129 South Main St.
Lewistown, PA 17044
Phone: (717) 248-2298
Fax: (717) 248-1533
FICS Family Preservation Program of Mifflin County, PA, receives referrals from Mifflin County Children and Youth Services for families where children under the age of eighteen years old are determined to be “at risk of placement.” FICS Family Preservation’s goal is to ensure child safety and to work with families to prevent government funded out of home placement of children under the age of eighteen. We empower families by including them in the process of goal development and case planning. Depending on the family’s needs we provide the following; family counseling, marital counseling, individual counseling, group counseling, parenting education. We also provide concrete services such as helping families with budgeting, transportation, enrollment into community programs, home cleaning, etc... FICS Family Preservation also works closely with a family’s other providers such as psychiatrists, medical doctors, schools etc… We regularly take family members into the community for sessions and social activities. Lastly, we provide crisis intervention as we give families our home and or cell phone numbers so families may attempt to contact us any time day or night. FICS Family Preservation believes times of crisis are often the best time for families to change.
We strive to effectively join families by respecting each family’s unique culture, emphasizing each family’s strengths, and providing open and honest feedback to families. We believe this approach helps to establish trust and respect between the family and the counselors. This enables the counselor to empower family members to use their strengths as tools to both become aware of unhealthy patterns and to make efforts to change the unhealthy patterns. FICS Family Preservation applies this approach amongst their staff as well.
We emphasize open and honest feedback, self awareness, self growth and employee empowerment for all staff. FICS Family Preservation believes it is critical to practice amongst our own staff what we try to promote with the families we work with. We adhere to the concept that we can only go as deep with our clients as we are willing to go with ourselves.
Family Intervention Crisis Service (FICS) Reunification Program receives referrals from Mifflin County Children and Youth Services (CYS). 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 supports to determine the optimal level of reconnection that is appropriate. Services that are provided include but are not limited to counseling, visitation, parent education, budgeting assistance, skills training (communication, anger management, etc.) household management skills, transportation, respite care, assistance in locating housing or jobs, lifestyle checks, drug and alcohol screenings, and support for substance abuse.
The Reunification Program develops for each family a Service Agreement. The Service Agreement identifies goals and tasks parents need to achieve to demonstrate their ability to provide for their children. These goals will be based on past and current concerns resulting in the children’s ongoing placement in foster care. Families are encouraged to identify goals for themselves. Reunification Staff will be available for court reviews and will update the court regarding the family’s progress to meet their goals.
Reunification also provides visitation for parents and their children. Visitation can occur at the CYS office, FICS office, family’s home, or in the community based on appropriateness. Visitation is a means for parents to demonstrate their parenting capabilities. Visitation plans are developed by Staff and given to parents, which specify visiting conditions. Visiting conditions are tasks the parents need to meet during their visitation with their children.
It is important to add that permanency for children in a timely manner is stressed. Reunification Services is time-limited. Concurrent Planning occurs from the onset of all cases and is documented monthly. Specific Child Preparation therapeutic activities occur with children to help them prepare for Adoption, Permanent Legal Custodianship, Planned Permanent Living Arrangement, or Placement with a Relative.
Independent Living is a program offered to youth in Pennsylvania who are at least 14 years old but less than 21 years old and who are in or have been in out of home placement, adjudicated dependent or adjudicated delinquent with shared case management with the CYS agency.
Regular Independent Living works with youth while they are still in substitute care and Independent Living also provides aftercare to youth who left foster care after the age of 16 years old.
Independent Living works with youth regarding six service areas:
1. Education / Training:
· Basic Skills
· Education planning
· Coordination with schools
· Post-secondary planning
· Career Exploration
· Employment readiness
· Getting a job / Keeping a job
· Career / Vocational Planning
· Apartment / Household management
4. Life Skills:
· Money Management
· Consumer Skills
· Legal Issues
· Interpersonal Skills
· Decision – Making / Problem Solving
· Conflict Resolution
· Drug and Alcohol
· Tobacco Use – Smoking
· Pregnancy Prevention
· Community Resources – Mental Health
· Permanent Connections
The following is a list of links to better inform yourself about the various supports and resources available:
Ansel Casey www.caseylifeskills.org
Casey Family to Family www.aecf.org/initiative/familytofamily
Child Welfare League of America www.cwla.org
Daniel Memorial www.danielkids.com
National Resource Center for Youth Services www.nrcys.ou.edu
National Youth Advisory Board www.nyab.org
Kids Voice www.kidsvoice.org
Juvenile Law Center www.jlc.org
PA State Youth Advisory Board www.independentlivingpa.org
University of Pittsburgh Independent Living Project www.pitt.edu
Mifflin County Government www.co.mifflin.pa.us
Lewistown Hospital www.lewistownhospital.org
Juniata River Center Base Service Unit www.nhsonline.org
Juniata Valley Tri-County MH/MR Program www.hmjmhmr.org
Juniata Valley Tri-County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission www.tricoda.org
Mifflin County School District www.mcsdk12.org