About Us

people sitting on a bench

Mission Statement

We believe that all people have value, and that all people deserve the opportunity to achieve their highest potential for lives that are full, rewarding, productive and valued.

To this end, we are committed to utilizing precious resources in the most effective and efficient way possible. Our program is dedicated to comprehensive planning and administration of quality community mental health, intellectual developmental disability, and early intervention services.

History & Information

Lancaster County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (BHDS) was established in 1966 and is regulated by the state Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), the State Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), and the State Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) under the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

BH/DS is a tax-funded agency, that utilizes State, Federal and County dollars to support our programs. Due to our funding sources, some services are at no cost to families, like Support Coordination and Case Management while other services require co-pays based upon income.


The oversight of the BHDS program is through the Lancaster County Commissioners and the BHDS Board as directed by the MH/MR Act of 1966. The BHDS Board functions in an advisory capacity to the County Commissioners.

Members are appointed by the County Commissioners for terms of 3 calendar years and serve no more than 2 consecutive terms (6 years). The Board meets monthly except for the months of July and August.

Responsibilities of the BHDS Board include, but are not limited to, review and evaluation of Lancaster County BHDS services in relation to the local need for services. Review and approve annual plans mandated by the PA Department of Health and Human Services. The BHDS Board recommends candidates to the Commissioners for appointment as the BHDS Administrator.