Joining Forces for Children
Joining Forces for Children is a collaborative effort to address the needs of children affected by substance use through training and education, systems and policy changes, and direct support for children and families.
Children are often the first impacted and the last to get help when a family member experiences addiction. No child is too young to escape the impact of a loved one’s substance use and it is never too early or too late to offer specialized support.
Free Services & Support (Servicios y apoyo gratuitos)
The Joining Forces for Children Family Advocate provides free individualized support to children impacted by addiction. Knowing that children impacted by addiction are more likely to develop their own addiction disorder at some point in their life, the Family Advocate provides education and builds skills to decrease the likelihood that a young person will develop an addiction disorder. This individualized support also includes other families members to help foster recovery from the family illness of addiction.
El Defensor de la Familia de Unamos Fuerzas por los Niños brinda apoyo individualizado gratuito a los niños afectados por la adicción. Debido a que sabemos que los niños afectados por la adicción tienen más probabilidad de desarrollar su propio trastorno de adicción en algún momento de sus vidas, el Defensor de la Familia proporciona educación y desarrolla habilidades para disminuir la probabilidad de que una persona joven desarrolle un trastorno de adicción. Este apoyo individualizado también incluye a otros miembros de la familia para así ayudar a fomentar la recuperación de la enfermedad familiar de adicción.
“Melanie is approachable and talks about things in a comfortable way.”
“What I can say is I think Melanie is amazing. Every time we leave from seeing her it’s been productive. She’s been extremely helpful.”
“I just wanted to say that Melanie is the only person out of all the different organizations that I am working with that has consistently answered her phone when I called.”
“So happy to have this support in the community.”
Handle With Care
What is it?
Handle with Care is a trauma-sensitive approach that allows law enforcement to notify school personnel when they encounter a child at a scene. In Lancaster County, notifications will be received through a Safe2Say plug-in only accessible by law enforcement. No details about the event will be shared with school personnel. It is important to note that not all police contact is the result of violence, but may result in a traumatic response by the student.
To learn more about Handle with Care visit: handlewithcarewv.org
Why Handle with Care?
The goal of Handle with Care is to better help children exposed to trauma in the community and minimize its impact so that children can succeed at school. Witnessing or experiencing an event that causes a lot of stress negatively impacts a child’s readiness to learn. If the stress is not managed and continues, students may continue to have trouble paying attention in class, be impulsive, be cranky, or have trouble sleeping – all things which make participating in school harder.
When students are “handled with care” – they’re offered understanding and support rather than discipline and punishment. This supportive approach allows students the time they need to manage the stress without adding more. When stress is managed, students are more easily able to actively participate in the learning process.
Support Groups for Loved Ones
Local and National Groups (Virtual and In-person Options Available)
- ACoA – (Adult Children of Alcoholics) Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)/Dysfunctional Families is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition program of men and women who grew up in dysfunctional homes. Find a Meeting
- Al-Anon/Alateen – for loved ones of people who struggle with their alcohol use: Find an Al-Anon/Alateen Meeting
- Cobys Family Services: Learn More
- Donegal Substance Abuse Alliance – A variety of family support classes, groups, and sober social activities: Learn More
- Families Anonymous – A 12 step fellowship for the family and friends of those individuals with drug, alcohol or related behavioral issues. We are here to help!: Learn More
- Gam-Anon – For those concerned with a loved one’s gambling: Find a Meeting
- Nar-Anon – for those who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to them: Find a Nar-Anon Meeting
- For Additional Family Support Groups – Visit Compass Mark’s Get Help page
Services for Children and Families
Families With Children 0 - 5 Years Old
- Community Action Partnership – Thrive to 5: Creating Head Starts for the Future
- Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13
Early Head Start
Pre-School Early Intervention
Autism Solutions for Families
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
- Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
Nurse Family Partnership
Healthy Beginnings Plus
Joining Forces for Children Family Advocate – to find out more use the contact us form.
School-Aged Children – Grades K-12
- Lancaster County Behavioral Health & Developmental Services – Early Intervention
- Lancaster County Behavioral Health & Developmental Services – Children’s Mental Health Services
- Lancaster County Children’s Alliance – Visit Website
- Lancaster County Children and Youth Agency – Protection Services for children and Families
- Lancaster County Victim/Witness Services – Visit Webite
- Information, Support, and Advocacy for victims of crime and to witness for trials
- Bethany Christian Services
- Compass Mark
- Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation – Children’s Mental Health Copay Assistance Program
- Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13
Motivated by Christian faith, COBYS Family Services provides foster care, adoption, counseling, family life education and permanency services for children and families at risk in Lancaster County and the surrounding area.COBYS Website
CAP provides birth-5 early childhood education services throughout Lancaster County. Our programs provide children with early childhood education, family support services, nutritious meals and health screenings.
CAP’s early learning program emphasizes language, math, science, art, physical activity and social skills to prepare children for school success.Community Action Partnership Website
Lancaster General Health offers free programs for income-eligible, pregnant women, to help you have a healthy pregnancy, give your baby a good start in life, and develop empowering lifestyle habits for your own well-being.Nurse-Family Partnership Website
Early Intervention’s trained professionals provide families with developmental knowledge and strategies they can use in their everyday lives that encourage their child to think, learn, move, talk and become more independent.Early Intervention Website
The Lancaster County Children’s Alliance is the Children’s Advocacy Center for Lancaster County. The center brings together in one location child abuse professionals who support the needs of child victims and non-offending family members.Children's Alliance Website
Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13) is an education service agency dedicated to delivering services to school districts and communities across the state.iu13 Website
RASE in Lancaster strives to give back to the community and demonstrate that “Recovery Works!” To accomplish this, we recruit and retain a grassroots consortium of recovering and non-recovering persons; ensure that the recovery community has a voice and a presence in the public policy forums; and increase access to quality care for treatment of addiction and those with co-occurring disorders.The Raise Project website
Behavioral Health and Disabilities Services (BHDS)
Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (BH/DS) believes that all individuals,
birth through adulthood, should be viewed through their strengths
and empowered to fulfill their life’s purpose within an accepting and supportive community.
Lancaster County Children and Youth Agency
The Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Service Agency is a public child welfare agency mandated to provide protection services to Lancaster County’s children and their families. The Agency investigates all reports of child abuse and neglect and provides intervention services to address safety threats and risk factors and stabilize the family. The Agency’s mission is to address the safety, permanency and well-being of children and youth at risk of abuse and neglect.
Lancaster County Victim/Witness Services:
Victim / Witness Services is a special program of the Office of the District Attorney. Victim / Witness Services provides information, support, and advocacy to victims of crime and to witnesses for trials.
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