Community

Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program (DFC) is a Federal grant program that provides funding to community-based coalitions that organize to prevent youth substance use. The philosophy behind the DFC Program is that local drug problems require local solutions.

The Community Prevention Partnership of Berks County is the fiscal agent for this grant. It supports the Northeast Community Springboard Coalition. This coalition has been together for more than 10 years and has representation from over 12 sectors of the community. There are over 25 volunteers and 40 youth focusing on reducing youth use of alcohol and marijuana through an environmental approach that will impact the entire community.

Goals:

  • Reduce marijuana use by youth
  • Reduce underage drinking
  • Services:
    Education, environmental strategies, capacity building, and evaluation.

    Funding:
    The program is funded through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Drug Free Communities Support Program.

    Business & Organizations

    Community Partnership Coalition

    The Partnership provides support and resources to 34 Community Parnterships and Task Forces through funding from the Council on Chemical Abuse, the local Single County Authority. This County-wide coalition includes a strong focus on increasing awareness of and combating the significant problem of underage drinking. A youth coalition focusing on substance abuse prevention collaborates and coordinates with the Community Partnership Coalition.

    Evaluation Services

    The Partnership provides evaluation services to various agencies in the county, as well as across the United States. Local agencies we currently served include the Council on Chemical Abuse and United Community Services. Prior agencies include: the County of Berks, the Office of Aging, the United Way, the Hispanic Center and the Olivet Boys and Girls Club. These services include program evaluation design, survey design, survey administration and data analyses.

    Individuals and Families

    BerksTALKLINE, Inc.

    Our Mission
    BerksTALKLINE offers free, confidential, non-judgmental, skilled listening services when individuals need someone to listen, help in working through problems, or assistance in finding referrals in our community. Our intent is to have a positive impact on callers’ situations. Every individual’s need to be heard is valued and validated by us.

    We strive to be the primary complement to health and human service agencies and schools addressing the needs of families, youth, and adults in Berks County.

    Hotline · 610-374-8255 (TALK)
    Monday thru Friday 11am-11pm · Saturday and Sunday 11am-7pm

    Text Line · 484-494-2111
    Monday thru Friday 11am-11pm · Saturday and Sunday 11am-7pm

    Bilingual Staff Available
    Monday thru Friday 11am-11pm · Saturday and Sunday 11am-7pm

    For more information visit the BerksTALKLINE website: www.berkstalkline.org

    Celebrating Reading Families!

    Celebrating Reading Families is an evidenced-based program for Families, predominantly Spanish Speaking, who reside in Reading. Provides educational sessions for parents and their children and case management and referral with an emphasis on substance abuse intervention and prevention. 65 participants.

    Session Topics

  • Healthy Living
  • Nutrition
  • Communication
  • Feelings and Defenses
  • Anger Management
  • Facts about Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Goal Setting
  • Making Healthy Choices
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Healthy Friendships and Relationships
  •  
    Sessions
    A complimentary family dinner is provided at each session. Sessions are offered in English and in Spanish.

    Please contact Zoraida Torres for more information about the program or to register for one of the upcoming program sessions at (610) 376-6988 or at ztorres@communitypreventionpartnership.org.

    Funding
    Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

    Celebrating Veterans Families

    Celebrating Veteran Families is an evidenced-based program for returned and returning Veterans and their families – provides educational sessions for parents and their children. Includes a case management and referral services with an emphasis on substance abuse intervention and prevention for 65 participants.

    Session Topics

  • Healthy Living
  • Nutrition
  • Communication
  • Feelings and Defenses
  • Anger Management
  • Facts about Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Goal Setting
  • Making Healthy Choices
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Healthy Friendships and Relationships
  •  
    Sessions
    A complimentary family dinner is provided at each session. Sessions are offered in English and in Spanish.

    Please contact Zoraida Torres for more information about the program or to register for one of the upcoming program sessions at (610) 376-6988 or at ztorres@communitypreventionpartnership.org.

    Funding
    Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

    Circle of Friends Drop-In Center

    The Center serves 180 adult consumers of mental health services by providing them with educational, recreational, and socialization opportunities.

    Goals

  • Create opportunities for consumer empowerment
  • Improve life skills
  • Improve socialization/interpersonal skills
  •  
    Services

  • You must have a referral from Service Access and Management
  • Drop-in Center open Mondays-Fridays 9AM-3PM
  • Provides opportunities for artistic expressions
  • Educational, social, and recreational activities
  • Provides linkages to other services
  • Se Habla Espanol
  •  
    Funding
    Service Access and Management/Berks County Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities MH/DD. To find out more information please click on the following link: SAM

    Community-Centered Healthy Marriage and Relationship Training (CCHMR)

    CCHMR provides healthy relationship education to 1500 students in the Reading school District and 200 students in the I-LEAD Charter School. The program also provides healthy marriage/relationship education skill-building and job enhancement to 250 adults, including some who are re-entering the community from the prison system.

    The workshops are for adults and are offered during the day and in the evening. The workshop can be presented in either English or Spanish. Childcare and a light meal are also provided.

    If you would like more information please contact Sandi, Zoraida or Gloria at (610) 376-6988.

    Education Leading to Employment and Career Training (ELECT) Program

    By responding to the specific needs of pregnant and parenting youth, the Berks County Intermediate Unit’s Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program, Project ELECT (Education Leading to Employment and Career Training) and ELECT Fatherhood Initiative help young people to raise healthy children and become better parents.

    Program Goals

  • These programs teach skills that lead to success in school and economic self-sufficiency.
  • Teens receive assistance in obtaining their high school diplomas or GEDs.
  • They learn effective parenting skills and are encouraged to become responsible adults and informed parents.
  •  
    Eligibility Requirements

  • A parent or expectant parent
  • Under age of 22
  • Seeking a High School education or GED
  • Living within Berks County
  • Earning less than 23.5% of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines
  •  
    Services Provided

  • Individual and group supportive services
  • Vocational and career exploration
  • Healthcare and nutrition education
  • Child development and parenting education
  • Child care and transportation referrals
  • Assistance with transition to employment, further education, or training after high school
  • Home visitations
  • Activities, workshops, and field trips
  • GED and academic support
  • Budgeting and family planning education
  • Case management services
  • Support services during the summer
  • An Initiative of the PA Departments of Public Welfare & Education
  •  
    Funding
    This program is funded through the Berks County Intermediate Unit.

    Kids Against Pressure (KAP)

    The Kids Against Pressure (KAP) program is an after-school program geared for Latino Students in grades 3-5. The program is held weekly throughout the school year in five elementary schools in Reading.

    Goals
    Students develop skills in the following areas:

  • Resiliency Skills/Self-esteem
  • Drug and alcohol education and prevention
  • Conflict resolution
  • Nutrition/Personal Hygiene
  • Managing peer pressure
  • Diversity
  • Bullying
  •  
    Services
    After-school educational, cultural and social activities

    Funding
    This program is funded by Berks County Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities through Service Access and Management.

    Nurse Family Partnership

    The Nurse-Family Partnership is an evidence-based community health program that helps transform the lives of vulnerable families expecting their first child. First-time, low-income mothers residing in Berks or Schuylkill counties are eligible for free, in-home services. Each mother is partnered with a registered nurse early in her pregnancy and receives ongoing nurse home visits that continue until her child’s second birthday. Berks County has the capacity to serve 291 families, and Schuylkill County has the capacity to serve 75 families.

    The Nurse-Family partnership has been carefully tested during nearly 30 years of ongoing research. Consistent program effects across multiple trials include:

  • Improved prenatal health
  • Fewer childhood injuries
  • Fewer subsequent pregnancies
  • Increased intervals between births
  • Increased maternal employment
  • Improved school readiness
  •  
    Goals:

  • Improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventative health practices
  • Improve child health and development by helping parents provide reasonable and competent care
  • Improve the economic self-sufficiency of the family by helping parents develop a vision for the future
  •  
    Services:
    Home visitation by specially trained registered nurses focusing on:

  • Personal health
  • Environmental health
  • Life course
  • Maternal role development
  • Personal relationships
  • Referrals to appropriate human services
  •  
    Funding:
    Office of Child Development and Early Learning under the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visitation.

    Parents as Teachers Program

    Parents As Teachers provides home visits that include parenting skills and child development education for 50 low-income families with a child aged 0-5 years.

    Parent Partner Program

    Education, training, and information are provided to parents with children involved in the child-serving systems in Berks County. The program is operated through funding received from the Berks County Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Program, The Council on Chemical Abuse and Community Care Behavioral Health Organization.

    Who is the Parent Partner Coordinator?
    The Parent Partner Coordinator is a parent who has personal experience with services and agencies that serve children. She is fully bilingual (Spanish-English).

    Services Provided:

  • Serves as a mentor for parents
  • Provide referral and resource information
  • Assist parents in building a support system for themselves and their children
  • Advocate for parents and their children
  • Serve as a bridge between child serving systems and families
  •  
    Who qualifies?
    Parent of children involved in any of the following child serving systems:

  • Mental Health
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Children and Youth Services
  • Juvenile Probation
  • Drug and Alcohol
  • Special Education
  •  
    Visit www.berkscountyspell.org for more information about this program.

    Stay on Track

    Stay on Track is an evidenced-based drug and alcohol prevention program for youth in 6th, 7th and 8th grades in the Reading School District. Presented in collaboration with the PA National Guard, 650+ students receive the 12-week course each year.

    The Stay on Track program offers an innovative, fun and comprehensive approach to substance abuse prevention. Special emphasis is given to tobacco, club drugs, hallucinogens, alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana and inhalants. However, Stay on Track is much more than a substance abuse program, providing lessons on health, decision-making, goal-setting, communication skills, interpersonal relations, and media influences.