In November 2018, PFSA embarked on a journey to provide family service professionals the opportunity to enrich their existing skills set with tools and new approaches for supporting caregivers and parents who are in recovery from substance use disorder. The Families in Recovery Program was piloted statewide in Pennsylvania by family educators and support staff at 10 Family Centers throughout the commonwealth.

The success of last year’s parent education and support groups paved the way for additional opportunities and statewide growth in 2019 and 2020! Recently we had the good fortune, thanks to ongoing support from Department of Human Services Office of Child Development & Early Learning -to add an additional 11 agencies to the pilot cohort.

Families in Recovery program facilitators and agency staff from the collective 21 sites came together in Harrisburg in October 2019 for the second program facilitator workshop. All participants are now prepared to conduct the 7-week Families in Recovery education and support program in their communities. The training commenced with a panel discussion that provided family service providers the rare and valuable opportunity to hear messages of experience, strength, and hope from individuals living, parenting, and thriving in recovery from substance use disorder. The panel also informed participants about best practices and approaches for families with SUD challenges, learning to balance parenting and recovery roles.

As we move into 2020, the 21 pilot sites will provide year-round support to program participants in Pa communities through the Families in Recovery program. PFSA will maintain comprehensive connections with the partner agencies, providing ongoing technical support, program coaching, rigorous research and data collection, site visits and group observations, as well as interviews with parents who complete the program.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to expand Families in Recovery programming across Pa neighborhoods. Together, we are building brave spaces for resilient and persevering parents and families. Together, we continue to grow resources to #ProtectPAKids.

GivingTuesday

November 25, 2019

By Jill Whitmyer

GivingTuesday is a global initiative that encourages individuals to support nonprofit organizations that work to transform their communities, and to a larger extent, work to transform the world. This year, GivingTuesday will occur on December 3, and our organization is not only participating by encouraging our supporters to do good, but we are asking for your help.

Our small but mighty team of ten staff members works tirelessly day-in and day-out, to provide educational training programs to make Pennsylvania safer for children. Our mission, goal, and commitment remains steadfast: we are working to ensure that every single child will be able to grow and thrive in an environment free from abuse and neglect.

We educate and train nearly 30,000 individuals across the Commonwealth annually, on how to recognize and report the signs of child abuse and neglect. We provide training programs to individuals who work as teachers, law enforcement officers, faith leaders, daycare workers, therapists, and many more professionals.

While creating a culture and society that is free from child abuse and neglect is not an easy task, it’s also not a task that we can do alone. Preventing child abuse and neglect should be a priority of every adult, particularly those in positions of authority in our schools, communities, and legislative bodies.

We need your support and we are asking for it with a sense of urgency. All one needs to do is look at the recent statistics of child abuse cases in the Commonwealth—they are startling, disturbing, infuriating, and should be unacceptable—to all of us. Each year, the numbers of substantiated child abuse cases in Pennsylvania continues to rise.

While these numbers prove that individuals who work with and around children are actually recognizing the signs of child abuse and reporting it to the proper authorities, they also symbolize the prevalence of abuse and neglect in our society, and show us that there is so much more work yet to be done.
Our organization needs your generous support to ensure that this work continues. Please consider making a financial donation, so that our dedicated team can continue educating, training, and creating awareness. Together, we can prevent child abuse and neglect and transform our communities.

Substantiated Cases of Child Abuse
(2014-2018)

2018 Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Child Protective Services Annual Report

• 2018: 5,102 substantiated cases
• 2017: 4,836 substantiated cases
• 2016: 4,349 substantiated cases
• 2015: 4,267 substantiated cases
• 2014: 3,088 substantiated cases