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 DHS News March 2013

Director’s Action Line 

The Director’s Action Line (DAL) was established in 1996 to hear and respond to individuals with concerns and complaints about child welfare services. It proved to be an early success, and it was not long before its services were expanded to address any consumer or service issue in the newly integrated Department of Human Services.

The DAL is located within the Office of Community Relations in the Human Services Building (HSB) at 1 Smithfield St. Pittsburgh, PA 15222, and headed by Dan Robinson, manager. DAL staff includes seven DAL program specialists and an administrative assistant. During 2012, they investigated approximately 1665 complaints/requests, fielded approximately 3000 information and referral requests, made almost 13,000 follow-up calls and handled more than 100 concerns raised by DHS caseworkers about providers’ compliance with service requirements.

“The DAL is a voice for the consumer,” says Dan. “We take an objective approach when looking into a consumer’s concern. We strive to provide good customer service, support and even investigation for consumers, professionals, elected officials, and others who contact the DAL.”

The DAL staff members are not just active listeners. Because they get inquiries and requests from a variety of individuals related to the DHS service system, including those served, DAL specialists need to be up-to-date on community resources, the Department’s policies and practices, and service array including those offered by providers.

Despite the numerous calls that come into the DAL, it’s important to note that the specialists don’t just spend their day on the phone or updating computer files.  According to Dan, “We’re not just involved with CYF cases; we meet with visitors who show up at the Human Services Building, we go to the County Jail to meet with inmates at their request, we assist with OCR educational and awareness campaigns, serve as DHS representatives at community events distributing literature and interacting with the public, and help with fundraising events… it can get pretty busy.”

To contact the DAL, call 1-800-862-6783 or email dal@alleghenycounty.us.

 
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