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Illinois COVID-19 Reference Guide

Instructions for use of this guide:

  • This document will be continually updated.
  • This information reflects temporary changes in practice.
  • Save the link to this document in your browser bookmarks bar for easy reference to the most updated version.
  • Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the following guidelines offer reasonable adjustments for safety, health and wellbeing of staff and our communities. If further deviations are needed, supervisory consultation is required before an action is made. Any documentation should reflect accordingly.

​1. Reducing the Spread of COVID-19

Social distancing
Social distancing, also called "physical distancing," means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

The CDC recommends the following:

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
  • Click here for Governor Pritzker’s Stay at Home order.
  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
  • Consider a grocery delivery service.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
  • Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces, such a friend’s home, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice applies to people of any age, including teens and younger adults. Children should not have in-person playdates while school is out. To help maintain social connections while social distancing, learn tips to keep children healthy while school’s out.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • If possible, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  • If you are a student or parent, talk to your school about options for digital/distance learning.

Quarantine vs. Isolation
Quarantine
Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Someone in self-quarantine stays separated from others, and they limit movement outside of their home or current place. A person may have been exposed to the virus without knowing it (for example, when traveling or out in the community), or they could have the virus without feeling symptoms. Quarantine helps limit further spread of COVID-19.

Isolation
Isolation is used to separate sick people from healthy people. People who are in isolation should stay home. In the home, anyone sick should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific "sick" bedroom or space and using a different bathroom (if possible).

If you…Steps to take…
​If you or someone in your home might have been exposed

Self-Monitor
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever,* cough, or shortness of breath.

  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and stay out of crowded places.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

​If you feel healthy but:

Self-Quarantine

​If you:

  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or
  • Are waiting for test results, or
  • Have symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath

Self-Isolate


2. Procedures for Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

In case of staff exposure or confirmed cases of COVID-19, the affected staff member and/or their supervisor must complete the CMS COVID-19 EXPOSURE INCIDENT REPORT form and submit it to the DCFS.COVID19@illinois.gov mailbox referenced at the top of the form. 

3. Employee Contact with Colleagues and Persons Served

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Symptoms include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Individuals who are 60 or older, or who have a compromised immune system due to medical concerns are more likely to have a serious reaction to the virus.
  • The vast majority of those who contract the virus recover with minor symptoms. The primary health concern is spreading the virus to vulnerable populations with whom you may come into contact.

Practice and encourage good personal health habits and preventative actions

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizer or other cleansing mechanisms when soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or elbow/upper arm and throw the tissue into a trash can
  • Avoid unnecessarily touching objects and surfaces, especially in the home of others
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Pay attention to your environment and those around you
  • Reassure clients that you have been practicing good hygiene and social distancing
  • Clean or disinfect objects you have taken into an environment that is not your own work or home space
  • Ensure common spaces in the office are regularly disinfected, especially before and after visits or child and family team meetings
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces in workspaces and vehicles
  • The following may be used for cleaning:
    • Cleaners approved by the CDC such as Clorox wipes, Lysol, alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol including isopropyl alcohol, bleach diluted with water (e.g., 2 tablespoons bleach to 1 quart water), or soap and water.
  • Follow use and safety instructions for any cleaning solution

Practice and promote self-care

Safety guidance when entering a home or making in-person contact

If in-person client contact or entry into a client home is necessary in order to adequately assess safety, follow the In Person Visit guidelines for Child Protection or Intact/Placement Services, including following the COVID-19 question flow chart.

Further guidance can be found in the following sections of this guide:

  • Child Protection
  • Child Welfare Services (CWS) Referrals/Intake Evaluations
  • Intact Family Services
  • Permanency/Placement

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Keeping a social distance of six feet and maintaining good hygiene practice is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Please refer to these guidelines for the proper use and disposal of gloves and disposable respirators.

4. Communication with Parents and Providers

Communication with parents

  • Show understanding for parent concerns and reassure them that the health and safety of their child(ren) in our care is important. DCFS is continuing to follow the guidelines from the Governor’s Office, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the CDC, in order to look after the safety and wellbeing of their child(ren) at this time. For further information on health guidance from these agencies visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/.
  • Parents and children are going to be experiencing stress. Their behavior is already under scrutiny through our involvement and possible court oversight. This is a great opportunity for us to strengthen and support those we serve. They will need our advocacy, information, and resources.

Electronic communications

  • WebEx should be used for internal and external communication. You can learn more about how to use WebEx here.
  • Zoom and Skype are not approved for confidential discussions hosted or facilitated by DCFS workers.
  • If participating in a video meeting not hosted or facilitated by DCFS (e.g. the courts), Zoom, Skype, and other programs (Google Meet, Adobe Connect) are approved.
  • For visits with their children, parents may use any platform available to them that they are comfortable with.
  • Documentation should reflect if visits or interviews are conducted via videoconferencing due to COVID-19.


Direction for providers who have questions about COVID-19

  • Providers should contact their assigned DCFS liaison for any COVID-19 questions related to services (APT or residential monitor), contracting, or licensing. Providers can also go to the DCFS Coronavirus webpage, which is frequently updated for the benefit of providers.

Telehealth information for providers

5. Immunocompromised and High-Risk Individuals

  • According to the CDC, older adults and individuals of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions as described here are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you have children or youth on your caseload who are in the higher risk categories, please ask caregivers and providers to take extra precautions to protect them from illness. Coordinate with primary care providers, DCFS nurses, and the Child and Family Team on specific steps to address the safety and wellbeing of a child in foster care.
  • If you have parents or caregivers on your caseload who are in a higher risk category, please take additional precautions regarding contact in order to promote their health. Engage the Child and Family Team to create safe, balanced solutions.

6. Child and Family Team Meetings

Child and Family Team Meetings (CFTMs) are a foundational part of the Illinois DCFS Core Practice Model, which includes Family-Centered, Trauma-Informed and Strengths-Based (FTS) Practice; CFTMs; and the Model of Supervisory Practice (MOSP). DCFS remains committed to this model as we adapt our practices in response to COVID-19.

During this time, it may be appropriate for CFTMs to be conducted via phone conference calls, or WebEx if the following circumstances apply:

  • There are no significant safety issues being addressed.
  • Remote communication meets family needs, and they have a mechanism to participate.
  • Group members have the ability to communicate via technology effectively.

Remember, CFTMs allow families to:

  • Address any barriers or changes created by COVID-19 such as modified visitation, modified court hearings, and potential temporary absence of community-based services and resources
  • Address unique stressors such as visitation, employment, and/or child care disruptions due to COVID-19
  • Talk about their family experience
  • Determine goals/outcomes they would like to accomplish
  • Identify strengths and needs
  • Identify natural and formal supports
  • Identify barriers
  • Create an alternative plan
  • Talk about their culture
  • Offer solutions that work for them
  • Address trauma
  • Develop resilience

7. Child Protection

Child Protection Specialists (CPSW) shall fulfill their mandate to respond in person to all hotline response codes: Normal, Action Needed, and Emergency. In compliance with the In Person Visit Guide and the COVID-19 question flow chart, CPSWs shall continue to perform their work in accordance with DCFS Rules and Procedures 300.

  • Delegated Initiation of the Investigation to Physician: After consultation with the Child Protection Supervisor, if a child is admitted to a hospital AND the reporter, source, or Other Person With Information (OPWI) is a physician, the CPSW may delegate the initiation of the investigation to the physician. The CPSW must speak directly with the physician in order to consider the case initiated. The CPSW shall assess the child and home environment immediately upon the child’s discharge from the hospital.
  • Delegated Initiation of the Investigation to Law Enforcement: After consultation with the Child Protection Supervisor, the CPSW may delegate the initiation of the investigation to a law enforcement agency in accordance with DCFS Procedure 300.50 Subsection (d)(1), Delegated Initiation of the Investigation


8. Child Welfare Services (CWS) Referrals/Intake Evaluations

Child Welfare Services (CWS) Referrals/Intake Evaluations should be assigned to workers within 24 hours.

  • Upon assignment, the worker shall contact the reporter to review the intake narrative and note any additional concerns from the reporter. Supervisor and worker shall review the information gathered. In some cases, the Intake Evaluation (CWS referral) may rise to the level of a child/abuse neglect report. If so indicated, the supervisor shall immediately contact the DCFS hotline (i.e., State Central Register, or SCR).
  • No later than 5 days after the assignment, the worker shall contact the family by phone to further assess the family. Based on the age of the child(ren) and the identified concerns, the supervisor shall decide if an in-person contact is warranted. If it is determined that an in-person contact is needed, the worker shall follow the In-Person Visit Guide prior to contact with children and families involved in the CWS Referrals/Intake Evaluation.
  • Workers shall not make in-person contact with a medically fragile or complex child. Staff shall arrange for phone or video conference to minimize the risk of exposure to the child.
  • If there is immediate concern for the safety of a child who exhibits flu-like symptoms, is in isolation, or is quarantined, the DCFS hotline and police or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) should be contacted.
  • A service determination shall be made no later than 30 days after the CWS/Intake Evaluation was assigned. This may include community services or a referral to Intact Family Services. Prior to a referral for Intact Family Services, all community service options must be exhausted. The Area Administrator must approve the intact referral which includes identified service needs.

9. Intact Family Services

Contact with Intact families shall include weekly video or phone contact.

  • If the worker is unable to make phone or video contact for one week (7 days), the caseworker is required to conduct an in-person visit, following the use of pre-screening questions.
  • The assigned Intact worker shall attempt to reach the parent/caretaker via video or phone communication, where possible.
  • Individual contact with each child in the family is required by video or phone communication method. Video contact is encouraged for younger children who may not be able to communicate verbally.
  • In-person contact shall be conducted monthly, following the In-Person Visit Guide.
  • Caseworkers shall not make in-person contact with a medically fragile or complex child. Staff shall arrange for phone or video conference to minimize the risk of exposure to the child.
  • All attempts to contact the children or caregivers must be documented.

Please consider the following criteria when making the decision for in-person versus video/phone contact:

  • Concerns related to safety, risk or wellbeing in the home can be effectively mitigated through electronic communication
  • The family is able and willing to maintain contact virtually
  • The parent is willing to walk the worker through the home via videoconferencing if the home environment is a concern
  • The child/youth has access to an electronic device that will sufficiently allow them to move to an area of the home where they can have a private conversation with the worker
  • More frequent and ongoing remote communication can occur to assure that child and family needs are being met

An in-person visit to the home is required if any of the following occur:

  • A new safety concern has been reported
  • The family has been unwilling to maintain contact virtually and there are concerns that the child(ren) could be in danger.
    • If an Intact Family Services or Placement/Permanency Worker has concerns about child safety but is unable to sufficiently interview and assess safety due to any “yes” answers to the COVID-19 questions, they shall consult with their supervisor regarding additional next steps. The supervisor shall consider with the worker the following efforts to ensure/assess safety:
      • Contacting law enforcement and/or Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
      • Contacting the DCFS hotline if/when there is a new allegation of abuse or neglect

Encourage families to utilize their formal and informal supports, including videoconferencing or phone contact with their extended family, religious community, therapist or other providers.

Prior to in-person contact with the family, phone contact should be made, and the following screening questions asked:

  • Has anyone in your home experienced symptoms: sore throat, body aches, coughing, shortness of breath, or a fever of 100.4 ˚F or higher within the last 14 days?
  • Within the last 14 days, has anyone in your home been in close contact (closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes without use of a mask) with someone confirmed to have COVID-19?

If the answer to either of the questions is "yes", a family or child is determined to be in medical isolation due to exposure, or a family or child is determined to be quarantined, video or phone contact is required.

If there is immediate concern for the safety of a child who exhibits flu-like symptoms, is in isolation or is quarantined, the hotline and police or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) shall be contacted.

10. Permanency/Placement Home Visits

Traditional Foster Care, Specialized Foster Care, Home of Relative, Fictive Kin placements, Youth in Reunification, Transitional Living Program

  • Caseworkers shall conduct visits with caregivers and children in the home weekly, via videoconference or phone.
  • Caseworkers shall not make in-person contact with a medically fragile or complex child. Staff shall arrange for phone or video conference to minimize the risk of exposure to the child.
  • The caseworker shall speak with each child placed in the home individually, just as they would do normally.
  • Ensure that a discussion is held on the impact of COVID-19 on their lives and any hardships experienced. All attempts to contact the children or caregivers must be documented. If the worker is unable to make phone or video contact for two weeks (14 days), the caseworker shall consult with their supervisor and an in-person visit will be required.
  • In-person visits with the caseworker shall take place only if there are safety concerns or a placement disruption. In those instances, caseworkers will follow the In-Person Visit Guide. Caseworkers shall take extra precautions, such as social distancing, frequent handwashing, use of protective gear and compliance with other CDC recommendations.
  • If caseworkers have children placed out of state, they shall check in with the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) courtesy worker frequently to ensure the children’s safety and needs are being assessed.

Residential and Group Home Setting

  • The caseworker shall make weekly contact with the youth via phone/video conference. Each facility has been appointed a DCFS contact person that is listed on the COVID-19 page on the D-Net, which the caseworker can access for further assistance.

Emergency Shelter and Psychiatric Hospitalization

  • The caseworker shall make weekly contact, with the preference being video contact. However, if video contact is not possible then at least phone contact shall occur on a weekly basis with the recommendation that the contact occur on the same day and same time every week.

Detention

  • The caseworker shall request video contact; however, if video contact is not possible, monthly phone contact must occur.

TPSN Youth living with their child(ren)

  • The caseworker shall continue to make in-person contact, following the In-Person Visit Guide.
  • If there is immediate concern for the safety of a child who exhibits flu-like symptoms, is in isolation, or is quarantined, the DCFS hotline and police or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) shall be contacted.

11. Parent-Child and Sibling Visits

  • In light of the extreme circumstances related to COVID-19 and the need to ensure that the health of children is protected through social distancing, DCFS is suspending all agency supervised in-person visitation between parents and children in foster care and all sibling visitation. This remains in effect until further notice from DCFS.
  • All DCFS and private agency staff as well as caregivers are requested to identify alternative ways to allow parent/child and sibling contact during this crisis. Technology such as telephones, videoconferencing, etc. will allow children to continue to have meaningful interaction with their families during this time.
  • Caregivers should use the technology available in their homes for this purpose. (For example, all caregivers are required to have access to a telephone in their home.) Caregivers should work to ensure that the alternative means of contact provides an opportunity for meaningful interaction with parents and siblings during the current public health crisis.
  • In the case of court-ordered in-person visitation, see Memo: Court Ordered In-Person Visitation (5/21/20).
  • If unsupervised visitation is currently in place, it may continue. It is recommended that a brief pre-screening be utilized to ensure that it is safe and appropriate to do so.
    • Pre-screening (must ask both questions):
      • Has anyone in your home experienced symptoms: sore throat, body aches, coughing, shortness of breath, or a fever of 100.4 ˚F or higher within the last 14 days?
      • Within the last 14 days, has anyone in your home been in close contact (closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes without use of a mask) with someone confirmed to have COVID-19?
    • If the answer is YES to either of the questions:
      • The unsupervised visits will be suspended until the youth/caregiver/family members are well and/or the 14-day quarantine has expired.
      • The youth/caregiver/family members will be notified of the COVID-19 risk assessment results.
      • Isolation measures will be implemented.
    • See DCFS Action Transmittal 2020.02 for additional detail.

12. Routine Medical/Dental Care for Youth in Care

  • Due to the COVID-19 outbreak routine medical and dental exams will be reduced or delayed. Foster parent/caregivers should reach out to providers to determine the status of medical appointments.
  • Foster parents and caregivers should call primary care providers to address any immediate health concerns for individual children.
  • Foster parents should notify the caseworker of any health concerns as well.

13. Respite

  • Foster parents unable to care for children due to work and school cancellations should reach out to the caseworker for assistance in finding solutions for respite.

14. Transition to Adult Living

Executive Order
In response to COVID-19, Governor Pritzker signed Executive Order 22. This order stated that youth aging out of DCFS care in April, May or June 2020, who choose to remain in their placement may do so during the established timeframe of the Executive Order. DCFS will continue to take full advantage of federal funding available through the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood.

Education Support
Youth pursuing post-secondary education may remain in the “Youth in College” placement until their 26th birthday. Youth need to maintain a 2.0 grade point average and be considered a full-time student. The “Youth-in-College” placement waives tuition for any Illinois university or college and provides the youth a monthly stipend for living expenses. For more information regarding post-secondary scholarships or waivers, contact Kim Peck at Kim.Peck@illinois.gov.

Family Advocacy Centers (FACs)
DCFS understands this pandemic may cause hardships for youth who have already aged out of care. Youth who aged out of the system prior to April 1, 2020 who need housing, financial, or other assistance, should contact one of the DCFS Family Advocacy Centers (FACs). A directory of FACs can be found by clicking this link: FAC Directory. For more information regarding FACs, please contact Julia Monzon at Julia.Monzon@illinois.gov.

Additional information can be found in DCFS Action Transmittal 2020.05 - P302.Appendix M, Transition Planning for Adolescents During COVID-19.

15. Case Transitions and Closure Considerations

Teams should consider cases that could be unnecessarily prolonged during this time period and act to move cases safely forward to attend to the needs of children and families and to prevent risk of community spread.

Intact Family Services

  • Handoff of new intact family cases shall occur with via phone/video conference such as WebEx and shall include the Public Service Administrator of Intact and Child Protection along with the Child Protections Specialist and the Child Welfare Specialist.
  • Transitional visits shall occur with the Child Protection Specialist and Child Welfare Specialist in person, per policy/procedure. The Child Protection Specialist shall utilize the pre-screening questions as outlined in the In-Person Visit Guide when contacting the family to schedule the transitional visit.
  • Case closure: The Child Welfare Specialist will conduct a final/closing Child and Family Team Meeting via phone/video conference, such as WebEx and FaceTime; depending on what resource the parent has available. The Child Welfare Specialist shall complete and submit a Final CERAP to the Intact Family Services Supervisor five (5) business days prior to the Intact Family Services case closing. The case cannot be closed unless the CERAP outcome is "safe." All children and parents/guardians who reside in the household must be seen. Children must be interviewed away from the adults. Supervisor approval of the CERAP must be entered before the case can be closed. The Child Welfare Specialist shall utilize the pre-screening questions when contacting the family to schedule the final home visit.

Placement/Permanency Cases

  • Handoff of new foster care cases shall occur with via phone/video conference, such as WebEx and shall include the POS Placement Supervisor or Public Service Administrator of Permanency and Supervisor/Public Service Administrator of Child Protection, along with the Child Protections Specialist and the Child Welfare Specialist.
  • Transitional Visits shall occur with the Child Protection Specialist and the Child Welfare Specialist in person. The Child Protection Specialist shall utilize the pre-screening questions as outlined in the In-Person Visit Guide when contacting the family to schedule the transitional visit.
  • Emancipated Youth: For youth who are ages 18-20 and close to emancipating from foster care, the team should consider whether now is a good time to make the transition. If the team decides to move forward with emancipation, then they must ensure the youth has strong informal and formal supports, and a solid transitional plan that takes into consideration:
    • Financial stability, current employment issues and the potential loss of income
    • Housing
    • Access to healthcare
    • Mental health resources
    • Transportation for urgent needs
  • Adoptions: If there is a currently planned adoption and it is still in the child’s best interest to move forward, the Child Welfare Specialist shall reach out to DCFS Legal and the court in which the hearing is set in order to determine if the court will proceed with the scheduled hearing.

16. Court Hearings

  • The courts’ responses to COVID-19 vary by county in Illinois – the Department has compiled and is regularly updating information specific to each of the 102 counties in Illinois (e.g., limitations on types of hearings, remote hearings). That information is available on the COVID-19 webpage on the D-Net.
  • Additionally, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts provides information from the State’s courts here: http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Administrative/covid-19.asp .

17. Drug Testing

  • Assessment for safety issues related to drug use should be holistic, relational, observational, and not dependent solely on drug testing.
  • Individuals required to drug test should continue to test in person if possible. Drug testing sites may be closed or have limited observed sample/specimen collecting. If an individual is sick and unable to test, or if testing is not available, they should contact their worker and attorney for guidance.
  • The Child and Family Team shall help identify supports or services to ensure child safety and reinforce the individual’s recovery/relapse prevention plan when testing is not an option.
  • During this time, DCFS and POS agencies should approach families with support and compassion; the crisis is not a reason to be punitive to parents. Lack of drug testing should not be the only factor determining continued visits or perceived parental compliance.
  • Our families will need added sobriety support. Please contact the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) to learn about the online and telehealth options they have for keeping clients connected to treatment and support.
  • This link can help locate an office in different areas of the state. https://findtreatment.gov/ . An additional free online support group for people with substance use disorder can be found here https://www.weconnectrecovery.com/free-online-support-meetings.

18. Confidentiality

  • While working remotely, please ensure confidentiality of information is maintained. Be conscientious of other people in your work space.
  • Ensure that hard copies of case materials and handwritten notes are stored in an area inaccessible to others.

19. Travel

COVID-19-related travel update

As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Illinois has made several changes in travel rules. Only certain travel will be allowed and reimbursements for any travel will be delayed.

The Illinois Office of the Comptroller is running at approximately 10% staff during this crisis. Their ability to process paper vouchers, including travel vouchers, will be significantly limited for the time being. For DCFS employees, this means that even travel that is still allowed by Governor’s Office rules could have reimbursement significantly delayed.

The Department’s mission requires that certain staff continue to have close contact with children and families despite the need for social distancing. Certain travel that is essential to performing job functions or to agency operations is still being allowed. This includes:

  • Travel for investigations, permanency and intact; and to follow-up on youth in care
  • Testifying in a court case or replying to a subpoena
  • Mandated training for public safety or health-related job functions
  • Other essential duties

If your travel does not fall into one of these categories, or if you have questions, make sure you discuss your need to travel with your deputy director or other appropriate management staff.

Employees who received the letter that they are still required to report to work will still need to use their office as headquarters.

Employees who received letters instructing them to work remotely should consider their homes to be their headquarters for purposes of claiming travel reimbursement. The following reason from the dropdown box in the travel system should be used for these employees: "Headquarters is Residence for duration of COVID-19 crisis."

All out-of-state travel requests to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) have been returned to the agency for reconsideration by DCFS. If the out-of-state travel request is found to be for essential travel, it can be resubmitted.

Staff should consider rescheduling, online options or utilizing phone and video conferencing as alternative options to travel.

If staff are required to cancel planned travel due to COVID-19, and suffer financial loss because of non-refundable flights, lodging, etc. these costs can be reimbursed.

As circumstances evolve, more information will be shared with staff via the D-Net. Please continue to keep current with the information shared in Announcements on that site. If you have any specific travel questions, please contact the statewide travel coordinator at DCFS.TravelCoordinator@illinois.gov.

20. Telework

Existing DCFS emergency procedures state that should an office/worksite be closed, employees who perform essential services may work from an alternative worksite with supervisory approval.


The following is adapted from full procedures, available at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/doit/services/catalog/collaboration/Pages/Remote-Work.aspx


Remote connectivity options are described below in the preferred order of usage for the State of Illinois environment.

  1. Employees who already have a state-issued laptop (or other device) from the State of Illinois that uses the NetMotion or Cisco AnyConnect VPN client, should use this option. The device allows for remote access and does not require any additional configuration.
  2. Employees who are approved by their agency to work remotely may utilize the Citrix Workspace for remote access. This is an established remote access option for approved users and instructions to log in remotely can be found in the resource documents.

Remote Access Instructions

Microsoft Office

WebEx

Remote Tools

21. Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC)

  • Illinois Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) coordinators are working remotely with laptops and work cell phones. Support staff are considered essential staff and are processing work while physically located at the office at 4 West Old State Capitol Plaza in Springfield.
  • Illinois workers are following Illinois DCFS guidelines for completing monthly visits with children placed from other states (using video/phone unless safety concerns).
  • Illinois home study evaluators are completing as much as they can via phone/video until restrictions are lifted, then will do the required in person home visit before issuing a recommendation.

22. Administrative Case Reviews (ACR)

  • As of March 18, 2020, ACR reviewers moved to working remotely and continue making necessary adjustments to reduce disruption for families and caseworkers.
  • ACR reviewers are using WebEx to perform ACRs remotely. This allows a face-to-face interaction via videoconference.
  • ACR managers are meeting daily via WebEx with the reviewers, generating a work attendance list and troubleshooting issues that arise.
  • As office coordinators do not have laptops, ACR managers have taken on many of the coordinators’ responsibilities to continue the notification process and scheduling/rescheduling for the next cycle of ACR reviews. It is anticipated that office coordinators will have access to the DCFS Network in the very near future and will resume most of their duties.
  • ACR reviewers are sending email notifications to case workers and entering the CRIP (Case Review Information Packets) directly into the ACR system, until office coordinators can resume this duty.
  • It is noted that while hard copy documentation remains a requirement to confirm areas of compliance, it has been increasingly difficult for caseworkers to provide this information. Reviewers are exercising flexibility as needed.
  • Reviewers now send ACR Feedback to the ACR Managers for entry into the ACR system.

23. Fingerprinting

The most recent Biometric Impressions fingerprinting locations, including emergency locations, are found here:

DCFS and POS staff should check the Biometric Impressions website daily for real-time office hours as some of the locations have temporarily changed: www.biometricimpressions.com

24. Youth Exposed/Confirmed Diagnosed with COVID-19

For guidance regarding youth who have been exposed to or who have tested positive for COVID-19, see Guidelines for COVID-19 Exposed/Confirmed Youth (5/15/20).