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DHS News October 2012

DHS Public Meetings  

In early October, DHS received notice that Allegheny County was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to be eligible for a Pa Human Services Block Grant, which will allow for greater flexibility in providing certain services to county residents. As a way to speak with the public about the implementation of this new funding plan, two public meetings were held at the Human Services Building on Friday, October 19 and Monday, October 22.

These meetings were attended by more than 200 people, including consumers, family members, advocacy groups, contracted providers, and staff from both the county and DHS. Forty attendees used the event as an opportunity to share their testimonials and concerns. Common themes from the hearings included:

  • a desire for consumer and family involvement in defining needs, developing the block grant plan and monitoring block grant implementation;
  • the need for consumers to be involved by exercising their right to vote and becoming involved in advocacy for programming at the state level;
  • a recommendation for the continued support of specific groups and programs, including the Allegheny Link to Aging and Disability Resources, APPRISE, family support services, peer support, life skills development services, the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) organization, and social rehabilitation services;
  • a dedication to issues involving the needs of very young children, youth emancipated from the foster care system and affordable housing;
  • concern over how the block grant’s success will be evaluated; and
  • the need for stakeholders to come together to provide the best service system possible to those in need.

Information gathered during these meetings was included in the final draft of the block grant plan, which was submitted to DPW.

All materials related to the block grant, including the FY 2012/2013 Allegheny County Human Services Block Grant Plan, are posted on the Allegheny County Human Services Block Grant page of the DHS websote and will be updated as new information becomes available.

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