DHS Brochure - DHS 4000

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Our Mission

To assist Illinois residents to achieve self-sufficiency, independence and health to the maximum extent possible by providing integrated family-oriented services, promoting prevention and establishing measurable outcomes in partnership with communities.

How does IDHS benefit Illinois Residents?

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offers a comprehensive and coordinated array of social services to help improve the quality of life for thousands of individuals, families and communities across the state. IDHS administers community health and prevention programs, oversees interactive provider networks that treat persons with developmental disabilities, mental health and substance abuse challenges and provides rehabilitation services. IDHS also aids eligible, low-income individuals and families with essential financial support, locating training and employment opportunities and obtaining child care in addition to other family services.

How does IDHS provide services?

IDHS informs, explains and connects eligible clients to a wide range of human services at locations across the state. Using a family-centered approach in addition to other client-service skills, local IDHS professionals confer with individuals seeking assistance to determine their eligibility and link them to appropriate training, child care and job opportunities. Our professional staff are also prepared to make referrals to other local community programs offering substance abuse, developmental disabilities and mental health care services.

How does IDHS determine a client's needs?

During the initial interview, an IDHS professional will review the individual and/or family's circumstances to determine their eligibility for programs. This determination will then guide all service planning for the client and his or her family. At that point, a client will also confer with an IDHS service coordinator to arrange a schedule of services that responds to their immediate needs and long-term goals.

IDHS Service Areas


The Division of Human Capital Development provides benefits and services to customers with the goal of helping individuals and families achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. More than one hundred Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) -- the local offices across the state -- provide a doorway to a variety of benefits, programs, and services offered directly by us or through our contracted providers. Cash assistance, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and medical assistance are three benefits our customers most often seek through this Division. Nonetheless, there are a number of other ways IDHS can help eligible Illinois residents meet their fundamental needs including:

  • Cash Assistance - Persons who need direct cash assistance can apply for programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD).
  • SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps low-income families buy food. An online eligibility calculator can be used to get an estimate of benefit amounts.
  • Medical Care - Medical assistance, including Medicaid, and medical treatment for the blind, disabled, persons over 65, families with children under age 19, and pregnant women are available by qualifying for a Medical card.
  • Child Care - IDHS subsidizes child care services for low-income working families to assure them of quality, affordable child care while they work. Families share the costs on a sliding scale. Visit for the Child Care Eligibility Calculator, as well as links to contracted Child Care Resource Referral Agencies (CCR&R) located throughout the state. Applications are taken at the CCR&Rs, where families can also get referrals for licensed child care providers.
  • Refugee and Immigrant Services - IDHS contracts for counseling services to help refugees and immigrants adjust to their new environment. English Language Training and employment programs are offered to promote economic independence and social self-reliance. Other aid includes culturally sensitive mental health assistance and services for K-12 refugee children, youth and foreign born seniors. Additionally, IDHS arranges for citizenship instruction and application assistance, supported by a broad network of interpreter services for limited-English individuals seeking access to public benefits and programs.


The Division of Rehabilitation Services staff work one-on-one with individuals who have disabilities and their families to empower them to reach their employment, education, and independent living goals. With 46 local offices located throughout Illinois, our quality services are easily accessible to all Illinois residents.

*  Vocational Rehabilitation Services - Assistance to individuals with disabilities in
preparing for, finding and maintaining quality employment;

  • Home Services - Services to individuals with the most significant disabilities so they can remain in their homes and live as independently as possible;
  • Educational Services - Operate three residential schools for children with disabilities: Illinois School for the Deaf (Jacksonville), Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (Jacksonville), Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education - Roosevelt (Chicago). Also work closely with high school students to successfully transition to secondary education and employment;
  • Specialized Services - Designed to meet the unique needs of persons who are blind or visually impaired, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and persons with disabilities who are Hispanic/Latino.

Apply for DRS services online.


The Division of Mental Health as the federally designated State Mental Health Authority (SMHA), is responsible for assuring that children, adolescents and adults, throughout Illinois, have the availability of, and access to, recovery-oriented, evidence-based and community-focused, publicly-funded mental health services. The DMH's service delivery is geographically organized through five service Regions. Within these Regions, services are provided by 175 contracted community mental health centers/agencies and nine DMH-operated psychiatric hospitals, the latter containing both civil and forensic beds.


The Division of Community Health and Prevention improves the health and well-being of families and individuals through partnerships and services that build strong communities. In addition, we offer a wide array of programs and services, including:

  • Healthy Mothers and Babies - Family planning; aid in acquiring medical care for pregnant women and young children; nutrition counseling and additional food for young children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; services for infants and toddlers with developmental challenges and home visits to support new parents;
  • Healthy Children and Adolescents - Services to help prevent teen pregnancies, substance abuse and juvenile crime through positive youth development, education, service learning, and school/after-school health programs. There is also supplementary assistance for at-risk and runaway/homeless youth who must cope with additional challenges, as well as supervised support for teen parents; and
  • Helping Troubled Families - Domestic violence services, including shelter, counseling, rape prevention and crisis intervention to troubled families.


The Illinois system of developmental services and supports is focused on enhancing the opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to make real choices in their lives and receive appropriate, accessible, prompt, efficient and life-spanning services that are strongly monitored to ensure individual progress, quality of life and safety. The Division contracts with more than 350 Illinois community providers to provide eligible people with developmental disabilities services and supports of the person's choosing. These services may include:

  • Residential Living Arrangements - Services and supports to adults and children in homes with staff available 24 hours a day;
  • In-Home Supports - Services and supports to help adults and children live independently in their own homes;
  • Day Services - Skills training or job coaches to help adults succeed in the workplace; and
  • State Operated Developmental Centers - Persons-centered, 24-hour residential and other services and supports to eligible adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Other Support Services - Adults and children already receiving services may also be provided supports such as respite care, adaptive equipment and occupational, speech, language, physical or behavior therapies depending on the availability of funding.


The Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse administers funding to a network of community-based alcohol and other drug treatment and recovery support providers located throughout Illinois. To contact a DASA service provider, please call 1-866-213-0548 or access the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator via the IDHS web site at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=29725.


Open Door Program

The Open Door Program assists customers to address crisis situations, and provides services to customers facing barriers that prohibit them from accessing available services such as medication, employment, transportation, and other services due to an inadequate/limited support system. Open Door's unique feature is that as soon as a customer requests Open Door assistance (depending on the severity of the case), the customer is provided with immediate assistance. Open Door staff provide direct assistance and link customers to the appropriate IDHS Division or community service provider in a timely and streamlined manner. When immediate intervention is not required, Open Door may serve as a referral source and/or assist the customer in navigating the service delivery system.

Illinois Welcoming Center

The state of Illinois Welcoming Center was created as a way to help you, a new American, become a part of our great state and have quick and effective access to the services we provide. The Welcoming Center is a one-stop service center that can help you and your family:

  • This multilingual program will identify barriers, screen for eligibility referrals and connect customers directly with services;
  • Find out about health care, child care, education, labor and employment services available through the state of Illinois;
  • Talk with friendly, supportive bilingual staff who can help you find out the specific state services you need to qualify for;
  • Sign up for state services; and
  • Find out about service providers in other areas.


The IDHS web site offers online access to benefits and services at your convenience.

  • An online application is available any time of the day for customers wanting to apply for cash, SNAP, or medical programs.
  • Customers can use our Office Locator www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?module=12&officetype=&county= to help them find the office closest to their home where they can personally apply for benefits or get answers to their questions.

1-800-843-6154 (voice) 1-866-324-5553 (TTY)

Our toll-free number is available for automated service 24/7 or personal assistance during work hours.

Technological advances have also improved services for customers who are approved for benefits.

  • Changes in case information can be reported by phone;
  • The PSI (Phone System Interview) can be used to renew SNAP benefits;
  • The Illinois Link Card is used to dispense cash and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance benefits.

It can be managed by phone or via the web;

  • Child Care payments can be automatically authorized via IDHS' telephone billing system; and
  • The Illinois Debit MasterCard provides a fast, convenient and secure payment method for home-based child care providers.

For more information call or visit your Illinois Department of Human Services' Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)?program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions.

If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

1-800-843-6154 (Voice)

1-866-324-5553 (TTY)

You may speak to a representative between:
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Monday - Friday (except state holidays)

For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer Support and Services
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our web site at:


Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4000 (N-12-10) Illinois Department of Human Services
Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois