Family Engagement Success in Adams County!

Ellen Miller


Adams County JusticeWorks received a referral for a Rapid Turnaround Family Group Decision Making Conference. The Agency had an emergency the previous night and was at a family’s home until 10pm ensuring the safety of the children. The referral was for an infant who experienced a skull fracture from a fall. While the Agency was investigating and the child received emergency treatment, there was a need for a rapid conference to develop, plan and implement a safety plan in order to prevent out of home placement. Ellen Miller immediately started the referral and was in contact with the family. An emergency conference was held the next afternoon. (more…)

Odds ‘n Ends

Pictured above is Butler IL’s very own, Dylan. Dylan is a proud, creative, and dedicated young man. Dylan crochets and can make anything from hats, to scarfs, placemats, or dog leashes; you name it he can fulfill your order. Dylan recently placed some of his items at a local consignment store for purchase and is enjoying the journey of becoming a young entrepreneur. Check out Odds n’ Ends in New Castle for Dylan’s handmade items. Way to go Dylan!

Praise from Lehigh County Children and Youth

Megan BuehlerLetter received by Megan’s supervisor.


I wanted to touch base with you about Megan Buehler.

I am so very happy and impressed with her interaction with Crystal*, I have met a few times with Megan and Crystal* together but today was particularly impressive. Crystal* can be trying at times and her mental health doesn’t always make it easy to interact. Megan is patient and a calming influence on Crystal*, at court today Crystal* stated to the Master that she appreciates and loves working with Megan and that she is helpful and she appreciates her.

I have been very lucky to have some very good caseworkers working with me from Justice Works and I believe that Megan is an asset to your agency.

Cheryl A Leddy MSW
Lehigh County Office of Children & Youth

Thank you Cheryl for the kind words.  Megan, we appreciate your hard work and caring attitude to all the individuals you serve.  Thank you for embracing the “Whatever It Takes” approach to supporting the community we serve!

A York County Teen Succeeds Against the Odds with Help from a Special Family Resource Specialist!

Tiffany NulphFamily Resource Specialist (FRS), Tiffany Nulph, embarked on a two-year journey when assigned to work on a youth referral to assist *Debra in achieving her academic goals, securing a permanent home, and ultimately system discharge.   The journey has not been easy as there were roadblocks along the way.  As with many children in the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems, Debra had been placed in various foster care homes due to her mother’s inability to care for her, and her father’s incarceration.  Despite a rocky start, Debra began to show academic promise, was placed with a foster family that loved her and ultimately adopted her, and was accepted to a private school with no cost to the foster family.  All of these achievements would not have been possible without the diligent work of Tiffany Nulph, who went above and beyond what was asked of her to assist this young lady in achieving her dreams.  This is a shining example of JWYC making a difference in young lives.

We thank you, Tiffany, for being an exemplary employee of JusticeWorks YouthCare.  Your diligence and determination in assisting this young lady are extraordinary and we are proud to have you on the JWYC team!

*Name has been changed for privacy.

Compass Academy Class Oath – A Student Perspective

Students at Compass Academy – Mt. Carmel decided to create an oath to become better, more positive students.  We congratulate our hard-working Compass Academy students for taking advantage of their opportunity there.  We applaud their commitment to becoming better students and citizens. Below is the Oath created by the students.  For more information on their oath, please read the Compass Academy blog at


The Community Helps JusticeWorks Build a Better Future!

Butler Independent Living Specialist Maddy (Madeline) Miller identified a resource through Coldwell Bankers.  Coldwell Banker Representative, Marian Miller had office furniture and equipment she was willing to donate to our Butler County Independent Living Program.

Three youth; Cullen, Quay, and Tayvon assisted Maddy, Errone (Cody), and Steven (Snow) with moving the items from a warehouse just north of Pittsburgh, into a moving truck and back to Butler to unload at our office.  We filled a 17’ truck with office desks, cubicle walls/parts, office chairs, file cabinets, and much more.  The youth were incredibly helpful in assisting us with getting our office set-up.  The youth were motivated and showed great energy.  Thank you so much for your assistance Cullen, Quay, and Tayvon.  Your hard work and “muscle” was greatly appreciated! We also appreciate Ms. Marian Miller, the Coldwell Banker Representative that was willing to help furnish our new office here in Butler County! (more…)

York County Youth Returns to Extend His Appreciation to His Worker


Sean Lazarus

In 2012, Stanley was a 14yo male living with his parents and younger sister in rural York County.  Stanley was on probation.  While on probation, Stanley began to display a serious decline in school engagement.  He was referred to the VIP® program.  His worker was Sean Lazarus.  Though initially guarded, Sean regularly worked with Stanley in developing self-esteem, communication and pro-social skills. Sean provided Stanley with a school planner and assisted him in organizing his academics. He worked on strengthening the communication between the family and the school by scheduling regular meetings to discuss Stanley’s performance. By utilizing on-line tutoring programs, improving organizational skills and empowering his parents to become more involved in their son’s school involvement, Stanley was able to improve his grades.  In addition, Sean connected Stanley to the local library to satisfy the community service requirements. Stanley not only completed his required hours but continued to volunteer following his term on probation, citing his enjoyment of reading and providing landscaping work for the building. Towards the end of services, Sean sought to nourish Stanley’s hobby of art/drawing by involving him in York City’s downtown art organization. Stanley both attended workshops and volunteered for events. This elevated both his self-esteem as well as his cultural awareness. (more…)

A Chester County Visit Coaching Staff Receives Praise From A Foster Mom

Hi there,

I wanted to email you in regards to Rebecca Piorko-Shelly.   I am the foster mom for Susie.  I just want to let you know how fabulous this woman is. Susie’s parents are probably the worst people to deal with sometimes. Rebecca is the only person who has been able to make a connection with Susie’s mom. Rebecca has the ability to call her out on her crap and still be able to communicate with her.  Susie’s mom hates being called out and has been in denial about her addiction and all the problems going on. Normally she would cut anyone off that called her out on anything. I truly believe Susie’s mom listens to Rebecca and I truly believe Rebecca is the person that finally got through to her. I think it just finally sunk in and now she is ready to get her life together. Rebecca never gave up on her! This is the worst time for Susie’s parents. Susie’s mom needed Rebecca! I don’t believe she would have gone to rehab and admitted to her addiction if it weren’t for Rebecca. There were others involved but I think Rebecca is the one who impacted her life and got her to where she is now. This is a major step for Susie’s mom! We are proud of her and hope she does well. I wish she would have done this a long time ago but better late than never! Susie’s parents have alienated everyone so many times that we lost hope there for a min. Rebecca got her mom to see the truth and never gave up!

Rebecca goes far beyond what her job calls for!!! She is amazing! I can’t say thank you enough for all she has done. Not only for Susie’s mom, but for us as well! She has had a great impact in our lives in a really tough time!  Susie’s mom especially needed her. I know this probably sounds extreme and dramatic but I do think her mom would be dead if it weren’t for Rebecca. Sooner or later.

Rebecca is fabulous! I truly think she should be recognized for all she has done! I know Rebecca would do anything to help anyone! We love her very much and just can’t say thank you enough!


Thank you Berta for providing the wonderful feedback regarding Rebecca Piorko-Shelly of our Chester County Team.  Thank you Rebecca for doing ‘whatever it takes’ for the safety and personal growth of the families we serve.

Northampton County CYF praises our JWYC Team

Good day Mr. Heit,

I am writing you to inform you that when I was informed that I should have Justice Works, (JW), involved in a case that there was no headway being made, my initial response was that I didn’t need another service provider involved with this case. A short time later I figured that I tried other providers with this family with no resolve, I may as well give a shot to utilizing JW. I just want to inform you that the two FRS workers that have been involved in this case, Ashley Jacoby, and Linda Coleman have performed a stellar job with this difficult family. Even when these two workers, along with their Supervisor, Mr. Hetrick came to the Agency at our request for a meeting of the minds over this case, our Assistant Director Patricia Himmelwright, who was also at this meeting, stated afterwards when it was over that she was impressed with the knowledge and presentation of the facts that these two workers expressed on this case.

Last night we had a FGDM meeting and needless to say there were revelations that were discovered that were made known for the first time to not just the professionals involved with this family, but also to the family members themselves, and because of this I believe that we will be making more headway, and expect a success with this family than was accomplished in the first full year. So I am informing you of my satisfaction with JW, and the services that you provide. Kudos to the team that ran the FDGM meeting last night,  Whitney and Anneice, lastly once again kudos to Ashley Jacoby, and Linda Coleman for their tenacious professionalism in this most difficult case.

With sincere thanks.

Miguel Santiago, B.A., CW

Northampton County Children Youth & Families

Thank you Mr. Santiago for the positive feedback regarding our Northampton County team.  They deserve the spotlight!  Thank you Ashley Jacoby, Linda Coleman, Whitney Berrio and Anneice Pratt.  We appreciate your contributions and dedication.

Compass Graduation 2016

Compass Academy


Welcome To Compass Academy:  A Student’s Inspirational Speech For The 2016 Completion Ceremony

By: Reese (student)

Welcome to Compass Academy. I hope you are having a wonderful time with your children and a wonderful day. First off I wanted to say how important this school is to a lot of us right now. This has been the only place, I myself, can escape the stuff I’ve been dealing with at home and other places. I know everyone here isn’t in the same position as me but I guarantee all the boys find some joy out of this place. Since I’ve been here I’ve improved in so many ways. I came with a poor attitude and now I’m leaving with a good one. One of the only reasons I turned it around was because of the desire I got to change. But, the only way I got that desire was from the time I put into this place and the time everyone else put in. In my mind, it was teamwork. I want to thank my school for that one day I had because it changed me to make every day good now. I also want to thank my Mom for everything she has put up with lately. You are a strong woman. Now the staff; Gidaro, Dietterick, Eck, Williams, Haney, and Britto. You guys have to be the most patient people I ever met. All of you showed me something to not give up for. I truly thank you for that. God bless your souls. 

Thank you Reese for your accomplishments and helping Compass Academy be a positive learning community. 

A Berks County Juvenile Probation Officer Praises a JusticeWorks’ Employee

Hi Rebecca & Samantha,

I wanted to reach out to both of you to let you know about some fantastic work that was done by one of your Family Resource Specialists, Matt Casey.

Matt has been working with a young man that I supervise for the past few months. In the time that Matt has worked with the youth, I’ve noticed that the two have formed a great professional alliance. I believe that Matt has been a positive influence in this young man’s life and has expressed to me on several occasions that he feels comfortable talking to Matt. (more…)

Another Family Group Decision Making Success: Adams County Teamwork

JusticeWorks YouthCare in Adams County received a referral for Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) for a youth and family with very little resources. The referral listed several concerns regarding family stability including substance abuse, lack of stable housing, environmental concerns within the home, and financial hardship.

The JWYC coordinator, Carlee Smith of Adams County, quickly engaged the family and a FGDM conference was scheduled in less than a month.  Carlee was able to engage the identified child’s incarcerated father, maternal family, and friends. (more…)

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