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Children's Services

Bored and confused little boy sitting in a white chair with his teddy bear, looking at a woman in front of him

In response to recent departmental updates, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the Bureau of Early Intervention Services and Family Supports is releasing updated Early Intervention (EI) COVID resource materials, including FAQ, a flow chart for selecting Service Delivery Strategies, and a COVID screener for in-person EI services.

Highlights of the changes in the materials updated include:

  • Tele-intervention can continue to be used as a safe and effective Service Delivery Strategy when it best meets the needs for children and their families.
  • Families may request to resume their in-home (in-person) services but still must abide by the universal mask order and screening protocols.
  • The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams should problem solve how to support the request.
  • Changes to the materials are not guidance related to location of service but rather guidance regarding services that the team determined to be in-home.

Below are the following resource materials:

To respond to these changes, local program leaders will need to remove any decision-making procedures, beyond screening and abiding by the universal mask order, which would prevent families from receiving in-person service delivery. Everyone should continue to practice appropriate public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 such as masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.

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

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) will host a statewide Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) webinar on May 11, 2021 at 1:00 pm–3:00 pm. The webinar will include helpful tips and reminders regarding Fee For Service prior authorization instructions, licensing and regulatory requirements, and department approved IBHS training. Questions regarding the webinar may be directed to the IBHS.

Please register here for the IBHS Updates webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have any question for the webinar, please forward them to RCPA Children’s Policy Director Jim Sharp.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF) has updated and released its Complex Case Bulletin and Referral Form. The Complex Case Planning Bulletin was originally disseminated in October 2020. Implementation of the bulletin has been continuously evaluated, and edits were made in coordination with program offices and the Complex Behavioral Health Steering Team to increase consistency and quality of planning. The bulletin provides a detailed overview for providers and county agencies on the county, regional, and state processes for planning these cases.

Please view the Complex Case Planning Bulletin and CY 1003. These documents can also be accessed at the DHS website.

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

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

The Office of Children Youth & Families (OCYF) has released a communication outlining the OCYF Title IV–E Invoicing system upgraded on April 12, 2021 to address changes that have been implemented due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. These changes are specifically addressing the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on older youth in placement. This communication is being sent in advance of the patch release in order to provide counties with an opportunity to review the changes and make any necessary modifications to their processes. Only Foster Care (CY–63 FC) invoices are impacted by these changes.

To view the full communication, please view the link here. These changes will be implemented on April 12, 2021 and are retroactive to April 1, 2020.

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

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is providing the below guidance as an update to the guidance issued on June 26, 2020, as updated on July 31, 2020, September 18, 2020, October 26, 2020, November 25, 2020 and January 28, 2021. As the Commonwealth – along with the nation – has obtained more data, deepened our scientific understanding of the COVID-19 virus, distributed vaccinations, and contemplated innovative policy options, our guidance continues to evolve.

Revisions are in red text. Facilities that are certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should also continue to follow all relevant CMS guidance available now and in the future.

Visit the DHS website for the DHS’s long-term care guidance. Visit the governor’s website for the most recent mitigation order.