Assess block-grant delivery of Pa. funding before expansion, Bucks lawmaker says

    The Corbett administration intends to expand the use of a controversial method of funding county human services in Pennsylvania — even though it’s not clear whether the approach has been successful.

     

    The human services block grant, approved in 2012, changed the way certain counties receive human services funding.

    Instead of getting discrete funding for seven different programs, selected counties received one lump sum to parcel out among all the services.

    But state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, said a state report on the block grant pilot program doesn’t show how services fared before it was in place.

    “The annual report should include data on services delivered prior to the implementation of the block grant,” he said. “How do we evaluate how this block grant is working when we don’t have any information of the prior year?”

    Gathering county data and find a fair way to compare block granted service delivery to past methods has been a challenge, according to a state Department of Public Welfare spokesman.

    Thirty 30 counties — including Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery — now receive human services funding from the state in the form of a block grant.

    DPW Secretary Bev Mackereth said the Corbett administration wants to allow all 67 counties to use the block grant approach.

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