Thursday, February 24, 2011

Take the Step Up Pledge to End Underage Drinking

Take the Step Up Pledge to end underage drinking in Delaware!

Click here to “like” the Step Up Facebook page to take the pledge. Then, ask your friends to do the same.

The Step Up Pledge is a statewide movement in Delaware acknowledging parents, adults, and children who support a parent's involvement in preventing underage drinking.

The “Step Up” campaign urges parents – and all adults – to stop facilitating or ignoring youth alcohol consumption and to take responsibility for their role in underage drinking. The campaign presents parents with steps they can take to have an active role in preventing underage drinking.

Visit the Step Up Website at for information on teen drinking including statistics, warning signs, tools, and solutions.

Monday, February 21, 2011

STEP Moves People Out of Addiction, Homelessness

Homeless substance abusers in Sussex County are improving their quality of life thanks to STEP (Support, Treatment, Education, and Prevention), Brandywine’s outpatient program in southern Delaware.

135 homeless individuals have entered STEP since the program started up in late 2009. 93% of them are drug free after 6 months. 55% have found affordable housing, and 63% have improved their employment status or received entitlements. All STEP clients receive case management, substance abuse treatment, a mental health evaluation, health care services, and education on disease prevention.

The clinicians of STEP work resourcefully in the community to help their clients find housing and jobs. A case manager visits area shelters to meet with residents, answer questions, and run educational groups. A vocational specialist helps clients write their resume, links them to community resources, and takes them out in the community to help them find employment.

There are many success stories. One client, diagnosed with schizophrenia, has decreased her hospital stays and substance use to the point where she is ready to live on her own. Others have gone back to get their GED and enroll in college. Another client came to us having nearly lost everything, including custody of her daughter, as a result of her addiction. Today she is celebrating 9 months clean and sober, has a job, her child is back home with her, and she is finishing her Associates degree with a 4.0 GPA!

We’re also excited about our new partnership with the TAP FAITH group, which stands for Talented Address-less People for Affordable Innovative Transitional Housing. The group meets at a church in Georgetown every week and is composed of community leaders throughout Sussex County, and individuals who are currently homeless. TAP FAITH helps the homeless clients of STEP by coming together to brainstorm options for them to be housed that day.

At a recent TAP FAITH meeting, a woman came to the meeting who was homeless and had no funds. Immediately, members began to come up with options. One member gave his phone to the woman to call the Crisis House. She was not able to reach them, so he told her he would transport her there after the meeting to see if a bed was available. The church pastor then told her, if she could not get admitted to the Crisis House, to get a denial slip which would give her access to stay in the church’s emergency shelter for the night.

TAP FAITH is an excellent group that has grown from 6 members to 20 in months, and is still growing, all for the sole purpose of helping our homeless population. It is an exciting group and a great opportunity for BCCS and our clients to be involved in.

STEP is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and by the Delaware Health Fund. For more information about STEP, please call 302-856-4700.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Learn Job Skills with Our Career Curriculum Series

BCCS is offering a Career Curriculum Series for our clients, sponsored by Elwyn. Learn valuable skills to help you gain employment.

All classes begin promptly at 9:00 AM at the Lancaster Center in the IOP room.

Job Search Skills    Friday, February 25

Interviewing Skills    Friday, March 11

Social Skills    Friday, March 25

I Want a Career    Friday, April 8

Transportation    Friday, April 22

For more information, please contact Christine Czajkowski at 656-2348, extension 145.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BCCS Shares Prevention Work at CADCA's Community Prevention Day

Sara Yarnall, Prevention Supervisor at BCCS, presented at the Community AntiDrug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) Annual National Leadership Forum XXI Community Prevention Day on February 7, 2011 in National Harbor, MD. Sara discussed BCCS Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs programs and how effective our programs have been for the citizens of the State of Delaware.

“We appreciated Sara’s participation in the Delaware Presentation at CADCA,” said Dr. Marc Richman, Assistant Director for Community Mental Health and Addiction Services with the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. “Sara was well prepared, quite impressive and passionate (!) about the work BCCS is doing on prevention. It was received well by the audience.”

The State of Delaware’s prevention team also presented at the conference about current prevention efforts in the state, the state roles in working and collaborating with communities, as well as challenges and successes encountered and what Delaware has done to move forward.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Volunteer Spotlight: Lisa Sherwood, Board of Directors

BCCS wishes to express our thanks to outstanding volunteer and Board Vice President Lisa Sherwood, who is retiring from Board service after four and a half years.

Lisa joined our Board in 2006. “My interest was piqued when, driving to work in Wilmington, I kept noticing the long line of people waiting in front of the building,” she recalls. Her observation, shared by many, inspired us to write a newsletter article exploring stigma and misunderstandings about people in treatment.

“As I learned more about BCCS,” she says, “I was blown away by the lives touched by the organization. And the lives saved. I wish other people had an opportunity to see the faces of recovery... people from all walks of life, all sizes, all ethnicities.. all struggling and ultimately succeeding in their recovery. This is thanks to their own courage and the team of caring professionals at BCCS.”

Lisa became an enthusiastic and dependable Board member, who always found time for BCCS despite her demanding work schedule as Director of Provider Development for Genesis HealthCare Corporation. Before becoming Vice President in 2010, she served as Board Treasurer and chair of the fundraising committee.

She also assisted with Board recruitment. Recruiting volunteers, she believes, is one of the most challenging parts of BCCS’ work. “From volunteering to be an active Board member, to volunteering to paint a mural to brighten a dreary treatment room, to running a job interview skills workshop, volunteers greatly enhance the BCCS programs. And we can never have too many!”

“Lisa’s faithful service to BCCS is without question, greatly appreciated,” said Board President Rev. Karla Fleshman. “Her tenure spanned a time of great transition in the organization; and no doubt her faithfulness to healthy communication; and her dependable commitment to the organization is coming to an end at a time when she is confident of those who remain on the Board of Directors. Her consistent presence and insightful guidance helped direct this fine organization to new leadership with an expanded mission of service. We thank you Lisa!”

Board member Lauren Pearce added, “Lisa was an incredible burst of energy who kept our Board focused and dedicated. Her enthusiasm and passion for Brandywine was demonstrated in all that she took on, including recruiting new Board members and embarking on new ideas.”

Lisa has high hopes for BCCS in the next five years. “I'd like to see BCCS in more satellite locations, growth of the needle exchange program to serve other communities in Delaware, and a second (or even third!) Lighthouse program, to serve recovering mothers and their babies. And most of all, I'd like to see BCCS triple the number of clients served. That's a tall order. But there IS a need and BCCS is positioned to rise to the occasion!”

When asked what she most enjoyed about her involvement, Lisa says, “The chance to work with some wonderfully caring and passionate people. I will miss them!”

We will miss you as well, Lisa. Thank you for your years of service, and all that you brought to the Board and the organization!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Basha Silverman Honored for HIV/AIDS Work

BCCS congratulates Basha Silverman, Prevention Program Director, on two honors for her outstanding work in HIV/AIDS prevention.

On Saturday, February 12, Basha received the Community and Support Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Fight Against HIV, at the 10th Annual Do The Right Thing 4LIFE Banquet, presented by AIDS Delaware. Do the Right Thing 4LIFE is an educational prevention program that seeks to increase the awareness about HIV/AIDS/STDs within the African American community. Its efforts have resulted in numerous educational parties in barbershops, beauty salons, and private homes in New Castle County, reaching over 500 individuals.

“I am honored and excited to be a part of this,” Basha said, “as Frank [Hawkins, event organizer] and I started working in HIV the same year and have worked side by side for about a decade. I am grateful that he thought of me.”

Also, on Friday, May 6, Basha will receive the Ally Award at the 2011 WOW Awards Celebration, hosted by the Delaware HIV Consortium. This annual awards event recognizes corporate and individual excellence for philanthropy, volunteerism, fundraising, and community leadership in the field on HIV/AIDS. Visit for more information.

Congratulations Basha on these well-deserved honors!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Delayed Opening Wednesday 2/2

BCCS will have a delayed opening in New Castle County on Wednesday February 2 due to the weather. Dispensing will open at 7 AM; all other programs at 9 AM.

Sussex County programs will operate on a normal schedule.