CONSOLIDATION OF FEDERAL PLANNING
The Child and Family Services Plan, the state-mandated Human Services Plan, and the Department's annual budget request are the primary planning documents of the agency. The FY2000-2004 Child and Family Services Plan represents a further development in the evolution of planning that was encouraged by the federal requirements for Title IV-B planning. The Child and Family Services Plan throughout describes the integration of Title IV-B and Title IV-E services to achieve the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. Furthermore, the CFSP consolidates the following federal planning requirements:
1. Child Welfare Services Program - Title IV-B, Subpart 1
2. Family Preservation and Family Support - Title IV-B, Subpart 2
3. Independent Living Program - Title IV-E
4. Child Abuse and Neglect State Grant - CAPTA Basic Grant
5. Title IV-B Training Plan
6. Title IV-E Training Plan
7. Program Improvement Plan mandated by the Adoption and Safe Families Act
8. Multiethnic Placement Act and Interethnic Placement Act
Along with the above federally mandated plans, this new plan consolidates the various policies and program changes mandated by federal legislation, state legislation, and judicial consent decrees into one readable core document. It represents significant savings in time, personnel, effort, and paper. It also re-focuses effort on the purpose of planning: to guide activities rather than to write more, longer, and more detailed plans and accountings. Beyond the obvious benefits, consolidated planning forces both more integration and more comprehensiveness of programming. The many levels and areas of the Department are bound together by the same mission, vision, and principles of service provision. Furthermore, we can all see within one document how the common set of goals and objectives that relate to one program also relate to other programs in the Department.
COLLABORATIVE PLANNING PROCESS
Strategies and linkages used in formulating the FY97-99 Child and Family Services Plan, i.e. community input, citizen review, and local ownership of programs and responsibilities, have been carried forward in the development of this plan. The Department's plan is part of a collaborative planning process that includes other state or public agencies, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the private child welfare sector, Local Area Networks, and various advisory or advocacy groups. The collaborative planning process increases the use of cross-jurisdictional resources, i.e. inter-agency, inter-governmental, and inter-state, because of its early involvement of participants and cooperative problem solving perspective.
A continuous consultation, review, and comment process involving Department staff, Department advisory groups, and interested parties took place from November 1998 into June of 1999. All the groups identified for consultation in the federal planning guidance were involved in the consultation and collaboration for the development of all or specific parts of the CFSP.
The advisory groups involved in the collaborative planning process will continue their participation in updating and revising plan elements as part of their regular meetings in the future. Those groups are as follows:
The intended results of such collaboration are shared goals and objectives, consistency, efficient use of resources, and accountability. Using a needs-based model, plan elements include:
COMPLIANCE WITH THE INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT (ICWA)
Although there are no federally recognized Indian Tribes in Illinois, the Department still complies with ICWA. In addition to the diligent recruitment efforts described below and in the Final Review, the Departments Court Improvement Project has provided training for judges in the Cook County Juvenile Court and statewide on the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and general awareness and sensitivity to Native American issues. A curriculum and a training manual were developed for use across the state.
A Juvenile Court and Judges Training Symposium was held in April 1998. One hundred and twenty of the booklets created by the Court Improvement Project about ICWA, Indian welfare services and community services available through the Native American Foster Parent Association, and Native American heritage recognition, were distributed. Additional booklets are available for statewide distribution.
Department rules on Indian Child Welfare Services were adopted and codified at 5 Ill. Reg. 8645, effective August 19, 1981 (Appendices).
FUTURE ACTIVITY IN DILIGENT RECRUITMENT
Future activity in the area of diligent recruitment includes the continuation of all the efforts and collaborations described in the Final Review and the following activities:
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT ACT (CAPTA)
In addition to the activities that the Department is currently funding under the Federal Formula/State Grants/CAPTA program, the Department has identified the following activities for funding during the period FY2000-2004 with standard allocations and with supplemental funds which the Department requests in advance of notice: (a) Provide mini-grants to support home visiting for high risk minority families; (b) Support region-based Mandated Reporter Training; (c) Support consultation on child abuse/neglect client treatment goals; (d) Support consultation on child abuse/neglect treatment models; (e) Support mini-grants for community partnerships to expand support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren; and (f) Support select family mediation projects. Detailed service/training descriptions are in the Appendices.
SECTION 106 SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT AREAS
Intake, Assessment, Screening, and Investigations (2)
Multidisciplinary Teams/Interagency Protocols (3)
Case Management/Service Delivery (4)
General Systems Enhancement/Tracking (5)
Service Staff Training (6)
Mandated Reporters (7)
CA/N Program Development (8)
Disabled Infants (9)
Community Based Program Integration
(1) Intake, Assessment, Screening, and Investigations
(2) Multidisciplinary Teams/Interagency Protocols
(3) Case Management/Service Delivery
(4) General Systems Enhancement/Tracking
(5) Service Staff Training
(6) Mandated Reporters
(7) CA/N Program Development
(8) Disabled Infants
(9) Community Based Program Integration
TRANSITION RULE STATUS REPORT
Public Act 90-608 amended the Adoption Act to bring Illinois into full compliance with the Adoption and Safe Families ActPL 105-89. Policy Guide 98.11 released November 2, 1998, effective November 16, 1998, implements the transition rules as they apply to "new" and "current" children in foster care as described in PI ACYF-CB-PI-98-14, August 20, 1998.
By reference, this section is incorporated into our Final Report. Policy Guide 98.11 is attached in the Appendices.
The Training Division administers the Department's training, professional development, education partnership, and staff recruitment programs. It establishes standards of clinical practice and supports Regions to ensure integration of standards into practice. It provides clinical, health care consulting services and technical assistance to field staff and advises LANs on the development of Wraparound Service programs.
GOVERNMENTAL AND INTERAGENCY COORDINATION
DCFS collaborates with other state or public agencies: the Attorney General, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Aid, the Department of Human Services (DHS) -- Disability and Behavioral Health Services Division, Community Operations Division, and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state's attorneys, the private child welfare sector, Local Area Networks, local service initiatives, universities, and various advisory or advocacy groups in the development, delivery, and evaluation of services. Examples of such collaboration are detailed in other sections of this plan. They may take the form of service coordination, use of cross-jurisdictional resources, joint funding of a program, resolution of eligibility issues, interagency agreements, amended contract language, research projects, new rules and procedures, and the staffing of individual cases. Their purpose is to ensure consistency, accessibility, accountability, and the efficient and humane use of resources.
RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
DCFS coordinates research and evaluation through its Office of the Research Director. DCFS established this office in 1994 through a joint agreement with the School of Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago.
The Office of the Research Director also serves as liaison to the Children and Family Research Center (CFRC). The Center was created by DCFS and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It completed its third full year of operation in FY99. The Center's purposes are to:
Examples of CFRC projects for FY 2000 and FY 2001 include: on-going outcome reports on the safety, permanency and well-being of children in the care of the Department; an evaluation of the factors that DCFS caseworkers consider when making placement decisions; a study to explain the differences between families that are reunified and those that are not. Other DCFS units involved in research and evaluation activities are the Division of Clinical Services, Training Division, Office of Quality Assurance, Office of Budget Development, Division of Purchase of Service Monitoring, and Office of Demonstration.
MEASUREMENT OF PROGRESS
The primary method used to measure progress will be outcome measures. These will be supplemented by performance measures that focus on process. Measuring the progress of the Child and Family Services Plan will involve many of the information and data sources used in plan development:
AVAILABILITY OF FINAL REVIEW AND PLAN
The Final Review and the consolidated Child and Family Services Plan will be available to the general public for review and comment at community libraries through the Illinois State Library's Depository Library System. The documents will be posted on the Departments web site and copies will also be available to interested parties on request.