Illinois Families and Their Use of Multiple Service Systems
This brief presents findings from an analysis aimed at identifying the amount of government social program participation overlap among Illinois families. The focus is on five important social programs—foster care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and juvenile and adult corrections. To the extent that families are involved in multiple systems, the overlap of needs and service delivery has significant implications for the overall state budget and for how services might be organized and provided more efficiently and effectively.
The brief identifies the numbers and characteristics of multi-system families—families that use services from more than one of the five programs. These investigations represent a significant advance in terms of understanding the complex needs of the state’s most troubled families. This type of analysis can be of substantial use to government agencies as they allocate resources and address the organization of services and programs throughout the state.
The brief provides some preliminary findings from the study. First, the authors explain the approach to identifying the study population and the sources of data used for the study. Next, they explore the degree to which service overlap occurs, the relative costs among families that are and are not in multiple systems, and which services tend to be received by the same families. The brief concludes by proposing future directions for data development and analysis.