Illinois Early Intervention Services Systems Act and Potential Return on Investment for Local Agencies and School Districts: A Researched Based Policy Analysis

Lorna Gilmore

Abstract


The Illinois Early Intervention Services System Act was created when Illinois lawmakers noticed there was a need for children ages 0-36 months with developmental delays to access educational intervention services. As of 2007, nearly 17,000 children ages 0-36 months were receiving services from this policy. This number is nearly 4 percent of the entire Illinois population of 0-36 month old children. Children in rural Illinois communities have an especially hard time receiving proper services. Poverty stricken families also have difficulty finding adequate child care, thus leaving them with virtually no choice but to care for their children with developmental disabilities on their own. Since the implementation of this policy, it has been found to be extremely successful in helping children and their families cope with developmental delays. The cost of running
these programs far under weigh the costs of caring for a child with developmental delays once they reach elementary school and later childhood. If more community agencies and school districts would provide services like these, the return on investment would be significantly higher considering these programs tend to cost less than the services children receive in later childhood. It is up to the state of Illinois to provide more funding for these programs. Once this happens, it is up to local agencies to seek these State funds and to create more resources for children 0-36 months in their community.

Keywords


Early Intervention Services; Individualized Family Service Plan; Return on Investment; Developmental Delay; At-Risk Child

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Copyright (c) 2017 Lorna Gilmore


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