The National Directory of
Family-Run & Youth-Guided Organizations
for Children’s Behavioral Health
Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) Youth DSITY (Systems Improvement Through Youth)
Allegheny County Department of Human Services One Smithfield St., 4th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Contact Person: Duane Berry
Child Welfare,Developmental Disabilities,Juvenile Justice,Mental Illness/Mental Health,Substance Abuse
Through a peer mentoring program, council members will establish a peer support system, promote personal development, and educate youth about the value of having their voices heard.
The council is comprised of 14 individuals, ages 16 through 25 years, who are active in or alumni of DHS and related child-serving systems including: child welfare, drug and alcohol, education, juvenile justice, mental health and mental retardation. Building on the value of their personal experiences in the system, they will be assisted to develop leadership skills as advocates and system advisors, be provided with positive experiences of social service careers and policymaking, and be encouraged in their professional development. Select representatives from different DHS service areas will be the channels through which information and ideas flow between DHS senior management, direct-service staff and council members. The relationship between these staff and council members will be enhanced as needed to insure the honest, culturally knowledgeable and efficient exchange of ideas. The goal of this communication is to spotlight the value of youth/professional teamwork in decision-making and long-range planning as regards to child- and family-serving systems.
• Provide family to family or youth to youth support on an individual family or youth level (e.g., peer-to-peer, family support partners, parent navigators)
• Provide technical assistance (e.g., to other family or youth organizations, child serving agencies)
• Recruit family members or youth for positions within child serving agencies
• A local youth-guided chapter of a national or statewide organization
• A family-run or youth-guided organization with a current or past affiliation with a System of Care Community of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (i.e., CMHS System of Care grant site)