Intellectual disAbility Services of Philadelphia

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services DBHIDS
Executive Council – Founding Member

About Us

Promoting Recovery, Resilience & Self-Determination

The Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) and the City of Philadelphia have integrated its behavioral health care and intellectual disability services into one comprehensive system.

DBHIDS components provide services through a network of agencies while collaborating with the Philadelphia School District, child welfare and judicial systems, and other stakeholders.

The DBHIDS management team and our employees embrace a vision of recovery, resilience, and self-determination. We continue to shift to a model of care directed by the person in recovery. In this model, professional treatment is one aspect among many that supports people in managing their own conditions while building their own recovery resources. This recovery process should be viewed as a lifetime journey.

Transformation to a recovery orientation in both addictions and mental health becomes possible by focusing on the central role of individuals and families in responding to, managing, and overcoming these serious illnesses. This focus must be an organizing point for the entire system.

We also strive to help people with intellectual disability live self-determined lives in their communities by providing quality supports and services.

I invite you to learn more about our vision and history. You can also review some of our annual plans, read about some of our current news, or review some of our current job openings at our website.


Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services – Background Statement

In October 2003, the City of Philadelphia created the Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services (DBH/MRS) to integrate its behavioral health care and mental retardation services into a single comprehensive system. Beginning in March 2011, a federal law required that the term “mental retardation” be changed to “intellectual disability.” As a result, the department’s name became “Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS).”

DBHIDS has four components:

Office of Mental Health (OMH)

Office of Addiction Services (OAS), formerly known as the Coordinating Office for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programs (CODAAP)

Intellectual disAbility Services (IDS)

Community Behavioral Health (CBH)

Prior to 2003, three of the four components, OMH, OAS (CODAAP), and IDS (MRS), were units of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. These three offices had been administering county-operated behavioral health and intellectual disability programs for over 35 years.

The fourth component, CBH, is Philadelphia’s not-for-profit managed care entity. The city established CBH in 1997 to manage behavioral health care services for Philadelphia’s 475,000 Medicaid recipients. The creation of CBH served as the catalyst for the development of Philadelphia’s current behavioral health system.

DBHIDS provides its services via a network of mental health and intellectual disability provider agencies. The department also partners with the Philadelphia School District, child welfare systems, and judicial systems to promote recovery, resilience & self-determination for people in recovery.