Potter County will not be part of pilot “block grant” program that changes how the state funds human service programs. However, it’s possible that all 67 counties will be receiving the block grants starting in fiscal 2013-14. Twenty of the 30 counties that applied for a pilot program this year were accepted. Because Potter was not one of them, Potter County Human Services will have to adapt to a reduction of about 10 percent in state funding for its programs. Services affected by the block grant are mental health, intellectual disabilities, child welfare, homeless assistance, aging and behavioral health.
The Department of Public Welfare chose the 20 participating counties based on geography, size, poverty level, recent population shifts, administrative structure and demonstrated ability to manage the block grant. Counties chosen were Tioga, Centre, Venango, Wayne, Allegheny, Lancaster, Lehigh, Greene, Beaver, Luzerne, Berks, Bucks, Franklin, Fulton, Butler, Chester, Erie, Delaware, Crawford and Dauphin.
Governor Tom Corbett labeled the Human Services Block Grant “a new and innovative program that transforms how the state works with counties to distribute funding for human services.”
“Recognizing that counties need flexibility to fund their human services programs in a way that best serves their communities, we worked with the legislature to institute this new funding approach,” Corbett continued. “This program will ensure more funding makes it to our recipients and less is spent on red tape.”
Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander said he is committed to working with the counties and the General Assembly to expand this program to all 67 counties in the next legislative session.
Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.