Here are the latest news items of interest to the legal aid community and it's clients. Click the article headline for the full story.

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Governor Edward G. Rendell has announced that Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program will open for the 2009-10 heating season on Nov. 2, 2009. However, for the upcoming heating season, the crisis portion of the program will open on Jan. 4, 2010 and not simultaneously with the cash grant program.

LIHEAP provides cash grants to help low-income households pay for home heating fuel and crisis grants to address heating emergencies.


For the third consecutive year, Pennsylvania has been recognized as a national leader for its child support enforcement efforts and specifically as the first state to meet and exceed all federal performance standards, according to Department of Public Welfare Secretary Estelle B. Richman. News

Pennsylvania’s commitment to children was recognized by the federal government as it awarded grants for adoption excellence and mental health systems of care to the Department of Public Welfare.

The department was awarded approximately $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care and nearly $1 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, to serve youth living with a serious mental health need. News

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) and Widener University School of Law have announced a pilot program to help low-income consumers receive legal help in navigating the formal complaint process before the PUC.

Consumers living in Dauphin County are eligible for the pilot program, which may expand to other areas. MidPenn Legal Services is conducting the screening process to determine consumer eligibility. To apply for assistance, consumers should contact MidPenn Legal Services, 213-A North Front Street, Harrisburg PA 17101-2240 or phone at (717) 232-0581 or toll-free (800) 932-0356.