Pay For Success

Illinois Announces PFS Initiative for Dually-Involved Youth (Cross Post)


Chicago, IL – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and the Conscience Community Network, today announced the launch of a ramp-up phase of a Pay for Success pilot project to improve outcomes for youth involved with both the child welfare and juvenile delinquency systems in Illinois.

“Dually-involved youth are a unique challenge to the state of Illinois, and historically have seen poor outcomes such as homelessness, substance abuse and recidivism,” said George H. Sheldon, Acting Director of the Department of Children and Family Services. “Additionally, we recognize that state has had an over reliance on deep-end residential care, which is expensive and not always the best placement for youth. This initiative is consistent with recommendations of the BH Consent Decree expert panel and the department’s move to establish innovative programs that focus on the individual needs of youth, instead of a one-size fits all approach. We’ll be able to reduce, and in some instances eliminate, the amount of time dually-involved youth spend in residential care and ensure that tax dollars are being spent responsibly on programs that are reaching desired outcomes.”

The Conscience Community Network, LLC (CCN) – a network of six Illinois nonprofit service providers – is collaborating with the state of Illinois and local community partners to serve dually-involved youth throughout the state. CCN will provide these children with intensive case coordination and timely access to evidence-based treatments in order to reduce time in costly institutional care, prevent repeat criminal behavior, and foster successful transitions to adulthood.

Over the six-month ramp-up period, CCN will enroll 50 dually-involved youth in Cook, Lake, Franklin and Jefferson counties. The purpose of the ramp-up period is to ensure project operations work effectively, including referral mechanisms and intake and service enrollment processes. In addition, the ramp-up will allow CCN to scale service capacity and conduct staff trainings.

“The service providers in the Conscience Community Network have a demonstrated commitment to improving outcomes for Illinois’ most vulnerable children and families. Caught at the crossroads of State systems, dually-involved youth face many challenges that keep them from realizing their full potential,” said Doryce McCarthy, Interim Project Director for the initiative. “We have collaborated with the State to modify systems and processes so we can identify dually-involved youth faster and better coordinate services across agencies and departments. Our network is also expanding access to evidence-based treatments that can measurably change lives. We are grateful for the opportunity to advance this rigorous, outcomes-focused initiative and hope it can be a model of innovation across the State.”

“The Illinois Dually-Involved Youth Initiative aligns with state-wide efforts to intervene early, and ensure more system-involved youth are treated closer to home,” said Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Director Candice Jones. “Research reinforces that these types of interventions have better outcomes than deep-end secure-care custody, and go further to protect public safety by reducing recidivism.”

Dually-involved youth interact with multiple government systems and have distinct personal challenges. The goal for this initiative is to improve outcomes by changing both systems behavior and child and family behavior. This is only possible as a result of the Departments of Children and Family Services and Juvenile Justice, CCN, and other stakeholders developing a system of care that coordinates rapid identification, comprehensive and collaborative case coordination, and increased access to proven clinical programs for Illinois’ dually-involved youth.

CCN’s approach is three-pronged and modeled on the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM), a set of proven practices developed by the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy – Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR). The CYPM has been implemented throughout the U.S. and is focused on breaking down systematic barriers to enable early identification, advocacy in the courts, access to trusted care alternatives, and coordination of case management of dually-involved youth. CCN has partnered with CJJR on the implementation of the model for the initiative. The initiative will scale clinical and community-based resources and wraparound services for dually-involved youth and provide access, as required by each youth and family, to Treatment Foster Care Oregon, Multi-systemic Therapy, Functional Family Therapy, Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress, and Attachment Self-Regulation and Competency. All youth will receive comprehensive case coordination and wraparound services coordinated by CCN in close collaboration with DCFS.

Pay for Success is a performance contracting model that drives government resources toward social programs that prove effective at providing positive results to the people who need them most. The effectiveness of programs are tracked over time, and the government is required to pay for those services only if and when they succeed in measurably improving the lives of people most in need.

The Department of Children and Family Services is currently negotiating details for a final Pay for Success contract with CCN to provide additional services for troubled youth and aligns with the administration’s commitment to establishing innovative, evidence based pilot programs to tackle challenges facing young people in the state of Illinois. Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. is serving as transaction coordinator and is providing on-going advisory services to CCN throughout construction of the initiative. The Harvard Kennedy School Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab is providing pro-bono technical assistance to the state, supported through the Dunham Fund.

Additional information on the Illinois Dually-Involved Youth Pay for Success initiative ramp-up is available on the DCFS website or by clicking here.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Contact: Veronica Resa, 312.814.6847