Family and Community Resource Center
The Family and Community Resource Center of Columbiana County (FCRCC) is a nonprofit organization that began as a rural grassroots community initiative in 2005. Its founder Cindy Slavens, built the organization in response to the unmet needs within her family who had been diagnosed with disabilities.
With the help of many community partners she began to reach out to meet the needs which Appalachian families encounter. Due to the entwining cultural differences and enhanced economic challenges that this group experiences, it is more at risk than the rest of the country, adding additional stresses on families with disabilities. According to the Census Bureau, Columbiana County has more than 10,300 residents ages 16-64 who are diagnosed with non-institutionalized disabilities. In the eleven school districts within the county 1,700 children have been found to have Attention Deficit/Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Adjustment Disorders, Bipolar, and suffer from depression and other disabilities. Within some school districts the disability student population is made up of 21% of a school districtrsquos total student population.
FCRCCC engages families by providing the education to make informed decisions. According to the Surgeon General age and timing are important factors related to the onset of, maintenance of, and recovery from abnormal forms of child behavior. Preventative or treatment interventions may be especially effective when the developmental windows of opportunity are taken advantage of making it imperative that parents get the right kind of diagnosis and assistance for their child as early as possible. The organization provides advocacy which offers the support to ensure that children with disabilities receive assistance to secure the most appropriate path of treatment and education.
FCRCCC enhances the quality of life for families who are experiencing these struggles with decisions in their life through a holistic approach which better prepare children and family members for adulthood ndash maximizing their unique potential.
The Center is designed for self-empowerment trainings and educational opportunities, supports, mentoring, and to supply resource information while acting as a center for children and adults for a cadre of challenges that face Columbiana County residents ndash young and old. Some of those challenges can include mental health issues and disabilities for children and youth up to age 26, addiction in families, unemployment, hunger and housing. While the center does not provide direct assistance for some of these issues, referrals to the appropriate agencies and programs are made.
One of FCRCCCrsquos goals is to provide support for workforce development for its targeted populations in preparation for the anticipated decrease in the employment area. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, (Making a Difference, 2009), over the next 30 years the United States workforce will be reduced by 76 million workers creating a gap between the number of available jobs and the available workforce due to retiring baby boomers. Only 46 million X and Y generation new workers are anticipated to enter the labor force. According to the report, ldquowe must create a new pool of workers from non-traditional individuals who can fill the gaprdquo. FCRCCC will work with individuals with disabilities to fill those gaps and provide supports for families which prepares them for adulthood at a learning speed and level that is conducive to their ability.
Four goals of FCRCCC are:
1. To help adults and children with disabilities to meet developmental and functional goals and challenging academic achievement goals that have been established