Process and Partners

Guiding Principles

Illinois HEALS incorporates the Guiding Principles articulated by the Office for Victims of Crime. These principles include:

  • Healing Individuals, Families, and Communities

    • Individuals and families who experience or have been exposed to violence deserve support for healing. Healing includes safety, justice, the opportunity to make positive social-emotional connections, and self-determination. Opportunities for healing occur at all points of contact; healing interventions are accessible, trauma-informed, strength-based, individualized, and gender- and culturally responsive.
  • Linked Systems of Care

    • All systems of care are connected and aspire to maximize collective impact through communication, collaboration, and coordination.
  • Informed Decision Making

    • Linked Systems of Care provide as much information as possible to families and practitioners so that the most targeted, holistic, safe, and effective interventions are available.


The strategic planning process—the first phase of the project—began shortly after the funds were awarded. On April 5th, 2018 the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) convened a Leadership Network meeting of senior-level policy makers and subject matter experts in discussions to inform the planning process.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2018, members of the Leadership Network, project staff, and other concerned leaders will document how children and youth victims are identified and their needs addressed. The project will initially explore six domains that represent frequent points of entry for children needing supportive services following an incident of victimization:

Planning image

Illinois HEALS also conducted a web-based survey from May 1st through June 8th, 2018 to learn about the scope of services available to victims of crime across the state. Analysis of the information will inform recommendations for enhancing the healing process for children, youth and families impacted by crime.

Beginning in May 2018, the Center for Victim Studies at ICJIA will conduct a research project to better understand victims' experiences of harm and contact with providers. The research project received institutional review board (IRB) approval in April and the study will continue throughout the summer and fall. The goal is to identify the needs of child/youth victims and family members/caregivers of young victims. This study will also explore the capacity of systems of care to meet those needs from the perspectives of adults with childhood victimization histories and family members/caregivers of child victims. If you are interested in being a study participant, please complete the brief survey to see if you qualify: Young Victims Study survey

Throughout the summer and fall of 2018, members of the Leadership Network and other stakeholders will review information that is collected and analyses that are conducted to produce an action plan for the state. The action plan, which will be complete in early 2019, will inform an OVC-supported implementation that will occur over the subsequent five years.

Timeline image

Action Plan

Illinois HEALS will support community-driven pilot projects that incorporate the guiding principles and are committed to creating systems of care for children, youth, and their families who have experienced or been exposed to violence. Projects will vary based on community needs and resources, though each project will incorporate important aspects shown to improve outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.

  • Training and support for members of the community and professionals. Training includes information about the impact of violence on child and adolescent development and the way that trauma can impact adults. Everyone who interacts with youth in a professional capacity—from school and medical staff to faith leaders and police officers—is in a position to put training into practice and intervene with youth in a positive way.
  • Multi-Disciplinary Teams that coordinate services for the community and identify resources that may benefit children, youth, and their families. These groups use system of care principles to increase access to services. There is also a mechanism in place for service providers to work closely to provide comprehensive, holistic support to families with complex needs beyond what the system has the capacity to address.
  • Enhanced services. Most communities in Illinois have some strong service providers who are able to meet many needs in the communities. Many communities also have service gaps because there are insufficient resources to support more providers or retain quality workers. There are also barriers—like transportation issues, hours of operation, or wait lists—to access services that result in less engagement in support for children, youth, and families. Projects will identify ways to address gaps and barriers to increase services available to those impacted by violence.

Illinois Stakeholders

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) was formed in 1983 as a state agency committed to improving the administration of criminal justice. The ICJIA brings together leaders from the justice system and the public to assist in the identification of challenges or barriers that are present within the justice system in Illinois, in an effort to improve efficiency and outcomes for the public. The ICJIA works in several categories to improve aspects of the criminal justice system: Grants Administration, Research and Analysis, Policy and Planning, and Information Systems and Technology. The 25-member board, comprised of state and local officials, as well as members of the public, sets agency priorities, tracks progress of ongoing programs, and monitors the agency’s budget. Learn more about the ICJIA at

Leadership Network

ICJIA is grateful to individuals from the following organizations and agencies in Illinois who are contributing leadership, expertise, and energy to this project:

    National Partners


    ICF partners with diverse clients to deliver research, programmatic support, technology services, and other assistance in a number of markets, including criminal justice. The ICF team has worked with the National Institute of Justice and the Office for Victims of Crime on other victim-centered research and has been involved in other studies of systems of care approaches. ICF is conducting a national study of this project to provide critical information back to the project partners and for future replication efforts. As part of the study, ICF will be working with the grantees and their partners to collect data about project activities and outcomes. Learn more about ICF at:

    The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

    The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) aims to provide communities with knowledge and skills to improve the lives of families and children who seek justice. The NCJFCJ provides training and technical assistance which contributes to the development and implementation of national policy, standards, and procedures regarding children and families and upholding the rights of victims and all family members and the safety of the community. The NCJFCJ provides training and technical assistance to demonstration sites through tools, resources, balanced approaches, and data-driven strategies, to strengthen demonstration sites’ ability to identify, intervene, and provide coordinated and effective services to youth and child victims and to identify lessons learned and develop materials to support future replication. Learn more about the NCJFCJ at

    The National Institute of Justice

    The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. NIJ is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice, particularly at the state and local levels.

    NIJ is overseeing ICF, International in the conduct of the national study of this project. The national study is designed to provide critical information and data about project activities and outcomes in order to guide future replication efforts. This project falls under NIJ’s program of research on Children Exposed to Violence: Learn more about NIJ at

    Office for Victims of Crime

    The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is committed to enhancing the Nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and to providing leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. OVC distributes federal program funds, offers trainings, supports national projects, and hosts programs to help raise awareness about victims’ rights and services to the public. Learn more about OVC at

    State Demonstration Sites

    Four states–including Illinois–are are designated as demonstration sites for this discretionary grant. The states are in two cohorts, grouped by the year of their awards. Receiving awards in 2017, Illinois and Ohio are part of the second cohort. The first cohort is comprised of Montana and Virginia, who received awards in 2015 and are implementing aspects of their respective plans.

    Montana Board of Crime Control

    Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC) is the designated state agency that administers millions of grant dollars dedicated to preventing and addressing crime statewide. MBCC is headed by an 18-member board appointed by the Governor and represents law enforcement, criminal and juvenile justice system stakeholders, and citizens, including the first Montanans, our state’s Native Americans. The mission of MBCC is to proactively contribute to public safety, crime prevention, and victim assistance through planning, policy development, and coordination of the justice system in partnership with citizens, government, and communities. Learn more about MBCC at

    The Ohio Attorney General’s Office

    The Ohio Attorney General’s Office (OAG) consists of nearly 30 distinct sections that advocate for consumers and victims of violent crime, assist the criminal justice community, provide legal counsel for state offices and agencies, and enforce certain state laws. The Crime Victim Services Section, specifically, will be overseeing the work of this project and provides training, outreach, and funding (among other services) to first responders and other crime victim service providers throughout Ohio. The OAG offers services to protect all Ohioans, including children, families, consumers, the elderly, victims of violent crime, and veterans. Learn more about the OAG at

    Virginia Department of Social Services

    The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) is one of the largest agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It partners with 120 local departments of social services, along with faith-based and nonprofit organizations, 1,650 (state) and 8,500 (local) human services professionals to promote the well-being of children and families statewide and ensure that thousands of Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens have access to the best services and benefits available to them. The agency’s mission is to help people shape strong futures for themselves, their families, and communities, through the delivery of essential services that help them triumph over poverty, abuse and neglect. Learn more about VDSS Linking Systems of Care project at: