Pennsylvania Association 
of Student Assistance 







  • Thursday, April 23, 2015 1:50 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    April 21, 2015

    PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Announces Next Steps to Address the Heroin and Opioid Crisis in Pennsylvania

    Harrisburg, PA – As part of Governor Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced today that it is seeking proposals from the local county drug and alcohol agencies to address the heroin and opioid overdose epidemic. 

    “We know that individualized treatment conducted with clinical integrity, is an effective solution in addressing the current epidemic,” said the DDAP Acting Secretary Gary Tennis.  “This funding opportunity will improve intervention strategies, increase the use of best practices, and increase access to treatment through the local counties.”

    The proposal asks counties to develop and implement strategies that will provide individuals the full continuum of care while facilitating their application for funding through Medicaid or private insurance. In addition, the proposal calls for the participating county to track the outcomes of opioid addicted individuals who are referred into treatment. 

    Additional proposal options include developing or enhancing current methods to access funding for treatment services, use of medications as companions to clinically appropriate treatment, ensuring overdose survivors are referred to treatment, and utilizing evidence-based prevention programs.

    “Many counties are already striving towards these important initiatives and are ready to work with Pennsylvania to ensure that the right level of treatment is provided with sufficient lengths of stay to get good outcomes. We are excited to move forward with this initiative,” said Tennis.

    DDAP’s 2015-16 budget proposal will direct $5 million toward this funding initiative and will disburse monies to the local counties based on the following criteria:           

    • Commit at least 80 percent of the total grant award to clinically appropriate treatment and supportive medication expenses;
    • Spend no more than 20 percent of the total grant award for outreach, education, training, prevention and case management;
    • Spend no more than 20 percent of the total grant award for data collection, performance measurement, performance assessment and publication of outcomes data.

    For more information, visit

    MEDIA CONTACT:  Carey Miller, DDAP, 717-547-3314

  • Wednesday, April 01, 2015 12:18 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The Center for Safe Schools is pleased to host a Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS).  This training is intended for school psychologists, school social workers, SAP mental health liaisons, and community mental health partners (psychologist or psychiatrist).  Our trainer, Dr. Sharon Stephan is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

    CBITS is a skill-based, group intervention that is aimed at relieving symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and general anxiety among children exposed to trauma.  Children are provided with normalizing education about common reactions to stress and trauma and learn skills such as relaxation, how to challenge and replace upsetting thoughts, and social problem solving.  Children also work on processing traumatic memories and grief in both individual and group settings.  The program consists of ten, 1 hour group sessions (6-8 children) usually conducted once a week in a school or mental health clinic setting.

    Cost: $150.00

    The dates of the training are Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) and Wednesday April 29, 2015 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm).  The training will be held at the Center for Safe Schools/Center for Schools and Communities in Camp Hill, PA.

    Register on the Safe Schools website under the professional development tab.


  • Tuesday, March 17, 2015 7:27 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Kids in Titusville will stand up against tobacco on Wednesday, March 18th along with thousands of other young people nationwide for the 20th annual Kick Butts Day (KBD).  Youth will be gathering at the Titusville YWCA for a Kickboxing Rally to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and the issue of young people being targeted as replacement smokers by the tobacco industry. 

    The event will be held at the Titusville YWCA, 201 N. Franklin Street, from 3:00 -4:30 PM.    All area students and community members are invited.  University of Pittsburgh Cheerleaders will literally kick off the event and cheer along with the youth as they prepare for a Kickboxing session with Fitness Trainer Heidi Wonderling.  Attendees will also be invited to engage in the social media campaign Not a replacement.

    Each year the tobacco industry loses around 2 million customers.  Many quit but an estimated 1,315 people in the United States die every day because of smoking.  Despite some recent success in combating the industries’ reach, tobacco companies are still marketing products to youth.  The Not a Replacement Campaign uses the tobacco industries’ own reference to youth as “replacement smokers” to respond by asking kids and community members declare that they will not be replacements.  Participants at the Kickboxing rally will be encouraged to take selfies and post and tweet the images with the caption, #NotAReplacement.

    Currently 18.4% of Pennsylvania’s high school students smoke with an estimated 2,100 kids under 18 becoming smokers every day. And according the most recent Surgeon’s General Report released in January of this year, an estimated 6 million of our youth smoking today will die prematurely as a result of tobacco related diseases. That’s roughly 244,000 kids in PA alone.

    “Kids don’t really think about the long-term health effects of smoking when they start” says Ashleigh English, Executive Director of the YWCA, and the KBD event organizer.  “We are hoping this event will change that.”

    For more information on the Kick Butts Day event at the YWCA, call 814-827-2746.  The event is also in partnership with NWPA Tobacco Programs and The Erie County Department of Health. To find out more about Kick Butts Day, and tobacco facts presented in this article, visit

  • Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:20 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Latest News

    The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee approved:
    Youth Vaccinations – Senate Resolution 27
    (Sen. Kitchen, D-Philadelphia) directs the Advisory Committee on Public Health Law of the Joint State Government Commission to study the issue of youth vaccinations to determine whether any amendments should be made to state law. The committee’s recommendations would be due in 12 months. 

    House Action This Week
    The House passed:
    Cyberbullying – PSBA supported
    House Bill 229 (Rep. Marsico, R-Dauphin), which amends the Crimes Code to create the offense of cyber harassment of a child. A person commits the crime of cyber harassment of a child if, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm, the person engages in a continuing course of conduct that involves communicating directly to a child by electronic means such as e-mail or by publication through an electronic social media service. This communication must include seriously disparaging statements or opinions about the child’s physical characteristics, sexuality, sexual activity, or mental or physical health or condition; or threats to inflict harm.

    Truancy Penalties -- PSBA supported House Bill 141 (Rep. Killion, R-Delaware), which would give judges more flexibility in penalizing parents convicted in school truancy cases. Current law allows the parent or guardian of a truant child to be sentenced to pay a fine of $300 and court costs or attend parental education classes. Failure to meet those penalties results in being sentenced to a county jail for a period of up to five days. House Bill 141 adds community service as an alternative to the current requirement to complete a parenting education program. Jail time may be considered, but not required, if fines are unpaid, or programs or community service are not completed. The definition of habitually truant is clarified to mean more than three consecutive days following the first notice of truancy given within a 12-month period.

  • Tuesday, February 17, 2015 7:36 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Marijuana, Rx Misuse Raise Safety Concerns as Drugged Driving Increases 

    The nation's campaign to combat drunk driving continues to make our roads safer, but use of marijuana and prescription drugs is increasingly prominent on the highways, creating new safety questions, according to a pair of ground-breaking studies released this week by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.    Read more

  • Thursday, February 12, 2015 7:31 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    President's FY 2016 Budget Request Includes Cut to Drug Free Communities Program

    Last week, Coalitions Online reported on the President's Fiscal Year 2016 budget request. In today's Coalitions Online, CADCA evaluates what the budget could mean to the Drug Free Communities (DFC) program and the movement, in general.   Read more


  • Wednesday, January 07, 2015 8:25 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)
    Parke Wentling, who is the brother of Joel Wentling who represents the Northwest Region on the PASAP Board of Directors, was sworn in yesterday to his first term as the Pennsylvania state representative for the 17th Legislative District .  Congratulations to Parke and his proud brother Joel!!
    Rep. Parke Wentling’s wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters, Ada and Iris, join him on the House floor doing swearing-in day on Jan. 6. 
    HARRISBURG – Rep. Parke Wentling (R-Crawford/Erie/Lawrence/Mercer) took the oath of office today, officially beginning his first term as Pennsylvania state representative for the 17th Legislative District.

    Wentling is one of 26 first-term legislators elected to the 2015-16 legislative session. He fills a seat altered by redistricting that combines portions of the districts previously represented by former state representatives Greg Lucas and Michele Brooks.

    Wentling was born and raised in Greenville, where he resides with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children. Prior to his election, he served 17 years as an educator in the Wilmington Area School District.

    “It is a tremendous honor to serve the people of the 17th District, which is geographically one of the largest districts in the state,” said Wentling. “It is exciting to be finally sworn in so that we can begin doing the work people sent us here to do. By far, the top priority of people in our district is attracting good-paying, family-sustaining jobs to our region. I am eager to get to work on this and other important matters.”

    Wentling is currently working to open district offices. Office locations will be announced soon. In the meantime, he invites constituents to call toll free with any state-related questions or concerns at 1-855-249-2427. Residents may also receive updates on Wentling’s legislative activities at and by visiting his Facebook page at

    To receive regular email updates on Wentling’s legislative activities, residents may sign up on his legislative home page. 
  • Tuesday, January 06, 2015 7:05 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Has a New Name! The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is now the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). The department announced the name change and unveiled a new logo at a ceremony in Harrisburg on November 24, 2014. The new name better reflects the wide range of services DHS offers Pennsylvanians. For more information, visit

    Public Service Announcement Contest for High School Students! Youth Suicide Prevention….. An Opportunity for Students to Join in the Conversation and Impact their Peers!  Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative (PAYSPI) announces its Third Annual PSA Contest for Youth Suicide Prevention for high school students.  Contest information, including official rules, application form, downloadable flyer, and help with guiding students messaging is available here. Deadline for submissions is January 16, 2015. To read more go to  

    Reminder:  Statewide SAP Surveys for SAP Teams and Liaisons Due! SAP Core Team surveys were sent to SAP team contacts who submitted SAP data at the end of last year.     SAP Liaison surveys were sent to anyone who submitted the Joint Quarterly Reporting System in the most recent quarter.   These surveys were to be emailed to your PNSAS Regional Coordinator by December 22, 2014.  If you have not submitted your team or liaison survey, please do so right away.  If your team or agency missed receiving the survey, go here to download the survey and view the letters to principals, letters to liaisons, and the PNSAS regional map for the name and contact information for your PNSAS regional coordinator.

    Download the entire update here  January 2015 SAP Coordination Update.pdf

  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:12 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Youth use of alcohol and illicit drugs are steadily declining, but e-cigarette use is high and the perception that marijuana is harmful is low, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey, released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Read more 

  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:06 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Posted from the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance News Brief dated December 19, 2014


    PFSA provides accurate, up-to-date resources for mandated reporters of child abuse in Pennsylvania. Here's some information you can use today to make sure you understand your responsibilities under the new amendments to the Child Protective Services Law:

    Act 31 of 2014 amended § 6383(c) of the Child Protective Services Law to require certain persons to receive child abuse recognition and reporting training as a condition of licensure, approval or registration: 
    • Operators of institutions, facilities or agencies which care for children and are subject to supervision by the Department of Human Services (Department) under Article IX or Article X of the Public Welfare Code, and their employees who have direct contact with children;
    • Foster parents;
    • Caregivers in Family Day Care homes which are subject to registration by the Department under Subarticle (c) of the Public Welfare Code and their employees who have direct contact with children.

    Effective December 31, 2104, new employees and new foster parents are required to receive 3 hours of training within 90 days of hire or approval and 3 hours of training every five years thereafter.

    Effective December 31, 2014, prospective operators of child-serving institutions, facilities or agencies or family day care homes must receive 3 hours of training prior to the issuance of a license, approval or registration certificate and 3 hours of training every five years thereafter.

    Beginning July 1, 2015, the following must receive 3 hours of training prior to the re-issuance of a license, approval or registration certificate and 3 hours of training every five years thereafter:
    • Current operators;
    • Current employees having direct contact with children;
    • Current caregivers and employees in family day care homes; and
    • Current foster parents.

    The curriculum for the child abuse recognition and reporting training must be approved by the Department and must address, but not be limited to, the following:
    • Recognition of the signs of abuse;
    • Reporting requirement for suspected abuse in the commonwealth and
    • For institutions, facilities and agencies their policies related to reporting of suspected child abuse.

    All of PFSA's mandated reporter trainings meet the requirements of all of the licensing entities in Pennsylvania.

    Persons may be exempted from the Act 31 training requirements if all of the following apply:
    • The person provides documentation that they have already completed child abuse recognition and reporting training;
    • The training was:
    o Required under § 1205.6 of the Public School Code or required these trainings were approved by the Department; or
    o Required under the Child Protective Services Law and the training was approved by the Department; and
    o The amount of the training received equals or exceeds the amount of training required above.

    To read Act 31 in its entirety click here; for PFSA’s training options, click here.


    Changes to Child Abuse/Criminal History Requirements

    On December 31, 2014 Pennsylvania will usher in not only a new year, but new requirements regarding child abuse and criminal history clearances. These individuals will need to obtain new child abuse, state criminal and federal criminal history clearances every thirty-six months:
    • An employee of child-care services.
    • A foster parent; a prospective adoptive parent.
    • A self-employed family day-care provider.
    • An individual 14 years of age or older applying for a paid position as an employee responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct contact with children.
    • Any individual seeking to provide child-care services under contract with a child-care facility or program.
    • An individual 18 years of age or older who resides in the home of a foster parent for at least 30 days in a calendar year or who resides in the home of a prospective adoptive parent for at least 30 days in a calendar year.
    • School employees not governed by the provisions of the public school code of 1949 shall be governed by this section.

    Childcare services include child day-care centers, group day-care homes, family day-care homes, foster homes, adoptive parents, boarding homes for children, juvenile detention centers or programs for delinquent or dependent children, mental health services for children, programs for children with intellectual disabilities, early intervention services for children, drug and alcohol services for children and day-care services or programs that are offered by a school. Any child care services provided by or under contract with the Department of Human Services or county children and youth agency would also fall under this requirement. Additionally, the new requirement extends to any children care services that are subject to approval, licensure or registration or certification by the Department of Human Services.

    Beginning July 1, 2015, volunteers having contact with or responsibility for children will be required to submit a child abuse and state criminal history clearance prior to approval as a volunteer and every 36 months after. Federal history clearances are not required provided all of the following conditions are met:
    • The position is unpaid.
    • The individual has been a PA resident for the past 10 years.
    • The individual swears or affirms in writing that he has not been convicted of any of the crimes or equivalent crimes in any other jurisdiction listed under section 6344 (c) of the Child Protective Services Law.

    Effective December 31, 2014, the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance application can be submitted online.  Once you enter the link below (DHS website) you will be directed to the Child Welfare Portal where you must create an account or log in if you already have an account. You will need an email address to create an account. Creating an account and submitting your clearance application online will give you immediate access to your results or the status of your results if your results cannot be processed immediately. Paper submission of requests wiil still be accepted.

    For details on how to request a child abuse history clearance electronically, the mailing address for paper submissions, and other information click here.


Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professionals
PO Box 165
Titusville, Pennsylvania 16354
Email us:

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software