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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.

Murals Brighten CYF Visitation Rooms
Families now have a colorful and engaging new way to interact in Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) visitation rooms. Thanks to a generous donation from Georgia Hernandez, chair of the CYF advisory board, visitation rooms in each of the five regional offices are now adorned with murals painted by local artist Michele Goyak. PDF Icon See samples of the murals

Promoting Career Development for Students with Disabilities
On the third Wednesday of every October, thousands of private, nonprofit, government and educational organizations around the world open their doors to students with disabilities for Disability Mentoring Day. Allegheny County government was among the participating organizations, hosting 13 students from Penn Hills and North Hills high schools.

Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Dom Care
First established in 1978, AAA’s Domiciliary Care (Dom Care) program provides a supportive, home-like setting for adults 18 years and older who are unable to live independently. The program matches older adults and individuals who may have physical or mental challenges with families who are willing to open their homes and provide care and support. 

School Outreach – Boosting Attendance to Help Students Succeed 
Allegheny County reported a 9.7% truancy rate in the 2010-2011 school year, a 22% increase in truant students over the previous year. In an attempt to curb the number of truant and chronically absent students, the county has adopted recommendations of the Pennsylvania Children’s Roundtable’s Educational Stability and Truancy Prevention Workgroup.

Systems Improvement Through Youth
Since 2009, SITY (Systems Improvement Through Youth) has been providing a safe, fun and collaborative environment for youth to advocate for their peers and to provide input that will improve DHS child-serving systems.

Father-Daughter Program Prepares Snack Bags for CYF Youth 
On September 16, the young members of the South Hills YMCA Indian Princess Mighty Cayuga Tribe decorated and packed 50 snack bags for youth involved with the Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF).

Kudos: Shannon DeMino
A consumer recently mailed a three-page letter to DHS praising the work of Shannon DeMino, support specialist in Justice Related Services.

KUDOS: Anna Whalen
Anna Whalen, Safe Start coordinator in the Office of Community Services (OCS), was recognized as one of the 2012 Women of Achievement by the Mon River Fleet.

KUDOS: Erin Snyder
The Directors Action Line recently received a phone call from a foster parent commending Erin Snyder, caseworker in the Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) East Regional Office (ERO).

KUDOS: Paula Fanty and Allegheny County Justice Related Services 
Allegheny County Justice Related Services (JRS), part of the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), received two laudatory thank you letters from both a consumer and his mother. The mother was referred to JRS as a resource for her son who had been released from prison and needed support for his mental illness. 

We welcome your story ideas, employee news and comments.
If you’ve got news you’d like to see in DHS NEWS, please contact Mark Bertolet:

Mark.Bertolet@alleghenycounty.us | 412-350-3439
Interoffice mail: DHS-OCR, One Smithfield Street, 1st floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222