Category - Policy & Advocacy

Legislative & Advocacy Agenda

In Fiscal Year 2020, the Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) has several priorities that we will be focused on during the Spring legislative session in our efforts to ensure that children and youth have the tools and skills needed to thrive and that the organizations serving them have the capacity and resources needed to serve young people and their families effectively. Some of these priorities are ones in which ICOY is the leading partner or champion, and others are priorities in which we are working as allies in coalition with other partners. As always, there are emerging issues that arise throughout the year with which ICOY will engage when they align with our mission, vision, and values.

We remain committed to monitoring the state budget proposals as they develop and will advocate for no cuts to current funding levels, and for adequate resources and investment needed to ensure that children, youth and families have a strong foundation. Below are our priority areas.

Illinois General Assembly:

Establish the Medicaid Technical Assistance Center (MTAC) [Champion]

  • Pass enabling legislation that establishes a Medicaid Technical Assistance Center within the State’s Medicaid infrastructure, with the purpose of assisting community-based providers to successfully participate in Medicaid managed care, so that people may have access to behavioral health care in their communities, from providers they trust, and who understand and appreciate their culture, language and life circumstances.
  • Appropriate funding for the MTAC in the State’s FY21 budget

Child Welfare Rate Methodology [Champion]

Establish a standardized annual process that includes adjustments for the cost of doing business as measured by the Consumer Price Index for evaluating and setting the rates for child welfare services to ensure sufficient resources to obtain the appropriate outcomes for children, youth, and families involved in the Illinois child welfare system.

Parity within the State’s Indemnification Act [Champion]

Address the lack of parity among the State of Illinois and its other contractors and vendors, and the child welfare providers, in the State’s Indemnification Act.

Establish new licensing criteria for host homes serving young people ages 11 to 17 who are experiencing a crisis and are in need of a temporary alternative care model.

Host Home Licensing for Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services [Champion]

Establish new licensing criteria for host homes serving young people ages 11 to 17 who are experiencing a crisis and are in need of a temporary alternative care model.

Funding in the FY2021 State Budget to Adjust to the Rising Minimum Wage [Ally]

Work in coalition with other human service advocates to ensure that community-based providers have resources appropriated in the FY21 budget to accommodate the rising minimum wage and associated wage compression among the human service workforce.

Prohibiting Detention for Youth Under 13 [Ally]

Work in coalition with other child and juvenile justice advocates to prohibit detention of children under age 13, and to ensure that adequate resources and systemic responses are available to meet the needs of young children who come into contact with the justice system.

Rate Reform for Behavioral Health Services [Ally]

Work in coalition with behavioral healthcare advocates to ensure that the rates paid to community providers for behavioral health services are sustainable and adequate to meet the needs of the individuals and families they serve.

Juvenile Competency to Stand Trial [Emerging Issue]

Work in coalition with other child and juvenile justice advocates to amend current Illinois statute regarding competency to stand trial, to recognize child development and a child’s cognitive ability to comprehend and participate in legal proceedings, and to include developmental immaturity as a factor in determining competence.

Other emerging state-level issues may include:

  • Loan forgiveness, training for the child welfare workforce, and other issues that may arise from the Child Welfare Workforce Task Force.
  • Court of Claims reform, multi-year contracting, and other issues that may arise from the Human Services Contracting Task Force.
  • Expansion of juvenile court jurisdiction to youth 18 and over.
  • Timeliness of court appearance for juveniles following arrest.

United States Congress

Passage of the Family First Transition Act [Ally]

  • Work in coalition with other state and national advocates to pass the Family First Transition Act
  • Help states adopt services with the strongest evidence of success by giving them more time to identify and implement the best services to meet their prevention goals. The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) requires states to use programs with proven effectiveness to get federal dollars, and the Transition Act gives states needed flexibility as they shift to these evidence-based programs.
  • Provide states with FFPSA $500 million in implementation funds to support those states as their child welfare communities prepare for implementation.
  • Provide guarantees to states that had child welfare waivers. Coinciding with FFPSA, the waiver program ended and was not renewed. This guarantee will provide former waiver states time to ensure that a shift to FFPSA does not result in a loss of funding that puts successful programs at risk of termination.

Passage of the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2019 [Ally]

  • Work in coalition with other state and national advocates to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
  • Extend the allowable length of stays in Basic Center Programs from 21 to 30 days (or longer as state law allows) and increase the number of allowable beds to 20.
  • Ensure Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion assistance.
  • Increase age eligibility for services up to the age of 25 in Transitional Living Programs.
  • Mandate comprehensive nondiscriminatory practices across all RHYA-funded programs.
  • Ensure staff training on human trafficking, trauma, sexual abuse, and assault.
  • Require Basic Center Programs to engage in outreach with victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, trafficking in persons, or sex trafficking.
  • Extend practicable services for victims of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking in persons, or sex trafficking as part of Transitional Living Programs.

See what our team is saying.

Read statements and opinions from our expert staff.

New Blog Posts

Interested in an ICOY membership?

ICOY members enjoy many unique benefits.

Become a Member