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It's Official: The PA Department of Public Welfare Is Now the Department of Human Services

A new Pennsylvania law was enacted Monday changing the Department of Public Welfare's title to the Department of Human Services.

Pennsylvania's DPW had been the last in the country to include the word "welfare" in its title — a term some considered weighted with negative connotations. DHS spokeswoman Cait Gillis said another problem is that the name was not reflective of the work they do at the department.

"Welfare in the traditional sense it probably not even 10 percent of the services we offer in the commonwealth, said Gillis. "This ranges from adoption, child protection services, long-term living facilities, individuals with disabilities and physical disabilities. There are supports available to them as well here."

Because the law did not include any funding, Gillis said they will replace old letter head and supplies with the new DHS name as they run out. She said they even tried to save money creating the department's new logo.

"So we asked for input and design ideas from our employees and held a voting on the company intranet so that we could get the most cost efficient use of getting a new logo," Gillis said.

Larkin got her start in radio as a newsroom volunteer in 2006. She went on to work for 90.5 as a reporter, Weekend Edition host, and Morning Edition producer. In 2009 she became 90.5's All Things Considered host, and in 2017 she was named Managing Editor. She moderates and facilitates public panels and forums, and has won regional and statewide awards for her reporting, including stories on art, criminal justice, domestic violence, and breaking news. Her work has been featured across Pennsylvania and nationally on NPR.