October 1, 2015 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00 am to 1:00 pm


Illinois Primary Healthcare
500 South Ninth Street - 2nd Floor
Springfield, Illinois


  1. Call to Order
  2. Introduction of Council Members
  3. Approval of July 2015 Draft Meeting Report
  4. Service Delivery Approaches Discussion of Recommendations
  5. Bureau Update
  6. Next year's Council dates/location
  7. Adjournment

Meeting Report


  • Karen Berman, Ounce of Prevention Fund
  • Bob Cammarata, ICG Health Care Services
  • Gerri Clark, Division of Specialized Care for Children
  • Yvonne Clearwater, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Brenda DeVito, CFC 6 Program Manager
  • Ann Freiburg, Part C Coordinator, DHS, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Roselyn Harris, DHS, Bureau of Child Care & Development
  • Theresa Hawley, IL Early Learning Council
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Deanna Pratscher, parent, Thornton
  • Pam Reising-Rechner, IL State Board of Education
  • Sylvia Riperton-Lewis, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Kathy Schrock, Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley
  • Connie Sims, DHS, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Therese Wehman, Elmhurst College
  • Angel Williams, Dept. of Child and Family Services
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., DHS, Division of Mental Health
  • Amy Zimmerman, Health & Disabilities Advocates


  • J. Diane Adams-Alsberry, CALM, Inc.
  • Beatrice Nichols, IICEI Chairperson & Head Start

 Call to Order

  The Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention (IICEI) convened at 10:05 am

 Introduction of Council Members

  All council members were introduces.

 Approval of July 9, 2015 Draft Meeting Report

 Kathy Schrock made a motion to approve the meeting report; Bob Cammarata seconded.

Motion was approved.

 Service Delivery Approaches (SDA) Workgroup Discussion of Recommendations

 Chelsea Guillen, EI Ombudsman & Therese Wehman, Personnel Representative Council members were thanked for their questions and comments on the document.

Ann Freiburg noted that the SDA workgroup spent a great deal of time working on these recommendations and that they could not have been proposed at a better time.

 As part of the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), the Bureau of EI is currently proposing changes that will perfect Illinois' EI System.

There were a variety of questions including next steps; which of these can happen now; obstacles due to financial impact, etc. Ann stated that it is possible that some of these recommendations may be implemented right away, including revising policy and procedure. She agreed that changes in the system are needed; however some recommendations, like a new data system, require additional funding that is currently not accessible.

Questions and clarifications are summarized below:

  • A recommendation to change eligibility to define delay criteria as a 1.5 standard deviation below the mean and not use the current 30% criteria could ensure that EI only serves the appropriate infants and toddlers in the system. The at risk eligibility category would also need to be modified. This recommendation would require changes to Administrative Rule.
  • By using the transdisciplinary approach, it would allow families to communicate with the entire team and reduce the burden placed on them. This model would be more effective if there was a data system accessible to providers, families and service coordinators for better communication amongst team members. This recommendation needs additional clarification to include the responsibilities of the lead agency prior to consideration.
  • The existing structure of the EI System was discussed, including ways to reduce service coordinator caseloads amongst other improvements. The Workgroup looked at screenings, prior to evaluations and other responsibilities of service coordinators. Initial screening was discussed with service coordinators having a blended role. A new data system, a support system and additional training are all components that need to be addressed. The SSIP will help build capacity around screenings, working with other programs and involving local community members. Many infants and toddlers being referred to the EI system are not in need full EI evaluations. The area of service coordination was discussed and how CFCs currently use this service. Brenda DeVito, Program Manager for CFC 6, indicated that the service coordinator follows the family and child through their EI journey and does not want to see these duties split up. She also does not feel the recommended model would work.
  • Currently, the EI system uses performance indicators which include incentives and penalties for CFC Offices, some of which are outdated and no longer valid, that need to be modified. A new system should focus on the quality of a "good product", change the expectations and trainings, and review how CFCs are funded. By revising the current system it could allow for a cap on the number of cases assigned to service coordinators. We need to focus on the quality of a "good product" to receive incentives.
  • There was much discussion on the provider pool and the key messages they receive. How do we ensure that all EI Providers attend training? The Administrative Rule changed for EI Providers which now says that of the 30 hours of continuing professional education, up to 20 of those hours are to be provided by the Department or its training designee - this helps with ensuring the delivery of EI Principles and Philosophy. A well-structured training and model is needed to support these practices. The discussion continued regarding provider recruitment. The 240 hours of EI direct service in 18 months was thought to be too strict for experienced licensed personnel. Are there any barriers for the 240 hours? Brenda Devito recommended further discussion on this topic at the January 2016 IICEI meeting.
  • By creating teams EI Providers could become familiar and evaluate each another. Evaluations would be similar but would be based on the individual needs of the child and family.

Conversations on teams suggested:

  • Comprised of all 4 core disciplines (see recommendation # 11, f)
  • CFC would establish a rigid team
  • evaluate and recognize the importance of working together
  • could be uncomfortable for some Providers but working together towards goals for the family is ideal
  • more teaming is a need
  • establish expectations
  • multiple Providers could be members (10-12 providers)
  • consistent meetings
    • Training on evaluations, assessment and principles would be essential. Supervision and mentoring are critical components for supportive practice change.
    • Although the EI Monitoring Program has done great work; systematic changes are needed around monitoring. The current focus of the EI Monitoring Program is to ensure compliance for CFCs and EI Providers. The Workgroup agreed there needs to be a shift from compliance to a level that supports accountability. There are other mechanisms including the SSIP that would align with these recommendations. Improvement on quality would be a challenge, but a new and improved data system would support it. Ideas of how to monitor EI Principles, accountability and quality were discussed.
    • Kathy Schrock stated the financial impact of these recommendations; especially the system changes as being huge unlike other recommendations. She looked to the Bureau to determine if this approach is the direction the Bureau wants to take. Chelsea Guillen noted that more staff support will be needed for implementation from the Workgroup and Council members.
    • Ann Freiburg noted that Bureau is aware of the research, current approach to service delivery, and Part C regulations. This will be a systematic change and will at times be challenging, but can be done with stakeholder input.
    • Therese Wehman made a motion to approve and pass the recommendations onto the Bureau. Kathy Schrock seconded the motion. Chelsea Guillen recommended that the document be revised to include revision to CFC Office incentives/penalties and correction to the McKinney-Vento Act. Motion approved with inclusion of recommended revisions.

 Bureau Update


Ann Freiburg reported that there is still no SFY 2016 state budget for Illinois; however, due to a court decree, the Bureau was able to begin making payments to EI Providers and CFC offices.

Payments Update

As noted on the Early Intervention Program Caseload Summary Report, EI Providers have been paid through September 23, 2015; CFC Offices for August 1, 2015. To date, no payments have been made to Administrative contractors, which include the EI Training Program, EI Clearinghouse, Provider Connections; EI Monitoring Program; Central Billing Office, or Family Fee Lockbox. There is no estimate on when these payments can be made.

Part C Federal Grant Award Approval

On September 30, 2015, the Department received notification of Illinois' Part C Federal Grant approval award for the full award amount. However, these funds cannot be spent on direct services prior to the date of receipt.

 2016 Council Meeting Dates and Locations

Ann Freiburg announced the draft 2016 Council meeting dates; locations to be determined. The Bureau is no longer able to use DHS videoconference meeting rooms due to recent overcrowding which posed a fire hazard. The next meeting may be face-to-face; the EI Training program will assist the Bureau in identifying locations.

Amy Zimmerman made a motion to approve the 2016 Council meeting dates, Bob Cammarata seconded the motion. Motion approved.

Other Items

Healthy Chicago 2.0 Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan

Amy Zimmerman mentioned that the City of Chicago Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan is developing Healthy Chicago 2.0 and trying to identify children who could require an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Can EI data be accessed by the City of Chicago? Ann Freiburg stated that she would check with DHS Legal.

Jeanette McCollum Award Recipients

Brenda DeVito congratulated Pam Reising-Rechner and Tweety Jan Yates for being awarded as recipients of the Jeanette McCollum award. The award was provided at the 2015 Sharing a Vision Conference.

Awardees of the Jeanette McCollum Award must meeting strict criteria, including being a professional in an agency or an organization in the field of early intervention/early childhood (Birth-8), family member, student or community member, or an area that directly impacts early intervention/early childhood (e.g., government); have made significant contributions on a state, regional, or local level which have improved or will improve the lives of young children with special needs, their families, or those who work on their behalf. Contributions may be in direct services, personnel preparation, leadership, policy development, research, advocacy, or publications and are supportive of the goals of Illinois, IDEC and International DEC.

Early CHOICES Initiative

Pam Reising-Rechner announced the Early CHOICES brochure, a Preschool least restricted environment Initiative that promotes increasing high quality inclusive education for each and every preschool aged child. She also mentioned a learning module regarding transition and EI. She asked everyone to take a look at these resources. An electronic version is available at: www.eclre.org/media/92139/eclre-brochure-final-2-15-1.pdf.


Ann Freiburg indicated that the IMPACT System is now up and running. The dashboard, which is accessed through Provider Connections for approval processes, is almost fully functional.

ICD-9 to ICD-10 Coding

Bob Cammarata wanted to extend his thanks the Bureau for helping the EI Providers make an easy transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes.

New Council Member

Ann Freiburg recognized Theresa Hawley and her appointment to the Council as the Illinois Early Learning Council representative.


The meeting adjourned at 12:47 p.m. Kathy Schrock made a motion to adjourn, Amy Zimmerman seconded. Motion approved.

Contact Information

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe
Springfield, IL 62701

Ph: 217/524-1596

email: jennifer.grissom@illinois.gov