Inter-Agency Collaboration


Adult Education and Family Literacy

The SFY 2008 and 2009 Interagency Agreements between the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and IDHS' Division of Human Capital Development (DHCD) provide Adult Education, Family Literacy and support services to persons receiving public assistance. Persons eligible for services are employed and unemployed IDHS applicants, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients and persons who have been canceled from TANF. Other eligible persons are those who receive non-assistance food stamps and non-custodial parents who are referred by IDHS or by the court system.


Investment in Quality Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

The Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities is a Federally-funded Statewide advocacy organization composed of individuals with physical and/or cognitive disabilities, family members, and service providers. The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) participates as an ex officio, non-voting member. The two organizations have cooperated in information sharing, systems analysis, and policy development throughout recent years. One key project has been, with the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities' financial support for consultancy services and with its policy support, development of the Division's Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services, or PUNS, waiting list database, which began in November 2004, and is now tracking the service needs of more than 16,000 enrollees, with more individuals expected to enroll as the word is spread. This database has become increasingly significant, as it is one key component in identifying individuals to receive funding for services as funding becomes available.

Investment in Development of a Statewide Database for Illinois Residents with a Developmental Disability Who are Potentially in Need of Developmental Disability Services Funded by the Department of Human Services

A second key project was inaugurated in January 2009, the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities approved a partnership with the IDHS' DDD to assist in developing a single quality management plan for the entire developmental disabilities services system. The Council support will enable (1) Certification of 50 professional Quality Analysts, who will provide leadership in the Division's quality management effort and participation in the National Core Indicators Project (a multi-state collaboration focused on systemic performance improvements); (2) contractual information technology services to develop a Data Management System; and, (3) development of a Learning Network for Certified Quality Analysts, which will enable continued skill sharing among Certified Quality Analysts and activities for refocusing the service system on issues related to quality. Based on this initial investment by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities and an assessment of the results, the Division of Developmental Disabilities intends to devote additional resources for extension and continuation of these basic quality management components in the developmental disabilities service system.


Advisory Committee on Geriatric Services

The IDHS' Division of Mental Health (DMH) continues to jointly coordinate efforts of an Advisory Committee on Geriatric Services with the Illinois Department on Aging (DoA). The Advisory Committee focuses on the assessment of mental health needs of the elderly, and the identification of model programs, best practices and required staff competencies to serve this population. The DMH funds a Geropsychiatric Specialist Initiative to provide support for development of local mental health and aging coalitions; education and training on older adult mental health issues; and, consultation to DMH case managers and aging personnel. In SFY 06, the DMH, in coordination with the DOA, successfully convened an annual Mental Health and Aging Conference.

Long Term Care

The IDHS' DMH identifies each year a substantial number of individuals with serious mental illnesses who require long-term care services because of functional limitations associated with their mental illness, or because of functional limitations associated with both mental illness and medical needs. Although the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) is responsible for monitoring the licensing requirements of nursing facilities, and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) oversees Medicaid funding, the DMH has made a concerted effort to work with community providers and these state agencies to engender an understanding of the long term care service options that are available, and the service needs of persons with serious and disabling mental illnesses.



The Illinois Human Services and Healthcare Framework is a multi-year, comprehensive project of the Department on Aging (IDoA), Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS), Department of Employment Security (IDES), Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IHFS), Department of Human Services (IDHS) and Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Designed to develop and implement an enterprise system to support data sharing and efficient delivery of programs and services across all of the partner agencies, ''the Framework'' will employ modern technology and streamlined, standardized processes in order to expand residents' access to human and healthcare services, enhance the State's analysis and planning ability, and reduce the inefficiencies of the present systems.

Most of the present information systems that support the administration of health and human service programs and services were built more than 25 years ago and exist in virtual information stovepipes. Consequently, program administrators, caseworkers, and community providers find it difficult to integrate service delivery, and Illinois residents are forced to wait in multiple lines or visit multiple offices to apply for services. Ultimately, the Framework will modernize our outdated systems and change the way that Illinois delivers human services and healthcare through the use of call centers, online applications, automated eligibility determination for many programs, and internet-based case management tools.

The design for such a system will begin in earnest in fiscal year 2010, with the state attempting to leverage federal funding to begin the expansive process of technical and functional process requirements gathering across a broad swath of state programs. Expected to span 24 months, the design phase will yield the necessary information to implement software and systems change projects in subsequent years that will improve client outcomes and produce wide-scale administrative efficiencies.


IDHS was asked to take the lead on reconvening the 211 Collaboration Board appointed by the Governor to guide the state's 211 pilot program. The 211 Collaboration Board consists of representatives from: the Governor's Office, Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA), Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS), Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IHFS), Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). In addition, the state of Illinois is working with a host of organizations including local providers of information and referral services, United Way of Illinois and the Illinois Alliance of Information and Referral Systems to bring 211 to individuals in need all across the state. Three pilot programs were selected in downstate communities and announced in February 2009, to include existing non-profits identified by the state of Illinois who currently provide information and referral services.


Rapid Reintegration Pilot

The IDHS' DHCD, IHFS and IDoA are collaborating on the Rapid Reintegration Pilot Program, allowing eligible individuals who enter long term care facilities for a short term stay expected to be six months or less, to be allowed to keep more of their monthly income to maintain their home in the community. The pilot program started in December 2008 in Boone, Morgan, Sangamon and Winnebago FCRCs.


Money Follows the Person (MFP)

The Money Follows the Person initiative is part of a national demonstration project through the federal Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services (CMS). The IDHS' Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and DMH, as well as partners from the Department on Aging (IDoA) and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) are working with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IHFS), the Illinois Designated Medicaid Agency. The goals of the MFP initiative are an increased use of home and community-based long-term care services, elimination of barriers that prevent or restrict flexible use of Medicaid funds for necessary  long-term services in settings reflecting individual choice, increased ability to assure continued community-based long term services for eligible individuals after transition, and assurance that quality assurance/improvement activities continuously occur in communitybased long term care services. The cornerstone of MFP is to ensure that individuals are transitioned into housing alternatives that are not group homes (defined as residential resources with four or more unrelated individuals under a shared roof).

DMH is working in partnership with contracted community mental health vendors to transition 590 individuals from Long Term Care nursing homes to community housing alternatives with the assurance of wrap-around mental health services, and is implementing MFP through a systematic rollout across the five service Regions.

DRS is planning to reintegrate 130 individuals in FY 2010, through the MFP project and is working in partnership with the 23 Statewide Centers for Independent Living to provide Transition Coordination (TC) services. The TC staff have experience in reintegrating individuals with disabilities to living in the community.


Team Illinois

In 2008, management of the Team Illinois initiative shifted from the Office of Strategic Planning to the Division of Community Health and Prevention. Team Illinois was instrumental in the opening of the Head Start program in Venice and has hired two Vista workers, one for Savannah and one for Alexander County. Team Illinois also operated the Summer Youth program in the summer of 2008.


Systems Rebalancing

The IDHS' DMH, along with several of the IDHS co-divisions and the Department on Aging (IDoA), Illinois Housing and Development Authority (IHDA) and Health Care and Family Services (IHFS is the lead agent), has embarked on aggressive restructuring of antiquated practices, which resulted in an over-reliance on Long Term Care Facilities (nursing homes) to house and address the service needs of individuals who are diagnosed with serious mental illnesses. The conceptual design of this restructuring is referred to as ''systems rebalancing'', i.e., shifting financial resources from the nursing facilities as individuals move into community living alternatives, which then ultimately enhances the community-based mental heath system of care to more adequately address the treatment needs of the individual being served.

Home Modification Program

Community-based housing for both elderly persons and persons with disabilities provides distinct and obvious advantages. However, for persons who need home modifications to accommodate a disability, securing the funds for the necessary modifications can present an obstacle to-remaining in their home and aging in place. Sometimes, the only alternative is , an unnecessary or premature institutionalization. The Home Modification Program, done jointly between the Department on Aging, Department of Human Services and the Illinois Housing Development Authority, provides $2 million through the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund to provide grants up to $5,000 to qualifying eligible households for, home modification repairs and improvements. Further assistance up to $15,000 (total) per household, is available for more extensive modification needs and/or to correct other health/safety code violations. 


HealthWorks of Illinois (HWIL)

HWL is a component of Family Case Management (FCM) A collaborative effort of IDHS' Division of Community Health and Prevention (DCHP) and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS, Healthworks ensures that children in IDCFS custody receive comprehensive, quality health care. Through HealthWorks (HWIL), all children taken into custody by IDCFS receive an initial health screening within the first 24 hours, preferably before placement with a substitute caregiver. Within 21 days after the initial health screening, new wards receive a comprehensive health evaluation based on Early Periodic  Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program standards.

IDHS has contracted with 19 agencies downstate to develop health care networks. These agencies are referred to as ''lead agencies'' and are responsible for recruiting primary care physicians and specialty care providers; training the medical case management agencies, IDCFS staff, substitute caregivers, and providers about the HWIL system; managing the paper flow among agencies; and consulting with IDCFS regarding maintenance of this system. assists the Cook County lead agency, which is funded directly by IDCFS, receives assistance with program administration from the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program.

All local health departments downstate and four community-based agencies in Chicago serve as medical case management agencies for IDCFS wards under age six. These medical case management agencies are responsible for assisting the substitute caregiver with the  selection of a primary care physician and obtaining the child's health history and assuring that medical services, comprehensive health evaluations, yearly physicals, and other medical/dental services are obtained. All lead agencies, either alone or with the assistance of their medical case management agencies, monitor EPSDT visits, immunizations and identification of a primary care physician for children placed in their network. As of December 2008, 88 percent of DCFS wards under six years of age in downstate Illinois were up-to-date on well child visits and 88 percent were up-to-date on immunizations.

Intact Families

IDHS continues to work with the Department of Children and Family Services regarding the coordination of service planning for intact families receiving help from both DCFS and IDHS. Approximately 70 percent of families being served by IDCFS receive TANF or are TANFeligible.

One of our most important responsibilities is to ensure the well being of children in intact families served by both IDCFS and IDHS (TANF). IDHS' DHCD staff also assist the IDCFS Interstate Compact Coordinator when children are placed in Illinois with Title IV-E funding. IDHS staff set up and maintain a medical case as long as the child resides in Illinois. An annual contact is made to ensure continued eligibility. IDHS staff authorize funding for residential placements outside the State of Illinois, through the IDCFS Interstate Compact Coordinator for children with developmental disabilities. IDHS staff also participate in annual recertifications to IDCFS for continuing the out-of-state placements.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

When a family receiving TANF is also receiving intact family services from IDCFS, communication and interaction between IDHS' DHCD and IDCFS staff is key to helping jointlyserved intact families progress to maximum independence. IDHS and IDCFS conduct joint staffings in order to develop a well-coordinated service plan that takes into consideration the immediate and long-range needs of the family. The staffing must create appropriate parental and work-related activities that complement each other and avoid conflicts or duplication.

IDHS processes TANF applications for cases identified by IDCFS as Norman cases in order to assist families whose children have been - or could be - removed from the home by IDCFS due to allegations of environmental neglect, inadequate shelter, beds, food, or clothing, or are in IDCFS custody, regardless of reason, and IDCFS has required the parents/guardians to obtain adequate living arrangements for the family as a condition for return of the children.

IDHS staff also work with IDCFS to serve the Title IV-E children that move to Illinois from other states. Both agencies gather the necessary documentation to determine eligibility for medical assistance in Illinois per federal regulations, and IDHS maintains those medical benefits for them. There are approximately 800 of these children in Illinois.


Work Net One-Stops and Disability Works

The IDHS' DRS has worked with IDCEO and IDES to coordinate one-stop employment services at -locations around the state. Computer networks and other forms of electronic communication will be used to facilitate virtual one-stop systems, where any applicant can obtain employment services at any location in the system. DRS is an active participant in the DisabilityWorks project supported by IDCEO and the Chicago Chamber of Commerce, which assists individuals with disabilities in obtaining employment.


Adult Criminal Justice System

The IDHS' DMH has initiated a number of collaborations to address the needs of individuals with mental illnesses who are involved with the justice system. One such initiative is a program to link individuals with mental illnesses in the Cook County Jail to community-based mental health services. The success of this project has led to the expansion of these services to Jefferson, Marion, Peoria, and Will counties. DMH is also collaborating with judiciary and other stakeholders across Illinois regions to improve the system of care for individuals with mental illness that are justice involved. The specific initiatives in place to reach this goal include implementation of the Veteran Reintegration Initiative grant for trauma related services to veterans, expansion of the Jail-Data Link program to three additional counties with the possibility of statewide expansion, creation of an Integrated Database that would be used by all Illinois Mental Health Courts, and supporting the development of a Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence.

Juvenile Justice System

The IDHS' DMH, Juvenile Forensic Program develops treatment programs that provide a range of clinical services for justice-involved youth with mental illnesses. For example, DMH funds the Mental Health Juvenile Justice Program (MHJJ), which links youth with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders, who come in contact with law enforcement, to comprehensive community-based care. Youth who complete the 6-month MHJJ program demonstrate significant clinical improvement and a substantially lower re-arrest rate. MHJJ services are available in all Illinois counties with a juvenile detention center. DMH also partners with the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership and the Department of Juvenile Justice to offer similar service linkage and case management to youth exiting Illinois Youth Centers. Additionally, DMH, ICMHP and DJJ also collaborate with Kaleidoscope for Kids, Inc., to provide evidence-based trauma treatment to youth in two Illinois Youth Centers. DMH also provides clinical and rehabilitative services to youth who are found to be Unfit to Stand Trial (UST) and Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI). These services, available statewide, are community-based and both inpatient and outpatient basis.


Child Support Enforcement

The IDHS' DHCD continues to work closely with IHFS to improve performance and communication between IDHS local offices and IHFS Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE). As part of this collaborative relationship, IDHS local offices gather information from initial paternity interviews and transmit this information to the regional DCSE offices for follow-up. In addition, DCSE has co-located a number of Family Support Specialists in targeted downstate IDHS local offices to provide on-site paternity establishment, support enforcement and other related services to IDHS clients, as well as other non-assistance clients.

Since cooperation with the Child Support Enforcement process is a condition of eligibility for cash and medical assistance, DSCE informs IDHS through an automated process when custodial parents do not cooperate, so that timely action can be taken to  determine the reason for non-cooperation, and impose individual or case sanctions when warranted.

Maximizing Enrollment for Kids Proposal

The IDHS' DHCD and IHFS collaborated on developing this proposal to ensure that 1) every eligible family touching our state system with uninsured children successfully enrolls them in the All Kids programs and, 2) eligible children remain enrolled throughout their childhood. If awarded the $1 million grant from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, the two agencies will conduct a critical analysis of our case maintenance and renewal processes, to decrease cancellations for children who remain eligible, thus decreasing gaps in coverage and increasing overall levels of enrollment.

Primary Care Psychiatric Consultation Line

The IDHS' DCHP and IDHFS partnered with the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership to develop a model for a psychiatric phone consultation initiative for primary care providers. This psychiatric phone consultation model will provide: a statewide mental health and substance abuse consultation phone line, staffed by university based psychiatric experts, for primary care providers who treat children and adolescents; consultation on a variety of topics, including, but not limited to, assessment,  treatment options, medication management and local community supports for publicly-funded children experiencing mental health challenges; and, the development of procedures and protocols for standard pediatric psychiatric conditions, including medication management.

Emergency Department Diversion Program (EDD)

The IDHS' DMH is collaborating with the IHFS to bring an alternative to Illinois for people who would otherwise use emergency departments for non-emergent care needs. The federal government will fund two demonstration projects offering peer-provided, recoveryoriented models. People who have urgent, but non-emergent mental health needs will be offered alternative service in a relaxing environment. The DMH will be monitoring the outcomes of our joint demonstration project closely, in order to determine whether it should be replicated more widely across the system.


Home and Community Based Care (HCBC)

Waiver for Medically Fragile/Technology - Dependent Children under 21 The Home and Community Based Care (HCBC) Waiver for Medically Fragile/Technology- Dependent Children under 21 provides specialized medical services to children in the home to prevent long-term institutionalization. This program is administered by the IHFS Bureau of Interagency Coordination, and is dependent upon cooperation between IHFS and IDHS' DHCD as well as the University of Illinois at Chicago's Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC). Staff of the IDHS Bureau of Policy Development (BPD) review waiver applications submitted by DSCC for costeffectiveness, and ensure that the child is eligible for Medicaid. The IHFS Bureau of Comprehensive Health Care determines medical necessity. Once a waiver is approved, BPD communicates with the child's Family Community Resource Center to explain special eligibility rules, and maintains contact as necessary to ensure that the child's medical eligibility continues uninterrupted as long as the  child is eligible for the specialized services.


Crisis Intervention Teams

The IDHS' DMH collaborates with law enforcement agencies and emergency services staff at general hospitals to facilitate appropriate and effective psychiatric intervention to individuals who are in psychiatric crisis. The DMH has provided partial funding, and worked with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (LETSB) to develop a one-day training program targeted toward experienced police officers who work with individuals who have mental illnesses and are in a behavioral crisis.


DRS Transition Cooperative Initiative

The IDHS' DRS has a formal inter-agency agreement with the State Board of Education, concerning the provision of transition services to high school students with disabilities throughout the state. Ongoing cooperation over the last four years, has included, joint sponsorship of a statewide conference on transition for students with disabilities. The inter-agency agreement is scheduled to be updated in 2009.


DRS Violence-Acquired Disability Initiative

The IDHS' DRS has worked with a variety of government and community agencies to promote an expansion of services to individuals with disabilities acquired as a result of violence, most of gunshot wounds. In 2008, DRS convened a resource fair in Chicago in partnership with a self-advocacy organization known as MAGIC, as well as the Illinois Secretary of State's office, the Social Security Administration and rehabilitation providers, including the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. DRS has provided ongoing funding to MAGIC and will continue to promote cooperative activities to assist this underserved population of people with disabilities.


Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

IDHS collaborated with the Illinois Department of Transportation in providing the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). SYEP is a program designed to involve youth from underserved communities throughout Illinois in positive esteem- building activities. Participating youth are allowed to earn a paycheck for serving their respective communities by performing a myriad of duties. Tasks such as cleaning public parks and housing projects, painting over graffiti and assisting in offices throughout the state are examples of the work performed in 2008. Participants work June 1 to August 31, with the exception of college bound students who work until September 30. Nearly 150 providers across Illinois partnered with IDHS and IDOT in providing employment and training opportunities for participants and more than 9,750 youth across the state participated in the program the summer of 2008. Families of eligible participant's were required to earn less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level or $63,000 annually for a family of four. The program was well received in 2008. From June 6 through August 21, IDHS logged 7,943 calls from citizens inquiring about the SYEP. Other SYEP Facts:

  • 3,725 youth ages 13-15 worked 15 hours a week and received a stipend of $250 for the eight week period.
  • 4,030 youth ages 16-18 worked 20 hours per week and were paid $8 per hour.
  • 2,445 youth 19 -22 worked 25 hours per week and received $10 per hour.


Food Stamp Participation Project (FSPP)

The Division of Human Capital Development (DHCD) is partnering with America's Second Harvest, Northern Illinois Foodbank and the USDA, Food and Nutrition Services in a pilot project with a unique approach to food stamp outreach - taking food stamp applications where those in need come for emergency food - in food pantries. Due to initial successes with this program, DHCD is exploring expansion in other areas.

DHCD is also working with other community partners to increase awareness of the web application, other IDHS technology changes and modernization to improve participation in the Food Stamp Program, and legislated program changes.


Disaster Relief

Fiscal Year 2008, Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Supplemental Funds awarded in FY 09, are available to states affected by floods occurring between January 1, 2008, and September 30, 2008, as declared by the President under Title IV of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Emergency Assistance Act and for which FEMA individual assistance was authorized. The designated Illinois counties for severe storms and flooding were as follows:

  • FEMA Declaration #1747 - (January 7 - March 14, 2008) Iroquois and Livingston Counties
  • FEMA Declaration #1771 - (June 1 - July 22, 2008) Adams, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Hancock, Henderson, Jasper, Lawrence, Mercer and Winnebago Counties
  • FEMA Declaration #1800 - (September 13 - October 5, 2008) Cook, Dekalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Lasalle, Peoria, and Will Counties

Illinois was allocated 30.5 million dollars which may be used to address social and health services (including mental health  services) for individuals and for repair, renovation or construction of health care facilities, mental health facilities, child care centers and other social services facilities affected by floods and severe storms. Funds are to be obligated by September 30, 2010.

Use of SSBG Supplemental Funds is available for services that fall within the goals of the SSBG program. The DHCD, Bureau of Title XX Social Services and representatives from the Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness and all IDHS programmatic divisions are enlisting the assistance of other state agencies, nonprofit and faith-based service provider organizations, local governments, and other stakeholders to determine the most effective course of action.

Illinois strategy is twofold: reimbursement of actual expenditures related to the disaster in designated areas and stabilization of communities affected by disasters through a continuum of support services.