Pitt-Assisted Communities & Schools is a program of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work under the faculty leadership of John Wallace and James Huguley. The mission of PACS is to mobilize University of Pittsburgh resources in ways that enrich the lives of Homewood children and youth, while simultaneously advancing the university's commitment to transformative teaching, learning, and community impact. The goal is to improve academic, health, mental health, and social and economic outcomes for the children and families who live, learn, work, and play in Homewood.
The strategy to accomplish this goal is five-fold:
- Assess the presence and effectiveness of the University of Pittsburgh’s existing programs and activities in Homewood’s Westinghouse Academy 6–12 school feeder pattern network.
- Coordinate and streamline existing programs and activities in accordance with state-of-the-art evidence-based individual and coordinated program practices.
- Match unmet network needs with corresponding University resources.
- Recruit, train, and deploy students, faculty, staff, and other resources to support students and families in the Westinghouse Network.
- Evaluate the impact of the University of Pittsburgh’s inputs over time, using both formative and summative assessments, to inform subsequent program iterations.
PACS partners with the Homewood Children's Village to provide academic, health, and mental health support at Pittsburgh Faison Elementary K-5, Pittsburgh Lincoln Elementary PreK-5, and Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy 6-12. PACS seeks to serve the students and parents, school personnel, and community at large. Our goal is to engage diverse members of the University community in a variety of methods to support our work (i.e., students, faculty, and staff from a wide range of academic departments, centers, and institutes in service and research). Our vision is to build upon our existing relationships with the Homewood Children’s Village, the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and a variety of other private, nonprofit, and government entities to support a feeder pattern-wide network of schools and the community institutions that anchor them, including local organizations, churches, and families.