In order to thrive, children need permanent, stable family relationships. Each year hundreds of children in Lancaster County are removed from their homes because of concerns for their well-being. COBYS Family Services provides Christlike care for these at risk children.
The COBYS Permanency Unit is a specialized program whose goal, when possible, is to reunify children in foster care with their biological family. Staffed by COBYS, the program is funded by and serves children and families referred by the Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Service Agency. The two organizations work in partnership to achieve common goals of ensuring the safety of children, strengthening families, and securing permanency for children.
Based in Lancaster, COBYS staff help children and members of their biological families to resolve the issues that led to their separation, so that children can be safely reunited with their families. Commonly addressed issues include drug and alcohol abuse, anger, mental illness, substandard housing or homelessness, insufficient parenting skills, unemployment, and domestic violence.
Children are nurtured through placement with supportive foster families, frequent caseworker visits, therapy, and educational assistance, as needed. By working intensively with individual family members, the program promotes a stronger and more stable family unit, shortens the duration of foster care placement, and helps families understand their needs and how to draw on community resources to meet those needs.
In cases where reunification would jeopardize a child’s safety, adoptive homes or other appropriate permanent placements are sought.
The training and approval process provided my husband and me with the opportunity to talk through “what if?” scenarios and helped us to avoid surprises when placement happened. It gave us time to clue in our family and friends about the changes that were going to happen in our life. I’m also grateful for the time to get to know the COBYS staff prior to having any children in our home. – COBYS Resource Parent Laura