For 55 years, the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services Agency has been committed to protecting, nurturing and strengthening the children and families of our county. The added stresses and hardships of the pandemic, coupled with changing laws and guidelines, has only served to exacerbate the need for qualified, caring helpers.
First and foremost, Children & Youth protects our children by responding to reports of suspected child abuse received from community members, teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, hospitals and neighbors. But investigating and reviewing these reports is only the beginning of our work.
When we become involved with children and their families, we provide assistance in locating counseling, parenting services, substance abuse assessment and treatment, medical assistance, employment and housing. Through our Children & Youth partners – the charitable nonprofit Bucks for Kids, our Advisory Board’s Charlie Kane Emergency Fund, and our collaboration with community agencies – we help families obtain food, diapers, infant formula, clothing and home goods such as dishes, linens, pots and pans, and beds and other furniture.
Children & Youth also provides foster care services for hundreds of children. Since 2018, when the Family First Prevention Services Act was signed into law, priority for federal funding has been placed on serving children and families in their own homes to avoid out-of-home placements. Failing that, the preferred next option is to provide high-quality foster care through extended family.
Such changes have placed a premium on seeking both family and non-family Bucks County residents to help care for vulnerable youth, especially those who are 12 and older, and those with special needs. Adolescents who are unable to remain in their parents’ physical custody do best in a family home rather than a group or institutional setting. Keeping youth in their own community also helps them maintain close contact with family and friends, and possibly continue to attend their community’s schools.
This age group especially needs our support. Your involvement can help provide these youth with a solid foundation, help prepare them for independence, and provide them with mentoring opportunities. Please consider helping by contacting Bucks County Children & Youth at 215-348-6900 to learn more about our foster care program. You can make a real difference in the life of a child!
PHOTO CAP: Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services Agency Deputy Director, Rob Yochum and Director, Marjorie McKeone