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Pennsylvania Counties Receive Grants to Improve Services for Children
Date:9/5/2008

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children and families across Pennsylvania will have better access to comprehensive services to protect their health and well-being through nearly $2.9 million in grants that were announced today by the Department of Public Welfare.

To better integrate services for children and families, the department began developing the nation's first Integrated Children's Services Planning initiative, ICSP, in 2004. Through this initiative, children in need of multiple services can receive comprehensive individualized services for all their treatment needs regardless of what service they first utilize.

"We are now beginning our fifth year of integrating children's services and remain committed to ensuring that children have the opportunity for a safe and healthy beginning," said Secretary Estelle B. Richman. "Through these grants, counties will be better equipped to help children and their families in need gain access to the quality childhood experiences necessary for them to develop into productive adults."

Awarded through the ICSP planning process, these grants will help counties continue improving services for children, including the prevention of child abuse and neglect; permanency planning; early intervention; mental retardation, child care, and behavioral health.

The grants were awarded following a review process that involved more than 75 individuals representing counties, providers, family members and staff members from the state departments of Public Welfare, Health, and Education, as well as the Juvenile Court Judges Commission.

Using the grant funds, counties will invest in creating the infrastructure to support comprehensive "no wrong door" services for children, including developing common screening and assessments processes, integrated case management, integrated prevention planning, and/or streamlining intake procedures across children serving systems.

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
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