The Children’s Service Center was awarded a $451,356 grant to expand a pilot program to provide early intervention through implementing an evidence-based, school-based addiction prevention education program for children and adolescents.

The expansion of the School-Based Drug & Alcohol Addiction/Prevention Program went to five school districts in Luzerne and Wayne Counties comprising nine Drug & Alcohol Specialists who now have the opportunity to provide services in 20 distinct schools (from primary through high school). D&A Specialists work closely with the CSC’s Community and School-Based Behavioral Health Teams (CSBBH) already in place within the district. D&A Specialists are an integral part of the initial needs assessment completed with each adolescent and family referred. During this initial assessment, D&A Specialists assess what involvement, if any, the child or family needs in terms of D&A prevention/education or interventions. Moreover, D&A Specialists are available for additional consultation should a specific family’s needs change. D&A Specialists have the ability to work with the parents of identified adolescents for the purpose of skill building, or to assist them in dealing with their own substance abuse issues. In addition, D&A Specialists work closely with the school districts to expedite referrals and provide universal prevention/education to the entire student body. D&A Specialists are mobile giving them the flexibility to provide services in the school, home, and community including face to face interactions during school hours, in the home, or when acceptable, in the community.

“Common sense tells us that it is easier to stem the trajectory of addiction before an individual begins using. Regarding age, evidence suggests that the earlier prevention/education skills are built, the greater success in preventing or postponing experimentation. All available research suggests that the best course of action is to provide our youth with the education and resources needed to offset the start of abuse. We are grateful to the Board of Directors of the AllOne Foundation for providing us with the resources to expand and manage the School-Based Drug & Alcohol Addiction Program”, said Mike Hopkins, Children’s Service Center President and Chief Executive Officer.

Photo (Left to right): John Cosgrove; Mike Hopkins, Children’s Service Center, President and CEO; John Graham, Board Member, AllOne Foundation and Charities

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