Our Mission - DHS 4000

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

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

Family and Community Services (DFCS)

The Division of Family and Community Services provides benefits and services to customers with the goal of helping individuals and families achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. More than 100 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 www.dhs.state.il.us/applications/ChildCareEligCalc/eligcalc.asp 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.

In addition to temporary assistance the division also improves the health and well-being of families and individuals through partnerships and services that build strong communities. 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.
  • Helping Troubled Families - Domestic violence services, including shelter, counseling, rape prevention and crisis intervention to troubled families.

Mental Health (DMH)

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.

Rehabilitation Services (DRS)

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 at https://drs.dhs.state.il.us

Developmental Disabilities (DDD)

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.
  • 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.

Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA)

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.

Special Initiatives

Open Door Program

The Open Door program assists customers by providing immediate access to services for individuals facing multiple barriers. Open Door also helps families and individuals in navigating the human services system, to help address emergency needs by providing limited financial assistance for medication, housing, transportation, food and clothing. In addition, staff provide direct assistance and also link customers directly to other supportive programs such as child care, education, employment training and services provided by other state agencies and community-based organizations. When necessary, families and individuals can receive longer-term case management to ensure their needs are met and to help them move to self-sufficiency.

Open Door office hours are from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Open Door.

Illinois Welcoming Center

The Illinois Welcoming Center (IWC) was created to help you, a new American, become part of our great State and have quick and effective access to the many social services available to you and your family. The IWC is a one-stop service center where you can talk to bilingual staff who can help you:

  • Screen for eligibility and apply for services offered by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
  • Learn about other supportive services such as education, labor and employment available through the state of Illinois.
  • Connect and refer you directly to other community-based, social service providers in your area.
  • Identify and break through some of the barriers during your transition to our State.

DHS Website

www.dhs.state.il.us - 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.

Toll-Free Number

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.

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: www.dhs.state.il.us

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 (R-07-12) Illinois Department of Human Services Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois. -0- copies