Vision and Guiding Principles

DHS Vision Statement

Every aspect of DHS is based on our Vision and Principles for Integrated Practice.

In 1997, through a collaborative effort undertaken as part of Allegheny County's redesign of human services, the following vision statement was adopted:

To create an accessible, culturally competent, integrated and comprehensive human services system that ensures individually tailored, seamless and holistic services to Allegheny County residents, in particular, the county's vulnerable populations.

In 2012, DHS undertook the next step toward full integration by developing the DHS Practice Model. The practice model is our conceptual map and organizational ideology describing the values and principles underlying our work and informing specific approaches and techniques used to achieve desired integration outcomes. It assures consistency and coordination not only across DHS but also across the network of partnering organizations that comprise our public human service system.

Values and Principles for Integrated Practice

All services, policies and processes will be informed by a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, requiring the active and intentional inclusion of people of varying social identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic class, ability, religion, citizenship status and country of origin).

This commitment recognizes the social and structural differences that are deeply embedded in the fabric of society. By frankly addressing the privilege and power disparities that have led to unequal access to opportunities and resources, all people, regardless of social group or individual characteristics, will have an opportunity to succeed.

Service integration begins with the individuals and families we serve.
Whenever possible, a team approach involving the person/family, system partners and natural supports will develop and monitor the plan for services.

Individuals and families have the capacity to identify their own strengths, needs and goals; create relationships; and take steps necessary to accomplish these goals.
Improving the health and well-being of individuals and families, and increasing their self-reliance to the extent possible, will be prioritized.

People sustain their health and wellness with the support and assistance of their families and/or natural supports.
The engagement of family and natural supports will be emphasized, and the intrusiveness of formal service systems minimized, whenever possible.

Individualized and comprehensive services should be provided to people based on their unique needs.
A full continuum of services (information, prevention, early intervention, case management, crisis intervention, after care), including tangible aid, when necessary, will be available to support those needs.

All services must be high-quality, accessible, and aligned with person and family strengths, needs and goals.
Ongoing assessment of service quality and fidelity, using data, research and timely measurement of program efficacy and outcomes, will direct continuous quality improvements.