Section 1 - Introduction


House Bill 2632 took effect on July 1, 1997, creating the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). This law consolidated the Departments of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, and Rehabilitation Services, along with the client-centered services provided through the Departments of Children and Family Services, Public Health, and Public Aid. The reorganization of Illinois' human services had the following major goals:

  • provide quality services by addressing the needs of individuals and families;
  • consolidate similar programs and functions, and eliminate fragmented or inconsistent requirements for clients and service providers;
  • consolidate Management Information Service (MIS) functions and establish a coordinated intake and tracking system;
  • provide accountability by working closely with communities;
  • maximize prevention and intervention resources.

Importance of Human Service Planning

Keeping the Department on track toward achieving these goals and in evaluating its accomplishments requires progressive stages of implementation. Adequate and appropriate service design, efficient administration, and accountability for the outcomes of delivered services cannot be achieved in an agency this size without clear intentions, a roadmap for achievement, and a way to identify what remains to be done - in short - planning. The Strategic Goals/Initiatives, Objectives and Performance Measures identified in this plan are in synch with the Illinois Department of Human Services SFY 2008 - SFY 2011 Strategic Plan.

IDHS Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles

The mission and guiding principles of IDHS define the direction for the Department in achieving the goals set forth in its creation.


IDHS is a customer-centered, proactive social service delivery agency that engages stakeholders to effectively address social issues. Services are delivered efficiently and expediently with personalized care, utilizing innovative, userfriendly technology.


To assist our customers to achieve maximum self-sufficiency, independence and health through the provision of seamless, integrated services for individuals, families and communities.

Guiding Principles

IDHS will be guided by the principle that there is ''No Wrong Door'' for any of our customers. This dictates that we have a seamless service delivery approach that is: Customer Centered, Proactive, Innovative, Collaborative, Performance and Outcome-Driven, Dynamic, Efficient and Effective, Solution-Oriented and Technology-Sensitive.

IDHS Priorities

Priority I: Self Sufficiency

Collaborate with human service agencies to help families and individuals obtain economic stability.

Priority II: Independence 

Collaborate with human service agencies to effectively help individuals with disabilities to maximize independence.

Priority III: Health

Collaborate with human service agencies to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families and provide effective treatment to individuals in need.

Priority IV: Safety

Collaborate with state and community agencies to implement effective systems that ensure the safety of Illinois residents.

Priority V: Fiscal Responsibility

Devise and implement best business practices that maximize and expand the State's resources.

Priority VI: Integration

Implement cross-cutting processes that enhance achievement of the agency's core mission and provide seamless integrated services for individuals, families and communities.

Priority VII: Workforce

Implement hiring, training and development processes that enhance achievement of the agency's core mission and ensure an ethical, diverse and competent workforce.

IDHS Priority Projects

  • Framework - a multi-year, comprehensive project designed to develop and implement an enterprise system to support data sharing and efficient delivery of programs and services across all partner agencies. Presently, 25-year-old information systems are supporting health and human service programs, these systems exist in virtual information stovepipes. Consequently, integration of service delivery is difficult and Illinois residents are forced to wait in multiple lines or visit multiple offices to apply for services.

    Through the use of call centers, online applications, automated eligibility determination, and internet-based case management tools, the Framework will change the way Illinois delivers human services and healthcare.

  • Open Door - the Open Door project is designed to provide comprehensive access to all IDHS and community services regardless of the system entry point. Customer circumstances are at times confounded by the lack of an integrated service delivery system. The Open Door is designed to streamline the way customers are served by providing a single point of entry for accessing an array of DHS services, and to meet emergency needs to help keep them on their feet. Funding has been secured to hire and maintain staff within the local Division of Rehabilitation Services Disabilities office on Pulaski Ave on the west side of Chicago.

    Through collaboration with the DuPage Federation and health and human service providers within DuPage County, an additional Open Door program has been initiated within the IDHS Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) located in Villa Park. This pilot project has been successful in triaging emergency cases and ensuring customers receive the services needed to move them to self-sufficiency.

  • Safety Net Works - a direct service initiative to address youth violence in Illinois, this program works to engage, cultivate and mobilize youth for leadership as agents of social change. The Safety Net Works coordinates existing state service  providers in the Safety Net Works communities, while leveraging resources to youth and community coalitions in the following areas:
    • Develop Community Coalitions
    • Create Networks
    • Capacity Building of Community Based Organizations
    • Cultivate Youth Organizing and Leadership Development
    • Support Community Specific Violence Prevention Strategies
    • Develop Sustainable Solutions
    • Leveraging Existing Resources
    • Public Education
  • Smart Path…to a unified DHS - a comprehensive project and approach to designing, implementing, and monitoring distinct projects and initiatives that integrate DHS programs, services, and functions to benefit the people DHS serves, the Smart Path initiative provides a central place for staff to review the inventory and progress of the departments' joint efforts to integrate the agency. It also provides a forum for regional program staff to coordinate services at local levels across the state.

Human Service Plan Contents

The IDHS Human Services Plan represents a mechanism for assessing the extent to which IDHS is fulfilling its mission and achieving its organizational goals. The following is a summary of the sections contained within the Plan. The content of these sections reflect the multiple aspects of the Department's mission.

Section 2: Program Accomplishments, Future Needs and Goals

An assessment of where IDHS is in pursuit of its mission cannot be made without consideration of the types and levels of services provided to Illinois residents. PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS, FUTURE NEEDS, GOALS,describes the divisions' major accomplishments,division structure, impact on families, clients served, projection of need, and the current and future goals of each IDHS program division.

Section 3: Federal Program Changes, Legislation and Court Decisions

Proactive organizations must monitor those aspects within their environment that impact how the organization conducts its business. The environment in which IDHS operates is, in part, influenced by key legislation and court decisions. These factors, and the nature of their influence, are summarized in FEDERAL PROGRAM CHANGES, LEGISLATION, AND COURT DECISIONS.

Section 4: Collaborative Efforts

The COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS section describes the Inter-Agency collaborations involving several U.S. Departments as well as Illinois state agencies partnering with IDHS to provide consumer-centered service. This section also describes the many Intra-agency efforts (Crosscutting Initiatives) made by IDHS divisions in providing streamlined (No Wrong Door) services.

Section 5: Management Improvements

The MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENTS section describes improvements made in the administrative and support-system functions of IDHS. Management improvements are divided into three areas, Executive Office Improvements, Operational Office Improvements and Programmatic Improvements not described in Section 2.

Section 6: Budget Summaries

The BUDGET SUMMARIES provide the IDHS budget by division, office, and program categories, accounting for the use of available resources.

Section 7: Appendices

The appendices include other reference information, including the Department's FY 2009 and FY 2010 capital development plan(s), and the IDHS regional map.