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20 ILCS 1705/4.4

    (20 ILCS 1705/4.4)
    Sec. 4.4. Direct support person credential pilot program.
    (a) In this Section, "direct support person credential" means a document issued to an individual by a recognized accrediting body attesting that the individual has met the professional requirements of the credentialing program by the Division of Developmental Disabilities of the Department of Human Services.
    (b) The Division shall initiate a program to continue to gain the expertise and knowledge of the developmental disabilities workforce and of the developmental disabilities workforce recruitment and retention needs throughout the developmental disabilities field. The Division shall implement a direct support person credential pilot program to assist and attract persons into the field of direct support, advance direct support as a career, and professionalize the field to promote workforce recruitment and retention efforts, advanced skills and competencies, and further ensure the health, safety, and well-being of persons being served.
    (c) The direct support person credential pilot program is created within the Division to assist persons in the field of developmental disabilities in obtaining a credential in their fields of expertise.
    (d) The pilot program shall be administered by the Division for 3 years. The pilot program shall include providers licensed and certified by the Division or by the Department of Public Health. The purpose of the pilot program is to assess how the establishment of a State-accredited direct support person credential:
        (1) promotes recruitment and retention efforts in the
    
developmental disabilities field, notably the direct support person position;
        (2) enhances competence in the developmental
    
disabilities field;
        (3) yields quality supports and services to persons
    
with developmental disabilities; and
        (4) advances the health and safety requirements set
    
forth by the State.
    (e) The Division, in administering the pilot program, shall consider, but not be limited to, the following:
        (1) best practices learning initiatives, including
    
the University of Minnesota's college of direct support and all Illinois Department of Human Services-approved direct support person competencies;
        (2) national direct support professional and person
    
competencies or credentialing-based standards and trainings;
        (3) facilitating direct support person's portfolio
    
development;
        (4) the role and value of skill mentors; and
        (5) creating a career ladder.
    (f) The Division shall produce a report detailing the progress of the pilot program, including, but not limited to:
        (1) the rate of recruitment and retention for direct
    
support persons of providers participating in the pilot program compared to the rate for non-participating providers;
        (2) the number of direct support persons
    
credentialed; and
        (3) the enhancement of quality supports and services
    
to persons with developmental disabilities.
(Source: P.A. 100-754, eff. 8-10-18; 101-81, eff. 7-12-19.)