The department will do intake and training and monitor the work of the private contractors.
The overhaul, many years in the making, grew out of public outcry over Kelly's death.
Her parents so neglected their daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy, that she weighed just 46 pounds when she died. She had bedsores so severe that her bones were exposed.
A 2008 Grand Jury report laid responsibility for Danieal's death mainly on her parents. But it also concluded that Danieal fell through the cracks, as workers assigned to her case from DHS and a now-defunct private city contractor, failed to spot the neglect and to even consistently visit her home.
A DHS social worker and the head of the private contracting firm were sentenced to prison terms in the case, along with Kelly's mother and father.
Between 2008 and 2011, 29 children in Philadelphia died from substantiated child abuse, according to the Protect Our Children Committee, an advocacy group. In 12 of those 29 cases, the child or someone in the family had active or current involvement with DHS.
DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose, who arrived at the agency after Kelly's death, said the new plan clarifies who deals with the family. It also puts that work in the hands of organizations based in the neighborhoods where those families live.
"This is about accountability first and foremost and providing clarity around what is going to happen with children and families but it's also about working with communities," Ambrose said.
On Wednesday, Ambrose announced that Northeast Treatment Centers, or NET, and Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, or APM, will get the first two contracts. APM and NET will receive a combined $25 million for the work for one year, but DHS is still determining how much will go to each organization.
"Our whole philosophy is children-based. We believe that children and families thrive in healthy environments," said APM President Nilda Ruiz.
DHS will choose an additional eight private contractors as it rolls out the new program.
Kahim Boles, vice president of District Council 47, the union that represents about 750 DHS workers, said he believed his members would continue to be employed under the new plan. They will simply be doing different kinds of work, including overseeing the private contractors.
Ambrose said she had a "no layoff" agreement with the union in connection with the shift to the new system, but that the new model would not involved additional expense.
Frank Cervone, executive director of the Support Center for Child Advocates, which worked on the changes with DHS, said he hoped the changes would help.
"The work will remain difficult to impossible," he said. "I always say healing broken people is really hard. This will reduce some of the confusion, should increase accountability and, we hope, it would also increase transparency."
Contact staff writer Miriam Hill at 215-854-5520, email@example.com or @miriamhill on Twitter.