Agency Profile


It is the mission of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to provide equitable access to social/human services, support, programs, and resources to enhance the lives of all who are served by IDHS. IDHS provides Illinois residents with streamlined access to integrated services, especially those 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 Illinois and enhance the service delivery capacity. To that end, Secretary Hou continues to support efforts to diversify all levels of the agency to better represent all of Illinois, whose urban and rural areas include many ethnic populations throughout Illinois. Additionally, she continues to work to ensure the development of inclusionary practices in all advisory and task force activities.

Organizational Makeup

IDHS is comprised of approximately 13,250 employees. Under the direction of Secretary Hou, IDHS is responsible for a wide variety of human service programs, through the offices and divisions described below. The primary focus of IDHS is on providing needed services to individuals and families while assisting them to become self-sufficient members of society. IDHS 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 (DFCS)

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), 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 support 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 strive to reduce and prevent the many complex health and social issues facing Illinois' families and that 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 Illinois. FCRC staff in each office assist families to apply for and receive an array of benefits, and also 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 DFCS manages the FCRCs throughout Illinois, where cash, SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps), and medical assistance were provided to over 4 million Illinois residents in the Fiscal Year 2023.

In addition to the cash and food assistance programs, access to medical assistance, and help with employment and training, DFCS provides and monitors support to the unhoused population, including those who are identified as being at risk, as well as 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 and maximum independence. As of June 15, 2023, DFCS has 909 bilingual staff on board.

Highlights of other 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 helpline for assistance in several languages, including website assistance. The toll-free number is 1-800-678-LINK (5465).

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 aid with programs that support a diverse public with a wide variety of needs.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 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 the Farmers Market Nutrition Program 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 Illinois. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) provides SNAP customers and SNAP-eligible customers information on nutrition and physical activity to develop 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 enable potentially eligible people to make an informed decision on participation.

Case management services are provided to pregnant women and infants 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, coordinates 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 System (APORS) criteria receive High-Risk Infant Follow-Up (HRIF) services through 24 months of age. These services are provided by qualified staff following a physical assessment by a Registered Nurse (RN).

Very high-risk pregnant women are eligible for enrollment in the Better Birth Outcomes program, which is offered in areas of Illinois with the highest cost of deliveries. Pregnant women with two or more risk factors known to be associated with preterm birth and other adverse birth outcomes are assigned a Registered Nurse (RN) or Social Worker (with a master's degree/MSW) who provides case management 6 weeks after the birth of the baby. The case manager acts as the care coordinator, working with the participant's medical and specialty providers, assuring the participant is receiving all needed services, providing education related to pregnancy/childbirth/birth spacing, and assisting the participant in completing the postpartum health visit. After the delivery, the woman and her infant are transitioned into appropriate services based on need.

The Teen Parent Services Program focuses on pregnant and parenting teens to ensure they are accessing appropriate services to secure housing, education, and employment. The Teen Parent Services program assists 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 that prevent 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.

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 (including 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 visits, 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 in obtaining work experience, training, and other 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 independence.

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 unhoused youth and increase their self-sufficiency by providing transitional living, emergency and 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 programs, academic counseling, job readiness activities, life skills education, volunteerism, service-learning opportunities, college and career planning, employment programs, and community planning activities.

Since FY22, DFCS' Office of Community and Positive Youth Development has supported programs and services identified in the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA), in coordination with the newly formed Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP) to provide evidenced-based violence prevention services. The services are designed to engage individuals at the highest risk of firearm violence and include street outreach, case management, and victim services.

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 LEP immigrants in accessing human services. In response to the recent arrivals from the southern border, Ukrainian arrivals and Afghan arrivals, additional programs and services have been established to provide wrap-around services, including case management, crisis intervention, workforce training and job placement, health and wellness services, community integration, housing case management, financial assistance, and capacity building for organizations and their staff.

DFCS, Office of Adult Services and Basic Support, Bureau of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking has oversight for three statewide systems: Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention (DVPI), Partner Abuse Intervention Programs (PAIP), and Sexual Assault Prevention and 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. Additionally, they conduct training and prevention programs for local schools, law enforcement, hospitals, and civic groups. IDHS support of victim services programming has expanded as a result of increased State and federal funding that began in FY23.

The Bureau of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking provides additional access to services through the State Domestic Violence Helpline. The Domestic Violence Help Line serves the entire State of Illinois. It provides toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week, multi-lingual, confidential services, and access and direct referral to domestic violence service providers via three-way phone linkage. The Helpline is staffed by trained domestic violence professionals who assist victims by providing safety planning, helping victims explore service options, and connecting them with community-based domestic violence agencies and/or other requested services. The Helpline provides essential support for victims of domestic violence who may not be safe accessing community-based services. Additionally, Helpline staff can assist people calling on behalf of a victim, such as friends, family, social service providers, or the criminal justice system.

PAIPs complement DVPI programs, by working with perpetrators of intimate partner violence to promote change, reduce the incidence of violence, and provide an option for the criminal justice and child welfare systems. PAIPs provide assessments, information, and referrals, conduct groups and service coordination with mandatory referral 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 as organize/coordinate training for other State agencies, service providers, and communities. There are two taskforces (Cook County & Statewide) consisting of service providers and State and federal agencies. There are currently eight known shelters for human trafficking survivors in Illinois.

Beginning in FY20, through the Info Net data system funded by the Bureau of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault service providers were able to collect data and report on human trafficking survivors as primary or secondary presented issues. Two new other/secondary presenting issue checkboxes related to Human Trafficking were added to the Domestic Violence interface in July 2019: (1) Human Sex Trafficking; and (2) Human Labor Trafficking. Human Sex Trafficking was added as a new option to the primary presenting field for the Sexual Assault interface in July 2019.

The Bureau works closely with other State entities to improve a 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.

The Domestic Violence Training program helps support the IDHS network of funded domestic violence services (victim and abuser) by offering statewide training. These trainings enhance the capacity of IDHS-funded domestic violence services (victim and abuser) to provide effective services through training. The Domestic Violence Training program provides statewide access to basic and advanced training for community-based domestic violence programs and other allied systems and agencies.

Through the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program, sub-recipients may use ESG funds for five program components, which include: 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 individuals and families, help operate these shelters, provide essential services to shelter residents, and provide essential services necessary to reach out to unhoused populations, including those who are identified as being at risk, to connect them with housing and/or services, and to rapidly re-house homeless individuals/families and prevent families/individuals from becoming homeless.

DFCS, Emergency, and Transitional Housing Program provide immediate emergency shelter, meals, transitional housing, and supportive services to approximately 40,000 homeless adults and children each year. This work is completed by utilizing three components, including Overnight Shelters, Voucher Shelters, and Transitional Shelters. These programs provide case management, advocacy, and counseling services. The Emergency and Transitional Housing Program provider will adhere to requirements outlined in the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, pursuant to 89 Illinois Administrative Code Section 130.400.

DFCS' Supportive Housing Program provider will deliver supportive services to low-income persons residing in permanent housing units who are formerly unhoused or to unhoused 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 the requirements outlined in the Supportive Housing Statute, pursuant to 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.

IDHS' DFCS launched several "Community Wellness and Equity Initiatives" from the onset of COVID-19 to provide education, awareness, and additional resources to Black and Brown communities and other disproportionately impacted Illinois residents.

Division of Early Childhood (DEC)

In 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker declared his goal "to make Illinois the best State in the country to raise young children," and subsequently created the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education & Care (ECEC) Funding. Following the recommendations of the Commission, in April 2021, Governor Pritzker announced the creation of a new Division of Early Childhood as part of the Illinois Department of Human Services. The Division of Early Childhood was established to strengthen and centralize Child Care, Home Visiting, and Early Intervention services within the Department.

DEC equips pregnant persons, young children, and families with the support they need to achieve their full potential by providing equitable access to child development through childcare, home visiting, and early intervention programs and services. To achieve this vision, the Division has defined eight guiding values - whole child focus, quality service delivery, equity, relentless pursuit of mission, respect, dignity, stability, and sustainability.

Highlights of core DEC programs include:

Child Care

  • 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 on family size and income.

Home Visiting

  • DEC home visiting programs support pregnant people and parents with young children (ages 0-5) who live in communities that face greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes. Home visiting provides family support and coaching through planned, regular visits with a trained professional based on a family's needs and schedules. Home visiting is a free and voluntary program, and home visitors work with parents on practical parenting skills as well as family bonding before birth and as the children grow up. In addition, home visiting helps families connect with other community services.
  • DEC home visiting programs prioritize the enrollment of families who are in priority populations identified by the federal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV): low-income families; pregnant women under age 21; families with a history of child abuse or neglect; families with a history of substance use or with members who need substance use treatment; families with users of tobacco in the home; families with children who have low student achievement; families with children who have developmental delays or disabilities; and families with individuals who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, including those with multiple deployments. The Illinois Early Learning Council priority populations are also prioritized.
  • The core DEC home visiting programs are:
    • Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)
    • DEC State-Funded Home Visiting (formerly Healthy Families Illinois)
    • Maternal Child Home Visiting (formerly Parents Too Soon), which includes doula services previously offered under the Pregnant Teens Doula program

Family Support Programs

  • Parents Care and Share is a network of self-help parental groups that provide peer-to-peer leadership and support so that parents and caregivers can gain self-esteem, overcome isolation, and improve their parenting skills by exchanging support and positive parenting suggestions. The Parents Care and Share network is supported by a team of Regional Coordinators who work with local providers to establish groups, train facilitators, and support group operations.
  • Responsible Parenting provides a comprehensive array of services to adolescent mothers to delay subsequent pregnancies; consistently and effectively practice family planning; enroll in/continue attending high school, or its equivalent; earn a high school diploma or its equivalent; develop parenting and life skills that will enable them to cope with social and emotional issues inherent to adolescent pregnancy and parenting, and to encourage the healthy physical and intellectual growth and development of the teen's child.

Early Intervention

  • 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. Early Intervention is a federal entitlement program in which infants and toddlers are eligible through the Illinois Early Intervention Services System Act for Early Intervention, as defined in Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Early Intervention can be accessed anywhere in Illinois through 25 regional points of entry known as Child and Family Connection Offices.

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 mental health professionals including 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 support 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, mobile crisis response, and physical locations staffed to provide support to individuals during psychiatric crises. A list of Certified Community Mental Health Centers can be found here:

DMH also operates seven State-run psychiatric hospitals, which include both civil and forensic units. These hospitals are located throughout Illinois 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 (men only) sent by the criminal courts or who need more intensive behavior modification services. In addition, DMH operates a treatment and detention facility (TDF) that provides statutorily required treatment and oversight for individuals determined to be sexually violent persons, as defined by 725 ILCS 207. A list of the State-Operated psychiatric hospitals can be found here: In addition to these hospitals, DMH operates the Joliet Inpatient Treatment Center (JITC) in partnership with the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). This 150-bed facility allows for individuals in IDOC custody to receive inpatient psychiatric treatment without leaving the IDOC system, ensuring inmates have access to quality care while incarcerated.

DMH administers the Title XX Mental Health Block Grant as well as several 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 DMH 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.

DMH has also launched three new initiatives funded by Cannabis Tax Revenue to address the workforce shortage in the behavioral health industry. The goal of these programs is to increase the number of individuals working in behavioral health through recruitment and retention efforts that will also lead to a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The three programs are:

CRSS Success: designed to support students with lived experience of mental health or substance use recovery to successfully complete all requirements necessary to obtain certification as a Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) or Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) and enter the behavioral health workforce. The program also provides support for students to overcome practical barriers to success during the time of program completion, such as childcare and transportation. Eleven colleges and universities in Illinois are implementing this program.

Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center: designed to develop and implement a strategic plan in Illinois to expand the BH workforce. The BHWEC is being implemented in partnership with the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago are leading the work of the Center.

Community Behavioral Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program provides up to $5M in student loan repayment for individuals working in the community behavioral health field. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission administers the program in collaboration with DMH.

In addition to workforce efforts, DMH is supporting individuals in securing stable permanent housing through the Housing is Recovery program and the implementation of two Olmstead consent decrees.

Housing is Recovery Pilot Program, newly launched in FY24, will provide housing subsidies and wraparound support services to homeless individuals who are at risk of unnecessary institutionalization because of mental illness or are at risk of death by overdose because of substance use disorder. This Housing First program will offer a low barrier to entry and ensure that individuals are supported in their recovery journey. DMH has funded nine providers to begin delivering these services.

Williams vs. Pritzker Consent Decree(Williams Consent Decree)

The Williams Consent Decree (2010) requires the State to facilitate and actualize transitions for all consenting adult residents in one of twenty-one facilities formerly designated as Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMDs), now identified as Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRFs), 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 U.S. 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 21 SMHRFs are located in Cook County (15); Lake County (3); Kankakee County (1), Peoria (1), and Decatur (1). The 2010 estimate of the number of individuals who resided in these 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, 2023, approximately 3,682 Williams Consent Decree class members have transitioned or have signed a lease from one of the SMHRFs to community-based settings. Information on the Williams Consent Decree and program details can be found at

The IDHS' DMH is the lead agent for the Williams 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(Colbert Consent Decree)

The Colbert Consent Decree (2011) requires the State to facilitate and actualize transition for all consenting adult residents in Cook County Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) 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 U.S. 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 its inception in December 2011, through June 30, 2023, approximately 3,844 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

IDHS' DMH 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.

DMH convenes a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice (DEI/RJ) committee in the Central Office and a committee at each of the seven State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals. Each committee has begun drafting plans for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all staff and consumers. This work is guided by IDHS' Department-Wide DEI/RJ efforts and training from the University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy.Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDD)

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)

DDD oversees the Illinois system of programs and services specifically designed for individuals with developmental disabilities. Individuals with developmental disabilities include individuals with intellectual disabilities and related conditions (which could include but are not limited to cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism). DDD works as a partner with many local entities statewide to offer an extensive array of services that enable individuals with developmental disabilities to reside with their families or in other community living situations and to attain their wants, needs, and dreams. IDHS funds over 350 of these community service providers in every part of Illinois. In addition, DDD has administrative oversight and funds over 188 private Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (ICFs/DD). These residential settings in the community provide a program of specialized and generic training, health services, and related services to support the individual to function with as much self-determination and independence as possible. DDD also manages the operations of residential services to individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in seven State-Operated Developmental Centers (SODCs).

As an arm of DDD, IDHS is funding seven Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies in FY2024. These agencies maintain the PUNS database to register individuals seeking Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver services, conduct Pre-Admission Screenings to determine eligibility for services, provide Individual Service and Support Advocacy to people in a DD 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 an individual's personal plan, link individuals to services, and address problems related to outcomes and quality. ISC agencies collaborate with service providers to ensure individuals' health, safety, well-being, and satisfaction with DD services.

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

  • Day Program Services - for adults who seek developmental disability-funded day programs, DDD 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 an individuals skill levels in major life areas, work-related activities, and employment skills.
  • Residential Services - are provided in a variety of settings including ICFs/DD which includes SODCs, Supported Living Arrangements (SLAs), Community Living Facilities (CLFs), Childrens Group Homes (CGH), Child Care Institutions (CCIs), and Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs), including 24-Hour, Host Family, and Intermittent, any of which can be provided in a provider-controlled or an individually-controlled home (owned/rented by individuals).
  • Home Based Support Services (HBS) - an option within the Adult Medicaid Waiver and the Childrens Supports Waiver. HBS includes individually designed, separately covered services to assist individuals to live in a provider-controlled home, 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 support, 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 statute, that best meets the evolving needs of the individual.
  • Other Support Services - DDD funds respite (short-term relief to caregiver), nursing services, therapies, transportation, adaptive equipment, and 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, DDD committed to serving an additional 3,000 individuals in community-based services over the subsequent six years, as well as to transitioning those individuals who choose to move from ICFs/DD to less restrictive community-based services. DDD met those benchmarks during the first six years of the Decree and also served an additional 600 people from the PUNS list in FY 2018 and FY 2019. In May 2019, IDHS and the Plaintiffs established a "reasonable pace" for implementing services for FY 2020 through FY 2025, in which DDD will serve 600-630 individuals from the PUNS list each fiscal year. In addition, by FY 2025, no individual will wait more than 60 months for services. DDD met the reasonable pace goal in FY 2020 through FY 2023 and is meeting the 60-month wait for services threshold earlier than anticipated (FY 2022-2023). Ligas Data Reports are posted approximately every six months to document implementation activities. The Reports can be found on the IDHS website at

DDD provides information through the IDHS website at the following internet address,

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)

DRS is the State's lead agency for providing services to individuals with disabilities. DRS operates 47 local offices across Illinois 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 in 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 that 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 Illinois. CILs offer a variety of services to people with disabilities and their families, including five core services. These core services are advocacy; peer counseling; independent living skills training; information and referral services; and transition services, which include 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.

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:

  • DRS staff provide services to people with disabilities in 47 local offices located in communities throughout the state. Use the DHS Office Locator and search for Rehabilitation Services to find the nearest local office or call toll free: (877) 581-3690 (Voice, English or Español) or (866) 324-5553 (TTY).
  • For information on the Home Services Program, call 800-843-6154 (voice) or 866-264-2149 (TTY) or 312-957-4881 (videophone) and select Rehab Services.
  • Information on CILs can be accessed by calling 800-843-6154 (voice) or 866-264-3464 (Nextel).
  • Use the online Rehabilitation Services Web Referral to refer yourself or someone else for services.
  • For questions about DRS, email

Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR)

SUPR is the State's lead agency for preventing and 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 responsive, and gender-appropriate array of substance use disorder (SUD) services and substance use prevention programs throughout Illinois.

SUPR SUD treatment and recovery support services assist youth, adults, and families impacted by substance use. SUPR-Funded services are delivered under contract through a network of over 120 licensed substance use disorder treatment organizations at over 400 community-based sites and 200 organizations that deliver prevention services throughout Illinois. Substance use disorder services include community intervention, outpatient, residential care, medication-assisted recovery, withdrawal management, and recovery home services. Treatment services are delivered through a continuum approach, with the individual moving from one level of care to another, based upon assessed need and shared decision-making with people participating in the services. SUPR is also responsible for the licensing and Medicaid certification of most sub-acute SUD treatment facilities. Additionally, SUPR oversees a comprehensive and coordinated community-based array of services that include prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services related to gambling disorders (GD).

Primary or Universal prevention services (i.e., for the general public) are delivered through grant agreements with a network of over 70 organizations serving communities across Illinois focused on reducing underage drinking and marijuana use. In addition to substance use prevention education and services provided within schools and communities, some organizations provide youth leadership programs focused on promoting healthy behaviors, alcohol and cannabis policy support for municipalities and communities, and opioid prescriber training. The prevention network also includes a training and technical assistance organization and an evaluator. Indicated prevention services (i.e., for individuals at higher risk of developing an SUD) include overdose education and naloxone distribution services that can be accessed by all 102 Illinois counties, topic-specific public education projects, a student-athlete opioid misuse prevention program, and a prevention program for pharmacy and health care professionals to reduce the risks of overprescribing and opioid misuse among youth. Tobacco prevention programs include tobacco enforcement programs delivered through local police departments to decrease sales to individuals under 21 years of age and direct compliance checks conducted by the Bureau of Prevention Services directed by the FDA. SUPR coordinates prevention programs and services in collaboration with other Illinois State agencies to improve its reach to youth, parents, and communities without duplicating efforts.

Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP)

The Office of Firearm Violence Prevention's (OFVP)

mission is to address the statewide public health emergency that is firearm violence through increased community capacity to (1) address root causes of violence, (2) provide those most-at-risk access to evidence-based and trauma-informed services, and (3) advance equity and racial justice. OFVP's vision for this future is that every community, every neighborhood, and every home in Illinois will be free from violence.

OFVP was created as a result of the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2021. The RPSA is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention in response to the State of Illinois' heightened experience of loss, harm, and trauma at the hands of firearm violence, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. Firearm violence is a multi-faceted challenge that requires a public health approach to stop the cycles of violence in disproportionately impacted communities.

The Bureau of Violence Prevention Services, within the Division of Family and Community Services serves as the program bureau for the IDHS Office of Firearm Violence Prevention, investing in high-risk communities throughout Illinois by offering an array of violence prevention and intervention programs and services for at-risk youth ages 6 - 24 that are intended to mitigate, reduce, and prevent violent behavior. Services include but are not limited to programming identified in the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) to include Youth Development programs such as after-school and Summer programs; Violence Prevention programs including street outreach and employment programs; and High-Risk Youth Intervention services such as trauma recovery and other therapeutic and mental health services. Program models will vary based on community, youth, and family needs. Services are designed to:

  • ensure the safety of youth,
  • reunify, stabilize and preserve families,
  • reduce homelessness among youth,
  • develop/increase the life skills in youth necessary to achieve self-sufficiency,
  • increase academic outcomes for school-age youth,
  • increase employability skills, career development and employment for transition age youth,
  • decrease risk factors and increase protective factors in youth,
  • reduce individual and community violence,
  • divert youth at risk of involvement in the child welfare system, and
  • divert youth at risk of involvement or further involvement in the juvenile or criminal justice system.

Reimage Public Safety Act Grant Programs

Conveners/Violence Prevention Council Coordinators have expertise in gathering community members, agencies, and stakeholders that strengthens the community safety net for all. These grantees convene RPSA grantees and other community agencies and stakeholders monthly. Collectively the agencies can host community events, provide safe spaces, and share resources. They also address crisis situations and coordinate responses between providers. They also serve as the connector between the community and the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention, prioritizing the issue of gun violence in the State of Illinois.

Violence Prevention Services include Street Intervention, Case Management, and Victim Services for those at the highest risk of harming someone or being harmed by gun-related violence. Participants have a history of street involvement, justice-system involvement, prior victimization, and trauma associated with community gun violence and/or exhibit violent behavior. Funded staff include street outreach workers, case manage(s) and victim service workers who have relevant life experience and can build trust with participants. Street outreach and victim services require a relationship with local law enforcement for shooting notification and response.

Youth Development Services provides evidence-based after-school and summer programming. Evidence-based youth development programs shall provide services to teens that increase their school attendance, and school performance, reduce involvement in the adult criminal and juvenile justice systems, and develop nonacademic interests that build social-emotional persistence and intelligence. Youth development organizations will prioritize services for youth residing in the blocks where more than 35% of all fatal and nonfatal firearm-shot incidents take place in a given municipality.

High-Risk Youth Intervention Services are provided by four Certified Comprehensive Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) which are assigned to the sixteen Chicago communities to ensure evidence-based intervention services that reduce involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice system, increase school attendance, and refer high-risk teens into therapeutic programs that address trauma recovery and other mental health improvements. High-Risk Youth Intervention program participants shall receive a comprehensive mental health assessment and needed services identified by the assessment. These grantees work closely with the Youth Development grantees for seamless connection to more intensive services. These grantees can serve all RPSA youth participants to address trauma recovery.

Trauma-Informed Behavioral Health Services addresses the impact of community violence exposure in the highest-risk communities in Greater Illinois. Services include mental and behavioral health interventions that address trauma recovery and other mental health improvements, specifically designed to mediate the high correlation between family adversity, trauma and violence, and subsequent involvement in gun-related activity. Required activities include screening and assessment, evidence-based approaches to psychoeducation including psychological first aid, resource navigation/service linkage, and behavioral health therapy. Grantees also provide community training and outreach focused on recognizing and reacting to signs of trauma. Services are tailored based on community, individual, youth and family needs.

Training and Technical Assistance includes one-time and ongoing training for the RPSA grantees. RPSA grantees have the option to choose from several TTA providers. The Violence Prevention and Youth Development grantees are required to complete a programmatic assessment and work with their selected technical assistance provider to develop and implement a technical assistance plan.

Operations Overview:

IDHS is committed to providing excellent services to the diversified communities we serve. The Department has numerous operational Divisions that 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 the General Counsel; Office of Grants Administration; Office of Hispanic and Latino Affairs; Office of Human Resources; Office of Innovation and Technology; Office of Strategy, Equity and Transformation; 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.