Kane County Health Department Receives Funding to Improve Children’s Mental Health


July 11, 2018

Contact: Michael Isaacson (630) 208-3140

630-927-3823 (cell)



Kane County Health Department Receives Funding to Improve Children’s Mental Health


The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has awarded the Kane County Health Department an initial $200,000 planning grant to improve the system of care for children and their families. Once the initial planning year is completed, Kane County will be eligible for an additional $2.1 million over the following six years for implementation.  This project will be a collaboration between the health department and many committed partner organizations and collaboratives working to serve the mental health needs of young people in Kane County.


In May of this year, community stakeholders reviewed health data for Kane County and again selected Behavioral Health as one of the top three health priorities in the new Kane County Community Health Improvement Plan. Community leaders voted mental health and substance abuse to be the most severe health issues facing our residents.


“We are fortunate in Kane County to have so many individuals and organizations doing tremendous work to address the behavioral health needs of our young residents,” stated Michael Isaacson, MPH, Assistant Director for Community Health at the Kane County Health Department and Project Director for this initiative. “This funding and technical support from the Foundation will support efforts to coordinate and expand existing efforts to better meet the needs of our families.”


The project will utilize a holistic approach and engage multiple, existing collaboratives made up of organizations representing early childhood, education, justice, local government, mental health, primary care, social services and substance abuse providers.  The foundation of this project will be 1) coordinated screenings, 2) a single point of entry and 3) capacity building to increase wraparound services. These data driven efforts will emphasize measuring and evaluating quality and family satisfaction. The project seeks to meet the unique needs of all children, utilizing a “no wrong door” approach that facilitates a family’s access into coordinated care, regardless of how they enter the system. Regular, coordinated review of the data by the partners and a strong commitment to continuous quality improvement will identify sub-populations whose needs are not being met. The major strength of this project is that multiple sectors are committing resources to seek upstream solutions together in an effort to reduce the burden on families. The intent is that there be ongoing communication and learning shared between this project, the ILCHF and the other ILCHF funded projects to improve how mental health services are provided not just in Kane County, but across the State of Illinois.

Collaboratives committed to this project include:

All Our Kids (AOK) Early Childhood Network- http://kanehealth.com/aok.htm

Kane County Behavioral Health Council- https://www.wesupportmentalhealth.org/

Kane County Juvenile Justice Council- http://jjcouncil.countyofkane.org/


Additionally, individual agencies that contributed to the successful funding application and have formally committed to participate on the Community Planning Team for this project include: Association for Individual Development; Family Counseling Services of Aurora; Family Service Association of Greater Elgin; Kane County Regional Office of Education; Renz Addiction Counseling Center; TriCity Family Services; VNA Health Care and the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Families will also participate on the Planning Team to provide the critical consumer perspective. 


A copy of the original ILCHF media release is included below for background on the statewide effort.

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  1. 773-771-7696


ILCHF Commits $11.5 Million to Improve Children’s Mental Health

Awards Planning Grants to 5 Illinois Communities


Oak Brook, IL (July 11, 2018) — Building upon its successful Children’s Mental Health
Initiative (CMHI 1.0), the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation is applying lessons learned to help five more Illinois communities develop a coordinated system of care for children and families. The Foundation awarded 13 month $200,000 planning grants to enable mental and physical health providers, schools, parents, youth and other community\ organizations to develop a plan to improve the health of their children and communities. If the planning process is successful, in November 2019 each of the five communities will receive a second grant of $2.1 million over six years to implement their plans.


At any point in time, one in 10 children in Illinois suffers from a mental illness severe enough to cause some level of impairment; yet, in any given year only about 20% of these children receive mental health services.1 Children who are experiencing environmental trauma and stress, anxiety, or depression can be unable to learn or function to their full potential. A coordinated system of care which includes their primary care doctor, school, community mental health provider and other services can give these children and their families the support they need to thrive at home, in school and in their communities.


”As a field, we know the best approaches to caring for children with behavioral and emotional problems, and early intervention is key,” said Amy Starin, PhD. LCSW. ILCHF Senior Program Officer for Mental Health. “Each community in Illinois is unique and these grants will give them the resources to plan together. It is the start of what we hope will be a successful implementation of their plan over the following six years.”


The five communities were selected through a rigorous review process from twenty-nine submitted proposals. “We are applying learning from the first four CMHI communities, and the CMHI 1.0 leadership will serve as mentors for this second round of grantees. Evaluation will be an integral part of this work as we support these five new communities in creating evidencebased models that communities across Illinois can learn from,” explained Heather Alderman, ILCHF president. “Our greatest hope is that these projects will result in real change that helps move the State toward the ILCHF Vision that ‘Every Child in Illinois Grows up Healthy’“.



Funded Communities Include:


About Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation

Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) is the only statewide private foundation solely focused on improving the health of all children in the State of Illinois. ILCHF was created in December 2002 through an action of then Attorney General Jim Ryan and an Illinois insurance carrier. This action and a settlement of approximately $125 million established the Foundation’s endowment.


From 2002 to 2018, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation has awarded more than $79 million in grants that has been invested in programs aimed at improving children’s overall health in Illinois, with a focus in oral health and mental health. For additional information about ILCHF, please see www.ilchf.org.

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