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Family Support Programs

Children's Trust Fund

The Pennsylvania Children's Trust Fund (PA CTF) is dedicated to funding innovative and creative community-based child abuse and neglect prevention programs. Specific emphasis for funding is placed on primary prevention programs that focus on the prevention of abuse before it occurs for the first time. PA CTF was established pursuant to Act 151 of 1988, the Children's Trust Fund Act.

PA CTF is led by a 15-member Board of Directors and administered by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). The PA CTF Board consists of three members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, three members of the Pennsylvania Senate and nine citizens appointed by the Governor. The Deputy Secretary for OCDEL under the Departments of Human Services and Education serves as the Executive Director to the Board.

The Pennsylvania Children's Trust Fund is funded through revenue generated from a $10 surcharge on all marriage and divorce applications filed in the Commonwealth. Additionally, gifts, donations, interest and sometime federal funds contribute to the Children’s Trust Fund.

Pennsylvania's CTF has been investing in child abuse and neglect prevention efforts since 1990.
For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Children's Trust Fund website.

Promoting Responsible Fatherhood

The Department of Human Services (DHS), in coordination with other Commonwealth agencies, launched the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative (PRF) in 1999.  Studies have shown that involved fathers provide practical support in raising children and serve as models for their development. (Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, and exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior compared to children who have uninvolved fathers. Fatherhood programs help fathers:

  • Strengthen positive father-child engagement
  • Improve employment and economic mobility opportunities; and
  • Improve healthy relationships (including couple and co-parenting) and marriage.

A list of state funded Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Programs

Family Centers

Since 1992, Pennsylvania's Family Centers have integrated and provided community services to help families become healthier, better educated and self-sufficient. Family Centers help parents:

  • Learn about their children's development.
  • Engage in parent education and child development activities.
  • Access health care information as well as assistance regarding health care services and insurance.
  • Access education, training and employment information.
  • Receive information and assistance on other community resources, such as well-baby care, immunizations and early intervention services.

Since each Family Center takes a unique approach to meeting their community's needs, not all services are available in every center. However, Family Center services may include:

  • Adult Education
  • Job Training and Placement
  • Language Skills
  • Literacy Programs
  • Parent Support Groups
  • Parenting Skills Programs
  • Child Health and Development Screenings
  • Family Activities
  • Toy and Book Lending Libraries
  • Child Care Programs
  • Summer and After-School Activities

All state funded Family Centers provide evidence-based home visiting services. A list of state funded Family Centers.