1311 Allegheny Street
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
The Blair County Independent Living Program is a program of the Blair County Children, Youth, and Families. Wardell and Associates administers this program on their behalf.
The program is designed to work with youths 14 to 21 years of age to provide them with the basic living skills that they will need to achieve and successfully maintain independence.
Teens 16 to 21 years of age are eligible for the program. The primary criteria is that they need to have been in placement on or after their 16th birthday to be eligible for I.L. services. Teens 14 or 15 years of age can also be referred for consideration.
Either the County caseworker or their Juvenile Probation Officer need to make a referral to the program.
Youth may also be referred for services from outside service provider agencies.
The program offers a wide variety of treatment services that are structured around each youth’s individual needs.
The program covers two areas of needs, “hard skills” and “soft skills.”
Hard skills include the teaching of areas including but not limited to banking, apartment hunting, job seeking skills, budgeting, and educational planning.
Soft skills include the teaching of areas including but not limited to anger management, goal-oriented behaviors, parenting skills, problem solving skills, and interpersonal communication.
These skills are taught through a variety of means including the usage of packets, workbooks, group therapy, role-plays, and role modeling.
Teens will work their way through a level system with stipend money available to them upon the successful completion of the requirements for each level of the program.
There is also extra stipend money available to eligible teens that have remained in care until they are at least 18 years of age. This is in the form of a “Room and Board” stipend that can be utilized for college or apartment costs.
The I.L. Counselor works with the teen and service providers in coordinating any additional services, including housing, mental health services, and educational services to provide each teen the ability to meet their goals.
The I.L. Program is designed for each teen to work at their own pace. Any teen participating in the program may receive I.L. services until they are 21 years of age. The I.L. Program will work with teen in any housing/placement circumstances, unless it is deemed to be a conflict to their treatment at the time.
The Blair County FICS Reunification Program works in conjunction with Blair County Children, Youth, and Families to formulate a functional plan to return children home to their primary caregivers. Our program focuses on separated families whose children were abused or neglected and show the potential to reunify without repeating the same behaviors they’ve displayed in the past. All families are referred to the program through Blair County Children, Youth, and Families.
The Blair County FICS Permanency Planning Program was devised to assist those children whose parents are ruled out as permanent caregivers. Counselors work with children to help them transition from their family to a potential adoptive family. All children are referred to this program through Blair County Children, Youth, and Families.
Family Intervention Crisis Services (FICS) offers an intensive, strengths-based Family Preservation Program to families with children birth to 18 years old. The hope is to help families struggling with a variety of issues, especially if there is a risk of a child being removed from the home setting. Services are typically voluntary and require one willing parent and one willing child. The program typically runs for about 90 days and is free of cost to families.
FICS conducts weekly family meetings with household members. Staff usually work in pairs but can branch off to provide weekly individual meetings when needed. The services can be provided in a family’s home, at the FICS office, or in the community. The family sets their own goals and works toward accomplishing them while FICS counselors support and assist as needed.
FICS offers an emergency crisis phone in which a staff member is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help families when needed. This service is only available to families who are currently working with FICS.
ICS receives referrals from Blair County Children Youth & Families and Blair County Juvenile Probation. Occasionally, FICS receives referrals from the Blair County Custody Office. There are rare instances community referrals are taken, but those are subject to approval from the program supervisor. To make a referral, please contact Nancy Metzger at (814) 696-7327.
Another resource offered by FICS is a parenting program. The lessons occur one time a week for 16 weeks at the FICS office and offered several times during the year. Parenting group covers a variety of topics including but not limited to discipline/parenting strategies, nutrition, household routines, and the need for parents to nurture themselves. Childcare and transportation are available and a small meal is provided as well. There is not a need to be open with FICS to have the opportunity to attend the parenting program. To inquire about or to make a referral for the parenting program, please contact Kathy Davidhizar at (814) 696-7327.