Extracurricular Foster Care Program
This program benefits children and youth currently experiencing foster care and/or enrolled in clinical services from Every Child, Inc. Most children and youth served by our programs come from lower income, vulnerable families lacking the resources to enable their children to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities due to the costs of uniforms, equipment, and registration fees and the challenges of securing reliable transportation. By providing opportunities for extracurricular activities to families in Washington County lacking resources, families can improve their physical and mental health and well-being now and in the future.
Foster Care Recruitment Program
This program benefits children and youth currently experiencing foster care. Children in foster care often face fractured and unknown futures, but when they also have a disability, the challenges are greater, and their foster families require a deeper understanding of their special needs. There are over 15,000 children in the child welfare system in Pennsylvania at any given moment with children entering and exiting every day. Right now, there are 2,000 children waiting for an adoptive placement in Pennsylvania. It is estimated that 40% of these children have some degree of disability and 95% have a defined special need. By improving recruitment efforts of qualified and dedicated foster families, less children in Washington County will be referred for residential treatment or congregate settings when not needed therapeutically through this program.
Mental Health Team Specialization Program
Every Child, Inc. clinical and family support teams have increasingly encountered families who have a child diagnosed with autism. This program will benefit children diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and/or autism spectrum disorder and their families in the service area of the United Way of Washington County. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum. OCD is a common mental health disorder that affects over 1 million children in the U.S. or approximately 1 in 200 children. OCD can interfere enormously with family life for both children and their families. OCD keeps children from attending school, from leaving home, from completing classwork, from being able to tolerate relationships with others. It can cause them to spend hours per day on basic tasks (e.g., getting showered, doing homework, cleaning their room), hoard things, and can limit what they can eat and wear. Children can be so occupied with their rituals that they can't achieve academically or respond in social situations.