Through each program office's program monitoring unit, DHS monitors all aspects of each service provider's program to ensure accountability for the expenditure of funds, to promote program effectiveness and efficiency and to ensure safety of people through quality service delivery.
Program monitoring on-site reviews of service providers is conducted based on
- Regular monthly/quarterly/yearly scheduled visit
- Reports from DAL, management, or any other source of concern or complaint
- Technical assistance visit
- Special circumstances or unusual incidents
- Licensing reviews
Items/records reviewed during a program monitoring on-site review of service providers
- Adherence to DHS contract and work statement
- Facilities or site
- Health and safety
- Incident reports
- Individual service plans
- Policy and procedures
- Quality of service
Practices regarding conducting a DHS program monitoring on-site review of service providers
DHS engages in a series of announced as well as unannounced monitoring visits to contracted service providers.
Monitoring may occur at a frequency based on fund type or may be triggered as a result of reported complaints or concerns.
To facilitate two-way communication between the department and its publics, DHS maintains the Director's Action Line, (DAL) (1-800-862-6783), which receives concerns/complaints about DHS-related services or personnel from people receiving services, interested parties, including stakeholders and the general public. Any concern which requires some level of investigation is recorded and forwarded to the appropriate county staff for managing the response, follow-up and ultimate resolution.
Additionally, DHS supports several other hotlines and an information and referral line that can be utilized by the public.
All program monitors have extensive knowledge within their field and are experienced with the rules outlined by funders and DHS contracts.
Monitoring visits are designed to collect data to validate whether or not programs are operated in accordance with their contract. Various report formats and monitoring tools provide information for a written report of findings and recommendations. A monitoring visit may include on-site interviews, a review of provider records and a review of the physical site.
A wide variety of records and information is reviewed and obtained on a monitoring visit. All monitoring visits are followed with a report(s) to the provider agency. These reports cite observations, findings and recommendations. A request for a Corrective Action Plan is made, if warranted.
In addition to contract monitors, DHS caseworkers in CYF and AAA are also responsible for monitoring DHS/person satisfaction with provider performance. Some general responsibilities include
- Assistance to families and individuals to link, arrange for and obtain services
- On-going assistance in managing these services and supports
- Monitoring these services for appropriate quality, type, duration and frequency
Reviews by State and Federal Funding Agencies
DHS is subject to scheduled and discretionary on-site monitoring visits by various state and federal funding agencies. Funding agencies also review and forward the results of annual licensing for those providers required to be licensed. The following list details the monitoring review frequency and procedures performed by state and federal funding agencies.
Area Agency on Aging (AAA)
- Corporation for National Service (Senior Companion Program) - Every two years
- Senior Service America (Senior Employment Programs) - Annually
- Pa. Department of Aging (Block grants and Title V) - Random, periodic reviews
Office of Behavioral Health (OBH)
- Pa. Department of Human Services (Title XIX) - Periodic
- Pa. Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (All D&A fund types and programs) - Annually
- Pa. Department of Human Services (Medical Assistance Transportation Program) - Annually
Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF)
- Social Security Administration (SSI and SSA) - Annual on-going review
- Pa. Auditor General (IV-E, TANF and 148 Invoices) - Annually
- Federal Title IV-E (Eligibility determinations and documentation) - Every three years
Office Community Services (OCS)
- Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board Monitoring of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Contracts - Annually
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Families, Region III - Every three years
- Pa. Department of Labor and Industry, Governor's Office of Citizen Services PennSERVE - Annually
- Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development (CSBG) - Every two years
- Pa. Department of Labor and Industry - Annually
Office of Developmental Supports (ODS)
- Pa. Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs - Periodic
- Other state and federal agencies - As needed for specific service inquiries