The success of building an effective and sustainable System of Care is founded on systems integration.


Department of Human Services

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The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’s seven program offices administer services that provide care and support to Pennsylvania's most vulnerable citizens. 

Through the department's Office of Medical Assistance Programs, the department is responsible for purchasing health care for more than 2.3 million Pennsylvania residents and enrolling Medical Assistance providers who administer the care. The Office of Medical Assistance programs works closely with these providers to process their claims, establish rates and fees, and contract and monitor managed care organizations. Additionally, the department works to ensure the integrity of these programs, in part by detecting and deterring provider and recipient fraud and abuse.

The department's Office of Developmental Programs works with individuals and families to provide supportive services and care for people with cognitive disabilities, especially intellectual disabilities and disorders falling in the autism spectrum. Additionally, the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services administers programs to support people suffering from mental illness or substance abuse issues, such as a drug or alcohol addiction.

Children are a big part of the Department of Human Services and the department's Office of Children Youth and Families serves children and families through a nationally recognized child support enforcement program, oversees adoption and foster care services, and works with counties on child abuse prevention and juvenile justice issues.

Through the Office of Income Maintenance, the department serves low-income Pennsylvanians through cash assistance programs such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF; employment and training programs; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formally known as food stamps; home heating assistance; and assistance programs for refugees and the homeless. Many of these services are delivered through more than 90 county assistance offices located across Pennsylvania. 

The Department of Human Services also works closely with other state agencies who serve similar populations. The department partners with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging through the Office of Long-Term Living. This office addresses the solutions and challenges of housing and caring for older adults. Also, in a joint partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning serves children and families in early learning, subsidized child care and early intervention programs for at-risk children. 

The Department of Human Services also licenses and regulates thousands of facilities that care for many Pennsylvanians, including child care centers and personal care homes. In doing so, the department strives toward independent living for those who are able and community living in the least restrictive environment for those in need of assistance in daily living.

The mission of the Department of Human Services:

Our mission is to improve the quality of life for Pennsylvania’s individuals and families. We promote opportunities for independence through services and supports while demonstrating accountability for taxpayer resources.

Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services Children's Bureau

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The responsibility of the Children's Bureau in the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is to lead the development of Children's Behavioral Health services in Pennsylvania. The Children's Bureau is responsible for planning, policy and program design, organizing, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of services directed to children and adolescents requiring behavioral health services throughout the Commonwealth.

Our Mission and Vision:

Every individual served by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service system will have the opportunity for growth, recovery and inclusion in their community, have access to culturally competent services and supports of their choice, and enjoy a quality of life that includes family members and friends.

Bureau of Juvenile Justice

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The Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services (BJJS) is responsible for the management, operations, program planning and oversight of all the youth development center/youth forestry camp facilities. These facilities are designed to provide state-of-the-art treatment, care and custody services to Pennsylvania’s most at-risk youth.

The youth entrusted to our care are male and female adolescents who have been adjudicated delinquent by their county judicial system. From the time of referral, we ensure that every youth receives individualized treatment services based on his/her strengths and needs. BJJS treatment services value strong child, family and community partnerships, promote competency development and victim awareness, while advocating for the continued improvement and integration of all child-serving systems.

All aspects of the BJJS facilities are based on the Restorative Justice concept thereby ensuring that all the facility programs provide equal attention to the victim, the youth, and the community.

The BJJS is committed to supporting the building of strong communities and serving as a model for juvenile justice services, while fostering hope and the opportunity for success.


Michael Pennington, Director 
Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services 
Tel: 717-787-9532

Community Protection refers to the right of all Pennsylvanian citizens to be and feel safe from crime.

Victim Restoration emphasizes that, in Pennsylvania, a juvenile who commits a crime harms the victim of the crime and the community, and thereby incurs an obligation to repair the harm to the greatest extent possible.

Youth Redemption embodies the belief that juvenile offenders in Pennsylvania have strengths, are capable of change, can earn redemption, and can become responsible and productive members of their communities.

Furthermore, all of the services designed and implemented to achieve this mission and all hearings and decisions under the Juvenile Act - indeed all aspects of the juvenile justice system- must be provided in a fair and unbiased manner. The United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions guarantee rights and privileges to all citizens, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, national origin or handicap.

Office of Children Youth & Families

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To increase the safety of children and the safety of community, to decrease the use of out-of-home care, to increase the number of children and youth in permanent living situations, and to decrease the re-entry of children and youth into the system.