LEWISTOWN - Mifflin County Communities That Care have joined Clear Concepts Counseling in Lewistown due to a decrease in grant funding, said Nancy Records, community mobilizer with CTC.
The organization will continue working with existing programs and toward future community services from the new location, she said.
"Because available grants for non-profits and prevention organization are decreasing, CTC was unable to continue operating solely on grant funding," Records said. "By joining Clear Concepts, CTC can now be funded through the county's children and youth budget."
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Nancy Records, mobilizer of Mifflin County Communities That Care, stands in front of the new location for the office on Thursday at 24 N. Main St., in Lewistown.
The relocation to Clear Concepts Counseling made sense, Records said. The counseling center, specializing in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, has been involved in CTC programs since the organization began in 2000, she said.
"We still receive grants, but they're for specific projects rather than the operation of a non-profit," Records said. "With this new funding and location, we are continuing our work with the community to make Mifflin County a safe place for children to grow-up."
Mifflin County Communities That Care is part of a nationwide association dedicated to bringing community members together to identify and address risk factors in a local area. Over the past 12 years, CTC has helped start more than 17 programs in response to risk factors and prevention gaps in Mifflin County, Records said.
Such programs include: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Guiding Good Choices, Parent-Child Home Program, Parenting Wisely, Parents Who Care, Preparing for School Success, The Incredible Years, Second Step, PATHS, Family Group Decision Making, Project YES, PULSE, Parents Who Host Lose The Most, Active Parenting, Safe Homes Parent Network and the Social Norms Campaign.
"CTC is not a program, but a collaborative," Records said. "We bring community groups together to brainstorm ways to address the local risk factors. Then, the local organizations create a program, service or class in response to the discussion. Once the project is up-and-running, the CTC focuses on how to keep it funded."
Risk factors are determined based on community statistics for crime, health and education, Records said. The CTC also partners with the Mifflin County School District to conduct the PA Youth Survey which is given every other year to 8th, 10th and 12th grade students, she added.
According to the most recent statewide CTC Evaluation Report, it was found that communities with a CTC experienced an 11 percent decrease in delinquency and a 33 percent lower yearly decline in academic performance.
"These studies provide conclusive proof that Communities That Care make a difference in the community," Records said. "Within the past 12 years in Mifflin County, 13 of the 21 risk factors have decreased in prevalence and seven of the nine protective factors have strengthened."
Mifflin County Communities That Care can be reached at the new location of 24 N. Main St., Lewistown, or by phone at 242-3070. CTC volunteers will also have a booth and be handing out information during the 2012 Ice Festival, running Nov. 29 and 30. More information can be found online at www.mccares.com or at the Mifflin County Communities That Care Facebook page.