Sen. Cristina Castro

SPRINGFIELD – A pilot program meant to provide supervision and care to adults and children with developmental disabilities will be expanded and made permanent under a measure sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“Taking care of an individual with developmental disabilities can be a real challenge and many families across the state struggle to do so,” Castro said. “The pilot program proved to be successful in providing services to those in Illinois who really needed it, which is why it should be made permanent and expanded to provide even more assistance.”

Senate Bill 3416 removes the pilot designation from what will be known as the Voucher Respite Program. Under the program, the Department of Human Services issues vouchers to participating families, which can be used to purchase services meant to provide supervision and care to individuals with developmental disabilities. The bill also removes the provider limit and expands the number of entities who may administer the program.

“Under this expansion, we’re increasing the number of families who have access to services and providing them with greater flexibility over their choices to ensure not only that their needs can be accommodated, but that the services are provided promptly and without delay,” Castro said.

The bill, which was an initiative of DHS, passed through the Senate Committee on Human Services Tuesday and awaits final action before the full Senate.