October 7, 2009 - lllinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Meeting Report

Thursday, October 7, 2009 - 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

UCP of Greater Chicago - Infinitec Southwest

7550 W. 183rd Street - Tinley Park, Illinois



  • Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children
  • Sheena Coleman, parent, Naperville
  • 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
  • Beatrice Nichols, IICEI Chairperson, Head Start
  • Mary Petersen, DFPR, Division of Insurance
  • Karrie Potter, parent, Neoga
  • Deanna Pratcher, parent, Thornton
  • Dorelia Rivera-Martinez, Elmwood
  • Sandy Ryan, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage and Fo Valley
  • Myrtis Sullivan, DHS, Division of Community Health and Prevention
  • Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College
  • Robin York for Andria Goss, IL Department of Children and Family Services


  • Representative Julie Hamos
  • Kay Henderson, IL State Board of Education
  • David Rubovits, PhD, Jewish Child and Family Services
  • Linda Saterfield, DHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development
  • Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Joyce Smith, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House

Contents of Council Packet

  • Agenda
  • Lead Agency Report - October 1, 2009
  • Draft Report from August 27, 2009
  • Reports from CFCs 1, 8, and 10
  • Draft 2010 Council Meeting Dates
  • Local Interagency council (LIC) Annual Report Summary

1) Call to Order

The Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention convened at 10:07 a.m.

2) Introduction of Council Members

Council members introduced themselves.

3) Approval of August 27, 2009 Meeting Report

The August 27, 2009 Meeting Report was approved as written.

4) Training Update

Ted Burke provided an EI Training Program update. Summary of data from last year included the number of workshops, participants, website hits and workshops approved for EI credit and the outcomes from needs assessment. Success stories in quarterly newsletters, plans for web site updates, collaboration efforts, distribution of a master calendar, implementation of linked series of training sessions, an expanded roster of trainers, centralization of CFC training requests, and use of technologies were discussed. Updates were provided on projects including interpreter testing and training, child and family outcomes, and collaborations with partners. The Department is working on finalizing a Q & A document from the August 28 webinar on the updated Illinois Early Intervention Provider Handbook.

5) Child and Family Connections Offices Reports

Child and Family Connections (CFC) managers from offices 1, 8 and 10 provided an overview of major accomplishments/successes, challenges, and issues/situations for DHS to be aware of. Highlights of this discussion include the following


  • Met benchmark for natural environments
  • Avoided penalties for service delays and natural environments for a year
  • Filled satellite office service coordinator position
  • Retained experienced service coordinators
  • Used creative IFSP facilitation, including finding community solutions
  • Used grant funds to pay for PECS
  • Received good monitoring report/data
  • Received positive feedback from family surveys
  • Benefited from a family's effort to give back through the Stillman Valley and Friends Give Back lending library
  • Consistently received %5 incentive funding, or more
  • Participated in monthly Hispanic support group, resulting in an increase in the number of Hispanic children served by the program
  • Increased the number of bilingual service coordinators to 6.
  • Emphasized community collaboration to better support families
  • Retained service coordinators with child welfare backgrounds and expanded knowledge bases through graduate course work
  • Provided staff and support to providers through pediatric consultation
  • Participated in IL Premature Infant Network to help bridge gap between NICU and care
  • Held monthly meet-and-greet for new providers
  • Provided accommodations for families/providers onsite when safety is a concern


  • Service delays
  • Provider recruitment
  • Providers not "buying in" to EI philosophy and principles
  • Providers providing medical, not developmental, services
  • Providers that need training don't attend
  • Cost of postage and paper - need an electronic way to send information that is HIPAA compliant - going green
  • Even with increases in the cost of living, CFC funding stays the same
  • Procedure changes need to be provided earlier to allow more time prior to implementation
  • Make changes to service plans without having to write long documents
  • Transition challenges with the Chicago school system. (A new central location for evaluation should help EI families.)
  • Recruitment is more difficult, with competition and payments delay
  • Central (state) support for providers is needed for providers to call in and get answers
  • Market EI, with EI discipline graduates knowing that EI is an option for them
  • CFCs punished if parent chooses not to participate in transition
  • CFC staff and provider safety concerns - need to look at some safety nets
  • State of the economy and loss of work has resulted challenges, including housing. Families deal with homelessness, crowded housing conditions, and moving between residents, possibly from one CFC area into another.
  • High caseloads
  • Providers restricting services from certain zip codes.
  • Not enough OT, PT, SLP to meet the needs.
  • Providers are going back to the center environment, making natural environment requirements a challenge
  • Keeping service coordinators motivated and morale high when they have to deal with difficult situations
  • Retention of providers is difficult with inflexible terms of billing. The lack of reimbursement for "no shows" is a problem, with providers returning cases because families are not available for services.

Questions from the council about "penalties" to CFCs because families do not choose to participate in transition to the school district resulted in Nyle Robinson explaining the incentives relative to this activity. No penalties result from transition activities. Work with the IL State Board of Education and reporting requirements were discussed.

Questions regarding providers going into unsafe neighborhoods and waits for natural settings rather than offering service in clinic-based settings were also raised. Janet Gully offered to talk about these concerns with the Office of Special Education (OSEP) at her next scheduled phone call. She will also request input from the "Seven Pack," which includes the Part C coordinators from the seven largest states. Nancy Scott provided clarification to the definition of natural environments. Janet will also get feedback from other states on strategies to "go green" and move toward a primarily paperless system.

Therese Wehman made the suggestion that CFCs utilize the social-emotional consultants in response to the need to construct ongoing support systems to help sustain the morale of service coordinators. It was requested that the Finance Work Group take a look at some of the issues that the CFC managers presented.

6) Work Group Reports

  • Finance Work Group

The Finance Work Group has meet once since last council meeting. It discussed delays in payments, the receipt of additional stimulus funding, and the CBO report. Janet explained the requirement to spend GRF funds to draw federal funds into the state. Bureau staff monitor the situation on a daily basis. Changes in Blue Cross/Blue Shield policies regarding services provided in the home were discussed. Mary Petersen discussed new laws (i.e., autism and habilitative services) that impact insurance payment for services and the resulting confusion for carriers. The Division of Insurance is working on guidance.

  • Service Delay Work Group

The Service Delay Work Group has been working on developing a description of the integrated team approach. A copy of recommendations presented at the last council meeting was sent to the executive directors of four professional associations. After some "word smithing," a draft document will be shared with CFC managers for their input.

7) Lead Agency Report

Janet Gully responded to the four issues that came up at the last council meeting during the presentations by CFC managers: training, electronic, recruitment, and insurance. Ted Burke already presented on training. Rob Derry provided an overview of activities that Provider Connections has been involved with to support recruitment including presentations at professional association and other conferences, coordination with university programs, participation on advisory boards, and review of course work. Beatrice Nichols will provide Mr. Derry with information about an upcoming conference. Monthly, Provider Connections sends a list of all newly credentialed providers to the CFCs. Mr. Derry was asked to look into loan programs (Perkins, others?) to see if working with Early Intervention could be used to meet certain requirements. This could be used as a marketing tool.

Tom Hwang, the vice president for the CBO, provided an update. Several new employees have been hired to fill vacancies. More providers are visiting the CBO website for information about the billing insurance unit. A new provider enrollment guide for insurance billing is being finalized. Work on special reports and federal claiming reports continues. Questions from CFC #6 were reviewed. Questions/answers will be posted on EI web sites. Janet Gully will be speaking with Mr. Hwang about CBO offering providers insurance billing information. Mr. Hwang asked for additional information regarding recent insurance requirements related to services in the home.

Council information included a flier regarding an open house for EI Clearinghouse on November 5. Directions and other information are available on the EI Clearinghouse web site.

The Family Outcomes Advisory Group will be reconvened. Membership of the advisory group was reviewed and council members who served in the past were asked to notify Chelsea Guillen if they wished to continue. Dorelia Rivera-Martinez and Karrie Potter were asked to participate on the advisory group and agreed to do so.

The LIC annual report summary was provided to the council. Members were asked to complete ethics training forms, if they had not already done so. It was requested that the April 1 council meeting be changed to April 15. An updated meeting schedule will be distributed to members.

8) Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 12:47 p.m.