August 27, 2009 - lllinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Meeting Report

August 27, 2009 - 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Illinois Education Association

3440 Liberty Drive, Springfield, Illinois



  • Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children
  • Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services
  • Julie Doetsch for Deborah Saunders, IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Janet Gully, DHS, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Kay Henderson, IL State Board of Education
  • Deanna Pratcher, parent, Thornton
  • Sandy Ryan, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley
  • Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College


  • Diane Blythe, parent, Crystal Lake
  • Sheena Coleman, parent, Naperville
  • Andria Goss, IL Department of Children and Family Services
  • Representative Julie Hamos
  • Kay Henderson, IL State Board of Education
  • Beatrice, Nichols, IICEI Chairperson, Head Start
  • Mary Peterson, DFPR, Division of Insurance
  • Karrie Potter, parent, Neoga
  • Dorelia Rivera-Martinez, Melrose Park
  • David Rubovits, PhD, Jewish Child and Family Services
  • Linda Saterfield, DHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development
  • Joyce Smith, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House
  • Myrtis Sullivan, DHS, Division of Community Health and Prevention
  • Gail Tanner, IL Department of Public Health

Contents of Council Packet:

  • Agenda
  • Lead Agency Report - August 27, 2009
  • Draft Report from May 14, 2009
  • Reports from CFCs 12, 15, 18 & 24
  • State Implementation of IDEA
  • Information on New EI Clearinghouse Vendor
  • Service Description Document

1) Call to Order

The Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention convened at 10:05 a.m.

2) Introduction of Council Members

Geri Clark opened the meeting, filling in for the Chairperson. Council members introduced themselves.

3) Approval of May 14, 2009 Meeting Report

The May 14, 2009 Meeting Report was approved as written.

4) Early Intervention Clearinghouse

Susan Fowler, a professor of special education a the University of Illinois (U of I) at Urbana-Champaign and the new principle investigator for the Early Intervention Clearinghouse, introduced herself and provided a summary of related projects located at U of I that provide information on children with disabilities along with a list of experts who will be involved in the EI Clearinghouse. An E-mail address and a temporary Website are available and library materials have been moved to the new location. Inter-library loans are expected to begin within the next four weeks. Technologies will include podcasts and RSS feeds that direct information to families that target their specific needs. The goal is to support families by providing information that makes sense to them and then link them to other resources as their children leave Early Intervention. The new EI Clearinghouse location will have an open house in early October.

5) Child and Family Connections Offices Reports

Child and Family Connections (CFC) managers from the following offices, 12 (Peter Byrne), 15 (Polly Daly), 18 (Lisa McGlothlin), and 24 (Brandi Williams) provided an overview of major accomplishments/successes, challenges, and issues/situations for DHS to be aware of. A prepared summary was part of the Council packet. Highlights of this discussion include the following:


  • Compliance with a CFC monitoring audit
  • Training conference to show support to area providers.
  • A physical location in each county in the CFC area
  • A system for lead service coordinators to find providers using an Access database
  • Renewed commitment to make sure that eligibility guidelines are met
  • Increase in the number of referrals
  • Low staff turnover (sited by one CFC)
  • Transition has improved greatly
  • Hold strong, positive relationships with other social service agencies, school districts and providers
  • Reaching the children that we should; more people are aware of the program
  • The release of the updated Provider Manual

Challenges/Needs Improvement

  • Insurance verification procedures, especially at annual review
  • Provider shortages, increased by payment delays
  • Providers who only provide direct services to children with public insurance (The Central Billing Office's (CBO) new insurance billing unit was discussed.)
  • Distribution of IFSPs in a timely manner, when evaluations are not back within 14 days
  • Finding ways to get information shared in an electronic way
  • Concerns with disciplines providing additional services outside what is written in the IFSP
  • Appropriate use of authorizations by counselors; role and what services can be reimbursed needs to be better defined
  • Make some provider training sessions mandatory
  • Tougher to do corrective action plans as measures on indicators approach 100%
  • Getting the revised Provider Handbook into providers' hands
  • Staff turnover
  • Provider shortages, particularly in rural and impoverished areas.
  • Pay providers what they are worth and pay them on time.
  • Recruitment (suggest aggressive recruitment at colleges/and university by the Department)
  • Provide bonuses or stipends for enrollment
  • CFC penalized when child has been waiting for services and is then placed in services in a non-natural setting
  • Standardize CFC operations
  • Service coordinators need to be more assertive with providers, but the system's design does not give them much authority
  • Have steps in writing on how to implement program policies
  • Improve communication between CFCs and Bureau. See Bureau liaison on a regular basis.
  • Provide consistent technical assistance
  • Consistency of service delivery statewide
  • When there are new forms or procedures, trainings should be mandatory and done well in advice of start date
  • More training sessions in southern Illinois; need regional trainer to help CFC tap into the EI Training Program's trainings
  • CFCs should be paid for the work done on referrals
  • Lack of available developmental pediatricians
  • LIC representation from all areas in multi-county CFC
  • Reaching children at a younger age
  • Getting evaluation/assessment reports in a timely way and getting providers to attend IFSP meetings
  • Transferring a family from one CFC to another without a parent written consent

The Council identified four issues (i.e., training, electronic (having more functions done electronically), recruitment, and insurance) that the Bureau can report on at the next Council meeting.

6) Work Group Reports

Finance Work Group: Kathy Schrock reported that the Finance Work Group met four times since the last Council meeting. Its agenda includes the status of payment delays, a budget and stimulus funding update, a legislative update, and a CBO report. Ms. Schrock reported on those topics. Janet Gully explained the need for certain EI providers to provide DUNS numbers because of reporting on stimulus fund expenditures. Lora McCurdy provided an update on HB 237, which would add EI services, among others, to the list of services that must meet prompt payment guidelines. The Governor amendatory vetoed the bill. Tom Hwang, Vice President of Centralized Billing Services at the EI CBO, was introduced. He provided a report on the Insurance Unit, including new technologies for CFCs and providers to interact electronically with the Insurance Unit.

Service Delay Work Group: Bob Cammarata provided a written copy and read the Service Work Group recommendation regarding the utilization of an Integrated Team approach that emphasizes collaboration between members. Members of the work group were able to come together and agree on this concept at the "child level." Background on these discussions was given beginning with a meeting in January that looked at different service delivery models. The recommendation lists several steps that could be taken to implement the recommendation. Involvement of the four associations (OT, PT, SLP, DT) was described. The recommendation deals with what is the best way to provide services to a child, not cost saving factors. Council members recommended that a definition of an integrated team approach be developed. Potentially, the new system ombudsman would work on this task. Since the system ombudsman position is not in place, it was recommended that the work group continue this discussion. The Council adopted the work group's recommendation, as presented, and submitted it to the Bureau.

7) Lead Agency Report

Janet Gully provided highlights from the Lead Agency Report. The House Joint Resolution creating an Early Intervention Task Force passed and the Bureau has begun work on identifying appointments. Appointments are pending from House and Senate Minority and Majority leaders and from the Governor, as defined in the resolution. Since no appropriation was made for the task force, members will need to volunteer their time. In June, Illinois was notified that the Part C Program "meets all requirements" for IDEA. Ms. Gully thanked all in the room for making that determination possible. The CFC office will also receive determinations, as required by OSEP. Based on FY2009 data, 16 CFCs "meet requirements," 5 CFCs "need assistance," 2 CFCs "need intervention," and 2 CFCs "need substantial intervention."

Nyle Robinson discussed CFC and provider payment delays. Updates on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), State, Medicaid, and Part C funding and related procedures to access these funds were discussed. Lora McCurdy shared information about state short-term borrowing to pay down FY2009 bills. Mr. Robinson described changes in the caseload including more families on Medicaid and fewer with family fees and insurance. Recent AllKids data breaks out those on SCHIP and Medicaid expansion, for which the program is not reimbursed. Long-term financial concerns were discussed.

8) Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 12:59.