Potter County Human Services is a coordinated, comprehensive human services system which operates under a single administrative, fiscal and program structure. We offer a wide spectrum of assistance to residents of the county, ranging from families facing many complex problems, to individuals who require brief interventions, or referral to other appropriate resources.
On July 1, 1987, Potter County Human Services (PCHS) was officially designated by the state of Pennsylvania and the Potter County Commissioners as Potter County's co-located, integrated human services system. Before that time, the various departments (Children and Youth Services, Area Agency on Aging, Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Coordinated Services, Alcohol and Other Drugs) that came to make up PCHS existed separately and in different locations throughout the county. To form the new system, the Potter County Commissioners had to 1) remove some of the county's social services programs from "jointers" with multiple counties; 2) physically locate all of the agencies that would form PCHS together under one roof; and 3) develop a single financial and administrative structure.
Potter County Human Services was created to provide a central place where county residents could get easy access to the services they needed with as little "red tape" as possible. Having a single administrative structure would also make it possible for agency programs to share various costs and resources, allowing us to provide more services to residents-for less money. In addition, it was felt that locating these services under a single Potter County agency made more sense than allowing financial and administrative control of our programs to rest with administrators from out-of-county jointers.
From all over Potter County, mandated social service departments and some miscellaneous programs were brought together at Maple View Health Center in Coudersport to form our comprehensive human services system. Between 1987 and 1992, Potter County Human Services continued to grow as an agency, making a number of adoptions and changes. However, on May 2, 1992, a devastating fire burned Maple View Health Center (and along with it, the entire human services system) to the ground. The agency was temporarily located in downtown Coudersport and then re-located to renovated office space at the LL Smith building in Roulette in 1995.
In addition to the departments listed above, over 1.5 million dollars in new grants have been brought into Potter County through PCHS staff efforts. We've been awarded some exciting new program development opportunities including funds for a mobile family center, a mentoring program, supervised youth recreation, parent support and education, insurance outreach, etc. Since the agency's start in 1987, PCHS's programs have continued to grow and develop in response to the social services needs of county residents, and is part of county-wide effort that emphasizes prevention, supporting families and collaboration with other agencies.
Our vision is that Potter County will be a place where families will be safe, well educated, responsible and productive. Community members will be committed to creating and sustaining an environment where all persons can thrive and contribute. We share the responsibility for supporting families and communities in the protection and education of our children and in encouraging the development of healthy beliefs, clear standards, and each child's potential.