July 15, 2010 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Meeting Report

Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention
IL Education Association - Springfield, Illinois


Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services

Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children

Julie Doetsch for Deborah Saunders, IL Dept of Healthcare and Family Services

Janet Gully, DHS, Bureau of Early Intervention

Rose Harris for Gina Ruther, DHS, Bureau of Child Care and Development

Beatrice Nichols, IICEI Chairperson, Head Start

Mary Petersen, DFPR, Division of Insurance

Karrie Potter, parent, Neoga

Deanna Pratscher, parent, Thonton

Kay Henderson, IL State Board of Education

Dorelia Rivera Martinez, Melrose Park

David Rubovits, PhD, Jewish Child and Family Services

Sandy Ryan, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities

Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley

Myrtis Sullivan, DHS, Division of Community Health and Prevention

Gail Tanner, IL Department of Public Health

Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College

Robin York for Andria Goss, IL Department of Children and Family Services


Diane Blythe, parent, Crystal Lake

Representative Julie Hamos

Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities

Joyce Smith, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House

Constance Williams, PhD, DHS/Division of Mental Health

Contents of Council Packet:

  • Agenda
  • Lead Agency Report - July 15, 2010
  • Draft Report from April 15, 2010
  • Service Coordination Evaluation Study Recommendations

I. Call to Order

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

II. Introduction of Council Members

Council members introduced themselves.

III. Approval of October 1, 2009 Meeting Report

The April 15, 2010 Meeting Report was approved as written.

IV. IICEI Work Group Reports

* Finance Workgroup

Kathy Schrock provided a report on the Finance Work Group. The group has met two times since the last Council meeting. Topics for discussion have included payment delays, the Early Intervention FY2011 budget, the CBO Insurance Billing Unit, the draft Early Intervention Taskforce report, and a legislative update. Early Intervention contracts have been reduced by 10 percent. CFC offices will be submitting plans and budgets to the Department by August 31. In response to an autism act, Blue Cross/Blue Shield has contacted developmental therapists. It was recognized that the cost shift to insurance has been positive for the program.

* Service Delay Workgroup

Bob Cammarata reported on the work of the Service Delay Work Group. The group has met once since the last Council meeting. A second meeting was canceled. The Bureau is looking at procedures needed to implement the approach that the Council accepted at its last meeting. The work group will be discussing strategies to post service opportunities on the Provider Connections web site so that the provider community can see where service needs are.

V. Ombudsman Report

Chelsea Guillen, the Early Intervention ombudsman, discussed activities that she has been involved in including:

  • Learning about the scope of the work of system components, including the EI monitoring program, clearinghouse, central billing office and Provider Connections;
  • Facilitating the three program integrity projects;
  • Meeting with CFC managers and staff;
  • Looking at the service delivery system, getting clarification from the Bureau, and providing guidance back to the field;
  • Participating on national calls; and
  • Looking at data, particularly regarding outcomes.

Following visits to CFC offices, Ms. Guillen would like to shift her focus from contracted entities to Early Intervention families and providers. The Bureau will look into developing an ombudsman report for the Council.

VI.  EI Task Force Report

Kirsten Hammock provided an overview of the steps that the Early Intervention Taskforce took since the Council's last meeting. She thanked Council members who participated on the Taskforce and its work groups. The Taskforce report provides broad, comprehensive recommendations that demonstrated group acceptance and consensus. Each recommendation and its required actions for implementation were reviewed with the Council. The recommendations address:

  1. a web-based data management system;
  2. the current service delivery model;
  3. recruitment, development and retention of personnel;
  4. child find and referral policies; 
  5. initial and annual eligibility criteria and determination processes; 
  6. assistive technology services; 
  7. qualitative monitoring; 
  8. quantitative monitoring; 
  9. transition; and 
  10. funding opportunities and maximizing cost efficiencies.

Janet Gully explained that the Bureau will review the recommendations, identify those that can be implemented without additional funding, and seek federal funding, when possible. The Bureau will report to the Council priorities and long and short term objectives. The need for additional Council work groups will be determined. Work group members are appointed by the Council chairperson and do not have to be Council members. Assistance from outside the state, including federally-funded technical assistance entities, has been sought to get a view of what other states are doing.

Council member comments included the following:

  • Budget concerns, lack of state funding, and the need to look for national/federal grants were recognized.
  • Data management system development efforts should be coordinated with other state agencies and within DHS. The political will and desire to accomplish the task need to be created.
  • DHS resources for grant writing were identified. Members were asked to share any information about potential funding opportunities.
  • Previous efforts to establish a web-based data management system were explained.
  • It was clarified that the consultative model of service delivery is a direction in which the program is moving.
  • The need for a better bridge between Cornerstone and the APORS system was recommended. The current referral system from APORS to Early Intervention was explained.
  • The EI Clearinghouse is updating public awareness materials. These will be shared with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to make sure that they are consistent.
  • Stronger linkages with medical homes will continue to be fostered through collaborations with IL Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), including ABCD III and EDOPC. These collaborations are looking at ways to exchange information electronically.
  • The Bureau will convene a work group (EI providers and HFS, CFC and Bureau staff) to review the current assistive technology process and modify it, as needed.
  • Successful strategies for ISBE work with the Chicago School District were discussed.
  • To move the system forward, a system of qualitative monitoring is needed.

Priority recommendations identified by Council members included:

  • Recommendation #1, a web-based data management system;
  • Recommendation #2, a thorough review of the current service delivery model;
  • Recommendation #5, required action #2, the review of models of evaluation and assessment to eliminate the conflict of interest that exists within the current system;
  • Recommendation #7, a qualitative monitoring system; and
  • Recommendations #3, recruitment, development and retention of personnel.

Janet Gully will be discussing the possibility of changing the Council's Service Delay work group to the Service Delivery Work Group. She thanked Kirsten Hammock for an excellent job coordinating the work of the Early Intervention Taskforce.

VII.  Service Coordination Evaluation Study

Janet Gully reviewed the recommendations from the Service Coordination Evaluation Study and provided an update on related activities. A number of the recommendations can be tied to the Early Intervention Taskforce recommendations.

  • The number of CFC offices will remain the same, although a regional technical assistance structure will be considered.
  • The Service Coordinator Evaluator role will be considered as Taskforce recommendations are being reviewed.
  • Non-mandated support functions (parent liaison, pediatric consultative services, and social/emotional consultation), along with LIC coordination, have been reviewed by CFC managers. CFC offices will be submitting plans on how these functions will be accomplished, now that CFC office budgets have been cut by 10 percent.
  • Another CFC manager work group has looked at service coordination functions (i.e., intake, initial IFSP, IFSP reviews, annual IFSP, and transition) to look at streamlining procedures.
  • Recommendation #4 (i.e., technology systems) is part of Taskforce recommendations 1 and 2.
  • Recommendation #5 (i.e., accountability, monitoring and quality assurance) is part of Taskforce recommendations 7 and 8).

Ongoing efforts by CFC offices to look at effectiveness and efficiencies while providing quality services were recognized. The work of the system ombudsman and the program integrity pilots were described. These pilot efforts will be rolled out to other CFC offices.

VIII.  Lead Agency Report

Janet Gully explained the IDEA state determination process and reported that Illinois received "meets requirements" for the second year in a row. She thanked all in the system that make this determination possible. Staff from OSEP will be conducting a verification visit to Illinois in early November. Areas targeted for this visit will be data, the fiscal system, and child and family outcomes. Selected CFC offices may be visited.

The use of video conferencing for Council meetings was discussed. The ability to conduct face-to-face meetings is impacted by budget reductions for travel. A video conference will be scheduled for the October Council meeting. Large conference rooms in Springfield and Chicago will be used to accommodate audience members. Council members shared examples of other advisory groups that are now meeting via video conferencing. Plans for future meeting will be discussed after the November meeting.

Bob Cammarata requested a report on CFC office budgets and plans for support services for the next Council meeting.

VIIII.  Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 12:09pm.