2-1-1 in PA

211 Position Statement

The Pennsylvania Association for Information & Referral (PAIR) is committed to playing a lead role in the development of a 211 system in Pennsylvania.

PAIR is the Pennsylvania Affiliate of the Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (AIRS), the professional national information & referral (I&R) membership organization, representing more than 1,000 comprehensive, specialized, and military I&Rs within the United States and Canada. AIRS and United Way of America (UWA) have partnered to play a major role in the National 2-1-1 Initiative.

In Pennsylvania, PAIR has been co-convener of the Pennsylvania 211 Collaborative, in conjunction with United Way of Pennsylvania, including financial and in-kind support of Pennsylvania’s 211 efforts. Most importantly, PAIR has supported the 211 effort by carrying out our mission of building the professionalism of Pennsylvania’s I&R infrastructure through standards, education, training and certification.

PAIR believes that…

211 in Pennsylvania should operate within national 211 and AIRS professional I&R operating standards.

211 in Pennsylvania should maximize use of the existing information and referral infrastructure, with the end result being a statewide, coordinated, effective and cost-efficient 211 system.

211 in Pennsylvania should be designed, developed and implementedcollaboratively with the active involvement of PAIR (Pennsylvania’s only association representing the field of I&R and its standards) in any 211 lead entity that’s created - in conjunction with United Way of Pennsylvania, State agencies, and other key stakeholders.

211 in Pennsylvania should deliver a comprehensive, responsive and high quality service to everyone within the Commonwealth. To that end, it is essential that all I&Rs and the full spectrum of service providers play a role in the 211 delivery system, whether it be as a call-center operator, I&R information source, or a community service included in the 211 database.

PAIR Proposed Role in 211 Development:

Assuming that 211 in Pennsylvania will be funded primarily through federal/state dollars with a lead entity/211 Collaborative, as outlined in the federal Calling for 211 Act, PAIR is prepared to play the following roles as part of that lead entity for 211…

- act as the representative for “comprehensive and specialized information and referral providers…”, as outlined in the Calling for 211 Act; and

- provide consultation on 211 Call Center operating standards, including, but not limited to oversight of protocol development, database development, data collection, staff training and certification, and adherence to national 211 and AIRS standards for accreditation.