Ligas Class Member/Family Advisory Committee
January 18, 2017
Committee Member and Staff Attendees:
Other Attendees: Denise Fisher, Ed McManus, Kathy Carmody.
The meeting began at 1:00 pm as a video conference from locations in the Harris Building, Springfield and the Clinton Building, Chicago.
See attached meeting agenda.
The minutes from the October 19, 2016 meeting were approved.
OPENING REMARKS: Donna Frownfelter, Committee Chairperson, greeted the members and attendees.
UPDATE FROM LIGAS FAMILY ADVOCATES: Missy Kichline reported that the Ligas Family Advocate Program (LFAP) continues to provide family-to-family advocacy support for Ligas Class Members, individuals and their families who are selected through the Illinois DDD PUNS. Several Know Your Options events were held in the northern Illinois area. A southern Know Your Option will be held in March 24, 2017 at the Collinsville Area Recreational District. Plans are progressing for the Arc/FSN/Ligas Family Advocate 5th Informational Seminar. Work continues in connecting with ISCs for a Ligas Family Advocate Program Introductory presentations.
COURT MONITOR UPDATE: Ronnie Cohn, Court Monitor, has found the State out of compliance in her annual report in regards to Resources and Capacity. She emphasized that discussions with the Division and Equip for Equality continue on reasonable pace, wages, quality monitoring, and staffing vacancies. She said that many parents and providers have voiced concern over the wage and rate issues. Her report can be found at: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/OneNetLibrary/27896/documents/Reta/FiledLigasFifthAnnualReportoftheMonitor_1_20_2017.pdf
CLASS COUNSEL UPDATE: Laura Miller, Class Counsel, reported that, as the established benchmarks with the Ligas Consent Decree are being met, discussions with the Division are shifting from meeting benchmarks to determining what constitutes reasonable pace, the next standard from the Consent Decree regarding adding individuals in service. She stated there were discussions on two ways to add individuals. One method is to set a number of individuals to add to services each year. The other is to set a limit on how long a person waiting list; the person must receive services within that time frame.
Discussions also continue on CILA rates and the wages paid to CILA staff. Equip for Equality continues to voice concerns that the low wages lead to staff shortages, which in turn lead to diminished supervision, increased instances of harm to individuals, and fewer community opportunities for the individuals. She stated increased rates and increased wages are necessary in order to keep providers and staff in their important duties.
She also noted that a Hold category has been added allowing individuals who have been selected but have not yet found a provider to stay on the Ligas roles without losing their eligibility.
Finally, Laura also noted that Barry Lowy, former Equip for Equality staff member, is now the Director of the Office of State Guardian. She said he will bring knowledge and passion to the position and be an excellent advocate for the individuals served by OSG.
DDD LIGAS UPDATE: Jim Eddings, DDD staff member, stated that as of January 1, 2017 there were 1,363 class members receiving ICF/DD services, and 2,806 class members were receiving services after having been selected from PUNS. The Division has not determined the date for another possible PUNS selection.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: No public comments were made.
NEXT MEETING: The next meeting will be from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. We will meet in the FCS Conference Room (2nd Floor) in the Harris Building and the Secretary's Video Conference Room on the 7th Floor of the Clinton Building.
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS: For questions or comments, please contact Dave Adden: (217) 524-0848 or Dave.Adden@Illinois.gov.