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About DHS

Our mission is to assist Pennsylvanians in leading safe, healthy, and productive lives through equitable, trauma-informed, and outcome-focused services while being an accountable steward of commonwealth resources.

Our vision is that all Pennsylvanians live safe, healthy, and independent lives, free of discrimination and inequity.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services' (DHS) seven program offices administer services that provide care and support to Pennsylvania's most vulnerable individuals and families. 

Through the department's Office of Medical Assistance Programs (OMAP), 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. OMAP 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 (ODP) 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 (OMHSAS) 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 DHS and the department's Office of Children Youth and Families (OCYF) 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 (OIM), 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. 

DHS also works closely with other state agencies that serve similar populations. The department partners with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging through the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL). 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 (OCDEL) serves children and families in early learning, subsidized child care and early intervention programs for at-risk children. 

DHS 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.