Leona, 58, never expected to be raising her granddaughter, whose parents are incarcerated in Lancaster County Prison. Her 10-year-old granddaughter wrestles with emotions of being separated from her parents. “I’m encased in a life without my parents,” she recently told LNP which highlighted their story. Thanks to The Family Services Advocate Program—facilitated by Compass Mark and partially funded by a grant from LOHF that supplements county funding—this family is receiving the support it needs, including visits between the jailed mother and her child.
The Family Services Advocate Program helps Lancaster County children of incarcerated parents heal and connects them to resources to meet their basic needs. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, children 5 years old and younger are most affected by trauma (including sudden loss of a parent or caregiver), and are more likely to end up in prison themselves without appropriate support. National studies prove that programs like this also reduce recidivism of parents.
When a parent is behind bars, the whole family is affected. That’s why LOHF is proud to support this program and others helping local children with behavioral health needs. LOHF is positioned as a safety net, providing collaboration and resources for programs supporting parents, physicians and behavioral healthcare providers, nurses, and schools as they work together for the mental wellbeing of Lancaster County children and teens.
“At LOHF, our mission is to strengthen behavioral health services for children and families so that all children and teens have access to healthcare—for mental health, substance use disorder, or behavioral health needs—as soon as possible,” Executive Director Anna Kennedy said. “The grants we provide help children and teens, their families, providers, and teachers. We invite all community benefit organizations to join us in learning about how we can improve children’s behavioral health for all families in Lancaster.”
Our Children’s Behavioral Health Grants Program seeks to strategically fund programs of tax-exempt community benefit organizations serving Lancaster County. Funded activities should focus on any or all of the following: care coordination, parent/caregiver education, and access (improve capacity of providers to treat children). Thanks to LOHF’s endowment and generous donors, $100,000 is available annually. Grants are awarded in the Spring and Fall each year.
We will host an info session with an opportunity to hear from current and past grantees, Executive Director Anna Kennedy, and to ask questions. The info session will be held this Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 9:00-11:00 a.m. at Rodgers & Associates, 2025 Lititz Pike, Lancaster. RSVP is requested but not required.
You may also learn more here about LOHF Children’s Behavioral Health Grants and how you can support the mission of improving behavioral health for children in Lancaster County.