Children's Services

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Community Behavioral Health (CBH) is in the process of updating the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Performance Standards. The updates reflect recent changes with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board guidelines, changes at the state level, and updates that will help promote access to quality ABA services. CBH is interested in feedback from providers, stakeholders, and families regarding the updated performance standards in its current stage.

Please review the draft of the ABA Performance Standards 2018 updates and then provide any feedback you have through SurveyMonkey. Please submit all feedback by Monday, October 29. Questions about the survey? Contact CBH Network Development Specialist Stephanie Wiseman. Thank you in advance for your feedback and participation.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education is pleased to announce the following training opportunity:

2018-2019 PA Community on Transition Webinar Series – Planning for the LifeCourse

All webinars will take place from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

This webinar series is designed to assist individuals of all abilities think about life experiences needed to move ahead in life. Throughout the series, a cross-agency panel, including the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN), and PaTTAN representatives will provide participants with information on what IEP teams and students need to know and do regarding setting a vision for a meaningful life, identify how to find or develop supports, and discover what it takes for students to live the lives they want to live.

Charting the LifeCourse™ and is a project of the University of Missouri–Kansas City Institute for Human Development, Missouri’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Services (UCEDD) and endorsed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services and supported by the Pennsylvania Community on Transition.

December 5, 2018 – Planning for the LifeCourse – Employment Uses
Employment is a hallmark of adulthood and should be available for every person. The benefits of employment are significant for people with and without disabilities. Employment is feeling proud, having self-confidence, getting a paycheck, meeting new people, paying taxes, and building new skills. Daily Life and Employment is one of the Life Domains of the Charting the LifeCourse™. This webinar will feature the employment elements of the Daily Life and Employment Life Domain, including school, employment, volunteering, communication, routines, and life skills. Participants will learn how to use these LifeCourse Tools to help students envision and plan for their employment goals.

February 6, 2019 – Planning for the LifeCourse – Postsecondary Education and Training Uses
This webinar will address the Daily Life and Employment Life Domain, specifically, education and training opportunities. Participants will learn how to use the LifeCourse Tools to help students envision and plan for their postsecondary education and training goals. The session will highlight ways the tool can be used in educational settings to create transition goals and identify needed services and activities.

April 1, 2019 – Planning for the LifeCourse – Independent Living
This webinar will address the LifeCourse Domains of Community Living, Healthy Living, and Safety and Security. Participants will learn how to use the LifeCourse Tools to assist students to envision their goals for living an independent life. The tool will be reviewed with regard to educational entity to guide a team in planning for desired living situations, taking control of health care, and finding the balance between staying safe and personal autonomy.

Special Education Administrators, Transition Coordinators, Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, School Counselors, School Psychologists, Agency Partners, and Families

No continuing education credit (Act 48) will be offered. Certificates of Attendance will be available 30 days after each event.

Registration Information:
You may register online by clicking on the name of the event on the Training Events Calendar. For questions regarding content, please contact Hillary Mangis, PaTTAN Pittsburgh, by phone (800-446-5607, x68780) or email. For questions regarding registration, contact Pam Ranieri, PaTTAN Pittsburgh by phone (800-446-5607, x6840) or email. To obtain directions to PaTTAN, please select the appropriate location here.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 27, 2018
Contact: Press Office | (202) 226-4972

#SubHealth Convenes Hearing Titled “Better Data and Better Outcomes: Reducing Maternal Mortality in the U.S.”

Live Webcast
Click here to watch the hearing beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Opening Statement of Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D.
Good morning. Thank you to everyone for joining us this morning to discuss a topic that is important to each and every one of us, maternal mortality. This is a subject matter that has been brought to the forefront by Members of this Subcommittee, actions of State Legislatures, and the media. Having spent nearly three decades as an OB/GYN, I believe it should be a national goal to eliminate all preventable maternal mortality – even a single maternal death is too many.

All too often do we read about stories of seemingly healthy pregnant women who are thrilled to be having a child, and to everyone’s surprise, suffers severe complications, or death during pregnancy, birth, or post-partum. The death of a new or expecting mother is a tragic event that devastates everyone involved, but in many cases these are preventable scenarios.
Read more

Opening Statement of Chairman Greg Walden
Today the Subcommittee on Health is holding a discussion on the critical issue of maternal mortality. In fact, we will examine as issue that is literally a matter of life and death for women all across the country. Thank you, Dr. Burgess, for calling this hearing. As someone with decades of real-world experience as an OB/GYN, you know better than most how important this issue is.

This is a difficult topic, and one that is close to my heart. Far too many mothers die because of complications during pregnancy and the effects of such a tragedy on any family is impossible to comprehend.
Read more

Witness Testimony and Additional Background 
Click here to view the hearing background memo and witness testimony on the Energy and Commerce Committee website.

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To more formally recognize the value of peers in the workforce, Pennsylvania is moving to a new full peer certification offered by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). This new formal certification will be necessary to provide Medicaid billable peer support services.

To make this transition as easy as possible for current Pennsylvania Peer Specialists, there will be a time-limited grandparenting process for those who wish to obtain the new full certification during the grandparenting period.

The grandparenting period began March 1, 2018 and ends August 31, 2019.

The requirements for the grandparenting process must be met but no additional exam will be required.

The requirements to become grandparented are:

  • You must have completed the two-week peer specialist training from one of the recognized training vendors. Those two vendors are the Institute for Recovery and Community Integration and RI Consulting.
  • Complete the CPS Grandparenting Application and sign and date a Peer-specific code of ethical conduct.
  • Signed and notarized release form.

There is no initial cost to peers for obtaining the credential as the grandparenting fee is being underwritten by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS).

The new CPS certification will be valid for two years. To avoid a lapse in certification, recertification should occur before the end of the two-year certification period. Recertification requires obtaining 36 hours of CEUs every two years and a $50 two-year recertification fee.

This new formal certification through the PCB is designed to help strengthen the profession and give CPSs a stronger voice, while maintaining the essence of peer support in delivering recovery oriented services. We urge you to complete the process now, during the grandparenting period, to ensure you can continue to do the great work that you do.

REMEMBER: This new formal certification will be necessary to provide Medicaid billable peer support services.

The CPS Grandparenting Application can be found at the following link:

Requests for paper applications and/or questions should be addressed to:
Mail: PCB, 298 S. Progress Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17109
Phone: 717-540-4455

The following organizations participated in the development of the new certification process:
Pennsylvania Peer Specialist Workgroup
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS)
Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association (PMHCA)
Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition (PaPSC)
Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB)

The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Task Force Annual Meeting will be held on Monday, September 17, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm at the Child Welfare Resource Center in Mechanicsburg. Anyone (member or non-member) is welcome to come and hear about the work of the task force over the past year and to learn about some very exciting work that is on the horizon.

The 2019 goal is to have children and adults who are diagnosed be provided with appropriate FASD interventions. This is an achievable goal and one that the task force has been longing for and working on for over 10 years. It is within our reach.

If you have any questions, please contact Lyn Becker.

The week of September 9–15 is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Week, with Monday, September 10 marking World Suicide Prevention Day. According to a recent CDC report (2018), suicide rates have increased across all age groups over the past two decades in almost every state, including Pennsylvania. As such, we need to work together to recognize the role each of us play in suicide prevention. It is our collective responsibility to address the stigma about suicide and help-seeking. We must educate about the warning signs and how to offer support to those that may be struggling. For our youth in particular, we must recognize that as caring adults, we can be one of the most significant protective factors. Yet, we must also model self-care and healthy coping during stressful times.

In Pennsylvania, we want to do our part to help schools and communities recognize the simple steps that can be taken to contribute to these efforts. Activities and events serve as a way to educate and connect individuals, including those who have been affected by suicide. A range of suicide prevention and awareness activities are scheduled throughout Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world during the month of September. A resource document is attached, which includes examples of activities that you can promote or implement in your school and/or community. A copy of this letter, which may be modified and disseminated within your own school and/or community, is also available here.

Media plays an important role in communicating messages of hope and in sharing resources for prevention. Social media campaigns such as Take 5 to Save Lives are a great way to share information within schools and communities, including information about warning signs, reaching out, and self-care. The #BeThe1To campaign, led by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, encourages 5 action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal: ask, keep them safe, be there, help them connect, and follow-up. Consider promoting one of these campaigns or starting your own. Additional ideas, along with sample social media posts, are included in this resource document.

Thank you for the efforts you are putting forth to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental wellness in your school and/or community, not only during the month of September, but every day #AAS365 #stopsuicide.

Contact Robena Spangler, RCPA Children’s Division Director, with questions.

This year’s Suicide Prevention Conference is on Wednesday, September 12, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm at the Ambassador Hotel and Conference Center in Erie, PA.

The conference theme is First Responders. The keynote speaker, Govan Martin III, retired as a 29-year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) in 2012. In his tenure with the PSP, Govan worked in patrol, crime, and the highlight of his career was becoming Manager of the Member Assistance Program (an internal Peer Support/Employee Assistance Program for the Pennsylvania State Police) in 2000. In 2010, Govan helped create legislation for Confidentiality for Law Enforcement Peer Support and Critical Incidents. Along with the FBI, he started the Annual Law Enforcement Employee Assistance/Peer Support Program Conference from 2006 through 2012 for State Police agencies across the country. He has been a keynote speaker for Suicide Prevention, Employee Assistance/Peer Support Programs, and CISM conferences across the country (e.g., American Association of Suicidology, International Employee Assistance Program Association, the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, etc.).

Currently, Govan is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Prevent Suicide PA and serves on the First Responder Committee for the American Association of Suicidology.

Govan lost his brother, Michael, in 1980.

Other speakers include:

  1. Mandy Fauble, PhD, LCSW Safe Harbor Behavioral Health of UPMC Hamot
  2. Patty Puline, BS, EdSafeKids Erie/LECOM Health
  3. Dan Eaton, MSN, RNPenn State Behrend College of Nursing
  4. Greg Purchase, LCSW and Bill Hollenbeck, MACity of Erie Fire Department
  5. Ron Bryant, Deputy Warden, Mike Holman, Deputy Warden, and Stacey Petruso Erie County Prison
  6. Chief KellyCranberry Township EMS
  7. Kurt HinkleRetired Firefighter/Paramedic City of Phoenix Fire Department

For more information, please contact Nicole Moore or register at EventBrite.

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Webinar: Value-Based Payment and Contracting Approaches for Caries Management: Implications for State Medicaid Programs

CMS’ Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP) Children’s Oral Health Initiative (OHI) Value-Based Payment (VBP) team is hosting a national webinar on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET on monitoring and implementing VBPs, as well as contracting approaches that aim to improve caries management (i.e., assessing and treating the disease process that causes tooth decay).

Despite increases in dental service utilization among children with public insurance, opportunities to better align payment approaches with the quality of care provided remain. Children’s oral experts and representatives from a state participating in a related IAP technical support opportunity will share their insights on efforts to develop and implement a VBP approach to improve pediatric oral health care. Panelists will also discuss considerations and challenges in ensuring financial sustainability for new care delivery models. To register for this webinar, please visit this link.

Contact Robena Spangler, RCPA Children’s Division Director, with any questions.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) proposes to add Chapters 1155 and 5240 relating to IBHS to Title 55 of the Pennsylvania Code. The proposed rulemaking is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on August 4, 2018 and can be accessed here.

Written comments, suggestions, or objections regarding this proposed rulemaking may be submitted to the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) at the following address:

Attention: Tara Pride, Bureau of Policy, Planning and Program Development, Commonwealth Towers, 11th Floor, PO Box 2675, 303 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA 17105 or by email during the 30-day public comment period, which closes September 4, 2018.

The next RCPA BHRS/IBHS work group will be held on Wednesday, August 15. The work group will compile comments from discussions held over the past year and those offered by the members of the group. We are asking providers who choose to send comments into OMHSAS directly to also send a copy of your comments to Robena Spangler. This is our long-awaited opportunity to provide input into the regulations; we hope that all BHRS providers and ABA professionals are engaged. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the email address above.