|Northwestern University's Dr. John Lyons is the developer of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment instrument. Northwestern has acted as the Statewide Administer of the CANS program for many years. CANS is nationally recognized as the leading tool in assessing the behavioral health needs and strengths of children and youth and the emergent systems at time of crisis decision making. Northwestern has created and managed a state-of-the-art web-based training and loading capacity for DCFS and other departments in Illinois, as well as, for child welfare departments in other states. Partnering with DCFS, the transition to CANS 2.0 is underway and will unify the assessment work and assist with the implementation of Illinois Medicaid CANS. Northwestern MHSPP built the trauma practice and credentialing program for DCFS and any change of vendors would severely hamper this program and require additional state funds to rebuild it. The department is not charged for use of Northwestern's license for the ArcGIS software and Northwestern is able to create detailed geographical maps, overlays and gap analysis for the GIS Program that the department is unable to replicate and at a reduced cost to the department. Northwestern has created numerous residential treatment and performance-based contracting analysis and standards for the department that are indicative of their unique expertise and would be difficult and costly to the state for another vendor to replicate. Northwestern created the new Service Provider Identification and Exploration Resource (SPIDER) Database in coordination with DCFS OITS staff and Clinical Practice staff and is uniquely qualified to continue providing support for this multi-faceted program, any change would severely hamper this critical new tool. Northwestern has enhanced and provides a program administrator and subject matter expert for the Intensive Placement Stabilization Program and provides training to the department and private agency staff that would be difficult and costly for another vendor to reproduce. Dually Involved Youth and Human Trafficking program was created by Northwestern in partnership with the Department and the program is critical to the work with the identified high-risk populations and would be difficult and costly for another vendor to reproduce and a change would be disruptive to the program and Department. Northwestern's work with placement and service delivery enables them to provide matching services for DCFS youth for the Placement and Community services program more cost effectively than DFCS staff and other potential vendors. Well-being among Youth with Special Healthcare needs is a research project currently in phase two that is expected to be completed before the end of the current calendar year and any disruption in this program would be detrimental to the program and costly for the state to reproduce. Northwestern's Jennifer Marett is a subject matter expert who has been working on the Adoption Preservation Training, Coaching and Fidelity Monitoring program and the SASS program since 2015 and is uniquely qualified to provide work on these programs, any change would be disruptive to the programs, and recipients of the training, and would be costly and time consuming for another vendor to replicate. Northwestern is a integral partner with the Department to support program development and implementation for the B.H Consent Decree, and is uniquely qualified to continue their work on a critical consent decree. Failure to meet the terms of the consent decree would be very costly to the state and potentially harm vulnerable youth in care.|
Northwestern's MHSPP staff and program experience, data collection and analysis capabilities, reporting capabilities, training capabilities, research capabilities and more than a decade long history of providing these services to the Department for the programs above. The department has spent more than 35 million dollars with this vendor since 2007 to create and enhance the fundamental components and capabilities for these programs in an effort to provide the best possible outcome for DCFS youth. The Illinois programs in which Northwestern participates serve more than 5,500 youth annually.