Intra-Agency Collaboration


  • The Autism Task Force is co-convened by the DMH and the DDD to address the needs of individuals with autism. In addition to the Task Force work, the DDD and DMH convene regular, quarterly Task Group meetings to review, discuss and problem solve significant joint administrative and clinical issues. A significant ongoing priority of this Task Group is the collaborative effort in serving the dually diagnosed DDD/DMH client population.
  • The Brand New Day Initiative continues the DMH and DRS collaboration. It focuses on increasing the access of persons with serious mental illnesses to vocational rehabilitation services and improving coordination of psychiatric and vocational services. Another key DRS-DMH collaboration is the provision of Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Services to individuals receiving SSI and SSDI, using funding provided by the Social Security Administration. The DMH also collaborates with the City of Chicago Mayor's Office for Persons with Disabilities on this initiative.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant (MHC) Project is a collaboration between the Division of Human Capital  Development (DHCD) and the DMH. This project addresses the social/emotional needs of young children ages birth-five years old in child care settings . A contracted mental health agency oversees project implementation. Full-time mental health consultants (MHC) are employed and housed in a local mental health or social service agency and work in partnership with local CCRR staff. MHCs conduct training, provide consultations and supply referrals for child care providers and the families they serve. The goal of the project is stable and continued enrollment of children with social/emotional challenges in child care settings.
  • Illinois Imagines is one of IDHS's Smart Path projects that enables rape crisis centers to better serve women with disabilities, facilitates disability service agency referrals to rape crisis centers, and enables the agencies to work together. The project team includes representatives of the IDHS' DCHP; DRS; DMH; DDD; and representatives from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA); the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council (IFVCC); Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL); Illinois Voices (self advocates with disabilities); and Blue Tower Training Center (a national disability services consulting group).
  • The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a collaboration of the DMH with the DRS to improve employment opportunities  and outcomes for persons with serious mental illnesses. This model of supported employment (SE) has been demonstrated to be more effective at helping people with mental illnesses work successfully in the mainstream workforce. The defining characteristics of this evidence-based practice include the full integration of vocational services with mental health treatment; provision of services immediately and entirely directed toward competitive jobs; access to services for anyone who says they want to work; customized, flexible and time unlimited employment supports that are driven by client preferences; and comprehensive benefits planning. In FY 09, 12 new sites reached the national implementation standards. Illinois now has the knowledge, experience, and demonstrated expertise to expand access to these services as resources become available. DMH is also partnering with the Illinois Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness to educate families about the role of employment in recovery, IPS services, and the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program.
  • The Open Door Office in Region 1 opened in 2007, establishing a single place where the needy within Chicago could come to enroll in a variety of state and/or federallysupported services. This model office (the first in the Open Door pilot project) is a collaboration among the DRS, DDD, DCHP, DHCD, DMH and DASA. Due to the success of this office, a grant was written by the region one liaisons and funding was secured to hire and maintain a one-person staff (and office) within the local Division of Developmental Disabilities office on Pulaski Ave on the Westside of Chicago. DHCD, in collaboration with the DuPage Federation and health and human service providers within DuPage County, has initiated an additional Open Door program within the IDHS Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) located in Villa Park. Through case management and referrals, assistance will be provided to individuals entering the Villa Park FCRC office who are experiencing a crisis and need immediate assistance, or require services that are not generally provided by the Villa Park office. Individuals will be connected to the correct resources in an efficient and streamlined manner. Resources will include those needed to meet urgent and emergency situations; direct referrals for specific needs and conditions such as health, mental health, substance abuse; assistance with immediate nutritional needs; clothing and other services provided by Open Door community partners.
  • The Platinum Customer Service ''Going the Extra Mile'' began as a Smart Path initiative and recognizes that employees are IDHS's most important assets. The PCS GEM goals include providing training that empowers employees, recognizes jobs well done via regular awards and creates a workplace culture of caring and respect. Ten GEM Standards have been identified and placed on the PCS GEM Intranet site. A pilot customer satisfaction survey completed at 22 IDHS local DHCD/DRS offices and survey results were given to Division Directors in February, 2009.
  • The Re-Entry Initiative is a collaborative effort of the Department of Human Services and the Liberation Christian Center, targeting Englewood and West Englewood communities. It will offer intervention services to low-income families with former or currently incarcerated individuals, striving to reconnect those individuals with their families and to encourage their participation in the lives of their children. Services include family intervention, personal development, supportive services, community reunification, and referral services. Former offenders will receive guidance in coming to terms with the impact of their actions upon their communities and restoring their relationships with their communities and the individuals in their lives. Creating positive role models for children by fostering the success of former offenders is the main program goal.
  • Transforming Community Systems for Prevention, Treatment and Recovery: The Division of Community Health and Prevention (DCHP), Division of Mental Health (DMH) and Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) collaborated to conduct this conference for service providers. Held June 3 - 4, 2008, the conference presented best practices and facilitated service system integration at the community level to reduce silos and improve client care.