HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett announced today that the Human Services Block Grant has been expanded to 10 additional Pennsylvania counties, allowing them to have more flexibility to fund their human services programs and better meet the needs of their residents.
"The 20 counties already participating have demonstrated innovative ways to manage the block grant money, a success that we're looking forward to replicating in the 10 new counties in order to better meet the needs of our local citizens," Corbett said.
Last year, 30 counties applied and 20 were chosen to participate in the first-ever human services block grant pilot program.
This year, the Department of Public Welfare received legislative approval to extend the program to 30 counties. Fifteen additional counties applied and 10 counties were chosen based on several factors set forth in legislation, including whether or not a county participated or applied to participate last year, county geography, population and administrative structure.
"We are thrilled that Governor Corbett and the legislature have given more counties the opportunity to provide services by shifting dollars from underused areas and making funding decisions based on the needs of the families and individuals who come to the county seeking help," said Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach, president of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. "These 10 new counties in the program will now be able to better serve the health and human services needs of their residents."
The Human Services Block Grant consists of seven funding streams that will allow counties the flexibility to decide where the money is needed most. Those funding streams are:
- Mental Health Community Programs – based on local priorities around unified intake, community consultation, and education, support for families caring for members with mental disorders and community residential programs;
- Intellectual Disabilities Community Base – services to individuals of all ages with an intellectual disability diagnosis not eligible for other specific waiver programs;
- County Child Welfare Special Grants – services for dependent and delinquent children and their families;
- Homeless Assistance Program – services that help those who are homeless with shelter, housing, rental assistance, and general case management;
- Act 152 – non-hospital residential detoxification and rehabilitation services for persons eligible for Medical Assistance;
- Behavioral Health Services Initiative – for treatment for individuals with serious mental health and substance abuse disorders who are not eligible for Medical Assistance; and
- Human Services Development Fund– assistance for a number of welfare issues, combating isolation, poverty and dependence.
The 10 new counties joining the block grant this year include: Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna, McKean, Montgomery, Northampton, Potter, Schuylkill, Washington and Westmoreland.
Success stories from counties already participating in the program are available at www.dpw.state.pa.us. Type "2013 Block Grant Success Stories" into the search function.
Below is an alphabetical listing of the original 20 counties that began participating in the block grant last year and will continue to participate this year.
Jay Pagni, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
Carey Miller, DPW; 717-425-7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor