County Approves Grant Applications for Programs to Assist Families

The Clearfield County Board of Commissioners named John A. Sobel its chairperson. Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen will serve as the board’s vice chairperson. Pictured, from left to right, are Sobel, Commissioner Mark B. McCracken and Robinson-McMillen. (Photo by Jessica Shirey)

CLEARFIELD – Yesterday, the Clearfield County Commissioners approved the grant applications and their sub-contracts for the Family Centers, Promoting Responsible Fatherhood and Time-Limited Family Reunification programs as presented by Cen-Clear Director Rex Lettie.

These applications, he said, will request a total of $395,801 from the state Department of Public Welfare/Office of Children, Youth and Families. Further, he said that $266,600 will be requested for Family Centers, $30,600 for Promoting Responsible Fatherhood and $98,601 for Time-Limited Family Reunification.

According to him, these figures reflected the funding reductions implemented during the current fiscal year. He said this is the first year of a three-year grant cycle from fiscal year 2014-15 through the fiscal year 2016-17. Funding levels and match requirements, he said, are anticipated to be the same for all three years, noting a match commitment is only required for the current fiscal year.

Lettie said there continues to be a cash match requirement for Family Centers ($33,691) and for Promoting Responsible Fatherhood ($3,400). He said there aren’t any matching requirements for the Time-Limited Family Reunification program. Also, Lettie said they will include a $10,500 request to be used to support system reform activities, county needs assessment and promotion of service coordination and collaboration.

Services of the Family Centers program are provided from locations in West Branch, Harmony, Clearfield, Philipsburg and DuBois. The goal is to enhance economic self-sufficiency of families, to ensure positive and healthy development for children, to strengthen families and to provide coordinated and collaborative services, said Lettie.

Program strategies, he said, include home visits utilizing the Parents as Teachers curriculum and the provision of adult education and training, as well as of health screenings for children and health training programs for parents. He said it also encourages greater parental involvement and the collaborative work with county and human service agencies.

According to Lettie, they will continue the Young Parents Group, which targets pregnant teens and teen parents. He said it’s anticipated that they will serve 175 families and 200 children through the Family Centers program.

So far as the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood program, he said services will be provided from Family Center sites and other community locations. He said its goal is to promote positive involvement of fathers in the lives of their children. Strategies, he said, include outreach, individual and group support services and activities for fathers.

The program, he said, will provide fathers with education and skills training opportunities, adult education, pre-employment and job skills training. He said that approximately 80 fathers will be served by the program.

Time-Limited Family Reunification is specifically designed to provide services to youth who have been in placement for less than 15 months with the goal of family reunification, said Lettie. He said through the program, it’s their goal to reduce the number of children with more than two placement moves, to reduce the re-entry rate for children returning to county custody and to reduce the average length of time before reunification.

A key strategy, Lettie said, will be for the program to continue with Family Group Decision Making. With the creation of a “model apartment” in Clearfield, Cen-Clear has been able to offer supervised, extended visitations for hands-on training to parents in basic living and parenting skills. Lettie said this has shown positive results in the preparation of reunification.

The Time-Limited Family Reunification program will serve 35 children in placement and their families, according to Lettie.

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