Pennyrile Area Community Services Inc. isn't just buses with big blue letters that read "PACS" driving around those who need transportation throughout the community.

While that is something important it does on a daily basis, PACS also is a host to several programs aimed at helping people of all ages in the Pennyrile area.

One of those programs is the Community Collaboration for Children. According to Sabrina Davis, the regional network coordinator for PACS and CCC, CCC is a program that will assist families that may be struggling or need help in a wide variety of ways. It could be as simple as needing parenting tips.

"We can help families with everything from learning how to work a budget, helping them build structure in their home, helping get the family on board with chores, family time and stressing the importance of having family time," Davis said.

Those are only some of the examples. Davis continued to share they can help families understand truancy in schools and why it is important to help children continue to attend, as well as how to ensure they get to school.

They also can help families understand what their child has been diagnosed with, how to deal with that diagnosis and even how to handle the medication a child may need. CCC will also help families learn about resources in the community.

The list goes on and CCC will help with virtually anything families are seeking help with, Davis said.

As the name implies, CCC also works in collaboration with other organizations. Davis explained programs such as the Court Designated Worker program, Pennyroyal Mental Health, pennyrile area schools and Department for Community Based Services will often refer families to CCC for whatever they may need.

"(They'll) tell families about our programs, because with us being such a specialized program and being able to go into a home and building a rapport with the family and be there just for an advocate, could be very beneficial," Davis said. "We can't remove a child; we can't do anything like that. Our ultimate goal is that the families we work with will never have to have the services of DCBS."

Davis added CCC is intended to be a preventative program. In other words, CCC focuses on helping families improve on anything they may need to prevent issues or catastrophes from occurring that may lead to a family being broken apart.

"It's one of the only programs funded in the state that focus on the prevention of child abuse," Davis said. "This program is prevention focused. We want to get into that home and help the family before a problem becomes a problem. Before a family begins to recognize they are not where they want to be."

"Or, the family is not functioning the way they think it ought to," she said. "Then, we can go in and help before anything bad happens in the home. We can try to prevent any abuse, neglect, misinformation being given and never having to access those services from DCBS and a parent having the threat of losing their child."

Davis continued to explain once a family shows interest in receiving help from CCC, they begin an eight-week program, completely free of charge, focusing on helping that family with whatever assistance they need.

The program began roughly 10 years ago when PACS received a grant to specifically address the issue of helping families in the community.

Through that grant, the workers required for CCC programs, the programs themselves and everything they offer is entirely funded through that grant. The grant also allows families to receive help through the program without paying for anything.

"There is absolutely no cost to the family," Davis said. "It is a completely, 100%, totally free program. We do not bill insurance or anything. All costs or anything comes directly out of the grant to pay salaries and anything else. So, there's no cost for families."

Davis continued to explain not only is CCC free to families, it also works on the family's time. Meaning a CCC worker will come to the home and help with the family only when they have the time, working around the family's work schedule, including nights and weekends.

However, Davis shared families are required to have a CCC worker help at their home for at least two hours a week for the eight-week program.

"The main thing is that this is a program almost any family needing assistance can access directly," Davis said. "We don't have to have a referral source. So, the family can directly contact us and say they want our help. It's a totally confidential program as well."

To learn more about CCC, call the office at 270-707-9735 or email Davis at sabrina.b@pacs-ky.org.

Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or aseeger@kentuckynewera.com. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra.

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