school-outreach-programSchool Outreach Program
Family Service Association of Bucks County, Langhorne, Pennsylvania

About our project:

Over the last several years, approximately 200 Liberian individuals have settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Liberian refugees have faced many challenges including little or no formal education, years of disruption, and exposure to traumatic events.  A cross-system partnership, consisting of Family Service Association of Bucks County (FSA), Bristol Township School District (BTSD), the Bucks County Behavioral Health System (BCBHS) and others is working together to address the mental health needs of underserved youth attending Franklin Delano Roosevelt Middle School (FDR). The School Outreach Program offers school-based mental health services and case management support through a part-time licensed social worker and case manager hired to work with at-risk students of West African background who attend FDR middle school.  For more information, view our poster.

Demographic data:

Pennsylvania: http://migrationinformation.org/datahub/state.cfm?ID=PA
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/42/42017.html

Our work:

The purpose of the School Outreach Program is to provide school and home-based mental health and case management services to Liberian immigrant and refugee children and families who attend FDR.  Services are primarily provided to families who are experiencing a significant number of psychosocial stressors, making crisis management and response a critical service offered through the program.  Mental health services also include individual and family therapy, as well as group therapy using the CBITS approach (Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools). Last year there were 153 mental health visits and 225 case management visits.  In addition, because the majority of the Liberian community has not been aware of vital community services, project staff have engaged in additional outreach activities including, the development of a social services resource manual, the coordination of a series of informational workshops, and a social services fair, called the Family Community Day Resource Fair.

Our partners:

Family Service Association of Bucks County
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Middle School 
Bristol Township School District
Bucks County Behavioral Health
• Bristol Township County Community Collaborative

What we are learning:

Dr. Gordon Hodas conducted a presentation on August 23, 2007 on “Recognizing Childhood Trauma, and Providing Trauma Informed Care”. The Powerpoint slides for that training are available here. evidence-based measures to track the impact of the program are essential. The project has adopted the Ohio Scales for use with its clients and their families. www.mh.state.oh.us

Success Stories

  • Speaking for Adults–A Child Voice is Nearly Lost When Demetrius K arrived in the United States seven years ago, he was thrust into a role common to immigrant children: interpreter. As his parents struggled with English, Demetrius quickly picked it up and they asked him to act as the family translator. Before he could understand the meaning of the words…For more information about this project, contact Audrey Tucker at ajtucker@fsabc.org