Share This Page

Rename it 'Human Services'

| Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Words matter. Names matter. Stigma lasts.

These should be reasons enough for Pennsylvania to change the name of our Department of Public Welfare (DPW).

If providing “welfare” to “welfare” recipients is what the department actually did, then the name might make sense. But the fact is that 95 percent of what the DPW does and who it serves are human(s) in need of service(s).

We join together as former governors of our great commonwealth in asking the Legislature to change the name of the Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services.

We support the legislative efforts of Rep. Tom Murt and Sens. Bob Mensch and Jay Costa that would make this change at no cost to taxpayers.

Pennsylvanians who are served by the department are our mothers and grandmothers in need of long-term nursing care. They are our neighbors struggling with mental illness, children with physical disabilities and family members with a terrible drug addiction. And sadly, they are the mothers next door, needing the protection and help of a shelter.

These are not welfare recipients. Again, they are humans in need of services.

We hope you will join us and urge your legislators to change the name to the Department of Human Services.

George Leader, Dick Thornburgh, Tom Ridge, Mark Schweiker & Ed Rendell

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.