David Powell 0

Increase Human Services Funding in Allegheny

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Those signed below request an increase of $10 million in Allegheny County's commitments to Human Services in the 2023 County Budget. This increase in services should be allocated between School Based Partial Hospital Programs and Resolve Crisis Services.

School Based Partial Hospital Programs are a system of eight Allegheny based schools that provide educational and therapeutic services to students whose needs cannot be served in a public school setting. Drastic pay disparities exist between direct service providers in these two contexts. According to testimony of the Allegheny Department of Human Services, this pay inequity causes significant staff attrition issues and threatens consistency of treatment for vulnerable populations. The Allegheny County Council should create a $5 million grant designed specifically to address the pay inequity faced by direct care staff in School Based Partial Hospital Programs.

Resolve Crisis Services provides mental health professional responders to Allegheny County during behavioral health crises. These responders provide important supplements or alternatives to police response in mental health emergencies. Recent short staffing issues create challenges and barriers to the provision of these vital services. $5 million of increased funds targeting the following can reduce Resolve Crisis response times and improve quality of care:

-A county established grant to provide substantial bonuses and pay raises for workers following 3 to 5 years of service, as well as sign-on bonuses to attract new responders.

-Funding projects to increase staffing for dedicated populations and contexts, such as school calls or police accompaniment.

-Free suicide assessment training to school based therapeutic service providers, to decrease call volume to Resolve Crisis Services.

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