Children's Services

The PA Department of Human Services (DHS) is in the process of developing and implementing a statewide Resource and Referral Tool, in order to assist families with receiving the necessary services to address their needs around social determinants of health (SDOH). This tool will include an SDOH standardized assessment which, when completed, will generate a list of resources closer to the community where the patient lives. It will also allow service providers to make electronic referrals and receive a notification when the patient receives the services.

In order to understand how this tool could better meet the needs of health care providers, we would like to know what you currently have in place to assess and address SDOH needs. DHS has put together a very brief questionnaire (7–8 questions) to receive provider feedback.

This survey should be completed by the individual in your practice who is in charge of SDOH assessments or has the most knowledge about how they are incorporated into your workflow. DHS would like to receive your feedback by Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Complete the survey here.

Big happy family - a mother and many children sitting on the stairs at home. Family concept.

After nearly a decade-long partial Title IV-E reimbursement deferral, the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) is providing notice which advises counties that there is a successful negotiated conclusion of this deferral effective July 1, 2019! Through the efforts of OCYF and the Rate Methodology Task Force, the changes made to the budget documentation review process for FY 2019/20 were reviewed in April and determined to accurately demonstrate the allocation of costs into allowable maintenance and allowable administration categories. Additionally, the pending changes made to the web-based application to support accurate claiming of these expenses in the appropriate categories has been approved.

Please review this bulletin for next steps, including the update to the Title IV-E Validation System on July 13, 2019. For further information please contact Jim Sharp, RCPA Children’s Services Director.

The Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) has released the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) Unit of Service Payment Rates and Programmatic Changes Bulletin. This bulletin rescinds and replaces the payment chart on page 3 of the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) Bulletin 3350-18-02, titled “Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network Unit of Service Payment Rates and Programmatic Changes” and replaces the unit costs on page 83 of OCYF Bulletin 3140-19-02, titled “Fiscal Year 2020-21 Children, Youth and Family’s Needs-Based Plan and Fiscal Year 2019-20 Implementation Plan Instructions.” The programmatic changes outlined in OCYF Bulletin 3350-18-02 remain in effect.

The new SWAN payment rates established in this bulletin were developed as a result of actual cost and time data submitted by SWAN affiliate agencies from January 2018 – December 2018. The new rates apply to all services referred on or after July 1, 2019. Payment for any services referred prior to July 1, 2019, will be paid at the rate established for the year in which the referral was made.

As a reminder, cost adjustments for SWAN units of service will be determined by the Office of Children, Youth and Families on an annual basis and communicated in an annual SWAN Unit of Service Payment Rates Bulletin as well as in the annual Needs-Based Plan and Budget Bulletin. Established rates will be based upon actual cost and time data submitted by SWAN affiliate agencies to the SWAN prime contractor.

Contact RCPA Children’s Services Director Jim Sharp with any questions.

On Friday, June 14, the Pennsylvania Association for Infant Mental Health (PA-AIMH) will offer their third breakfast network opportunity and a presentation entitled “Infant Mental Health: So what? Who cares?”

The breakfast and presentation run from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at the Pittsburgh PaTTAN office. Visit their Eventbrite site for registration information.

Infant Mental Health: So what? Who cares?
Robert Gallen, PhD, IMH-E®
Associate Professor of Practice, Applied Developmental Psychology
University of Pittsburgh

a memo is on the keyboard of a computer as a reminder: meeting

On June 3, 2019 the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) hosted the monthly Child Welfare Council meeting at the Child Welfare Resource Center in Mechanicsburg. The day-long session provided interactive overviews and discussion on new Title IV E funding for legal representation, a Family First Update, an OCYF update, and a review of the PA Council Charter. View/download the meeting highlights. If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp.

The Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) would like to announce that the Pennsylvania Community on Transition State Leadership Team (SLT) has announced the date for its 2019 PA Community on Transition Conference. The conference will be held at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel Wednesday, July 17 & Thursday, July 18, 2019 and brings together a diverse community of stakeholders to share information, explore resources, and gain knowledge regarding successful secondary transition practices. The conference will offer breakout sessions and activities designed for youth and young adults, networking opportunities, hands-on assistive technology exhibits, vendor displays, and resource tables. Topics covered include Transition Planning, Secondary Education, Youth and Family Engagement, Employment, and Social and Emotional Health.

Youth and Family Scholarships: A limited number of scholarships are available for family members or caregivers of a transition-aged youth or young adult with a disability, and high school youth between the ages of 16–21 accompanied by an adult (family member/caregiver). Families are encouraged to apply by completing the scholarship application online on or before June 26, 2019. The scholarship will cover the cost of a double occupancy hotel room and conference registration fee. Meals and mileage are on your own. You will be informed of your acceptance by July 1, 2019. For additional information about youth/young adult family scholarships, please contact Paula Quinn. The scholarship form can be found by visiting the PaTTAN website. If a foster or adoptive youth applies for a scholarship, please email the youth’s name and date of birth.

Contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp with any other questions.

If I Knew Then, What I Know Now: Lessons from the PN–3 Pritzker-Funded State Grantees

Leaders from the Pritzker planning grantee states are invited to hear from state leaders who were funded earlier to create prenatal to age three policy agendas and action plans. They’ll address issues such as coalition planning and structure, policy agendas, data, and stakeholders engagement. The forum will be offered on Thursday, June 6, at 2:00 pm. Register here to participate.


Date:          Thu, Jun 6, 2019
Time:         2:00 PM EDT
Duration:   1 hour 30 minutes
Host(s):      NCIT Hub

The Center for the Study of Social Policy is hosting a series of free summer webinars for the Prenatal (PN) to 3 community. Feel free to register or pass it along to others that might have an interest.

Webinar: Effective Strategies for Engaging the Pediatric Community, Tuesday, June 4, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET by Jill Sells, MD, FAAP, CSSP Consultant. This presentation will help early childhood community leaders more effectively engage the pediatric community in early childhood partnerships that help families connect to prenatal-to-three supports. Participants will learn about common barriers that stand in the way of partnership as well as helpful strategies to bridge early childhood and health. Register here.

Webinar: Early Relational Health: Community Level Strategies for Supporting the Psychosocial Health of Infants, Toddlers, and the Caregivers, Wednesday, June 12, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET by David Willis, MD, CSSP Senior Fellow. This presentation will define the concept of “early relational health” and help participants examine new ways to support the functional, emotional, behavioral, and psychosocial health of infants and toddlers and their primary caregivers at the community level. Register here.

Webinar: Reaching Isolated Families and Communities, Friday, July 12, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET by Rosemarie Allen, PhD, Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence. Participants will learn about challenges faced by socially isolated or “hard-to-reach” families and opportunities to help more families in need of access to prenatal-to-three services. Participants will also learn about strategies to mitigate implicit bias and implement culturally responsive practices. Register here.

Webinar: Building Strong Local Alliances to Support Your PN–3 Agenda, Wednesday, August 21, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET by George Askew, MD, FAAP, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Health, Human Services, and Education of Prince George’s County, MD and Krystal Reyes, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Tulsa, OK. This presentation provides community engagement strategies for sharing power and building allies to help advance your prenatal-to-three strategies and agenda. Register here.

Thanks for all you’re doing on behalf of babies!

Gerry Cobb, Pritzker Children’s Initiative