DHS Home Page
Department of Human Services    Follow DHS on Facebook Follow DHS on Twitter Watch DHS Videos on Vimeo Connect with DHS on LinkedIn

Children, Youth and Families Advisory Board

The Children, Youth and Families Advisory Board advises the County Executive and County Council and the administration of the Office of Children, Youth and Families on the Office's needs, budget and resources for the provision of services in the County. The Committee may also help to develop the resources available to the Office and strengthen its relationship with various providers and with the community. Its presence is mandated by Section 3130 of the Pennsylvania Code.

Annual Plans and Budgets - Services for children, child welfare services   

Meeting Schedule - Children, Youth and Families Advisory Board 

Special Efforts

Find the Room in Your Heart – Family Visitation Room Project
When children are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, parents and children often have supervised visits with each other at one of the CYF Family Visitation Rooms located at the five CYF regional offices. Keeping these rooms welcoming and well-equipped is an on-going challenge. Interested persons can help in this effort in many ways.

Membership Requirements

Members are appointed by the Allegheny County Executive, subject to the approval of County Council, and the number of members shall be consistent with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regulations.

Membership Terms

Members shall serve for a three year term, (except when filling an unexpired term) or until a successor is named.  Members shall be eligible for reappointment to a full three year term after filling an unexpired term and otherwise at the discretion of the Executive.  If a member is absent from three consecutive meetings without reason and/or notification, membership shall be terminated.


The elected officers of the Advisory Committee shall be the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson.

The officers shall be elected for a term of two years beginning at the close of the regular January meeting at which they are elected.  Officers shall serve until the expiration of their term as officer or members, whichever occurs first, or until their successors are elected.

The Chairperson shall be the highest officer of the Committee and shall exercise general supervision and management over the affairs of the Committee.  The Chairperson shall be charged with carrying out the policies of and programs adopted or approved by the Committee, and shall have further powers and duties as are incident to the office of Chairperson of the Committee and as the Committee may from time to time prescribe.


  • Nominating Subcommittee
    A Nominating Subcommittee shall be appointed by the Chairperson with the approval of the Advisory Committee.  The Nominating Subcommittee shall nominate candidates for the two officers of the Committee and report the names of those nominated at the regular January meeting which coincides with the expiration of the terms of the officers or when vacancies occur.  Additional nominations for officers from the floor shall be permitted.  The Nominating Subcommittee shall report regularly on the status of the membership, and recommend the appointment of new members, when necessary, to the Advisory Committee.
  • Other subcommittees
    Other subcommittees shall be created by the Advisory Committee.  Such other subcommittees, standing or special, shall be appointed and charged by the Chairperson with the approval of the Advisory Committee.  The Chairperson shall take into account the expressed desires of the members in making subcommittee appointments.
    The charge to a special subcommittee shall specify the time when it goes out of existence.  Standing subcommittees will continue indefinitely.
    Membership on the subcommittees shall expire at the time of the biennial election of officers.

Conflicts of Interest

Since the composition of the Children, Youth and Families Advisory Committee includes members of “local” citizens organizations active in the fields of children and youth issues, the practice of an individual simultaneously serving on the Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families Advisory Committee and the Board of a Corporation holding a contract with the County Children, Youth and Families program is not discouraged.  Persons knowledgeable in the area probably gained much of their knowledge through such services.

Committee Rules, Requirements and Regulations

Regular meetings of the Advisory Committee shall be held bi-monthly on such day and time as determined by the Committee from time to time.

Five members shall constitute a quorum.

The regular meeting in January shall be known as the annual meeting and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports and for any other business that may arise.

Special meetings can be called by the Chairperson.  The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call.  Five days notice shall be given, except in emergencies.

Members (March 2014)

Dr. Helen Cahalane, University of Pittsburgh, Principal Investigator, School of Social Work
Dr. Mary Carrasco, A Child's Place at Mercy
Dr. Diego Chaves-Gnecco, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Joanna Doven-Huss
Linda Ehrlich
Michelle M. Figlar, PAEYC
Ward Garner, Bill Few Associates Inc.
Dr. Susan Gove, Gove Group Inc.
Dr. Rhonda Harrison, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Early Childhood Education Program
Georgia Hernandez, Chair
Judy Horgan, Child Watch
Avis Kotovsky
Melvin C. Pollard