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DPW and Counties Launch Integrated Children’s Planning
May 9, 2005

Counties Receive Integrated Children’s Service Plan Guidelines
During the first week of May all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties received the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) bulletin providing guidelines and timeframes for developing their Integrated Children’s Services Plan. Building on last year’s experiences, DPW is striving to work with counties to advance the goal of promoting - at the local level - the design and implementation of an integrated system of services and resources which supports the healthy growth and development of children. County plans are to be submitted to the department by August 15. DPW will be providing counties with technical assistance and will launch a web site on best practices with integrated planning.

MA Realignment Strategy and Information
One strategy for service integration and funding is Medicaid realignment. To facilitate this initiative DPW has recently formed a steering group that is led by the deputy secretaries of the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Office of Children, Youth and Families; and the Office of Medical Assistance Programs. PCPA has been informed that this group is developing a joint bulletin to provide information and guidance to counties and providers engaged in integrated planning and the realignment of funding streams for children’s services.

Participation by Providers and Other Stakeholders
The Integrated Children’s Services Plan Guidelines call for the cross-systems participation by
private agencies under contract with the county or providing services in collaboration with any of the county agencies whose services are included in the plan. This includes community providers and other agencies that make up the membership of PCPA. Members are encouraged to contact the children’s services leadership in the counties they serve to volunteer to participate actively in the integrated service planning process. In addition to direct participation by service providers, the guidelines call for the involvement of other stakeholders including family members and adolescents who have received services. Providers may be instrumental in helping counties identify individuals from these groups who can make a contribution to the planning process.

For questions regarding the integrated children’s services planning process, contact Connell O'Brien at PCPA.

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