If you’ve followed Denny Civic Solutions for a while, you know that we’ve spent almost two years working alongside our clients the Campaign for What Works to change the name of Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare. The effort to change the Department’s stigmatizing, outdated name is actually decades old, and has been tirelessly championed by good people across the state who knew that the name stood in the way of Pennsylvanians who simply need access to disability services, quality senior care, rehabilitative programs, and a whole host of other indispensable services.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to announce that as of September 24, the name is officially being changed to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. That’s when Governor Corbett signed into law Act 132 after the legislation passed both the House and Senate by a large margin.
The Campaign for What Works was joined by a huge, statewide coalition of consumers, advocates, and service providers, just some of whom can be found here. The picture above, from a thank-you breakfast in Harrisburg celebrating the name change, shows just a tiny fraction of the thousands of consumers, organizations, and lawmakers who helped make this victory happen. We thank them for their tireless work to finally make the change happen. A full summary of the name change win and what it means for Pennsylvania can be found by clicking here.
But the Campaign and its allies weren’t done yet. On October 7, some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens got another huge win with the Senate’s unanimous passage (50 to 0) of HB 2204, which automatically signs homeless infants and toddlers up for early intervention services.
Once again, a huge coalition from all corners of the state joined the Campaign for What Works to make it happen, and now the 6,000+ homeless infants and toddlers across PA are guaranteed to get the extra help and care that they need. We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for what the coalition has accomplished, and we are happy to say that Pennsylvania’s babies will now get the help they need. You can read the whole story here.