ERIC Number: ED358975
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Program Integration: An Alternative for Improving County Rural Human Services Delivery. Technical Paper No. 13.
Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.
This report examines program integration as a way to improve the delivery of rural human services in Pennsylvania. A panel of policymakers, human services providers, and representatives of state agencies identified barriers to effective rural human services delivery and generated policy recommendations. Most county-based human services in Pennsylvania, including services related to aging, children and youth, drug- and alcohol-abuse, and mental health/mental retardation, are provided through separate or categorical county agencies. Problems associated with categorical human services delivery include: administrative duplication, treating interrelated problems separately, forcing clients to shop for services, promoting competition among client groups for scarce resources, and inappropriate funding to rural counties for their human services needs. Program integration would involve the creation of a single department at the county level responsible for providing all human services programs. Case studies comparing categorical and integrated human services agencies are presented. Strengths of the integration approach are: reduction of county administrative costs, referral of clients for the most cost-effective treatment, provision of family-centered treatment, promotion of comprehensive planning, encouragement of staff communication and cooperation, and reduction of client "shuffling" between separate agencies. The panel recommended that integration of county human services should not be mandated by the state but instead should be encouraged through changes in state policies and procedures. Descriptions of policy options are included. (LP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania