What is the Illinois Department of Human Services -Division of Early Childhood Home Visiting?
The Illinois Department of Human Services-Division of Early Childhood Home Visiting (IDHS-DEC HV) supports pregnant people and parents with young children ages 0-5 who live in communities that face greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes. Families choose to participate in home visiting programs, and partner with health, social service, and child development professionals to set and achieve goals that improve their health and well-being.
The goals of the IDHS-DEC HV program are to:
- Improve maternal and child health;
- Prevent child abuse and neglect;
- Reduce crime and domestic violence;
- Increase family education level and earning potential;
- Promote children’s development and readiness to participate in school; and
- Connect families to needed community resources and supports.
Home visitors and families develop strong relationships and trust through meeting regularly and addressing families’ needs. Home visitors:
- Support healthy pregnancy practices
- Provide information on topics such as breastfeeding, safe sleep, preventing unintended child injuries, and nutrition
- Encourage early language development and early learning at home
- Teach positive parenting skills like reading, playing, and praising good behaviors
- Work with caregivers to set goals for the future, continue their education, and find employment and child care solutions
- Connect families to other services and resources in their community
The IDHS-DEC HV has the following priority populations identified by the federal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. Enrollment is not limited to the MIECHV priority populations, but programs are expected to PRIORITIZE these populations for enrollment.
- Low income household (below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level or FPL)
- Household contains an enrollee who is pregnant and under age 21
- Household has a history of child abuse or neglect or had interactions with child welfare
- Household has a history of substance abuse or needs substance abuse treatment
- Someone in the household uses tobacco products in the home
- Someone in the household has attained low student achievement or has a child with low student achievement
- Household has a child with developmental delays or disabilities
- Household includes individuals who are serving or formerly served in the United States armed forces
The Illinois Early Learning Council priority populations are also prioritized for enrollment.
The most recent competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity for IDHS-DEC Home Visiting was for the State Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023) and can be found here.
IDHS-DEC hosted a TA Webinar (Bidders’ Conference) for this NOFO on March 2, 2022.
IDHS-DEC hosted a second TA Webinar (Frequently Asked Questions) for this NOFO on March 16, 2022.
On October 4, 2022, IDHS-DEC hosted a webinar to report on the FY23 Home Visiting Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process and to share lessons learned from this experience.
For current IDHS grant opportunities, please see the IDHS grants webpage.