Child & Family Connections
Child and Family Connections (CFC) serves families with children under the age of 3 with suspected developmental delays. CFC provides a system point of entry into the Illinois Early Intervention System. CFC provides service coordination of early intervention services including evaluations, connecting eligible families to therapies, community resources and transition.
How We Help
CFC links families to EI services and teaches families how to play with their children in order to help them learn and increase essential skills in the following areas of development:
- Physical: how your baby moves and explores
- Cognitive: how your baby learns
- Communication: how your baby lets you know what he/she needs
- Social/Emotional: how your baby engages with you and shows feelings
- Adaptive: how your baby uses new skills
Some CFC services available through the Health Department are provided to families at no cost, regardless of income, including:
- Audiological services
- Development of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP)
- Eligibility evaluations
- Monitoring of ongoing development for eligible children
- Parent liaison services
- Providing additional resource information to families
- Service coordination (similar to case management)
The family-centered EI services are coordinated, culturally sensitive, comprehensive and effective in assisting families to help their children reach their fullest potential. CFC staff ensures that families are aware of their EI rights and choices for services.
Who Can Receive Services
Children under the age of 3 who are residents of Lake County, and:
- Exhibit a delay of 30% or more in one or more developmental area; or
- Have a physical or mental health condition which typically results in a developmental delay;
- Is at risk of a substantial developmental delay according to informed clinical opinion; or
- Has confirmation through clinical judgment of qualified staff
Children for whom DCFS is the guardian are required to receive developmental screenings prior to referral to CFC. If a foster child fails a developmental screening, either the screening site with your permission or the DCFS caseworker will make a referral to the CFC No. 2 office.
Tip for Parents
The program encourages parents to talk with their child's doctor at every visit about the milestones their child has reached, and what to expect next. They can also ask the doctor to conduct a five-minute screening that will help assess whether the child should receive any type of early intervention.
Early Intervention is open and accepting referrals during COVID-19.
Services are being provided through:
- Telephone consultation
- Live video visit
- Limited face-to-face visits
- Hybrid approach
Anyone can make a referral. Please call (847) 377-8931 for English or (847) 377-8932 for Spanish. Click the infographic to learn more.
All services provided by Child & Family Connections staff, and all evaluations and assessments are free. If the child is found eligible for early intervention services, and the family agrees to be part of the EI program, then the family will pay an annual family participation fee based on joint income. The fee ranges from zero to $2,400 per year based on family income. Families may provide a copy of the most recent federal income tax return, two consecutive pay stubs from each wage earner in the home, or a current Medicaid/AllKids card to establish what fees are paid. The Illinois Department of Human Services will break the annual fee into monthly payments and send monthly bills to the family. Families with a current public aid or WIC card will not have a family participation fee. The family service coordinator will review fee information with the family so family members are aware of the annual participation fee before developing the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
Are families required to use their private insurance for Early Intervention services?
Yes. Our program requires families to use their private insurance, especially if it is in the best interest of the family. Our service coordinators encourage families to learn about their insurance so they can make the best decisions. Once services begin, early intervention providers will, with family permission, bill the family health insurance for the cost of the service. Any EI services not covered by health insurance will be billed to the Illinois Early Intervention Program which uses family fee dollars and Early Intervention dollars. If a family’s private insurance pays for services, family fees will be less. Also, if a family uses insurance, it is not necessary for a family to pay insurance co-pays or deductibles for Early Intervention services.
Can families be exempt from paying family participation fees?
Yes. You may request an exemption if your family is experiencing extraordinary medical or other catastrophic circumstances causing expenses in excess of 15% of your gross income. You may request a Family Participation Fee Exemption Request from your service coordinator.
CFC Providers, Translators & Interpreters
The Illinois Department of Human Services-Bureau of Early Intervention has a contract with all providers (therapists), interpreters and translators. Each independent provider or agency is paid through the Department of Human Services. The Child and Family Connections office (CFC 2 covers all of Lake County, Illinois) is the single point of entry for infants and toddlers with a diagnosis or developmental delay to connect with Early Intervention supports and services. The CFC connects families to supports and services by authorizing the providers, interpreters and translators necessary to comply with the family's individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
Interpreter and Translator Database Questionnaire (PDF)
Early Intervention Clearinghouse
Important Information from the Early Intervention Clearinghouse.