310 W. Linn Street
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Toll Free: 1-888-303-3427
What is the FICS program? The FICS program is an invitation for families to experience a unique opportunity for healing and growth. FICS is an in-home intensive individual and family therapy program whose very framework is designed to offer true empowerment. FICS joins with families in such a way that creates the opportunity for learning and growth to occur. One example of this is that FICS offers around the clock availability for crisis that may arise when a family is out of harmony. When thinking about families, there are some unique challenges. What families need means different things to different people. This is why FICS spans a variety of services on a continuum of needs. Some of these services are targeted to address basic needs such as concrete services, pro-social programs and psychosocial educational opportunities. At the same time, FICS offers services that address more intimate needs such as counseling involving some of the most important relationships in life-individual, couple, and family. The combination of clinical wisdom and self-awareness provide clients with an open door to experience change and the freedom that comes with it. While the focus of FICS services revolves around children’s safety, the opportunities to experience growth in a variety of areas also exist.
The Centre County Reunification Program exists to help each child achieve and maintain a permanent plan in a timely manner. The purpose of the program is to focus on the strengths and needs of each child and family, while using a variety of efficient, time limited, and goal-oriented services and support to determine the optimal level of reconnection that is appropriate.
Referrals for the FICS Reunification Program are received from Children and Youth Services (CYS) or Juvenile Probation Office (JPO). The Reunification Program works primarily with families whose children have been placed in the care and custody of CYS/JPO.
Once the referral is received by FICS, an Administrative Meeting is scheduled in order to discuss the case and to determine if it is appropriate for services. The Administrative Meeting is followed by a Family Meeting in order to share the concerns with the family, which were identified by CYS/JPO as preventing the child from returning home.
An assessment is made following the Family Meeting in which the family’s strengths and needs are identified. A Service Agreement is developed within 45 days of the Family Meeting, which identifies goals and tasks which must be accomplished by the family in order for the child to successfully return home. This Service Agreement is reviewed every six months or in accordance with court proceedings. The Service Agreement and Service Agreement Reviews are submitted to the court for its review. Addendums to the Service Agreement may occur at any time an issue or change occurs.
Services for the family may include but are not limited to individual sessions, family sessions, marital sessions, permanency services for the child, visitation, parent education, lifestyle checks, and drug/alcohol testing. Services may occur in the home, office, or community. FICS will also maintain contact with other services or service providers as appropriate.
In addition to working with the family, FICS provides concurrent planning. This includes identifying kinship resources for the child and/or alternative placement resources should the child be unable to return home.
The Centre County Independent Living (IL) Program is a program of the Centre County Children and Youth Services agency. Wardell and Associates administer this program on their behalf. Either a CYS Caseworker or Juvenile Probation Officer must make a referral to the IL program.
The program is designed to work with youth ages 14-21 to provide them with the basic living skills that they will need to achieve and successfully maintain independence.
The program is considered voluntary for youth ages 14–21. The primary criteria is that youth need to have been in placement on or after their 14th birthday to be eligible for IL services. Youth may choose to discontinue their participation in the program; however, they remain eligible to reopen services until the age of 21.
The program offers a wide variety of treatment services that are structured around each youth’s individual needs. Skills are taught through a variety of means including the use of packets, workbooks, individual sessions, group sessions, and role modeling.
The program covers two areas of needs, “hard skills” and “soft skills.” Hard skills include but are not limited to the teaching of areas such as banking, apartment hunting, job seeking skills, budgeting, and educational planning. Soft skills include but are not limited to anger management, parenting skills, problem solving skills, goal-oriented behaviors, and interpersonal communication.
Youth work their way through a level system with stipend money available to them upon successfully completing the requirements for each level in the program.
The IL Counselors work with the youth and service providers in coordinating any additional services including housing, education, and mental health services in order to provide each youth the ability to meet their goals.
The IL Program is designed for each youth to work at their own pace. Services are provided in the home, placement, office, school, or community. Frequency of sessions depends on what level the youth is on which varies from weekly to on as needed basis. Distance of the youth may also alter the frequency of services.
Custody Monitoring Program is designed to address the needs of families and children in Centre County who during a custodial action also require the services of Children and Youth. Custodial conflicts place children in the middle of complicated and emotionally charged situations. Children and Youth Services are frequently utilized as an agent of the court to give an assessment and/or to provide ongoing services to address and monitor the safety issues that exist for a child. This utilization of Children and Youth can put additional strains on their resources. Safety must be assured through an ongoing effort of the court with the assistance of Centre County Children and Youth to be able to have adequate services available for each child.