Health and Human Services Workforce Symposium

Publisher: Melissa Franada


Join Illinois Collaboration On Youth (ICOY) and Illinois Partners for Human Services for the first Health and Human Services Workforce Symposium. This hybrid event will support the health and human services workforce. We intend to bring community-based providers together to discuss workforce challenges and triumphs, best practices, and policy and administrative recommendations for the coming year. 

Human Service Professional Loan Repayment Program: SB3925/HB4720 

Last year, ICOY collaborated with Illinois Partners for Human Services to address the plaguing workforce crisis in the human services sector. Together, we championed legislation to create a Human Service Professional Loan Repayment program to recruit and retain qualified professionals for community-based service providers.

Community-based agencies have a high turnover rate. In addition, they struggle to maintain consistent staffing levels. According to a survey conducted by Illinois Partners for Human Services, most organizations experienced their highest turnover at the onset of the pandemic. More than half of the respondents experienced higher vacancies during the study period than their pre-pandemic baseline.  Consequently, this turnover is particularly disruptive to families and youth in foster care. It is associated with increased risk to children and longer lengths of stay in the foster care system.  

Generally, many roles in the human services field require bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Higher education requirements for the workforce often result in excessive levels of debt. Furthermore, the salary for many of these positions may land only slightly above minimum wage. In addition to the everyday challenges on the job, these factors create a great deal of stress and burnout. The loan repayment program will help recruit and retain human service professionals. As a result, it will also assist in alleviating the workforce crisis. 

Health and Human Services Workforce Symposium Event Details

The Health and Human Services Workforce Symposium will take place on Tuesday, October 25, in Bloomington, Illinois, with both in-person and virtual options available. Continuing Education Units will be available for participants with social work and professional counseling licenses. Registration will have associated fees. A panel discussion will take place during the first half of the day. After a brief lunch break, select organizations will present their ideas, solutions, and successes on overcoming the workforce crisis.

Present at the Health and Human Services Workforce Symposium: Invitation to Collaborate

We are excited to invite our fellow nonprofit organizations to collaborate with us for this symposium. This is an opportunity for community-based organizations across Illinois to present their innovative approaches to addressing the workforce crisis. We hope to hear from providers representing a variety of services areas, who have successfully and unsuccessfully implemented creative solutions to the workforce crisis. Selected organizations and agencies will have the opportunity to share this information during the Health and Human Services Workforce Symposium. Read the application details.

Writing & Editing Contributions

Written by ICOY Communications & Marketing Manager Melissa Franada. Editing contributions by the ICOY Policy & Advocacy Team and Illinois Partners for Human Services Development & Strategic Communications Manager Evan B. Finamore. Find more information on the ICOY Staff