Children's Services

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The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools has released a Request for Application for targeted grants to school entities to fund programs that address school violence; and to school entities and local municipalities to fund the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers.

Safe School Initiative Competitive Targeted Grant
The allocation is $2.6 million; the maximum individual grant will be $25,000. Submission period is Monday, September 14 to Thursday, October 15, 2015. The Center for Safe Schools offers consultation in comprehensive, district-wide school safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness, and all-hazards plans, including revisions or updates to such plans and conducting emergency preparedness drills and related activities with local emergency responders. The center also provides training, consultation, and technical assistance in development and implementation of research-based violence prevention programs addressing risk factors to reduce incidents of problem behaviors among students; and training to undertake a district-wide assessment of risk factors that increase the likelihood of problem behaviors among students. Center staff are certified trainers in the following evidence- and research-based programs:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools;
  • I Can Problem Solve (an early elementary SEL program);
  • Lifelines (a suicide awareness, prevention, intervention, and postvention program);
  • Olweus Bullying Prevention Program;
  • Safe Dates (a teen dating violence prevention program); and
  • Supporting Students Exposed to Trauma.

School Resource Officer/School Police Officer Competitive Targeted Grant
The allocation is $3.9 million; maximum individual grant will be $60,000 for a school resource officer and $40,000 for a school police officer. Submission period is Monday, September 14 to Thursday, October 15, 2015. The Center for Safe Schools offers basic and advanced trainings for school security officers, school police officers, and school resource officers. For details on trainings and services eligible for this funding opportunity contact the center or 717-763-1661 ext. 164.

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Act 153 of 2014 requires the Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, to conduct a study which includes the analysis and development of recommendations on employment bans for those having contact with children. The study must include recommendations on changes in permanent and temporary employment bans to align and make uniform the provisions under the Child Protective Services Law and the Public School Code. A report of the study’s findings and recommendations must be submitted to the certain committees of the General Assembly by Thursday, December 31, 2015.

In order to complete this work, staff from the Department of Human Services have been conducting research specific to the employment bans within other states as they relate to child care service and school employees along with foster and adoptive parents. RCPA, along with other child serving and child advocacy organizations, has been invited to participate in a process to relate the recommendations to the General Assembly. This group will be meeting under the leadership of the Deputy Secretary for the Office of Children, Youth and Families over the next several months.

RCPA will be requesting that our members who provide services in the areas of child behavioral health, child welfare, pediatric rehabilitation, education, and juvenile justice, provide information regarding current employment bans on program operations, and service capacity and delivery in the communities served by members. Information requested can be sent to Connell O’Brien.

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School Based Services Work Group
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
2:00 – 3:30 pm (in person and via webcast)
PaTTAN Pittsburgh: 3190 William Pitt Way, Pittsburgh 

RCPA members providing school based behavioral health and rehabilitation services are encouraged to register and participate in this meeting along with their school partners in the community.

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Open Forum: Challenges and Potential Solutions in School Based Behavioral Health
    • Family Engagement
    • Challenges for APS and Alt Ed Services
    • Implementing and Sustaining Collaborative SBBH Services
    • Funding, Grants, Contracts, Partner Agreements
    • Certification and Background Checks
  • Open Forum: Challenges and Potential Solutions in Pediatric Rehabilitation Health Care
    • Contracts, Partner Agreements for OT, PT, S&LT
    • Coordination of Autism/Neurobehavioral Services
    • Certification and Background Checks
  • Professional Staff Recruitment and Retention Challenges
    • Licensed Clinical and Rehab Staff
  • Report from the State SBBH Community of Practice

See full agenda here

RCPA thanks the leadership and staff of PaTTAN Pittsburgh for their hospitality.

Meeting will be available via webcast; webcast instructions sent 24-48 hours prior to meeting

Next meeting: January, 2016, date and location to be determined

On May 29, the Department of Human Services released a request for information (RFI) to help guide the department’s planning process for the release of a new procurement for the provision of managed care services for physical health. RCPA submitted comments and recommendations to the department in response to the RFI. Secretary Dallas has worked to be transparent during this process and has published a summary of some of the most frequently provided comments in the responses to the RFI. He has also identified some of the changes that the department is considering for the new HealthChoices physical health managed care procurement. This list is not intended to be final and merely reflects some of the ideas that are being considered at this time. Because many of the comments and related action plans communicated by Secretary Dallas address integrated physical and behavioral health care, data and information sharing, service system simplification, and other initiatives that have implications for RCPA members, this interim report is being shared at this time. Please submit any additional comments on the concepts included in this summary, or an area that is not listed in the document, via email by August 10.

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The Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) has released a survey to assess licensed operators’ understanding of the changes that were recently made to the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). BHSL will use this data to target areas where increased training and support are needed to assist facilities in maintaining regulatory compliance. This survey is optional and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete by the following programs and service providers:

  • 55 Pa.Code Chapter 3800 residential treatment facilities and day treatment (not partial hospital)
  • 55 Pa.Code Chapter 5310 host homes for children
  • 55 Pa.Code Chapter 6400 community homes that serve children
  • 55 Pa.Code Chapter 6500 family living homes that serve children 


Information provided in this survey will not be used to issue regulatory violations and will be kept anonymous. RCPA encourages members to take the time to participate. The deadline for completion of the survey is August 14.

The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society, through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, brings you “A Consumer’s Guide to the Management and Care of Concussion in Sport.” This program gives a detailed look at the importance of proper identification and treatment of sport concussion, and the role of the licensed athletic trainer as part of the health care team to manage these injuries appropriately. The Safety in Youth Sports Act directs schools and athletic programs to create a health care team, and a concussion policy action plan, to aid in the management of concussions. This program will air on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) during the “Sunday Fusion” programming on the following dates and times:

  • Sunday July 26, 3:30 pm
  • Sunday August 2, 2:30 pm
  • Sunday August 9, 5:30 pm
  • Sunday August 16, 2:30 pm
  • Sunday August 23, 4:00 pm

Beginning Monday, July 20 the program will be available on the PCN website.