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Illinois Heals: Helping Everyone Access Linked Systems - Action Plan

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2019
82 pages
This report presents the Action Plan for implementing the Illinois Helping Everyone Access Linked Systems (Illinois HEALS), which is a 6-year initiative funded by a grant from the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) for the purpose of improving the identification, connection, and service engagement of children, youth, and their families impacted by violence in Illinois.
The Illinois HEALS Action Plan will guide the future work of the project in implementing policies, practices, and programs that strengthen the capacity of Illinois' communities to recognize when victimization has occurred and connect and engage young victims and families in needed services. Across the planning activities, a common theme emerged. Although identification, referral, and support are essential in creating strong linkages, the discussions of stakeholders and victims focused on relationships as the foundation for identification, referral, and support actions. Victims emphasized that an effective response to victims requires relationships based on trust and respect. Providers discussed how relationships with systems and agencies are based on accountability and resource-sharing. With this relational approach to linkages as the guiding framework, Illinois HEALS will partner with one or more demonstration sites to strengthen those communities' capacities to recognize victimization, connect individuals with resources, and engage children and youth with their families in support services. These projects will be driven by the community, including the residents and organizations that serve them. The six Action Plan goals are outlined.