Department of Public Welfare Awarded Grant to Help Pennsylvania Children and Youth with Emotional Disabilities

Sep 22, 2011, 13:17 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander today announced that Pennsylvania is one of 19 states chosen to receive a federal System of Care Expansion Planning Grant. The grant will be used to better assist families and their children who experience serious emotional disabilities.  

System of care is a term used to describe a type of approach for treating children who are in crisis.  It encourages government, private agencies, medical teams, and families to work more closely in order to provide the most appropriate type of care for the children and families.  

"Research shows that children who experience serious emotional problems benefit from the system of care approach," said Alexander.  "By expanding services, our goal is to see a reduction in suicide attempts, improvement in school attendance and performance, reduced contact with law enforcement, and less need for medical care."

The system of care is also beneficial for a child's family. Families often experience considerable stress caring for a child with a serious mental health condition.  Health and Human Services data shows that caregivers who are part of the system of care experience have reduced strain associated with caring for their child and receive more adequate resources. They also missed fewer days of work.

"When we enable families to be more self-sufficient through the system of care program, we are not only benefiting them, but we are making our communities better and stronger," said Alexander.

The grant award totals $796,148 and was awarded to the Department of Public Welfare by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  The department will use the money between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 20, 2012 by working to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for expanding systems of care in Pennsylvania.  

For more information about the Department of Public Welfare, visit the department's website at

Media contacts:

Anne Bale, 717-425-7606

Carey Miller, 717-425-7606

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare