Catholic Charities of Buffalo's In-School Social Work Program was the recent recipient of a $411,000 grant from Fidelis Care, the New York State Catholic Health Plan.
Catholic Charities ISSWP collaborates with 14 Catholic Diocesan elementary and middle schools in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara counties to provide a part- or full-time social worker to address any non-academic barriers to school success. This is the 13th consecutive year Fidelis Care has supported the program with a grant to continue its commitment to make a difference in the lives of youth, their families and educators.
"Every year, the In-School Social Work Program proves itself as a proactive and effective tool in resolving non-academic issues that can hamper a student's ability to succeed academically," said Dennis C. Walczyk, Catholic Charities chief executive officer. "We're grateful for Fidelis Care's ongoing commitment to the In-School Social Work Program and, by extension, our work of responding to the social and emotional needs of students and their families."
The ISSWP works to enhance student success by providing counseling and comprehensive character development, skill-building activities for students through short-term individual sessions, small groups and classroom presentations. Consultation services are also available for parents, teachers and principals, as well as staff development for teachers and principals to expand strategies and interventions for strengthening student character. Based on the assessment of other student or parent needs, linkages to other Catholic Charities' programs are available, including mental health counseling and emergency financial or food assistance."As a faith-based health plan, the Fidelis Care mission guides our determination to support children and families in the communities that we serve," added Rev. Patrick J. Frawley, Fidelis Care president and chief executive officer. "Our continued collaboration with Catholic Charities of Buffalo supports the long term success of children in Western New York."
During the 2016-17 school year, the program served these schools: Notre Dame Academy in South Buffalo, Our Lady of Black Rock and St. Joseph University, both in Buffalo, Catholic Academy in Niagara Falls, St. John the Baptist in Alden, St. Peter in Lewiston, St. Aloysius in Springville, Mary Queen of Angels in Cheektowaga, Southern Tier Catholic in Olean, Immaculate Conception in Wellsville, St. Benedict in Amherst, Our Lady of Victory in Lackawanna, St. John the Baptist in Tonawanda and Queen of Heaven in West Seneca.
Just under 2,000 students and their families were directly assisted by the program during the 2016-17 school year.
"Catholic Charities is incredibly grateful to Fidelis. Schools greatly appreciate these services and welcome the additional support," said Jackie Richter, Catholic Charities director of School Based Services. "We are fortunate to work with wonderful students, families and staff from all walks of life in both parochial and public schools through our School Based Services Department. From our In-School Social Work Program to our Site Facilitator Program, we provide an extra layer of support and guidance in myriad ways. We're passionate about giving students and families a pathway to success."
For more information about the ISSW program, please call (716) 218-1400, ext. 2012 or visit www.ccwny.org.
Fidelis Care offers quality, affordable health insurance coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life, including products available through NY State Department of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace. With more than 1.6 million members in 62 counties, Fidelis Care was founded on the belief that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance.
Catholic Charities is an excellent steward of the contributions it receives. Catholic Charities receives the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management. Catholic Charities also receives the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.