Board of Child Care Awarded Grant to Support Strengthening Families Program in Central Pennsylvania

MECHANICSBURG, PA (January 2023) — The Greater Harrisburg Community Foundation has awarded a grant to the Board of Child Care to sponsor the Strengthening Families Program in Central Pennsylvania.

The Strengthening Families Program – a partnership between Cumberland County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Dickinson College, and Board of Child Care – is a free, community-based, family-friendly prevention program available to families in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, and surrounding communities.

The program provides families with enhanced parenting techniques to build transformative generational life skill changes that strengthen family bonds. This is achieved by working with parents on their parenting skills and helping youth (ages 10-14) with decision-making, life skills, conflict resolution, and peer pressure.

Participants meet one evening each week for seven weeks, beginning with a group meal. Facilitators meet separately with parents and youth to work on specific topics ranging from coping skills to goal setting, conflict resolution, empathy, understanding developmental changes, avoiding substance abuse, and ways to show love and support. Then, participants reconnect, talk about the new skills they learned, and practice decision-making and joint problem-solving skills through role-playing.

“This program provides the tools, language, and safe environment families need to rebuild positive relationships,” said Laurie Anne Spagnola, BCC President and CEO.

“We are so excited to partner with Cumberland County Drug and Alcohol Commission and Dickinson College to bring this program back as an offering to the community in Central PA and we are grateful to the Greater Harrisburg Community Foundation for helping to make it possible.”

About the Board of Child Care

The Board of Child Care is a private, 501(c)3 not-for-profit that has been serving youth and their families for over 145 years. The organization’s history is rooted in faith, with its early beginnings being several orphanages operated by the United Methodist Church throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Following several mergers, first in 1960 and another in 2019, it is known today as the Board of Child Care. With a staff of 700+, an annual budget around $50 million, and its network of partners, BCC supports communities via a national footprint of programs that extend across the Eastern half of the United States. Its broad spectrum of services to youth and their families include residential, mental/behavioral health, trauma response, family support, and education. To learn more or see how you can get involved, visit