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Illinois Head Start Collaboration Office

The Illinois Head Start State Collaboration Office (ILHSSCO) is located in the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). ILHSSCO is overseen by the Division of Family and Community Services, Child Care. The IDHS mission is to assist Illinois residents in achieving self-sufficiency, independence, and health to the maximum extent possible. This is accomplished by providing integrated, family-oriented services, promoting prevention, and establishing measurable outcomes in partnership with communities.

The IDHS Division of Family and Community Services provides benefits and services to customers with the goal of helping individuals and families achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. They work to improve the health and well-being of families and individuals through partnerships and services that build strong communities.

ILHSSCO's vision and mission is to increase the quantity and improve the quality of services for low-income families with young children through collaboration. The ILHSSCO is dedicated to creating and enhancing partnerships at the federal, state, and local levels that successfully meet the early care and education, family support, health, and community building needs of low-income Illinois families with young children. The Illinois Collaboration Office works to remove collaboration barriers and champion integrated systems.

The ILHSSCO generally achieves its mission through four lines of business:

  • System Development and Planning – Reducing and resolving collaboration barriers; conducting pilot projects; needs assessments; data collection and analysis; program development; inclusion of the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program; and representation on various groups.
  • Information and Product Development and Dissemination – Documents and publications that inform various groups about each other to further collaboration and the Head Start website.
  • Technical Assistance and Professional Development – Conducting and coordinating professional development events about collaboration; providing guidance and resources; and working with local communities, as needed and appropriate, to help them advance collaboration.
  • Advocacy – Advocating for policy and system changes as barriers are identified and solutions found, and informing about regulation and policy.