Early childhood grant aims to seamlessly pair families with resources

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 7:28 PM CST
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MACOMB (WGEM) - Regional Office of Education #26 (ROE26) is using what officials call a “dream come true” grant to make connecting in-need families to social services more efficiently.

SEL Family Support Specialist Mandy Kreps said she receives calls daily from families seeking food, shelter and transportation assistance.

She said the $62,000 grant, awarded from Birth to Five Illinois, will be used to implement new technology called IRIS, which stands for Integrated Referral Intake System.

Kreps said this will help make referral process seamless.

“This is a very rural area, so when a family needs a resource they’re moving from place to place, going from agency to agency looking for different resources,” Kreps said. “With this its almost like a one-stop shop for access to different services.”

Kreps hopes to have IRIS implemented by June.

The grant money will cover costs of staffing, equipment, mileage, administration and services provided.

Kreps said this will build an early childhood education collaboration.

ROE26 covers Hancock, Schuyler, McDonough and Fulton counties.

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