Contact Information

  • Karen Harrington, Director
  • (828) 695-5600
  • Contact via email
  • Main Location:3030 11th Ave Dr SE Hickory, NC 28602
  • (view all county locations)

Prevention & Wellbeing Programs

Teen UP social workers offer weekly groups to youth to encourage responsible decisions about adolescent issues including sexuality, handling emotions, conflict resolution, peer pressure, making career choices, and developing strong character. Through a therapeutic group structure, staff also provide support and counseling on issues such as grief, teen suicide, self-destructive behavior, substance use, and abuse and neglect. Throughout the school year, Teen UP social workers conduct weekly groups in middle and high schools in all three school systems in Catawba County, as well as at after school community sites. During the summer, groups are held in various community sites.

For more information, contact the Social Services Prevention Supervisor at (828) 695-6908.

Post Care Services, in partnership with The Duke Endowment, QIC-AG, and Child Trends, provides an array of voluntary services to children ages 0-18 and their families when they leave foster care for a permanent placement (reunification or adoption). In order to reach their development potential and to prepare adequately for adulthood, children and their caregivers require significant quality interventions and support while the children transition from foster care to post care.

  • Success Coach Services: This is a voluntary, in-home service where a Success Coach works in partnership with the family to assess needs, set goals, coordinate services, build and reinforce learned skills, and provide crisis intervention. Success Coach Post Care Services are available to all adoptive families who reside in the following counties: Ashe, Alleghany, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga, and Wilkes.
  • Educational Services: Educational services are offered to families who are in the Success Coach program. An Educational Advocate coordinates services between public schools and Social Services to promote educational achievement, stability, and continuity.
  • Post-Care Clinical Services: Therapists provide clinical services and consultation on mental health issues to families served in post care and provide post adoption educational support group activities for families.

What Post Care families are saying about our services:

"I felt alone after the adoption was finalized, and I am glad I have someone for support to help advocate for me."

"The Success Coach is your advocate… It was nice to have someone who was just on your side."

"It is good to have a Success Coach help navigate the school system and good to have someone at the (school) meetings."

Program Awards and Recognition:

In January 2014, the Success Coach Program was 1 of 15 programs in the country named by Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) as an exemplary program achieving outcomes that improve the well-being of vulnerable youth.

The Success Coach Program was also recognized by the North American Council on Adoptable Children as a promising family support program and was invited by AdoptUSKids to participate in a national roundtable conversation in January 2014 on effectively implementing post adoption services.

In 2015 QIC-AG selected Catawba County to participate in their Reach for Success Project which tests the idea that proactive outreach to families can help to identify those families most in need of the Success Coach Service.

Helpful Links:

For more information on Post Care Services, contact:

Ligia Cushman, MA
Post Care Supervisor
828-695-5702
lcushman@catawbacountync.gov
or visit our website at www.postadoptionsuccesscoach.org

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Children who are adopted and their families may face unique challenges. To effectively help address these needs, mental health professionals should be well-equipped and trained in providing therapeutic services.

The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.), in partnership with content experts in the field, developed The Adoption Competency training (TAC) for mental health professionals so that therapists can provide the best services possible to your family. Following are the specialized skills provided by TAC therapists:

  • An adoption competent mental health professional has:
    • The requisite professional education and professional licensure
    • A family-based, strengths-based, and evidence-based approach to working with adoptive families and birth families
    • A developmental and systemic approach to understanding and working with adoptive and birth families
    • Knowledge, clinical skills and experience in treating individuals with a history of abuse, neglect and/or trauma
    • Knowledge, skills and experience in working with adoptive families and birth families
  • An adoption competent mental health professional:
    • Understands the nature of adoption as a form of family formation and the different types of adoption; the clinical issues that are associated with separation and loss and attachment; the common developmental challenges in the experience of adoption; and the characteristics and skills that make adoptive families successful
    • Is culturally competent with respect to the racial and cultural heritage of children and families
    • Is skilled in using a range of therapies to effectively engage birth, kinship, and adoptive families toward the mutual goal of helping individuals to heal, empowering parents to assume parental entitlement and authority, and assisting adoptive families to strengthen or develop and practice parenting skills that support healthy family relationships
    • Is skilled in advocating with other service systems on behalf of birth and adoptive families

For more information, call Janine Szymanski, LPA at (828) 695-6500.