Human Services Block Grant Program

What is this "Human Services Block Grant Program" we keep hearing about?  We're glad you asked!  It's a pilot program established under Act 80 of 2012



Act 80 creates a block grant pilot program to give counties greater flexibility in how they deliver services with state funds.  The program gives 20 counties autonomy to allocate state funding for seven county-based service areas: drug and alcohol programs, homelessness, behavioral health, intellectual disabilities, child welfare, general human services and mental health services.

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has the ability to approve, monitor and withhold block grant funds. The law also prohibits counties from eliminating any of the seven county-based services.

The block grant will be phased in, giving participating counties the flexibility to allocate a growing percentage of state funds:

  • 20% of state appropriations in 2012-13
  • 25% in 2013-14,
  • 50% in 2014-15,
  • 75% in 2015-16, and
  • 100% in 2016-17 and beyond

Counties may request a waiver to accelerate the phase-in and use funds as determined by local needs.  There is no sunset provision or provision for expansion of the pilot program.

Information provided by Commonwealth Foundation.


Please visit our Related Documents section, below, for general information and FAQs. 

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