Current information

DHS has set five goals to guide us and our partners in serving our community well. We aim for our network for human services to improve access to care, prevent overuse of coercive services, prevent harm, increase economic security and ensure quality.

What is this report about?

DHS can reach our goals more quickly if we devote time and attention to several big, bold initiatives that will make our systems and our organization work better for everyone we serve. This document outlines our key initiatives in 2024—which are in addition to our core work of running effective systems of care for people.

DHS 2023 Accomplishments

Current information

County human services includes programs from over 300 community-based agencies and is delivered by social workers, peers, and outreach staff working all throughout the county. These staff run out-of-school-time programs, answer hotlines, investigate reports of potential harm to children and vulnerable adults, deliver meals to seniors and run Senior Centers, make home visits to families with newborns, and do the administrative work that makes our human services run efficiently.

What is this report about?

This report highlights the 2023 accomplishments that stood out. There are many, many other achievements that people told us about. We chose the ones that made the biggest difference.

Current Information

Allegheny County DHS sends text messages to county residents for a variety of reasons, including increasing awareness of services, providing timely reminders, and gathering feedback after a service experience.  In addition, DHS uses this information to help evaluate and monitor programs it delivers.  This dashboard displays information about these outreach and engagement efforts, including the subject and purpose of these and the rates of engagement.  Data on DHS’s texting efforts are available from November 2017 to the present.

The dashboard allows users to examine DHS text messaging as a whole as well as drill down to individual text campaigns.  It allows users to understand the purpose of each campaign, the number of messages sent and the demographics of the people being contacted by each campaign.  DHS collects this information through Community Connect Labs (CCL), DHS’s texting software, and information is updated daily. Click here for a more detailed report on DHS’s texting outreach from 2018-2022.

Access the report

The Intimate Partner Violence Reform Initiative was created in May 2022 to coordinate policy and system-level work across agencies in Allegheny County to improve a complex and fragmented system for both survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) and those who use violence.

Stakeholders from local and federal criminal justice systems, victim service organizations, community groups, healthcare and human services are working to improve the ways in which people can access help, how our systems work together and share information, and how we can prevent the most serious harm. This report outlines the progress made in the first year of the initiative, as well as plans and priorities to continue these reform efforts.

Current information

What is this dashboard about?

This dashboard displays information about the SeniorLine, a resource where individuals can receive information about services and programs for older adults in Allegheny County. SeniorLine care managers typically discuss:

  • Senior center activities
  • Care management
  • Support for caregivers
  • In-home services
  • Transportation assistance
  • Assistance with medication management
  • Utility assistance 
  • Property tax and rent rebate assistance

SeniorLine Care Managers are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 412-350-5460.

What data is available?

The dashboard includes detailed information about SeniorLine interactions and communications, including call times, context, outcomes, and users. Typical callers are individuals 60 years of age or older, their families and caregivers, and other sources of support. Most individuals live within Allegheny County but there are some calls concerning people living outside of the county.

The dashboard is updated at the end of every month.

Access the report

This report was created by University of Pittsburgh and describes services offered by county Area Agency’s on Aging to help inform local strategies.

What is this report about? 

This report describes the national landscape of Area Agency on Aging (AAA) services and supports, with particular focus on the services and supports of AAAs with demographically similar catchment areas to that of Allegheny County’s AAA (housed within the county’s Department of Human Services (DHS)). DHS contracted with the University of Pittsburgh to produce this report to help inform opportunities for growth and innovation.

The Aging Landscape complements the 2022 State of Aging, Disability, and Family Caregiving in Allegheny County, a comprehensive examination of Allegheny County’s aging, disabled, and informal caregiving populations conducted by the University Center for Social & Urban Research (UCSUR), the National Rehabilitation Research & Training Center on Family Support (NCFS), and the Health Policy Institute (HPI) at the University of Pittsburgh and other local organizations.

What are the takeaways?

  • Fifty distinct services are provided by AAAs across the nation, with AAAs offering an average of 27 services.
    • The number of services provided by AAAs with demographically similar catchment areas to that of Allegheny County DHS AAA range from 10 to 30.
    • Allegheny County DHS AAA delivers a total of 18 services.
  • In addition to AAA-required services (i.e., nutrition programs; evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs; supportive services for caregivers; and protection of the rights of older adults), a variety of supplemental services are provided by AAAs across the nation. The 10 most common supplemental services provided by AAAs include: transportation services; case management services; benefits/health insurance counseling and enrollment assistance; homemaker services; personal care services; options counseling; assessment services; elder abuse prevention and intervention services; senior center services; and long-term care ombudsman services.
    • Senior center services, nutrition services (particularly in-home meal services), and information services constitute the preponderance of services among AAAs with demographically similar catchment areas to that of the Allegheny County DHS AAA.
  • Innovative services and supports meriting Allegheny County DHS AAA consideration include, but are not limited to: telemedicine/telehealth services; COVID-19-related services (e.g., COVID-19 testing, vaccination); missing person programs; home sharing programs; educational programs (e.g., home safety education, medication education, life-long learning opportunities); and robotic pet support.

How is this report being used?

Aging Landscape Scan findings, along with 2022 State of Aging, Disability, and Family Caregiving in Allegheny County findings, are being used to inform the Allegheny County DHS AAA’s approach to supporting the health and well-being of Allegheny County older adults.

Current dashboard and report

What are Older Adult Protective Services?

This program provides services to vulnerable adults who are at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Through a telephone hotline, residents can report allegations of harm to an older adult. Staff collect information about the allegation, investigate the situation, and, if allegations are substantiated, work with the individual on a care plan.

What data is available?

A related analytics report describes our findings. The dashboard below provides an overview of how allegations are made, investigated, and substantiated. It also provides information on:

  • Number of calls to the protective services hotline
  • How many allegations were investigated
  • How many investigations were substantiated
  • Demographics of alleged victims

The dashboard is updated yearly, when new data is available.

Trouble viewing the dashboard? You can view it directly here.

In partnership with nine community-based providers, Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) provides home-delivered meals to older adults in need. In order to learn more about meal recipient satisfaction, DHS surveyed more than 200 meal program participants. The survey found high satisfaction overall, with average scores ranging from 4.2 to 4.9 out of 5. Survey respondents rated delivery people high, while scores for taste of food and amount of food were slightly lower. Sixty-five percent of participants said that the program helped them feel less lonely, and 87% said that meal delivery helped them to remain in their own homes instead of needing a higher level of care.

Click here to read the report.

Linking provider payments to performance measures is gaining popularity as a way to improve outcomes, efficiency and innovations.  Three performance-based contracting models have been implemented in Allegheny County, targeting: 1) the Senior Center network; 2) child welfare providers; and 3) DHS-funded providers of the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative.  Each focuses on service-related outcomes and offers fiscal incentives for improvement.

Click here to view the full report.

When its largest provider of Home -Delivered Meals (HDM) suddenly decided to discontinue its service, the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) had just weeks to ensure that 800 frail and disabled adults would continue to get the meals they depended upon. Partnering with six providers, AAA seized the opportunity to reshape the HDM program. By dividing the county into four geographic regions, increasing efficiencies with equipment and staffing, utilizing technology to improve routes and enabling drivers to send alerts should they observe a change in a consumer’s health or well-being, a better and more prevention-focused program resulted.

Click here to view the full report. 

In 2011, the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging, part of the county’s Department of Human Services, embarked on an effort to improve the quality of its Options Care Management program. The Options Care Management program provides support to more than 5,000 non-Medicaid-eligible individuals, age 60 and older, so that they may continue living in their own homes.

This report, prepared one year after the transition to the new care management model, reflects on how the AAA staff succeeded in completing this ambitious undertaking and suggests lessons for others pursuing a similar transformation.

Click here to view the full report.

DHS is committed to meeting the human services needs of county residents, particularly the county’s most vulnerable populations, through an extensive range of prevention, early intervention, crises management and after–care services. While system involvement is sometimes inevitable, necessary and highly beneficial to consumers, DHS believes that preventing the need for such system interventions can ultimately result in safer, healthier and more cost–effective alternatives for consumers and for the region at–large.

This report begins by presenting a framework for prevention in the human ser­vices field. It then goes on to classify and catalog all prevention efforts across DHS, including program descriptions and other key pieces of information that are important to understanding the evaluation status and priorities of each program or service.

Click to read the full report.