HARRISBURG – The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced that Pennsylvania was awarded more than $1.2 million in federal funding to support work towards better health, well-being and long-term outcomes for pregnant and parenting families of young children.
“Young families need to be able get the important help and services that they need for their children at all times, but it is especially critical during the prenatal to three-year-old period of child development,” said Acting DHS Secretary Meg Snead.
“But far too many families are unaware of all of the services and supports that exist, and that means they are not accessing all of the support that is available to them.
“With this funding, we will be able to build a comprehensive system of care that will ensure accessible, appropriate, and effective care to these young families.”
This grant funding, awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, will help DHS’ Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) connect families to this continuum of services that promote positive parenting, early developmental health and family well-being, including Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) and Early Intervention (EI) programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other programs overseen by other state departments.
OCDEL will use the funding to hire an Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) program leader and an ECCS family leader who will work to increase the capacity of health and family & child service systems and to coordinate services and identify gaps in these services for families.
The ECCS program and family leaders will also work to promote an awareness and understanding of equity, trauma-informed care, family engagement, and other positive parenting programs and resources available across the state.
This grant will provide OCDEL with $255,600 per year for five years, totaling $1,278,000, beginning Aug. 1, 2021.
For more information about DHS and public assistance programs available in Pennsylvania, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.