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Children's Services

Folders with the label Applications and Grants

The 2019 PA Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) grant application is now available for review. The PATH grant is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services. PATH was created as part of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1990.

Since 1991, PATH has funded the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and four U.S. Territories (the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). The goal of the PATH Program is to reduce or eliminate homelessness for individuals with serious mental illnesses or serious mental illness and substance use disorders who experience homelessness or are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. PATH funds are used to provide a menu of allowable services, including street outreach, case management, and services which are not supported by mainstream mental health programs. Since PATH is not HUD-funded, PATH funds often can be used to supplement and fill in cracks left by HUD limitations.

OMHSAS distributes funds to 24 county/joinder MH/ID program offices, which cover 36 of PA’s 67 counties, to provide PATH services. Many of these offices sub-contract with local community providers to provide PATH services. Please forward any questions or concerns to Michelle Baxter by end of business Friday, July 12, 2019.

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Attention Child Care Providers: New Clearance Required

A federal requirement under the reauthorization of the Child Care Developmental Block Grant (CCDBG) means a new clearance – the National Crime Information Center/National Sex Offender Registry (referred to as the NSOR clearance).

The following individuals must complete the NSOR verification certificate by July 1, 2020:

  • Any individual 18 years or older residing in the child care facility;
  • All individuals working for regulated child care providers; and
  • Any individual with an ownership interest (corporate or non-corporate) in a regulated child care provider and who participates in the organization and management of the operation.

The clearance is in addition to the currently required clearances of Child Abuse History Clearance (CY113), Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Checks for Employment (SPA-164) or Volunteers (SPA-164A), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Fingerprinting.

The NSOR will verify that a check of the National Sex Offenders Registry was conducted and whether the individual can or cannot work for a regulated child care provider. There is no fee for the NSOR clearance.

By late summer/early fall 2019, there will be a paper application process for the NSOR clearance, and in late fall there will be an electronic process in place at keepkidssafe.pa.gov.

By July 1, 2020, all existing staff and household members must have a completed NSOR clearance. See the printable one-pager to share with staff and partners. Contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp with questions.

Folders with the label Applications and Grants

The following grant opportunities are now open in the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Egrants System:

Funding Announcement Title: Endowment Act – CACs & Victim Service Providers
Plan Year:       2019
Release Date: 6/28/2019
Due Date:        8/16/2019
Concept Papers Required:     No
Competitive/Noncompetitive: Competitive
Amount Announced:   $500,000.00

To view the details regarding this solicitation and others, please click on the Funding Announcement Title listed above.

You can view detailed documentation regarding these Funding Announcements by clicking on the Funding Announcement Title on the screen.

You must be registered with PCCD to access the Egrants System. If you are not registered, visit this website and select Register. Once your registration is accepted, select the Login button. Enter the User ID and Password established when you registered, and Login to the system through the Egrants Production link. Then you will see the User Management Profile Details page. You must save this information in order to access the system.

New SAMHSA Publication:
Guidance to States and School Systems on Addressing Mental Health and Substance Use Issues in Schools

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new joint informational bulletin, Guidance to States and School Systems on Addressing Mental Health and Substance Use Issues in Schools. This guidance includes examples of approaches for mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) related treatment services in schools, and describes some of the Medicaid state plan benefits and other Medicaid authorities that states may use to cover these treatment services. Additionally, the guidance summarizes best practice models to facilitate implementation of quality, evidence-based, comprehensive mental health and SUD related services for students.

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The Department of Human Services (DHS) is offering training for all DHS licensed providers on completing a Plan of Correction (POC). In this training, they will focus on the elements needed for the foundation of an acceptable POC. It is strongly recommended that all facility staff involved in completing POCs attend. The training is free and will be conducted via live webinar. DHS will be offering the webinars on several different days, with morning and afternoon options, to try to accommodate as many busy schedules as possible. Each scheduled webinar will last approximately one hour. You only need to attend one webinar since the material covered will be the same in each session.

The dates for the webinars are as follows:

  • Tuesday, July 16, 9:30 am –10:30 am
  • Tuesday, July 16, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Wednesday, July 17, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday, July 23, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 24, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Wednesday, July 24, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Thursday, July 25, 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Please use the following link to register for one of these sessions: Registration Survey

Once you have registered, a link to connect to the webinar training will be emailed to you. Spaces are limited and are offered on a first come, first served basis. If you are unable to attend one of these webinar sessions, DHS will be offering a similar training in a self-paced format in late July 2019. DHS will share additional information on how to access the self-paced training in the future.

If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp.

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Research over the past twenty years has shown that certain racial and ethnic populations are overrepresented in the child welfare system. This disparate treatment and disproportionality not only affects child welfare outcomes, but also outcomes in other child serving systems like education, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and health care. Therefore, it is imperative that child welfare agencies understand the impact disproportionality has on the racial and ethnic groups they serve.

The Office of Children, Youth and Families would like to announce that the Child Welfare Resource Center (CWRC) will be hosting the Diversity Task Force’s 2019 workshop, titled “Racial Disparity, Implicit Bias and White Privilege.” The workshop flyer is available here for your convenience, which lists several training dates and locations.

This workshop will provide an overview of the historical and structural causes of racial discrimination to help participants contextualize the root causes of these disparities. The workshop will also encourage participants to recognize and develop a deeper understanding of their role as professionals to work as effectively as possible with families and children of color.

If you have questions, please contact RCPA Children’s Division Director, Jim Sharp.

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This serves as notice to all RCPA members who provide services that fall under the Chapter 3800 Regulations for Child Residential and Day Treatment Services. After 20 years, revisions are being considered to this regulatory chapter to reflect modifications needed to comply with recent legislation, to reflect responsiveness to the evolving needs of the population served, to support incorporation of best practices, and to address the concerns raised by providers delivering these services.

As a first step in this process, regional stakeholder meetings are being scheduled to solicit input from providers, county children and youth and juvenile probation offices, youth, advocates, and state OCYF, OMHSAS, JCJC, AOPC, and PDE staff during July and August. Stakeholder input compiled from this series of meetings will be incorporated into a master list of areas to be considered for edits and additions. The Department of Human Services OCYF has identified priority areas to be addressed as a starting point in this regulatory change process.

As a Chapter 3800 provider, you will receive an invitation and registration form from OCYF to attend a meeting in your area. The regional dates and locations are as follows:

  • Central Region – Child Welfare Resource Center, 403 E Winding Hill Rd, Mechanicsburg, July 16
  • NE Region – Pittston Crossing, 400 Rte 315, Suite E, Pittston, July 24
  • Western Region – George Jr. Republic, 233 George Junior Rd., Grove City, July 29
  • SE Region – TUCC, 1515 Market St, Philadelphia, August 7

As part of the preparation of the regional meeting agendas, you will be asked to identify the top five sections/issues/concerns from the vantage point and experience of your agency and identify the two participants attending this meeting. This information should be returned to Erin Livsey by Friday, July 12, 2019. Please copy RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp, so we may track those comments and recommendations as we develop our strategic responses to the process. Jim Sharp will plan on attending all four regional meetings.

If you have any questions, or do not receive an invitation from OCYF to a regional meeting, please contact Jim Sharp.

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.

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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.