Meeting the complex needs of Pennsylvania's children and youth requires a rich array of programs and services. The majority of these services and programs for children and youth at risk or those who have been identified as dependent or delinquent, are offered through private agencies.
These agencies provide the direct "hands-on" programs and support needed to achieve and maintain permanency and safety for children and youth and stability for families. Most of these agencies are licensed to operate by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.
Providers serve non-adjudicated, dependent and delinquent populations, including the families of these children and youth, and provide a broad range of residential, therapeutic and supportive services. Services range from prevention-focused, in-home services to foster and campus-based residential and residential treatment services. Many providers also have strong behavioral health and educational components incorporated into their array of services and supports.
Pennsylvania is moving toward safely reducing the number of children in congregate care. The goal is placement in more family like settings prioritizing the use of kinship care, and the services of providers continues to be very much in demand. Helping children remain safely within their own communities, stay in home schools, and live with kinship and non-kinship resource families will require an even wider array of community supports than those that already exist. To more fully understand the "shift" occurring in Pennsylvania's Dependency System, please see Pennsylvania's Mission & Guiding Principles for Dependency. (add link)