About Harborcreek Youth Services
In May 2011, Harborcreek Youth Services celebrated 100 years of serving youth and families. There was a week long schedule of events and on May 11, 2011, 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. Also, we 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.
Our agency also participated in the Catholic youth high school basketball league. Residents have been participating in practices and games while becoming a part of 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 a better player.
For the first time ever, residents and staff will also 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, our campus is perfect for providing outdoor recreation activities all in the beautiful outdoors!
Harborcreek Youth Servicesis also 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, and 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.
The future of HYS is exciting and challenging and will add to the history of our mission of serving youth and families.