New YSAP President Craig Adamson sent the following letter to Pennsylvania legislators, asking them to support Pennsylvania’s children and youth by rejecting misguided legislation that looks to seize control of children and youth services, create rate-setting processes and undermine robust services.
June 14, 2011
Dear Pennsylvania Legislator:
Pennsylvania’s at-risk children need your help.
The Department of Public Welfare, Office of Children, Youth and Families (DPW – OCYF) is pursuing new legislation that will undermine a fundamentally sound system. Private providers perform more than 80% of the services delivered to Pennsylvania’s vulnerable at-risk children and youth population.
This legislation looks to seize control of children and youth services, create rate-setting processes and undermine robust services. If the DPW is successful, many non-profit providers will go out of business or choose not to provide services because of the unnecessary intrusion into the county-private provider relationships. Once again DPW is trying to create a much greater role in service delivery and business operations instead of their role of licensing programs and ensuring quality services.
All private provider services already have a control mechanism in place to ensure a county is only provided the services it requires. Further, a county can choose to run its own programs. There is no need for state control of these services.
DPW is stating that it is introducing this legislation because of the potential of losing $310 million dollars in federal funding. But the loss is due to their own mismanagement – not the underperformance of private providers or county governments as per federal government audits conducted from 1999-2002.
In the end, DPW has created a nightmare of red tape for children and youth service agencies that Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has deemed illegal. As of today, OCYF has posted only half of private providers rates that were due to be posted for contracting on July 1, 2010. Many providers have not been paid due to these excessive delays and are utilizing lines-of-credit to continue to provide services to clients. It’s clear: DPW cannot handle the system already in place and now they want to take on even more responsibilities that are best handled by providers and the county governments who buy their services.
Ultimately, it’s Pennsylvania’s at-risk children who will really suffer from this legislation, and that will be the biggest shame of all.
Please support Pennsylvania’s children and youth by rejecting such misguided legislation, and direct DPW to accept the state court’s decision that will allow for a better system that puts children first.
Please see May 3, 2011 Patriot-News Op-Ed article, “End red tape at Department of Public Welfare” at: http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2011/05/end_red_tape_at_department_of.html
Craig W. Adamson