Volunteers needed for CONTACT Helpline

Family Service Association of Bucks County is now accepting volunteer applications for their CONTACT Helpline, a free, confidential telephone helpline service for individuals with a wide range of needs and concerns. The CONTACT Helpline serves residents in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Following training, volunteers are responsible for providing telephone assistance and responding to calls on both the local helpline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Reports of suicide have increased in all five counties over the last decade. For example, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office reported 93 suicides in 2012, up from 69 in 2006. Similarly, the Bucks County Coroner’s Office reported 81 suicides in 2012, up from 66 in 2006. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “every 15 minutes, someone dies by suicide in this country. And for every person who dies, there are many more who think about, plan or attempt suicide.” Fortunately, suicide is preventable. With the increase in reports of suicide in our community, the need for trained volunteers also increases. You can help prevent suicide by becoming a CONTACT Helpline volunteer.

CONTACT Helpline phone rooms are located in Bucks and Montgomery counties, and volunteers must be able to commit to one four-hour shift per week. Each CONTACT training consists of six sessions. The next training begins on March 26th and continues through April 30th and will take place at the Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr, PA. For more information or to register, contact Ellen Vinson, Director of Volunteer Services, at volunteer@fsabc.org or 215-757-6916, ext. 202. Volunteer applications are also available online at www.fsabc.org/volunteer.

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Foundations receives award from FSA of Bucks County

Foundations Community Partnership (FCP), a non-profit foundation supporting the behavioral health and human service needs of young people and their families in Bucks County, was the recipient of the “Family Builder of the Year” award, presented by the Family Service Association (FSA) of Bucks County. Ron Bernstein, FCP executive director, accepted the award last month, which honored FCP for their efforts to support Bucks County non-profits serving the behavioral health and human service needs of children, young adults, and families.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to serve the community,” said Ron. “I applaud Family Service Association for their work over the past 60 years in meeting community needs and touching the lives of local families.”

Audrey J. Tucker, MSW, LSW, Chief Executive Officer, FSA of Bucks County explained the ways FCP has supported her organization’s efforts to meet the needs of local families. Notably, FCP has offered grant funding to support FSA’s AACES program for autistic young adults and Service Learning Center and has provided FSA with a student intern from their Summer Youth Corps.

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Ben Ciliberto joins Family Service Board of Directors

Ben Ciliberto, of Doylestown, was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Family Service Association of Bucks County.

Ben is a retired homebuilder. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Livengrin Foundation.

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Autism Awareness, Community-Education and Support program helps young adults with high functioning Autism

The Autism Awareness, Community Education, and Support (AACES) program of Family Service Association is celebrating three years serving transition aged youth and young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism as part of Autism Awareness Month.

AACES designed to increase independence and decrease isolation among young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Each component of AACES supports the transition of transition aged youth and young adults with ASD, specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS or High Functioning Autism, into adulthood.

AACES has expanded greatly in three years and while it continues to offer its initial program Coffeehouse Socialization it has added Tracks to Employment, groups, and community classes on a variety of topics for participants.

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FCP Board approves grant supporting Service Learning Center in Levittown

Foundations Community Partnership’s Board of Directors has approved a $25,000 grant to support Family Service Association (FSA) of Bucks County’s Service Learning Center, which addresses the employment-related challenges common among individuals with Asperger’s, PDD/NOS, and High Functioning Autism.

Located in Levittown, the Service Learning Center at Déjà vu Thrift provides real work experiences that prepare program participants for competitive employment.

The program offers social skills, job readiness/workplace and literacy training, as well as assistance with resume preparation, interviewing, job searches and other job related activities.

“We are pleased to support Family Service Association’s mission to give young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome the chance to receive on-the-job-training in a real-world environment to help put them on a path of self-sufficiency,” says Ron Bernstein, executive director, Foundations Community Partnership.

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An Evening in the Emerald Isle

Join the fun of “An Evening in the Emerald Isle,” benefiting Family Service Association of Bucks County, to be held Saturday, March 16th at the Doylestown Country Club.

The evening begins at 6:00pm and guests will enjoy an evening with authentic Irish flare including games, cocktails, Irish entertainment and a fabulous silent auction! The evening will cap off with dinner and dancing along with a live auction, a “Call to Action” special appeal to meet Family Service’s greatest needs.

Proceeds from “An Evening in the Emerald Isle” will benefit over 7,400 children, adolescents, adults, and seniors helped by Family Service programs each year.

Family Service reports that over 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to client services. By attending, guests invest in futures filled with hope, and help deserving community members in need move towards healthier, more independent lives.

Sponsorship packages are available. 

Tickets are $125 per person. Call Family Service Association at 215-757-6916, ext. 208, for more information or to purchase tickets.

Online registration is also available on FSA’s website at www.fsabc.org.

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