Agencies include Head Start / Early Head Start of Fayette County, WIC, IBHS (formerly FCBH), CYS, and Salvation Army
by Angela Krch
On February 28, 2020, Early Head Start of Fayette County was pleased to offer Social Service Training to our Family Resource Specialists (FRS), Home-based instructors, Integrated Service Aides (ISA), and Family Service Workers (FSW). The training took place at the Lemont Furnace office where speakers from four local agencies provided information on their services, and offered a more in-depth look into their agencies. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS; formerly FCBH), Children and Youth Services of Fayette County (CYS), and Salvation Army sent speakers on their behalf. This information was much anticipated and appreciated as we assist families in reaching out to these agencies in times of crisis.
CYS provides services based on the needs of the child in areas of adoption, child abuse and neglect, and foster care. Oftentimes our families have been cautious about reaching out to this agency for help due to a long-standing stigma and belief that the agency will remove the children from their care. It is our job to help them see that CYS can be a very useful resource for them. The agency’s goal is to preserve the family unit and help families grow. They are there to assist families through skill building, opportunity enhancement, and family focused services.
WIC is Pennsylvania’s Supplemental Nutrition program. They have been improving the nutrition and health of families since 1974. They provide not only nutritional services, but also breastfeeding support, which is crucial help for many of our enrolled pregnant moms. WIC income guidelines are 185% of the poverty guidelines set by the federal government, making most of the families we serve are eligible for this beneficial program. WIC has recently transitioned to EBT cards for their families instead of the old paper check system. They are still working out a few bugs, but believe the change has made a positive significant impact on those utilizing the program.
IBHS supports the mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs of our children and youth. The agency is currently undergoing many changes in their analysis and referral systems and they will continue to provide us with new details throughout this coming year. The focus areas of IBHS that relate to the families we serve are the following: Person Centered Therapy, Parent Child Interactive Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Trauma Informed Care and Family Friendly Solution Focused Care.
The Salvation Army provides disaster relief, food pantries, life skills, homeless shelters, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, solutions to human trafficking, services for domestic abuse, after school programs, and summer camps. We learned a lot about the summer camp program which is valuable for us to pass on to our families. Many children from low income families are rarely provided with the opportunity to experience life outside of their neighborhoods.
Feedback was very positive for this training and we are looking forward to having more social service trainings in the upcoming year. Many valued resources were given and will be utilized in our home-based program, in our classroom correspondence with families by ISAs, and through telephone correspondence and home visits by FSWs.