PA Department of Human Services

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania officials have announced plans to close two of the remaining state centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities over the next three years.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller and other officials fielded dozens of questions from lawmakers during two days of budget hearings this week.

While those questions covered a wide range of topics, here are three issues from the hearings likely to come up throughout the legislative session:

Work requirements for people getting assistance

Laura Benshoff / WHYY

More than two years after Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas announced the department would not renew its license, the Berks Family Residential Center is still housing dozens of families awaiting decisions about their immigration cases.

istock

 

A state agency says it mistakenly cleared 28 people to work with children without noting their past.

The state Department of Human Services says it should have included incidents of abuse or neglect to the reports for the 28 people who pursued clearances through the state's Childline.

DHS blames its IT system for mistakes in eight of the cases, but says employees failed to note incidents in the other 20 cases.

The agency says it's made changes, is providing re-training for employees, and has hired a consultant to provide an independent review.

AP

Officials with the Department of Human Services announced increased oversight for its major programs and said it’s paying off financially.

The department reported Thursday that savings increased by $65 million over the last fiscal year.

As DHS Secretary Ted Dallas explained, its programs can be complicated. 

Things like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and other state benefits involve a lot of paperwork, and Dallas said administrative errors are relatively common.

Jessica Kourkounis / NewsWorks

 

More than 53,000 people in Pennsylvania live in government-assisted nursing homes, hospitals or institutions. But in a new plan, the state Department of Human Services said it's hoping to move a lot of those people to apartments or homes.