1 Chicago Department of Family and Support Services Program Guide Richard M. Daley, Mayor Mary Ellen Caron, Ph.D, Commissioner
2 Chicago Dept. of Family and Support Services 1615 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL (312) (312) (fax) Our Mission The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services is dedicated to supporting a continuum of coordinated services to enhance the lives of Chicago residents, particularly those most in need, from birth through the senior years. The department works to promote the independence and well-being of individuals, support families and strengthen neighborhoods by providing direct assistance and administering resources to a network of community-based organizations, social service providers and institutions. NOVEMBER 2009
3 311 City Services Program Guide INTRODUCTION The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) created this guide to provide 311 City Services with brief descriptions of DFSS programs. Programs are grouped by the department's three major service divisions so that you can use this guide to assist residents with service requests and inquiries. General contact information and a listing of DFSS programs can be found beginning on the next page. The following pages contain the program descriptions, listings of regional centers and satellite offices, and hotlines to assist you to respond to the citizens of Chicago. Please visit our web site at for additional information and the latest on upcoming DFSS events, services and opportunities. Sincerely, Mary Ellen Caron Commissioner
4 DFSS PROGRAM CONTACT INFORMATION 1 OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES (312) Early Head Start - Ages Birth-3 Head Start (HS) - Ages 3-5 Child Care (CC) - Ages Birth-12 Children s Services: Collaboration w/ HS & CC Summer Nutrition Program Early Childhood Program Locator After-School Time Mentoring Counseling Juvenile Intervention and Support Center Workforce Investment Act-Youth Programs Workforce Centers Youth Services: Regional Consortiums Career Development Center Summer Mini Grants Program Homeless Youth Programs Youth Ready Chicago Youth Program Locator OFFICE OF HUMAN SERVICES (312) Human Service Delivery: Community Service Centers Weather Relief Shelter Plus Care Emergency Food Box Families First Small Business Loan Infant Formula Case Management CSBG Scholarship Program Domestic Violence Home To Stay Furniture Donation Workforce Development Rental Assistance Veterans Resource Ex-Offender Services Emergency Services: Emergency Response Well-Being Checks Homeless Services: Shelter Requests Mobile Clinic Interim Housing Home Outreach & Engagement Street Outreach ARCH Homeless Prevention Call Center Service Events Temporary Shelter
5 SENIOR SERVICES AREA AGENCY ON AGING (312) Information, Advocacy and Assessment (I&A) I&A is the gateway to all of the services and programs offered through Senior Services. Adult Day Services Emergency Response System Heavy Duty Chore In-Home Assistance: Care Coordination: Home Delivered Meals In-Home Services Nursing Home Pre-Screening Benefits and Savings: Benefits and Savings Senior Health Insurance Program $enior $ave Caregiver Assistance: Caregiver Support Program Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Respite Care Employment Programs: Foster Grandparent Program Senior Companion Program Senior Community Service Housing Relocation Services Housing Assistance: Upkeep and Repair Service Transportation: ADA Paratransit/Taxi Access Program Independent Transportation Network Chicago Emergency Medical Transportation Senior Shuttle Services Safety & Protection: Crisis Team Elder Abuse and Neglect Investigation Extreme Weather Notification Legal Advocacy Mayor Daley s Senior Advocacy Center in the Cook County Domestic Violence Court Mayor Daley s Well-Being Task Force Ombudsman Senior Regional & Satellite Centers Regional Centers and Satellite Centers: Golden Diners Chicago Fitness Plus Senior Center Wellness
6 DFSS PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS 3 OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES CHILDREN S PROGRAMS Early Head Start Provides educational and early childhood development activities that promote school readiness for birth to three year old children from low income families. It includes free medical, dental and mental health services, and nutritious meals, as well as parent education and training. There is no cost for Early Head Start programs. Head Start Provides educational and early childhood development activities that promote school readiness for three to five year old children from low income families. It includes free medical, dental and mental health services, and nutritious meals, as well as parent education and training. Agencies can offer full-day, half-day, and home based programs. There is no cost for Head Start programs. Child Care Provides low-income families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue to work or participate in approved training programs and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. Funded through the Child Care Assistance Program of the Illinois Department of Human Services. Eligibility is based on income, and the program serves children from birth to age 12. Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size, income and number of children in care. The types of child care offered depend on the age of the child. These are: o Infant Toddler (IT) Operates full day, full year, and serves children from birth to three from low-income, eligible families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue to work or participate in approved training programs and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. o Infant Preschool (IP) Operates full day, full year, and serves children from two through three from low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. This also allows the child to remain in a licensed quality child care program before transitioning into a preschool program. o Preschool (PS) Operates full day, full year, serving three-to-five year old children from low income families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue to working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child.
7 o Home Care (HC) Operates full day, full year, serving three-to-five year old children from low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care in a home setting that allows them to continue employment and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. 4 o School Age (SA) Operates part-day during the school year and full day during the summer, or when school is not in session, including afternoons, holidays and during public and private school breaks, serving six to twelve year old children from low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue employment and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. These programs also provide homework support and nutritious snacks or meals. Collaboration In these programs, different funding sources may be blended to allow the service provider to extend the hours of care beyond what a single funding source will support. Families may co-pay a portion of the cost on a sliding scale based on family size, income and number of children in care and the requirements of the different funding sources. For example, a service provider agency may combine Head Start and other funding sources, such as state Child Care or Preschool for All funds, to extend the day and meet a wide range of comprehensive and individualized services for children. Collaboration programs generally serve children in the birth-to-five year old range. Summer Nutrition The Summer Nutrition Program is part of a nationwide effort to ensure that low-income children receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. DFSS is one of the city s sponsors of the Summer Nutrition Program with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Illinois State Board of Education. Eligible non-profit organizations (including faithbased) that apply can provide low-income youth 18 years and under with free nutritious lunches and snacks at their site(s). There are two types of summer nutrition sites: A Closed site is one at which only those youth enrolled in the organization s programs and activities, for example, a summer camp, receive the meals; an Open site serves meals to any low-income child in its neighborhood who comes in, with no enrollment required. Early Childhood Program Locator At the Chicago Early Childhood Program Locator website (www.earlychildhoodchicago.org), families can find quality care and education options that match their needs in a listing of hundreds of early childhood education programs throughout the city. Users can learn about different program types, including locations, hours, fees and services. Typing in any Chicago address will allow users to identify nearby childcare and early childhood education programs.
8 YOUTH PROGRAMS 5 After School Provides structured, age appropriate activities for youth that will build on their social and emotional competencies in the areas of selfconfidence, membership, belonging, self esteem, individual responsibility, awareness, autonomy, sense of safety, etc. Programs operate at least three hours a day, four days a week, during the hours of 3:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. for youth 6 13 years of age. Those programs that are designed to serve older youth (14 18) can operate on extended hours into the evening. Mentoring Provides an inter-generational approach to bond youth 6 18 years of age and adults to share knowledge and experiences in a structured way. It also provides a safe, secure and stable relationship between an adult and child/youth. Mentors spend minimally two hours per interaction, at least twice per month. The goals of the mentoring program are to provide support and services to children and families and to maximize the youth s development. Counseling Provides group and individual counseling sessions for youth 6 18 years of age to help resolve barriers to education, socialization and family stability. Individual counseling sessions should convene weekly at the school or the program facility and include at least two group counseling activities per quarter. Programs should be linked to school and youth development programs. Homeless Youth Provides outreach at a minimum of four evenings a week to assist homeless youth and/or youth in shelters ages Programs work to unite youth with their families and support the youth with various social and/or transitional services. Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth In-School Programs Provides an individualized combination of education, skill enhancement, career exploration, job-readiness skills, apprenticeships and internships, and occupational training that lead to employment or post-secondary education, for eligible at-risk youth, years of age, whose highest grade level completed is less than or equal to the 11th grade, and who have not received a secondary diploma or its recognized equivalent and who are enrolled/attending school. (In some cases youth attending college may also qualify as "in-school".) Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Out-of-School Programs Provides an individualized combination of education, skill enhancement, career exploration, job-readiness skills, apprenticeships and internships, and occupational training that lead to employment or post-secondary education, for eligible youth, years of age, who are school dropouts, (no longer attending any school - grade school or high school) and who have not received a secondary diploma or its recognized equivalent, or have received a secondary school diploma or its equivalent but are basic skills deficient, unemployed or under employed or have barriers to employment.
9 Workforce Centers Serves out of school youth only, years of age, with an individualized combination of education, skill enhancement, career exploration, job-readiness skills, apprenticeships and internships, and occupational training that lead to employment or post-secondary education, for eligible youth, years of age, who are school dropouts, (no longer attending any school - grade school or high school) and who have not received a secondary diploma or its recognized equivalent, or have received a secondary school diploma or its equivalent but are basic skills deficient, unemployed or under employed or have barriers to employment. Currently, there are 5 Centers, which also provide program services for Adults and Dislocated Workers. Regional Consortium Coordinator (RCC) The delegate agency serving as RCC in each of the six city regions (which follow Chicago Public School regional boundaries) convenes monthly a consortium of public and private youth-serving agencies from throughout its region. The RCC promotes the professional development and training of staff of youth-serving agencies in the region, and acts as a referral source within the region for other organizations, parents and youth seeking services for youth ages Regional Youth Career Development Center (RYCDC) The delegate agency serving as RYCDC in each of the six city regions (which follow Chicago Public School regional boundaries) provides both year-round and summer workforce development programs for youth ages The center provides training for at least 250 youth annually and should place at least 100 of these youth in jobs and/or internships. The Center emphasizes soft skills training; examples of soft skills include a good work ethic, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, basic oral and written communication skills. Every RYCDC features an employment resource center where youth can learn about the educational and skill requirements for various occupations and participate in a variety of training sessions, including a 10-week youth job-readiness training program. The centers reach out to all youth within the region via partnerships and/or satellite offices. Summer Mini Grants Provides small grants to not-for-profit communityand faith-based organizations. The three program types are designed to strengthen leadership skills, build better community relationships and help young people use the summer months to explore career options and possibilities. Award amounts for each type will range from $250 to a maximum of $2,000. The three categories are: o Summer Enhancement, ages 10 12, provides supplemental support to full-day, full week summer programs. For example, starting a community garden. o Apprenticeships, ages 13 15, encourages meaningful summer activities that expose youth to a variety of career or vocational choices. For example, volunteering in an elder care facility as a way to explore the healthcare industry. o Internships, ages 16 18, allows youth a paid opportunity to create and implement their ideas through independent study, community activity and career exploration. For example, helping a youth research careers and educational opportunities in the aviation industry. 6
10 Juvenile Intervention and Support Center (JISC) A pilot project in Police Area 1 and District 10 to offer youth an alternative to entering the juvenile justice system through case management involving schools, healthcare and other key social service partners. Youth Ready Chicago Mayor Daley s Summer Jobs Program provides youth, ages 14 24, with summer employment. Partners include the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, After School Matters, the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, Chicago Public Libraries, the Chicago Housing Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority, private businesses and community-based organizations. Youth apply over the Internet through an online application system at The online application is generally available from February to May 30th. Applicants must meet the following eligibility before applying: 1) Must be between 14 and 24 at the time of the application, 2) must live in the City of Chicago, 3) must have a social security number or a number that is legally allowed to replace a social security number for the purposes of employment and 4) must provide a guardian s signature for applicants under the age of 18. Youth Program Locator At the After-School Chicago Web site, young Chicagoans and their families can learn about and choose from thousands of different after-school programs throughout the City. After-School Chicago (www.afterschoolchicago.org) is one of the most comprehensive interactive Web sites of its kind in the nation. It includes a variety of afternoon, evening and weekend program options for ages 6 and older that span organizations including the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, Chicago Public Schools, AfterSchool Matters, the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Libraries. The Web site s wide range of activities will let users navigate with ease more than 380,000 annual afterschool opportunities. Users input their address or ZIP Code and choose from eight program interest areas, including: academic, career, creative, health, life skills, religious, community and sports. Search results are plotted for them on an interactive map with a brief description of each offering, including information about dates and times, related fees if applicable and the age range for activities. The search results also include CTA routes for reference. 7
11 OFFICE OF HUMAN SERVICES 8 HUMAN SERVICE DELIVERY Community Service Centers DFSS six Community Service Centers are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and on Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. City residents who need assistance can drop in or schedule an appointment in advance. Community Service Centers help individuals and families in need access a wide range of resources from shelter, food and clothing to domestic violence assistance, drug rehab, job training and prisoner re-entry. Clients can get information about rental, utility and other financial assistance programs. The facilities serve as Warming and Cooling Centers during periods of extreme weather. Visitors participate in an initial assessment to identify their needs. Some basic services can be provided immediately. Clients with multiple or complex issues are assigned a case manager. Case managers are trained specialists who work with clients on-going. They help individuals set personal goals and develop plans to achieve them. A case manager can refer clients to specialized services in the community. Emergency Food Boxes Low-income families who suffer a sudden financial setback may find themselves without enough to eat. Free emergency food boxes for individuals and families are available at DFSS centers. Clients must present proof of income and explain their emergency needs. People with disabilities or those unable to travel to a Community Service Center, can request delivery of a food box. Food boxes serve as a one-time, intervention measure. Case managers work with families to help them secure daily, stable nutrition. Infant Formula Families can obtain free infant formula at Community Service Centers. The amount of formula and period of eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Domestic Violence Victims of domestic violence can access services to help them regain a safe, stable lifestyle and prevent abuse from occurring. Domestic violence counselors are on site at five Community Service Centers; Garfield, King, Englewood, Trina Davila and North Area. The City of Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line ( ) is a toll free, confidential, multi-lingual 24 hour clearinghouse for referral assistance for victims of domestic violence. The Help Line provides victims with immediate information about their options, and directs victims to community based service providers including shelters, counseling, legal advocacy and civil legal services.
12 Rental Assistance Emergency Rental Assistance is available for people suffering financial hardship due to a crisis such as loss of job, home fire or illness. The program is intended to allow families to maintain housing during the time it takes to regain stability. Eligible clients must demonstrate that moving forward they will have sufficient income to cover rent and other living expenses. Emergency Rental Assistance offers a one-time grant up to $900 to cover one month s rent. Applications can be filed at the City s six Community Service Centers. Weather Relief Warming Centers are heated facilities where any resident can go during periods of extreme cold temperatures to stay warm and safe. Likewise, Cooling Centers offer residents air-conditioned refuge from oppressive summer heat. Agencies that volunteer their facilities as Warming and Cooling Centers, work to make visitors comfortable. While these centers are meant for short-term, daytime use, many are prepared to expand hours during weather emergencies. The City's Warming/Cooling Center at 10 S. Kedzie stays open 24 hours. The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services coordinates the operation of Cooling and Warming Centers. Beginning with its own Community Service Centers, DFSS works with Senior Services, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Public Libraries to make public buildings available. In times of excessive need, the City enlists the help of community organizations that can open their facilities to the public for respite from the weather. Families First Families First operates through The Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. The program provides permanent housing and support services to homeless families residing in shelters. DFSS selects families with high potential to achieve selfsufficiency. DFSS provides on-going case management to ensure they receive the support they need to maintain their housing and become fully independent. Case Management A case manager is a skilled professional trained to help individuals work through their issues and improve their quality of life. Many case managers have advanced degrees in social work. A case manager has an on-going relationship with the client. He or she wears many hats i.e., counselor, coach and resource coordinator. Case managers work out of six Community Service Centers and the Emergency Response Center. DFSS also funds private agencies to provide case management. Case managers begin by making a thorough assessment of their client s needs. They work with the individual to set personal goals and develop a plan to realize those goals. 9
13 Home To Stay Furniture Donation Call (312) to donate beds, sofas, dinette sets and dressers. Donated items are picked up and help furnish the homes of newly housed homeless individuals and families. Organizations can support the effort to end homelessness in Chicago by sponsoring a neighborhood furniture drive. Veterans Resource Office The City s Veterans Resource Office helps U.S. Veterans and family members navigate the maze of government benefits and civilian resources. The one-stop clearing house provides current information on programs and services available at all levels of government and community organizations. The office can help veterans access earned benefits and connect with important resources for housing, employment, education, health care, daily living and more. The Veterans Resource Office is located at 10 S. Kedzie in Chicago and is open from 9:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Shelter Plus Care Shelter Plus Care is a federally funded program that provides housing and supportive services for homeless people (and family members) who have serious disabilities including mental illness, chronic drug or alcohol abuse or AIDS. Clients are required to participate in support services. Shelter Plus Care clients can live in a supportive housing facility that provides services on site, or live independently and arrange for support services on a regular basis. Clients can access Shelter Plus Care through DFSS and other service agencies in Chicago by calling Small Business Loans Small businesses that operate in low-income communities can apply for low-interest loans. The goal of the program is to support economic development through job creation. Companies must commit to create one full-time or two part-time jobs for every $20,000 awarded. The federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) provides the funding for the loan program. DFSS delegates operation of the CSBG Loan Program to two Community Action Agencies. Small business owners can contact these agencies to apply: Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) 208 S. LaSalle, Suite 1900 Chicago, IL (312) Illinois Ventures for Community Action (IVCA) PO Box 9285 Springfield, IL (217)
14 Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Scholarship Program The CSBG Scholarship Program helps low-income Chicagoans finance higher education. Students enrolled in an Illinois college, university or vocational training program may qualify for a CSBG Scholarship. Funds can be applied toward tuition, uniforms, study-related fees and books. Individual scholarships range from $600 to $2,000. Eligibility Guidelines: o Student must be enrolled in a college, university or vocational training program in the State of Illinois. o Student must meet CSBG income guidelines. o Student must have primary residence in the City of Chicago. Workforce Development o Innovative Programs for Underserved Adults. City-funded programs provide employment-related services tailored to the needs of underserved populations such as persons with criminal backgrounds, persons with disabilities, the homeless, non-custodial parents or persons with chemical dependencies. o Customized Training and Placement Services. Programs provide participants with comprehensive training linked to full-time employment for at least six months. The focus is on high-demand occupations in manufacturing, service industries and healthcare. Each program includes the participation of industry representatives to ensure specific employer needs are met. o Employment Programs for Survivors of Domestic Violence. Programs offer preemployment training, job placement, job retention services, concurrent with abuse counseling, and related support services for women and men who are survivors of domestic violence. Mayor Daley s Ex-Offender Programs Transitional Jobs Program provides job-readiness training, subsidized work experience and supportive services to ex-offenders. o Customized Work Services Program: In partnership with City of Chicago departments, the program creates work opportunities for ex-offenders such as tree trimming, ground maintenance, cleaning vacant lots, snow removal and small engine repair. o Customized Job Training Program: Provides opportunities for ex-offenders to develop skills through specific training that meets employer demand. o Social Enterprise Venture Program: Uses funds to assist non-profit agencies that serve ex-offenders. The program has served 63 ex-offenders in
15 EMERGENCY SERVICES Emergency Response DFSS Emergency Response Teams are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist with non-life threatening situations Call for shelter, food, relocation, and social services in situations that do not pose an immediate life threat Call for police, medical and fire emergencies that present an immediate threat to life. Well-Being Checks Teams make home visits to check on someone when there is reason for concern and a family member or friend is not able to get to them. Trained outreach workers conduct well-being checks. When they arrive at the home they make an initial assessment of the situation. They evaluate housing conditions, safety hazards, health and abuse issues and other potential problems. If necessary, DFSS workers call in other social services or medical professionals. Requests for well-being checks peak during periods of severe winter or summer weather. HOMELESS SERVICES Shelter Requests Outreach teams respond to shelter requests around the clock. If the need is immediate, the caller may be asked to go to their local police station or hospital emergency room where they can wait safely for the team. DFSS workers conduct an initial assessment and find appropriate, temporary shelter for the individual or family. DFSS follows up with the client to get them into permanent, supportive housing as quickly as possible. Homeless Outreach and Engagement The first step in housing homeless people is to engage them in the process. For most that is easy, they are anxious to regain the stability of permanent housing. But for others who have a history of life on the streets or making the rounds of shelters, engagement can be a challenge. DFSS conducts a variety of outreach activities. Homeless Prevention Call Center (HPCC) Any Chicago resident threatened with homelessness due to a recent crisis can call 311 City Services anytime and say Short Term Help to get connected to the HPCC. Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists at the center are available weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. HPCC assess each caller's situation to determine potential eligibility. Eligible callers are referred to agencies that make final funding disbursements. A caller may be eligible for financial assistance for rent, mortgage, utility payments or first month s rent and security deposit. 12
16 Mobile Clinics The city s two mobile clinics make services readily accessible to homeless people. They bring a full range of medical and social services directly to the individual. Social Services: Counseling and Case Management Housing Job Training / Placement Substance Abuse Recovery Medical Services: Primary Care Services Health Prevention and Maintenance Services Blood Test Immunization The clinics are staffed by a certified nurse practitioner from the Chicago Department of Public Health and a social worker from DFSS. In addition to providing direct service, they offer a conduit to long-term health, housing and support services. The mobile clinics also travel the city and locate homeless people in parks, viaducts, soup kitchens, shelters and anywhere homeless people gather. Street Outreach Teams conduct year-round outreach to homeless people in various areas of the city. Over time, through repeated dialog, outreach workers gain the trust of their street clients and are able to guide them into programs. During periods of extreme winter weather, additional teams are assigned. An aggressive effort is launched to convince homeless people on the street to spend the night in a warm shelter. Service Events Throughout the year, DFSS coordinates outreach events that bring a number of service providers together in a location convenient for homeless people. Organizations set up booths and have staff available to talk to people about their services. Fifteen to twenty organizations participate offering programs such as detox, health care, job training and placement, housing services, veteran s affairs, state IDs and more. DFSS provides transportation for anyone who decides to take immediate advantage of available services. On average, each event draws more than 100 homeless clients. Interim Housing Individuals and families who find themselves homeless are placed in Interim Housing for a period up to four months. During this time they work closely with a case manager who helps them connect with services they need to gain stability, locate permanent housing and ensure they have the means to retain that housing. As part of Chicago's Plan To End Homelessness, DFSS has funded 37 Interim Housing Programs across the city. 13