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Grant Supports Intervention Services for At-Risk Families in Luzerne County

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January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011, Wilkes-Barre, PA – Volunteers of America was recently awarded a $7,000 grant from The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania to provide in-home support services for at-risk families in Luzerne County.

Volunteers of America launched a program called "Supporting Stronger Families" in 2010 to increase parental competencies and promote the safety and well-being of children from birth to age 5. The program identifies families with high risk factors for potential child abuse and neglect, and provides home-based intervention to help them achieve safety and stability.

"Supporting Stronger Families is a critical program to Luzerne County families because it helps parents create healthier and safer lives for themselves and their children," says Bill Jones, vice president and chief operating officer, Volunteers of America. "We are proud to partner with The Blue Ribbon Foundation as we strive to meet the community's needs in a meaningful way."

According to Jones, high-risk families experience challenges with daily living skills, medical care, health and hygiene, housing, transportation, mental health, drug and alcohol recovery, and environmental safety. Family Support Coaches from Volunteers of America help address these challenges by meeting with each family three times per week for 12 weeks. Services include parenting education, crisis resolution, and referrals for mental health screenings and substance abuse counseling.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation grant of $7,000 will help Volunteers of America support 60 Luzerne County families through this program in the coming year.

"We are pleased to be able to support Volunteers of America in helping families create healthier, safer environments for their children," said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation.

About The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. It offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to approximately 600,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide innovative solutions that support more affordable health care, promote personal accountability for health and wellness, and offer superior service and partnership to employers, members, and providers.

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania established its private, non-profit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. 

For more information contact:

Anthony Matrisciano
Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
(570) 200-6310