About Harborcreek Youth Services in Erie, PA
In May 2011, Harborcreek Youth Services celebrated 100 years of serving youth and families in Erie, PA and the surrounding areas. There was a week-long schedule of events where staff, board members, clients, resident alumni, agencies and supporters joined together to celebrate the Anniversary. Bishop Donald Trautman celebrated a Mass at Saint Peter Cathedral which was followed by a luncheon with over 240 persons attending at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie.
During this time, Harborcreek Youth Services also experienced its first reaccreditation by the Council on Accreditation and earned an expedited approval, the highest honor given to an agency. We also satisfied the requirements for Sanctuary Certification by the Andrus Center Sanctuary Leadership Institute ® which reflects an agency wide commitment to a therapeutic culture. Based on recommendations from Allegheny County and its Resource Guide for Advancing Competency Development, Harborcreek Youth Services has implemented the ARISE Life Skills curricula in both the educational and residential components of the agency.
Harborcreek Youth Services has also participated in the Catholic youth high school basketball league. Residents have been participating in practices and games while becoming a part of the HYS history. Conditioning drills, stretching, basic lay-up and passing drills are taught along with offensive and defensive drills. Clients are working hard to become a team and a lot of words of encouragement are being shared among peers to help one another become better players.
For the first time ever, residents and staff will have the opportunity to experience wearing and using snowshoes. Snowshoeing provides a cardio workout while also building strength, agility, balance and endurance. It also is an effective, low impact and safe form of exercise. The best part is, the Harborcreek Youth Services campus is perfect for providing outdoor recreation activities all in the beautiful outdoors!
Harborcreek Youth Services is exploring treatment options to provide forms of art therapy for clients who have experienced violence, neglect, trauma, addiction, abuse and mental illness. Art therapy techniques are highly effective when working with children who have experienced a variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems. This type of therapy facilitates healing by allowing expression of feelings, encourages creative thoughts and ideas, enables communication as well as supports new ways of thinking and behaving.
In 2010, Harborcreek Youth Services enhanced its Sanctuary training with a research supported intervention with Dr. Ricky Greenwald on the Treating Problem Behaviors series. This systematic, trauma-informed treatment approach is successful and effective with the challenging population we service. Our therapists and counseling staff are experiencing positive results with these interventions.