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Legal Council Advocates VS. CPS Special Education

After a public inquiry team, led by the Illinois State Board of Education, spent the last five months investigating Chicago Public Schools’ Special Education policies and practices and found significant and unnecessary delays and denials in services, the Board voted Wednesday to approve an independent monitor to oversee CPS as it works to implement changes. This news also comes after a survey crafted by Legal Council & other Special Education advocates identified devastating delays, denials and roadblocks in providing Special Education services to CPS students. More than 2,200 people responded to the survey, including teachers, parents, and school administrators. 45% of all survey respondents reported cases where students’ required aides were denied, due to “insufficient student data,” or a representative did not attend a meeting to finalize the student’s Individualized Education Plan–which is a violation of federal law. 95% of teachers and...

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New Ways to Combat Lead-Poisoning

In 2015, 10,322 kids in Illinois had elevated lead levels in their blood–and that’s only the kids tested. Many children don’t have access or aren’t eligible for the services necessary to help children after lead exposure. Those services are called Early Intervention.

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Reaching the Summit

Legal Council for Health Justice participated in the 12th Annual National Medical-Legal Partnership Summit this past April in Washington, DC. This year’s summit theme—Integrating Health and Legal Services to Transform Care Delivery—attracted a fantastic turnout of dedicated MLP (Medical-Legal Partnership) health care providers, MPH researchers, social work, hospital and health care system administrators and lawyers

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Training to Sustain

At Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (CMLPC) meetings, legal advocates ask questions about cases, share perspectives, and tell success stories. Last week, Sarah Hess, a staff attorney in the UIC Coordination of Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK) program, shared a particularly meaningful success.

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CHECK it out!

University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) recently informed us that the Legal Council was chosen to establish a program at UIC to provide legal services to children who are cared for through the Coordination of Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK) program. This will allow the Council to grow our children’s program and hire additional legal staff to handle the significant demand. We will be able to bring on an additional attorney and two paralegals for the CHECK program.

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No place like home

Yesterday, federal district court Judge Charles P. Kocoras issued a court order requiring HFS [Illinois’ Medicaid agency] to “take immediate and affirmative steps to provide the very in-home shift nursing services that HFS approved.”

More than 1200 children have been approved for in-home nursing services based on their high level of medical need. Many of these children are dependent on complex medical regimens for routine bodily functions, such as eating, drinking, breathing, and oxygen regulation. Yet, the State failed to arrange for in-home nursing, resulting in unnecessary and costly institutionalization, heightened risk of medical complications, and diminished quality of life.

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