Policy Areas

The 2020 Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) Conference, “Adjusting our Lens: Gaining Perspective by Challenging Perceptions,” is planned for April 22–23, 2020 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Please see the conference brochure for details, along with registration information. This is a great training opportunity for county children and youth agency staff, the courts, private provider agencies, and other stakeholders who utilize FGDM with their populations.

Be sure to register as soon as possible and get your hotel accommodations reserved by March 20, 2020. If you have any further questions, please contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp.

The PA National Guard is now a recognized member of Star Behavioral Health Providers network. Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP) is a training and referral program. The SBHP provides three levels of training (Tiers) for civilian behavioral health providers in your state and local communities who are interested in serving the military population, particularly NG members. SBHP offers a public online registry or listing that allows service members, their families, military behavioral health providers, military leaders, and others to easily search for trained providers in their areas. The goal is to expand access by providing culturally competent, evidence-based behavioral health treatment through this training program. Launched nearly 10 years ago, SBHP was developed as a partnership of the Indiana National Guard, National Guard Bureau, Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration, Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), and Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University (MFRI).

This Tier 1 Training event in the Philadelphia area is being held Monday, March 30, 2020 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3743 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073.

This training is open to all participants – Providers, Clinicians, Chaplains, Counselors, local community members, etc. Registration for the event is online. The SBHP online registration process is easy, and provides additional information on future tier trainings.

Frequently asked questions regarding SBHP can be found here.

For questions:
Donna Tilley Hess, Bureau of Community & Hospital Operations –
PA Department of Human Services | Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
303 Walnut St., Room 12-29 Commonwealth Tower – SQ| Harrisburg, PA 17105
Phone: 717.346.0359 | Fax: 717.787.5394

Join the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Deputy Secretary Kristin Ahrens for:
ODP Budget Briefing Webinar
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 3:00 pm

This presentation involves a briefing on the Governor’s Proposed State Budget for Fiscal Year 2020–2021, as it pertains to the budget for ODP. Presenting will be Deputy Secretary Ahrens and Rick Smith, Director, Bureau of Financial Management and Program Support. Please register at this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

This correspondence is being distributed regarding the use of Collaborative Documentation (CD) in behavioral health services in Pennsylvania. The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) supports the use and reimbursement of CD in the delivery of behavioral health services as an approach to further support transparency, engagement, and active participation in person-centered treatment and recovery.

Please submit any questions related to this memorandum via email.

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The purpose of this bulletin is to update the guidelines for delivering behavioral health services using telehealth technology previously issued in OMHSAS Bulletin 14-01, “OMHSAS Guidelines for the Approval of Telepsych Services in HealthChoices.” These updated guidelines include the following key changes from OMHSAS Bulletin 14-01:

  • Expands the use of telehealth to behavioral health practitioners who provide services in the MA Fee for Service (FFS) delivery system; and
  • Expands the use of telehealth to include treatment provided by Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) certified in mental health; Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs); Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs); and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs).

View the complete bulletin and attestation form to provide telehealth here.

On February 14, 2019, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) released Bulletin 00-19-01, OVR Referral Process for ODP Employment-Related Services. Attachment 4 to the bulletin is the OVR Contact Information for ID/Autism Coordinators. This version, dated 1/3/20, replaces all previous versions of Attachment 4.

This updated contact information, and Bulletin 00-19-01 in its entirety, can be found within each audience tab on the MyODP Employment page.