance the lives of all who are served by IDHS. The Department provides the state's residents with streamlined access to integrated services, especially those who are striving to move from welfare to work and obtain economic independence, and others who face multiple challenges in achieving self-sufficiency.

Commitment to Diversity

Secretary Grace B. Hou is committed to keeping all levels of IDHS diverse to better reflect the population of this state and enhance the service delivery capacity. To that end, Secretary Hou continues to support efforts to diversify the highest levels of the agency to represent all of Illinois, both urban and rural being inclusive of many ethnic populations throughout the state. Additionally, she continues to work to ensure development of inclusionary practices in all advisory and task force activities.

Organizational Makeup

IDHS is comprised of approximately 13,068 employees. Under the direction of Secretary Hou, the Department is responsible for a wide variety of human service programs, through the offices and divisions described below. The primary focus of the Department is on providing needed services to individuals and families, while assisting them to become self-sufficient members of society. The Department has instituted an approach to service delivery that enables Illinois' residents to seek solutions to their various needs with user friendly technology.

Program Overview:

Division of Family and Community Services (FCS)

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Division of Family and Community Services (DFCS) recognizes Illinois' communities as its most significant partners in preventing conditions that keep children and families from reaching their full potential and in providing services and supports that build toward truly healthy environments, in which children develop and families live and work.

DFCS offers an extensive array of integrated services and supports that work not just to reduce and prevent the many complex health and social issues facing Illinois' families, but also to foster health, family support, positive development, self-sufficiency, and success for children, youth, and families in need across Illinois. Services are available through local community-based organizations and full-service Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) throughout the state of Illinois. FCRC staff in each office assist families to apply for and receive the benefits and help link them to other state agencies, local health departments, and community-based organizations in their area for needed services. Customers are fully involved in their service planning and share responsibility for reaching their goals for self-sufficiency or maximum independence.

The IDHS Division of Family and Community Services manages the Family Community Resource Centers throughout the state, where cash, SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps), and medical assistance were provided to over 3 million Illinois residents in Fiscal Year 2020 (July 2019 thru June 2020.

In addition to the cash and food assistance programs, access to medical and childcare, and help with employment and training, DFCS provides and monitors services to at-risk and homeless persons, immigrants, and refugees. DFCS staff also administer and monitor Community Service Agreements with providers for a multitude of different services including career planning, training and preparation for employment, and many specialized needs. The programs administered by or directly delivered through DFCS provide support to help low-income families move toward self-sufficiency. As of June 16, 2019, DFCS has 822 bilingual staff on board.

Highlights of DFCS Programs:

Public assistance benefits include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD), SNAP, and medical programs, which are administered centrally and delivered locally through the FCRCs, statewide. Customers receive their cash and SNAP benefits via the Link card and IDHS has contracted an automated toll-free help line for assistance in several languages, with web site assistance. The toll-free number is 1-800-678-LINK (5465).

The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides eligible, working families with access to affordable quality childcare that allows them to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency; thus, allowing families to contribute to the healthy, emotional, and social development of their child. CCAP can also help families pay for care in center-based or home settings. Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based and on family size and income.

The Title XX Social Services Block Grant is administered through DFCS, which funds services that are also directed toward achieving economic self-support or self-sufficiency; preventing or remedying neglect, abuse, or exploitation; preventing or reducing inappropriate institutionalization; and securing referrals for institutional care. These funds help target needed resources and provide assistance with programs that support a diverse public with a wide variety of needs.

The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provides health screenings, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, supplemental foods, and linkage to other health services for women and children up to age five who are eligible by income and nutritional status. Other services include Farmer's Market programs for eligible target populations and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor services. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides USDA commodity food items to low income seniors in targeted areas of the state. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) provides SNAP customers and SNAP eligible customers information on nutrition, physical activity, and developing a healthy lifestyle. The SNAP Outreach program raises awareness of the nutrition benefits of SNAP, eligibility rules, and how to apply. It also is designed to correct myths and misperceptions about SNAP and enables potentially eligible people to make an informed decision on participation.

Case management services are provided to pregnant women infants and children through the statewide Family Case Management program. Clients are screened for risk and when enrolled are assigned a case manager who provides education, assists in referrals, and coordination of medical care, monitors needs, and assists the participant in accessing other needed services throughout pregnancy and up to 13 months of age for the child. Infants and children meeting Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Reporting (APORS) criteria receive High Risk Infant Follow-up (HRIF) services through 24 months of age. These services are provided by a Registered Nurse (RN) with training in pediatric assessment. Medical case management is provided for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) children in care age 0 to 6 years of age to assure they are receiving recommended health, dental, and vision services.

Very high-risk pregnant women are eligible for enrollment in the Better Birth Outcomes program which is offered in areas of the state with highest cost deliveries. Women who have had a prior premature birth and/or who have medical and social risks which are likely to lead to a poor pregnancy outcome are assigned a Registered Nurse (RN) or Master of Social Work (MSW) who provides case management through 6 weeks after the birth of the baby. The case manager acts as the care coordinator, working with the participants medical and specialty providers, assures that the client is receiving all needed services, provides education related to pregnancy/childbirth/birth spacing, and assists the woman in completion of the postpartum health visit. After the delivery, the woman and her infant are transitioned into a Home Visiting or Family Care Management program for on-going services.

In Chicago and Cook County DFCS provides screening and treatment for women suffering from postpartum depression; and the Teen Parent Services Program which focuses on pregnant and parenting teens to ensure they are accessing appropriate services to secure housing, education and employment. The Teen Parent Services program assist teen parents 20 years and under with completing high school and connecting to educational and training opportunities, through mentoring, coordination of services and partnerships with schools and various community organizations. Services provided are designed to address and alleviate issues and barriers preventing teen parents from accomplishing their goals of self-sufficiency through activities such as Parenting, Nutrition and Early Childhood Development classes and a variety of other specialized activities.

Early Intervention is a statewide, family-centered service system to find and help children under 36 months of age who have disabilities, developmental delays, or are at-risk of substantial developmental delay. These infants and toddlers are eligible through the Illinois Early Intervention Services System Act for Early Intervention services as defined in Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Healthy Families Illinois program provides intensive Home-Visitation services to new and expectant families whose income is less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Parents are recruited prenatally or within two weeks of birth and provided home visits normally lasting at least sixty minutes. During each home visit, parents are provided strength-based comprehensive services that reduce the parents' risk for child maltreatment by enhancing parenting skills, encouraging healthy growth and development, and improving family functioning. Services are implemented according to the national standards established by Healthy Families America.

DFCS works to reduce first-time teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS and to improve access to health services through a variety of approaches including reproductive health education, parental involvement, and public awareness. Other programming targets subsequent pregnancies among teen mothers through home visiting, case management, and group meetings.

DFCS operates a variety of programs that provide support and assistance to pregnant or parenting low-income teens to help them obtain a high school diploma (or its equivalent), delay subsequent pregnancies, and enhance their parenting skills. Services are also available to the families of these teens to increase family employment rates and education.

DFCS believes work creates opportunities for individual growth, instills personal dignity, and creates a clear pathway out of poverty to financial self-sufficiency. SNAP and TANF offer employment and training programs, which can support individuals obtaining work experience, training and credentials, or attaining a General Education Development (GED). At a minimum these programs can help individuals meet the work requirements for either SNAP or TANF, but at best these programs can provide participants with the training and experiences they need to gain beneficial employment leading to greater independency.

DFCS provides a continuum of prevention, diversion, intervention, and treatment services for youth to support families in crisis, prevent juvenile delinquency, encourage academic achievement, and divert youth at risk of involvement in the child welfare, juvenile justice, or correctional systems. DFCS also seeks to reduce Illinois' population of homeless youth and increase their self-sufficiency by providing transitional living, emergency/interim housing, and outreach services.

Multi-faceted programs foster positive youth development and help youth grow into mature and successful adults by promoting positive relationships with peers, emphasizing youths' strengths, providing opportunities to learn healthy behaviors, connecting with caring adults, and empowering youth to assume leadership roles. Services include out-of-school time programs, academic counseling and job readiness activities, life skills education, volunteerism and service-learning opportunities, college and career planning, employment programs, and community planning activities.

DFCS, Office of Welcoming Centers for Immigrant and Refugee Services, Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services is responsible for providing human services in a linguistically, culturally sensitive manner to immigrants, refugees and limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals. The goal of the programs is to eliminate systemic barriers to state services, strengthen the overall human service delivery system and build the capacity of immigrant and refugee communities. The Welcoming Center and Immigration Integration programs provide comprehensive and holistic case management, citizenship education and application services to help legal immigrants become naturalized United States citizens and provide outreach and interpretation services to assist limited-English-proficient immigrants in accessing human services.

DFCS' Office of Adult Services and Basic Support, Bureau of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, & Human Trafficking has oversight for three statewide systems: Domestic Violence Prevention & Intervention (DVPI), Partner Abuse Intervention Programs (PAIP) and Sexual Assault Prevention & Response.

DVPI and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response are grant programs that support comprehensive community-based services to reduce the incidence of domestic and sexual violence and to ensure that survivors have access to safety, medical care, crisis support, legal advocacy, and counseling services for themselves and their significant others. All services are available at no charge to victims. The bureau provides additional access to services through the State Domestic Violence Helpline which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The bureau works closely with other state entities to improve the statewide response to violence. Efforts include the IDHS federally funded initiative, Envision Illinois which focuses on improving the identification and response to victims with disabilities and Deaf victims and the Improving Criminal Justice Response (ICJR) a federally funded grant administered by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. These two collaborative efforts bring together numerous state agencies and community partners to enhance response and services addressing domestic and sexual violence.

Partner Abuse Intervention Programs (PAIPs), compliment Domestic Violence Prevention Intervention (DVPI) programs, as they work with perpetrators of intimate partner violence to promote change, reduce the incidence of violence, and provide an option for the criminal justice system for offenders. PAIPs provide assessments, information and referrals, conducts groups, and service coordination with mandatory referrals sources and other providers as well as participate in community efforts to address intimate partner violence.

Human Trafficking, which was established originally as an Initiative in 2014, was merged with the Bureau of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in March of 2016 to provide support and facilitate local office processes for survivors of Human Trafficking. The initiative works internally and externally with partners to provide identification, response, and support for survivors in the fight against Human Trafficking as well organize/coordinate trainings for other state agencies, service providers, and communities. There are two taskforces (Cook County & Statewide) consisting of services providers, state and federal agencies. There are currently eight known shelters for human trafficking survivors in the state. Starting in FY20, data collection and reporting on human trafficking survivors as primary or secondary presented issue will now be provided by the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence providers respectively through the InfoNet data system funded by the Bureau of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, & Human Trafficking.

Through the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program, sub-recipients may use ESG funds for five program components, which includes: street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance, and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). The ESG program provides funding to improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; help operate these shelters; provide essential services to shelter residents; provide essential services necessary to reach out to unsheltered homeless people and connect them with housing and/or services; rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and prevent families/individuals from becoming homeless.

DFCS' Emergency and Transitional Housing Program provides immediate emergency shelter, meals, transitional housing, and/or supportive services to approximately 40,000 homeless adults and children each year. This task is completed by utilizing three components, which includes: Overnight Shelters, Voucher Shelters, and Transitional Shelters. Case Management, advocacy, and counseling services are provided by these programs. The Emergency and Transitional Housing Program provider will adhere to requirements outlined in the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Statute, which is located at 89 Illinois Administrative Code Sub Part E Section 130.400.

DFCS' Supportive Housing Program provider will deliver supportive services to low-income persons residing in permanent housing units who are formerly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; or to homeless persons residing in transitional facilities who are prepared to move into permanent housing as specified in the provider's program plan. The provider must provide case management, advocacy, and counseling. The Supportive Housing Program provider will adhere to requirements outlined in the Supportive Housing Statute, which is located at: 305 ILCS 5/12-4.5.

The primary purpose of The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is to provide an emergency response to hunger. Foodbanks receive USDA food commodities and administrative funding from the IDHS Emergency Food Program. Foodbanks establish contracts with food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters to distribute USDA commodities and privately donated food to needy persons. The type of agencies operating food pantries and soup kitchens are usually churches, community groups, and governmental agencies such as township offices. Food for household use is distributed through food pantries and prepared meals are provided by soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Food pantries and soup kitchens rely almost exclusively on volunteer labor.

All Illinois residents with household incomes at or below 185% of the poverty level are eligible for Emergency Food Program (EFP) food for household use. Self-declaration is an allowable method for establishing eligibility for EFP food at food pantries. Persons requesting meals at soup kitchens are presumed to be eligible. Food is distributed on a first come-first serve basis during the scheduled hours of operation at the distribution facility.

Division of Mental Health Services (DMH)

As the federally designated State Mental Health Authority (SMHA), (DMH) is responsible for assuring that children, adolescents and adults throughout Illinois have the availability of, and access to necessary mental health services that are recovery-oriented, evidence-based, community-focused, value-dedicated and outcome-validated. Working collaboratively with a network of approximately 200 certified community mental health agencies, health centers and hospitals, DMH offers a continuum of services from intensive in-patient hospitalization to outpatient care backed by supportive housing and employment programs. All services are provided by mental health practitioners in accredited, certified mental health centers and hospitals. Service providers include licensed physicians, board-certified psychiatrists, licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, and registered nurses. They are assisted by para-professionals and Recovery Support Specialists-people whose life experiences and training prepare them to provide recovery support and who are directly supervised by qualified mental health professionals. The goal of services is to maximize community supports and develop skills for persons with or at risk of serious mental illnesses and children with or at risk of serious emotional disturbances. The services and supports provided include interventions that are billable to insurers, including Medicaid, as well as supports such as 24-hour crisis response involving telephone hotlines as well as physical locations staffed to provide support to individuals during psychiatric crises. A list of Certified Community Mental Health Centers can be found here: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=29735.

DMH also operates seven state psychiatric hospitals which include both civil and forensic units. These hospitals are located throughout the state and work closely with the community mental health agencies and community hospital psychiatric units in their region. Chester Mental Health Center operates as the statewide maximum-security treatment setting for individuals sent by the criminal courts or who are in need of more intensive behavior modification services. In addition, DMH operates a treatment detention facility which provides statutorily required treatment and oversight for individuals determined to be sexually violent persons. A list of the state operated psychiatric hospitals can be found here: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=61890.

DMH administers the Title XX Mental Health Block Grant as well as a number of other federal grants, utilizing the funding to support the development of evidence-based practices (EBPs) through targeted technical assistance and training, as well as direct resources to support the provision of services to individuals in need. Among the EBPs that the Division is actively supporting are:

Assertive Community Treatment: a comprehensive, team-based approach provided within the community that has shown the most success for individuals with serious mental illnesses whose symptoms have not responded to more traditional community-based care.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan®: a self-directed plan proven effective in supporting recovery from mental illnesses which focuses on self-help, recovery and long-term stability, which was created by persons in recovery.

Individual Placement and Support: a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illnesses that assists individuals in working at regular jobs of their choosing.

Coordinated Specialty Care: an individualized team-based approach for teens and young adults who are experiencing the onset of psychotic symptoms, with the goal of reducing the duration of untreated psychosis to increase the likelihood of recovery.

Williams vs. Pritzker Consent Decree

The Williams vs. Pritzker Consent Decree (2010) requires the State to facilitate and actualize transition for all consenting adult residents in one of the twenty-three former designated nursing facilities (NF)/ Institutes for Mental Disease (IMDs), now identified as Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRFs) who have been assessed and recommended for transition to community-based living options, ideally to Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) -lease held, open market rental apartments - with the provision of flexible wrap-around mental health treatment and support services to meet individualized needs, based on medical necessity. This Class Action lawsuit follows the 1999 Supreme Court Olmstead decision, which ruled that individuals residing in institutional settings have a right to live in the least restrictive settings possible with available services. The 23 SMHRFs are located in Cook County (16); Lake County (3); Kankakee County (2), Peoria (1) and Decatur (1). The 2010 estimate of the number of individuals who resided in these 23 facilities was 4,500. Of this number it was projected that 3,200 Class Members would consent to be assessed and may be appropriate for transition. Since full implementation in February 2011, through June 30, 2020, 2624 Williams Class Members have transitioned or have signed a lease from one of the SMHRFs to other community options. Information on the Williams Consent Decree and program details can be found at Olmstead Consent Decrees.

The Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health is the lead agent for this Consent Decree. Its co-defendants are the Office of the Governor, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of Public Health, and the Department on Aging.

Colbert vs. Pritzker Consent Decree

The Colbert vs. Pritzker Consent Decree (2011) requires the State to facilitate and actualize transition for all consenting adult residents in Cook County Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF's) who have been assessed and recommended for transition to community-based living options, ideally to Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) -lease held, open market rental apartments - with the provision of flexible wrap-around support services to meet individualized needs, based on medical necessity. This Class Action lawsuit follows the 1999 Supreme Court Olmstead decision, which ruled that individuals residing in institutional settings have a right to live in the least restrictive settings possible with available services. The 2011 estimate of the number of individuals who resided in all Cook County Skilled Nursing Facilities was 20,000. Since inception in December 2011, through June 30, 2020, 2646 Colbert Class Members have transitioned from one of the Cook County Skilled Nursing Facilities to other community options. Information on the Colbert Consent Decree and program details can be found at Olmstead Consent Decrees.

The Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health is the lead agent for this Consent Decree. Its co-defendants are the Office of the Governor, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of Public Health, and the Department on Aging.

Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDD)

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) has oversight for the Illinois system of programs and services specifically designed for individuals with developmental disabilities. Persons with developmental disabilities include persons with intellectual disabilities and related conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism. The Division works as a partner with many local entities statewide to offer an extensive array of services which enable persons with developmental disabilities to reside with their families or in other community living situations, and to attain their wants, needs and dreams. DHS funds over 376 of these community service providers in every part of Illinois. In addition, the Division has administrative oversight and funds over 197 private Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (ICFs/DD). These residential settings in the community provide a continuous program of specialized and generic training, health services and related services that is directed toward the acquisition of the behaviors necessary for the individual to function with as much self-determination and independence as possible and the prevention or deceleration of regression or loss of current optimal functional status (also known as active treatment). The Division also manages the operations of residential services to individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in seven state-operated developmental centers (SODCs). These developmental centers generally provide residential services to persons with developmental disabilities who have a higher level of need, or to individuals in crisis.

As an arm of the Division, the DHS funds nine Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies for FY2021. These agencies do not provide a direct service but maintain the PUNS waitlist for DD Waiver services, conduct Pre-Admission Screens to determine eligibility for services, provide Individual Service and Support Advocacy to people in a DDD Waiver and provide specialized service coordination to Bogard class members. In addition, ISC agencies conduct outreach, serve as the front line for information and assistance to help individuals and families navigate the system, ensure informed choice, develop and monitor a person's Plan, link individuals to services and address problems related to outcomes and quality. ISCs collaborate with service providers to ensure individual's health, safety, well-being and satisfaction with DD services.

Subject to appropriation of available funds, the Division funds services to children and adults in the following service areas.

  • Day Program Services - for adults who seek developmental disability-funded day programs, the Division provides funding for Community Day services, supported employment, adult day care, at home day services, and other day programs. These services are provided by community-based agencies and organizations to individuals throughout Illinois. These services are designed to enhance a person's skill levels in the major life areas, work-related activities, and employment skills.
  • Residential Services - are provided in a variety of settings to include ICFs/DD, Supported Living Arrangements (SLAs), Special Home Placements (SHPs), Community Living Facilities (CLF's), Children's Group Homes (CGH), Child Care Institutions (CCIs), and Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs). In addition, SODCs serve adults, many of whom have been unable to access community-based residential services because of challenging behavioral involvement.
  • Home Based Support Services - - an option within the Adult Medicaid Waiver and the Children's Supports Waiver. HBS includes any of the individually-designed, separately covered services, or assessment of the need for these services, to assist individuals to live in a private family home or a private house or apartment that they own or lease. Home-Based Support Services are tailored to meet individuals' evolving needs and preferences for supports, without having to leave their homes. Individuals and their guardians may choose from an array of services, up to a monthly dollar cost maximum set by DHS, that best meets the evolving needs of the individual. All services provided must be for the direct benefit of the individual and must be directly related to their disability.
  • Other Support Services - the Division funds respite (short term relief to caregiver), nursing services, therapies, transportation, adaptive equipment, home and vehicle modifications.

On June 15, 2011, a Federal Court approved a consent decree in the Ligas vs. Hamos lawsuit. Under this consent decree, the Division of Developmental Disabilities committed to serving an additional 3,000 individuals over the subsequent six years, as well as to transitioning those individuals who choose to move from Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICFs/DD) to less restrictive community-based services. The Division of Developmental Disabilities met those benchmarks during the first six years of the Decree and as well as serving an additional 600 people from the PUNS list in FY2018 and FY2019. As of May 23, 2019, the Department of Human Services and the Plaintiffs have established a "reasonable pace" for implementing services in FY2020 through FY2025 in which the Division will serve 600-630 individuals from the PUNS list each fiscal year. Ligas Data Reports are posted approximately every six months to document implementation activities.

The Division provides information through the IDHS web site at the following internet address, http://www.dhs.state.il.us.

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)

DRS is the state's lead agency for providing services to individuals with disabilities. DRS operates 45 local offices across the state and works in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.

DRS Programs and Services Include:

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) - Assists people with disabilities prepare for and find quality employment that pays a living wage and offers opportunities for advancement. Services include: evaluation, guidance and counseling, job development, job placement, and follow-up services to ensure that individuals remain on the job.

Bureau of Blind Services - (BBS) - Bureau of Blind Services (BBS) Vocational Rehabilitation - Assists individuals who are blind or visually impaired in rediscovering their independence and freedom by providing training Orientation and Mobility, braille, technology and independent living skills. BBS works with customers to help them prepare and obtain competitive integrated employment by assisting them in achieving their education, training, and independent living goals. BBS also provides those services listed in the Vocational Rehabilitation section.

Home Services - A Medicaid waiver program that provides services to individuals with significant disabilities, so they can remain in their homes and live as independently as possible. Home Services Program customers are empowered to live self-directive lives, be actively involved in their communities and retain control over the services they receive.

Specialized Services and Functions:

Services for Person who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing - DRS assists people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, or Deaf/Blind prepare for employment, find employment, attend education, learn about community services, and obtain other services to meet their employment needs. DRS counselors use English and American Sign Language to communicate.

Services for Persons with Disabilities who are Hispanic/Latino - Services for Persons with Disabilities who are Hispanic/Latino - DRS in collaboration with Latino community partners, assists Latinos with disabilities find employment, apply for DRS Services and learn about other community services.

Education Service - DRS operates three residential schools for children with disabilities: the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville, and the Center for Rehabilitation and Education-Roosevelt in Chicago.

Independent Living Services - DRS assists people with disabilities in maintaining their independence by funding 22 Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the state. CILs offer a variety of services to people with disabilities and their families; including five core services. The core services are: advocacy; peer counseling; independent living skills training; information and referral services; and transition services which includes assisting individuals in transitioning out of long-term care facilities back into the community, assisting individuals in avoiding institutionalization, and assisting youth with disabilities in transitioning into postsecondary life.

Client Assistance Program (CAP) - CAP assists people with disabilities in the VR Program receive quality services by advocating for their interests and helping them identify resources, understand procedures, resolve problems, and protect their rights in the rehabilitation process.

Disabilities Determination Services - Determines which Illinois citizens are eligible to receive benefits under two Social Security programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Customer Referrals to DRS Services:

  • If you have a customer who wants to access DRS services, please call 877-761-9780 (voice), 866-264-2149 (TTY) or 312-957-4881 (video phone) during business hours to find the DRS office in the relevant service area nearest to you.
  • For information on the Home Services Program, call 800-843-6154 (voice) or 866-264-2149 (TTY) or 312-957-4881 (video phone) and select Rehab Services.
  • Information on CILs can be accessed by calling 800-843-6154 (voice) or 866-264-3464 (Nextel)
  • Customers may also make a referral for DRS services by visiting our website at www.drs.illinois.gov/success and click on the Apply Online link at the bottom of the page.

DRS has a general email box on our website at DHS.DRS@illinois.gov that the general public can use to inquire about DRS services. This email is monitored by the DRS Director's office to assure timely responses.

Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR)

The Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) is the state's lead agency for addressing the profound personal, social and economic consequences of substance use disorders. SUPR is charged with designing, coordinating, funding and regulating a comprehensive community-based culturally and gender-appropriate array of substance use disorder (SUD) services throughout the state. These services provide prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support for youth, individuals who are at-risk, and individuals with a SUD as well as their families. SUPR is also responsible for a comprehensive and coordinated community-based array of services that includes education, prevention and treatment related to gambling disorders (GD).

Prevention services are delivered under contract through a network of 68 organizations serving communities across Illinois focused on reducing underage drinking and youth marijuana use. In addition, the prevention network includes a training and technical assistance organization and an evaluator. Services also include overdose education and naloxone distribution programs that can be accessed by all 102 Illinois counties, tobacco enforcement programs delivered through local police departments to decrease sales to individuals under 21 years of age, youth leadership programs focused on promoting healthy behaviors, topic specific public education projects and programs focused on alcohol policy and opioid prescriber training. SUPR coordinates prevention programs and services with other Illinois state agencies to assure that they reach youth, parents, and communities without duplication of effort.

SUPR's SUD treatment and recovery support services assist individuals living with a SUD as well as their families. Services are delivered under contract through a network of 117 agencies at over 410 community-based sites. They include community intervention, outpatient, residential care, medication-assisted recovery, withdrawal management, and recovery home services. This system also incorporates intervention strategies for individuals at-risk of SUD or GD and their families and communities. Treatment services are delivered through a continuum approach, with the patient moving from one level of care to another, based upon assessed need. SUPR is also responsible for the licensing and Medicaid certification of most sub-acute SUD facilities.

Operations Overview:

IDHS is committed to providing excellent services to the diversified communities we serve. The Department has numerous operational divisions which continue the commitment that IDHS has pledged.

The Office of the Budget; Office of Business Services; Office of Clinical, Administrative and Program Support; Office of Communications; Office of Contract Administration; Office of Fiscal Services; Office of General Counsel; Office of Grants Administration; Office of Hispanic and Latino Affairs; Office of Human Resources; Office of Innovation and Technology; Office of Innovation, Strategy and Performance; Office of the Inspector General; Office of Legislation; Procurement Office; and the Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness are all operational divisions within IDHS that are committed to addressing and advancing the goals set forth in our Affirmative Action Plan.