Executive Offices


The functions carried out by OCR are as varied as the people DHS serve. OCR is charged with outreach to several audiences: staff members, 1,736 contracted providers, advocates, trade associations, the business community, legislators and our 1.5 million customers.

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.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 79

Create collaborative partnerships with private corporations and community organizations.


Through June 30, 2011, enhance awareness of IDHS services through partnership(s) with local corporate and/or community organizations and media outlets.


OCR has partnered with two media outlets during FY 08, Clear Channel Communications (Doin' Good in the Hood challenge) and WVON AM Radio (Recovery Radio program) the Recovery Radio program crosses four divisions.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 80

Improve internal and external flow of information to IDHS staff, providers and legislators.


By June 30, 2008, create a new IDHS brochure marketing the agency's mission and services.

By June 31, 2009, produce the Solutions magazine and make all subsequent publications on-line.

Through March 31, 2010, work with the IDHS, Office of Legislation to produce the Legislative Update Report annually.


All projects are progressing. OCR anticipates completing the brochure, Solutions Magazine and the 2008 Legislative Update by the end of FY 09.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 81

Promotion of IDHS services and initiatives statewide.


Through June 30, 2011, provide marketing and community relations outreach assistance to IDHS initiatives and activities in each division.

Through August 31, 2011, develop ideas and produce our IDHS's participation in the annual State Fairs.

Through August 31, 2011, develop ideas and coordinate IDHS's line-up in the Bud Billiken Parade.


OCR consistently provides community relations assistance to all divisions in the promotion of program activities and services. OCR plans to participate in the Bud Billiken Parade, Illinois State Fair and DuQuoin State Fair.


The major functions of OGA include the identification of funding availability for the coordination of resources in the acquisition and management of funds, the development of applicable and appropriate program and evaluation designs, knowledge dissemination and technology transfers that ensure sustainability and replication of evidenced-based practices, and the submission of applications for funding either directly or through oversight.

Priority V - Fiscal Responsibility

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

Strategic Goal/Initiative 53

Enhance IDHS capacity to write successful grant applications.


By November 1, 2008, increase the number of additional staff that have access to the Library by 20% to include 56 employees.

By December 1, 2008, revise Grants Library Protocol.

By October 1 each fiscal year, add the year's new competitive grants to the Library.


The department's electronic Grants Library is expanding the number of staff that have access and the number of grant applications. To date 64 staff have access to the Library, while the new FY 09 competitive grants have been added.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 54

Increase federal discretionary funding. 


In FY 09, submit at least 15 federal applications.

In FY 10, submit at least 17 federal grant applications.

In FY 11, submit at least 20 federal grant applications.

In FY 09, secure at least an additional $10 million in new federal grants.

In FY 10, secure at least an additional $10 million in new federal grants.

In FY 11, secure at least an additional $15 million in new federal grants.


The Department submitted 26 competitive grant applications for possible funding in FY 09 and to date has secured $6.5 million dollars in new funding.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 55

Increase foundation and corporate funding. 


By October 1, 2009, hire a full-time Foundation Specialist.

By December 2010 hire an additional Foundation Specialist.

In FY 09 submit at least eight applications to foundations from IDHS and community providers.

In FY 10 submit at least 12 applications to foundations from IDHS and community providers.

 In FY 11 submit at least 15 foundation applications from IDHS and community providers.


The required documentation has been completed and submitted for consideration to hire a Foundation Specialist. During FY 09, applications have been submitted to three foundations.


The Office of Hispanic and Latino Affairs partners with the Hispanic /Latino community and IDHS departmental units, to assist in the development and delivery of quality services and information. OHLA provides translation and interpretation services, services related presentations, workshops, and seminars to community organizations, agencies, and the faith community, maintains a statewide database of those community organizations and agencies which serve the Hispanic community, assist the IDHS Office of Human Resources in the recruitment initiatives designed to provide employment information for Hispanic candidates and assists resident immigrants in the State of Illinois to ensure the transition to United States citizenship.

Priority I - Self-Sufficiency

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

Strategic Goal/Initiative 1

Increase access to IDHS services for the limited English proficient population.


From July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2011, improve and expand service for the Latino community by holding semi-annual meetings with each IDHS Division Director/designee.

By December 31, 2008, ensure that all FCRC (Family Community Resource Centers) obtain access to the 1-800 phone interpreting services.

By June 30, 2009, expand interpretation/translation services to DASA and DMH.


The Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs, (OHLA) participates in the Limited English Proficient (LEP) work group, which identifies LEP needs agency wide. OHLA works closely with the Division of Mental Health, (DMH) to identify Spanish translation needs. Since July 1, 2008, over 373 forms, brochures, and other materials have been translated (1260 pages). Literature translations continue with DMH as well as the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA). OHLA has also established a process for IDHS employees who speak other languages in the performance of their duties, to request bilingual pay.


The IDHS Office of the Inspector General assists agencies and facilities in prevention efforts by investigating all reports of abuse, neglect and mistreatment in a timely manner, to foster humane, competent, respectful and caring treatment of persons with mental and developmental disabilities.

Priority IV - Safety

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

Strategic Goal/Initiative 48

Reduce the incidence of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities.


By December 31, 2009, obtain 100% compliance from community agencies in the submission of intra-agency abuse and neglect policies.


The IDHS, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has reached 100% compliance, meaning that all community agencies have formal policies in effect that identify abuse and neglect, require reporting of allegations, and identify time frames for reporting those allegations. Community agency staff thus have a clearer understanding of what is inappropriate treatment of individuals receiving services. In addition, these staff are aware that they must report all allegations of abuse or neglect to OIG, as well as knowing how to report and how quickly they must report, allowing for prompt corrective action to prevent recurrence. The result is improving the safety of the services provided and the environment in which services are provided.

From July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2011, extend the employment contract of the "Registered Nurse Surveyor" and "Registered Nurse Consultant"


Both contracts have been extended into FY 09, allowing OIG to utilize two additional registered nurses in preventing, investigating, and stopping abuse and neglect. The Nurse Surveyor conducts unannounced site visits to the IDHS psychiatric hospitals and developmental centers, reviewing issues that may contribute to abuse or neglect. These statutorily mandated site visits make recommendations to correct those issues, thereby preventing abuse and neglect. The Nurse Surveyor has conducted twelve site visits to date in FY 09 with multiple recommendations. The Nurse Consultant assists investigators in conducting investigations into deaths, injuries, and clinical issues. In these cases, the Nurse Consultant provides other administrative recommendations that seek to prevent recurrence of abuse and neglect. The Nurse Surveyor has also assisted in these consultations.

By June 30, 2009, close 100% of unfounded and recanted allegations abuse and neglect cases within 10 days of completion.


OIG continues to meet this objective, ensuring that complaints that are retracted by the alleged victim are closed, allowing the agency or facility to address issues promptly and reducing the resources required of OIG for allegations that are subsequently denied by the people making them.

From June 30, 2008, through June 30, 2011, conduct at least five training sessions annually on "Reporting Abuse and Neglect to OIG" to the public and local law enforcement.


OIG continues to conduct many more than five training sessions each fiscal quarter and, within this effort, is working toward greater collaboration with local law enforcement. Providing more training of agency staff, law enforcement, and the public will ensure that more people in Illinois are aware of what constitutes abuse or neglect and how to report it. Individuals with disabilities will receive more protection.

From July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2011, monitor and refer 100% of non-reportable allegations.


OIG continues to treat seriously and refer to appropriate entities all complaints OIG receives that do not meet the definitions in statute and administrative rule. By referring these complaints to the appropriate entities, issues related to proper and safe treatment of individuals receiving services can be addressed promptly.

By June 30, 2011, reduce allegations of abuse and neglect in SOFs by 10%, from 800 in FY 08 to 770 in FY 09, 750 in FY 10 and 720 in FY 11.


OIG continues to see a reduction in allegations from the facilities, although a few individuals have been making a large number of allegations. The number of investigations that determine allegations at facilities to be "unfounded" complaints has been slowing rising, which is one small indication that the facility environments are becoming safer.

Through June 30, 2011, complete OIG Rule 50 case investigations in an average of 60 days per case.


Prompt investigation allows for quicker corrective action to prevent recurrence. OIG continues to average 44 days for completed investigations, well below the regulatory goal of 60 days per investigation.


The Office of Legal Services is subdivided into several divisions. The structure of the Office of Legal Services, where possible, mirrors the organizational structure of IDHS. With the exception of the Division of Administrative Hearings and Rules, the duties and responsibilities of the various divisions are fairly similar and include representation as "in-house" counsel to the programmatic and administrative areas of IDHS.

Priority V - Fiscal Responsibility

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

Strategic Goal/Initiative 56

Reduce backlog of administrative hearing decisions to reduce penalty payments for overdue hearing decisions and avoid possible federal sanctions


By June 30 2009 work with Central Management Serivces (CMS) Classification to prevent future administrative hearing backlogs by upgrading the current job specifications of hearing officers to include additional educational requirements.

By June 30, 2009, eliminate current administrative hearing appeals backlogs by hiring an outside attorney/firm to draft hearing decisions for 1,200 appeals.

By June 30, 2009, reduce administrative hearing backlogs by 25% by contracting with retired hearing officers.


One thousand one hundred seventeen (1,117) decisions have been issued in FY 09. After adding capacity, the backlog of administrative hearing decisions is expected to decrease. The backlog at beginning of FY 09 was 963. Current backlog is 650. Backlog refers to hearings held, but no decision has yet been issued. This backlog reduction represents a decrease of 32%.


The Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness is a newly formed office of IDHS. OSEP functions include: Workplace and Environmental Safety, Workplace Violence, Security, and Emergency Preparedness and Response.

Priority IV - Safety

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

Strategic Goal/Initiative 45

Ensure all IDHS Offices have a safe work environment.


By December 31, 2008, ensure all Safety Coordinators participate in emergency evacuation training.


As part of the overarching National Incident Management System (NIMS) Compliance Initiative, the newly formed IDHS, Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness (OSEP) is developing on-line training tools that enable Safety Coordinators and Emergency Preparedness Coordinators, as well as IDHS staff to familiarize themselves with basic National Incident Management System principles. All Safety Coordinators have completed required training, other IDHS staff (12,000 plus) are being trained in priority order.

Current/Future Plans

By August 30, 2009, collaborate with CMS to develop and conduct formal training, which includes functional and site-specific standards for all IDHS and contracted security guards.

By September 30, 2009, develop a long-term physical and cyber security improvement plan.

By June 30, 2011, develop and implement on-line, on-demand training for workplace and environmental safety, workplace violence prevention and response, physical and cyber-security.

Through June 30, 2011, collaborate with CMS and MIS to develop and implement upgraded physical, electronic and cyber security safeguards.

Through June 30, 2011, conduct cyclical environmental safety training for responsible facilities personnel.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 49

Achieve agency-wide compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) standards.


By September 30, 2008, identify five potential federal or other funding sources for the Emergency Operations and/or Preparedness Plan implementation.

By November 15, 2008, develop interim emergency response protocols for severe weather, violence incidents, hazmat incidents and external emergencies and disasters.

By December 1, 2008, complete one Divisional Table-top Exercise.

By December 1, 2008, identify and assign 100% of the components of the EOP.

By December 31, 2008, redevelopment of the Continuity of Operations (COOP/COG) Plan.

Beginning January 1, 2009, implement training of all newly hired IDHS employees in core NIMS principles & EOP.

Beginning January 1, 2009, implement cyclical training program for appropriate IDHS First Responder staff in basic NIMS courses.

By January 31, 2009, identify 100% of NIMS and internal emergency preparedness training and exercise activities that need revising.


The newly formed IDHS, Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness (OSEP) coordinates IDHS emergency response during all State Emergency Operations Center activations. This includes incidents such as the NIU shootings, major flooding, and winter storm events in all parts of the state. Additionally, participation in federal and state mandated Department of Homeland Security drills and exercises contribute to IDHS' overall compliance efforts. The agency's Emergency Operations and Continuity of Government Plans (COOP/COG) are in development and are being constructed with interagency and community collaboration, completion is anticipated by the end of FY 09.

Current/Future Plans

By March 31, 2009, complete 100% of Resource Typing for all five IDHS Regions.

By March 31, 2009, identify 100% of IDHS Critical Business Functions.

By March 31, 2009, complete one Divisional Drill.

By June 1, 2009, participate in four local Emergency Preparedness Drills.

By July 1, 2009, ensure all IDHS Executive Staff are trained in basic NIMS courses.

By July 31, 2009, complete 100% of the comprehensive IDHS Emergency Operations Plan.

Through June 30, 2011, consistently participate in multi jurisdictional drills and exercises.

By September 30, 2009, ensure training of at least 35 appropriate IDHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) staff in Mass Care Shelter Management.

Through June 30, 2011, exercise annually the appropriate components of the agency Emergency Operations and COOP/COG Plans.


The Office of Special Projects supports IDHS mission by working with numerous state and community partners to serve the Illinois ex-offender population.

Priority I - Self Sufficiency

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

Strategic Goal/Initiative 2

Address the current unmet needs of ex-offenders engaged in the re-entry process.


By June 30, 2008, survey targeted populations and ex-offender service providers to identify potential service gaps.

By January 1, 2009, secure funding sources to address the potential unmet needs of ex-offenders.

By June 30, 2009, develop a comprehensive "re-entry" plan defining services, funding and implementation time frames and issue a request for proposal seeking service providers.


During 2008, IDHS made significant accomplishments in the area of prisoner re-entry. The majority of our efforts were focused in Chicago's Englewood community, which has a high number of men and women returning from incarceration. For every 1,000 in the population, 10.7 in Englewood and 11.5 in West Englewood, respectively, are returning from prison. The Englewood Family Reunification program served 262 participants (171 males and 91 females) in 2008, of which:

  • 169 registered to vote
  • 104 passed drug screens
  • 36 participants found employment
  • 11 obtained GED degrees
  • 10 received additional help through substance abuse treatment, and
  • 3 obtained a truck driving certification.

In 2008 IDHS obtained $539,000 from the Department of Justice to expand re-entry services in Englewood and West Englewood, through the development of a pre-release and post release program. Staff were hired at two community-based organizations to complete employment placement and retention services for offenders. IDHS worked with IDOC to identify two facilities to recruit participants from Aurora/Fox Valley for women, and West Side in Chicago for men. Both facilities joined the program in 2008. The pre-release portion of the program provides inmates at these facilities with the following services:

  • Assessment of skills and educational levels
  • On-going counseling and case management
  • Re-entry transitional plan development services
  • Referrals to community-based organizations for employment and continued case management.


The Office of Strategic Planning functions include: compiling the agency-wide Strategic Plan for presentation to the IDHS Secretary, Executive Staff, and the GOMB Review Team; insuring the participation of all IDHS organizational areas, in the development if IDHS' Priorities, Initiatives, Objectives and Performance Measures; conducting quarterly review sessions; participating in GOMB Strategic Planning review sessions and submitting necessary data/reports; implementing the Co-Locating Local Offices Initiative (CLOI) which began in 2004, as an initiative designed to improve customer service by providing integrated and comprehensive services to IDHS customers throughout the state and implementation of the Assets Illinois program which provides match funds to the savings of low income people that assists them in purchasing homes or continuing their education at an Illinois public college or university.

Priority I - Self-Sufficiency

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

Strategic Goal/Initiative 14

Increase the assets of low income Illinois residents by initiating Assets Illinois.


By December 31, 2008, complete Strategic Plan for Assets Illinois.

Through June 30, 2010, enroll 800 individuals in home ownership accounts.

Through June 30, 2010, enroll 600 people with a low income in educational accounts that develop vocational skills or progress towards four year colleges.


More than 200 Illinois residents have been enrolled in Asset$Illinois home ownership accounts. Assets Illinois started in November 2007. Per federal and state law, participants must be enrolled in the program for six months in order to make an asset purchase. Therefore, purchases began July of 2008. From July 1, 2008, to February 27, 2009, Asset$Illinois assisted nine families in purchasing their first home. Approximately 200 clients are awaiting the launch of the Asset$Illinois Educational Initiative and have had their applications fully approved. OSP will enroll 220 clients by year's end, which represents full 2008-2009 capacity for this project.

Priority V - Fiscal Responsibility

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

Strategic Goal/Initiative 62

Consolidate IDHS owned and leased office space.


By June 30, 2009, complete four intra-divisional HCD office co-locations.

By June 30, 2009, complete four HCD/DRS office co-locations.

By June 30, 2009, co-locations / consolidations will save IDHS a minimum of 1.6 M dollars in lease payments.


The Co-Locating Local Offices Initiative (CLOI) began in 2004 as an Office of Strategic Planning (OSP) initiative designed to improve customer service by providing integrated and comprehensive services to IDHS customers throughout the state of Illinois. While the primary goal of CLOI was to integrate services, serious budget shortfalls also necessitated the consolidation and co-location of local offices. Normal staff attrition, as well as the Early Retirement Incentive of 2002, left many of the leased properties throughout the state with high staff vacancy rates, and consolidating offices became a necessary, as well as cost-effective solution. The CLOI workgroup, consisting of representatives from Strategic Planning, the program divisions, Budget, Labor Relations, Office of Accessibility and Customer Supports, and Business Services has facilitated the closing of 17 offices over the past five years and generated a savings of more than $3.3 M. One excellent example is the co-location of a Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) office and a Human Capital Development (HCD) office to a vacant building at the Choate Mental Health Center in Anna, Illinois. Integrated services allow customers in this largely rural area to now visit one location for human service needs such as food stamps, medical, vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance.

Currently there are an additional 17 pending local office consolidations that could generate nearly $1 M in annual cost savings once completed. These are small downstate offices with one to six employees at each location. Consolidating these small offices will allow staff to balance caseloads and improve customer service by decreasing customer wait times.

Future plans include a review of all Chicago and Springfield properties as well as an in-depth study of the IDHS state owned properties. These plans will be carried out in a joint collaboration with CMS, as they are expanding their efforts to include more state agency to state agency co-locations. Consolidating some of the larger leased properties will also result in significant cost savings for IDHS.

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.

Strategic Goal/Initiative 84

Plan for large scale service delivery integration using available technology and best practices (IDHS Framework).


By May 1, 2009, submit final Advance Planning Document requesting federal matching funds to HHS and FNS.

By January 15, 2009, begin planning phase activity.

By April 2, 2010, begin implementation of pilots.


OSP convened a cross-agency task force to act as the governing body for the framework project. The task force developed a shared vision, goals, objectives, and an agreed-upon governance/decision-making plan. OSP published an RFI, requesting that the vendor community propose current technology and best practices for the development and implementation of this project. Thirty-three vendors responded. Vendor presentations are scheduled to be completed by the end of April 2009. OSP's final submission to the federal agencies providing matching funds for IT initiatives supporting healthcare and human services administration, is expected to be submitted on or before March 31, 2009.