HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has signed House Bill 993, officially changing the name of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to the Department of Human Services. The bill also establishes a tip line for recipient and provider fraud.
“The time has come to bring the Department of Public Welfare into a new era of assisting Pennsylvanians,” DPW Secretary Beverly Mackereth said. “Helping families in need secure heat, food and other necessities is just a fraction of the human services work performed here in the department.”
The department has more than 16,000 employees and oversees 94 county assistance offices statewide. It also oversees adoption services, child protection services, juvenile justice facilities, state hospitals, long-term care, early childhood education, child support, Medicaid, employment and training services, mental health, and supports for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, among other things.
“For the past several years, advocates, families, legislators, and providers have diligently worked to make this change happen,” Mackereth said. “Our new name will reflect the services and supports our agency currently provides to individuals and their families.”
The new law will officially take effect in November, with a phased-in approach and measured transition to the new name beginning at that time. The department will replace deliverables, such as letterhead and business cards, as needed and integrate necessary system changes with scheduled upgrades to effectuate the change in the most cost-effective manner possible.
“While our name may be changing, I can assure you, our commitment to assisting our most vulnerable population is unwavering and our current services will remain intact,” Mackereth concluded.
For more information, visit www.dpw.state.pa.us.