COAD

Who we are

The COAD Group (formerly Chester County Council on Addictive Diseases) is a private, non-profit human services organization. For nearly 50 years, we have proudly served Chester County residents in the areas of behavioral health prevention, intervention and education. We provide Information and Referral services, Substance Abuse Prevention & Education Programming, Mental Health Education and Outreach, and Safe Driving Programs.

The COAD Group

467 Creamery Way Exton, PA 19341

Locations

The COAD Group
Office Hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

467 Creamery Way
Exton, PA 19341
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Services

  • Adolescent Substance Awareness Program (ASAP)

    Program Overview:

    The Adolescent Substance Awareness Program (ASAP) provides an approved adjudication alternative to the underage offender that is using alcohol and/or other drugs. The goal of the program is to provide an educational intervention, as a substitute for strictly punitive punishment, for juveniles and young adults, under the age of twenty-one (21), cited for alcohol or other drug related offenses. The most common offenses for which a young person is referred to the program include Underage Drinking, Disorderly Conduct, Possession of a Controlled Substance, or any offense related to the use/abuse of alcohol or drugs.

    The Adolescent Substance Awareness Program curriculum includes information related to both alcohol and controlled substance use and addresses peer pressure, decision-making, and consequences, while promoting responsible behavior. The class utilizes a variety of teaching methods, providing the opportunities for participants to evaluate their habits and explore various approaches toward modifying their behavior. The Adolescent Substance Awareness Program provides the adolescent and young adult population with an awareness of the disease concept of addiction, including highlighting the damaging effects of drug and alcohol use, particularly on adolescent brain development, and to this end, is an important step towards reducing the recidivism rate. The curriculum also explores the academic, legal, and social consequences of continued use, and offers the participants with information on available community and school-based resources.

    Program Registration:

    Referrals to the ASAP Program may be made by contacting Susan Cooper, Program Coordinator, at 484-713-1102 or Susan.Cooper@holcombbhs.org

    Referrals to the program may be made by a Magisterial District Judge, Common Pleas Judge, Police Officer, Juvenile Probation Officer, School Administrator or Representative, Attorney, or a concerned parent or family member; youth may also self-refer.

    Program Schedule:

    Each cycle of the Adolescent Substance Awareness Program consists of eight (8) instructional hours delivered in two four (4) hour classes, as follows:

    • Weekend Classes – 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Weekday Classes – 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • Schedule may vary each month.

    Program Fees:

    The cost of the Adolescent Substance Awareness Program is $100.00

    There is a rescheduling fee of $25.00

    All fees must be remitted to COAD ten (10) days prior to the first day of class.

    Checks and/or Money Orders may be sent to:

    The COAD Group
    ATTN: ASAP Program/Susan Cooper
    467 Creamery Way
    Exton, PA 19341

    Program Contact Information:

    For more information about the Adolescent Substance Awareness Program or to register for the program,

    Please contact Susan Cooper, Program Coordinator, by phone at 484-713-1102 or by e-mail at Susan.Cooper@holcombbhs.org

     

  • Aggressive & Perceptive Driving Program (APDP)

    Program Overview:

    The Aggressive and Perceptive Driving Program (APDP) is an instructional and rehabilitative course designed to foster safe driving behaviors and save the lives of innocent people. The goal of the program is to provide an educational intervention for persons aged sixteen and older who have been cited for point-laden motor vehicle violations. The Aggressive and Perceptive Driving Program can be offered as an alternative program which, if deemed appropriate by law enforcement officers and Magisterial District Judges, enhances penalties for offenders through additional fines and may provide for the reduction of points on the driver’s license or a reduction/dismissal of charges.

    The Aggressive and Perceptive Driving Program provides participants with strategies to change their emotional reactions to other drivers, enhance their perceptive driving skills, and enables them to become better defensive drivers. The curriculum includes instruction on driving behaviors that are considered aggressive and unlawful, and provides participants with the opportunity to better understand why and how they behave behind the wheel. In conjunction with this self-assessment, participants are offered strategies to more effectively manage their emotions while operating a motor vehicle. The instructor actively works with class participants on the development of an individualized plan to appropriately confront negative situations that they may encounter behind the wheel. Participants learn statistical data about the number, types, and causes of vehicular accidents in Pennsylvania and develop an understanding of defensive driving strategies. An emphasis on self-assessment challenges participants of the Aggressive and Perceptive Driving Program to eliminate at least one aggressive driving habit. The program utilizes a variety of teaching methods, including the analysis of slides/videos of driving conditions, circumstances, and accidents.

    Program Registration:

    Referrals to the APDP Program may be made by contacting Susan Cooper, Program Coordinator, at 484-713-1102 or Susan.Cooper@holcombbhs.org

    Referrals to the program may be made by a Magisterial District Judge, Common Pleas Judge, Police Officer, Juvenile Probation Officer, or Attorney. Referrals are also accepted from concerned parents and/or family members.

    Program Schedule:

    Each cycle of the Aggressive and Perceptive Driving Program consists of six (6) instructional hours delivered in two three (3) hour classes, as follows:

    • Weekday Classes – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
    • Schedule may vary each month.

    Program Fees:

    The cost of the Aggressive and Perceptive Driving Program is $100.00

    There is a rescheduling fee of $25.00

    All fees must be remitted to COAD ten (10) days prior to the first day of class.

    Checks and/or Money Orders may be sent to:

    The COAD Group
    ATTN: APDP Program/Susan Cooper
    467 Creamery Way
    Exton, PA 19341

    Program Contact Information:

    For more information about the Aggressive and Perceptive Driving Program or to register for the program, Please contact Susan Cooper, Program Coordinator, by phone at 484-713-1102 or by e-mail at Susan.Cooper@holcombbhs.org

  • Community Prevention

    Program Overview:

    Through education, networking, and linking of services and resources, The COAD Group’s Community Prevention services are designed to support individuals, organizations, and communities in developing and promoting healthy and substance free lifestyles.

    All of the following drug and alcohol prevention and education services are offered free of charge:

    Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Resource Library:

    The COAD Group provides the Chester County community with one (1) Central Resource Library and (9) additional Satellite Resource Libraries where the public can access current, factual, and culturally diverse information on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and abuse and treatment; addiction and recovery; parenting skills and strategies; and information related to problem gambling. Materials are available for a variety of populations and in a variety of formats including books, pamphlets, brochures, slide guides, activity books, coloring sheets, posters, and videos. Material may be available in Spanish and are available in bulk by request.

    (Click here for Resource Library Catalog)

    Community Events and Speaking Engagements:

    The COAD Group is available to attend community-based events and to deliver drug and alcohol prevention presentations tailored to your audience’s needs.

    Telephone Information and Referral (I&R) Line:

    The Information and Referral line is a toll free number that is open and available through The COAD Group during normal business hours throughout the year. On average, the agency processes 800 calls per year. This toll free line is provided by the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services and is answered by trained employees of The COAD Group. It is the responsibility of these team members to assist the caller with drug and alcohol information pertaining to accessing treatment, as well as other support services, and to respond to general inquiries regarding drug and alcohol prevention, intervention, and treatment services available in Chester County.

    The Drug and Alcohol Information and Referral Line can be reached at 1-866-286-3767.

    All calls are private and confidential.

    Program Contact Information:

    For more information about the Community Prevention Services available, Please contact Jacquelyn Taylor, Executive Director, by phone at 484-713-1101 or by e-mail at Jacquelyn.Taylor@holcombbhs.org

  • Mental Health First Aid

    Program Overview:

    Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and provides an overview of common supports. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

    Mental Health First Aid is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

    Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis:

    • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
    • Listen non-judgmentally
    • Give reassurance and information
    • Encourage appropriate professional help
    • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

    Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not take on the role of professionals — they do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions, like “what do I do?” and “where can someone find help?” Certified Mental Health First Aid instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. All trainees receive a program manual to compliment the course material.

    Youth Mental Health First Aid Program Overview:

    Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8-hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents including teachers, school staff, coaches, mentors, youth group leaders, parents, etc.

    The COAD Group offers both MHFA and YMHFA Trainings to the Chester County community throughout the year.

    Here is a list of Upcoming MHFA 2016 Training Opportunities:

    MHFA Training Flyer – May & June 2016 (click here)

    Program Contact Information:

    For more information about Mental Health First Aid and to learn about upcoming training opportunities, Please contact Jacquelyn Taylor, Executive Director, by phone at 484-713-1101 or by e-mail at Jacquelyn.Taylor@holcombbhs.org

  • Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14

    Program Overview:

    The Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) is a universal, evidence-based prevention program that targets adolescents ages 10 to 14 and their parents and/or caregivers. The program is generally offered to youth in grades 4th through 8th and as a strengths-based program, it is intended to build on the existing skills of any family. SFP 10-14 is intended to ease the challenges faced by families as youth transition into adolescence and to also prepare youth as they move from elementary school to a middle school or high school environment. During times of growth and transition, youth may encounter new stressors such as new peer influences, a more challenging school curriculum, and increased opportunities for independent decision-making. It is critical to strengthen family bonds, to help families learn skills to handle new challenges, and to guide youth as they become responsible young adults during times of increased vulnerability.

    The parent, youth, and family skills-building curriculum is delivered in seven weekly sessions and is offered as independent, concurrent learning sessions for parents and youth, followed by joint family sessions. The program uses realistic videos, role-playing, discussions, learning games, and family projects to enhance parenting skills, build life skills in youth, and strengthen family bonds and communication. The program focuses on setting appropriate limits, using consequences, protecting against substance abuse, handling peer pressure, reaching out for help, understanding family values, and building family communication. The youth sessions also include topics such as identifying positive goals for the future, appreciating parents, managing stress, following rules, and resisting peer pressure.

    The primary goals of the program are to build life skills in youth, including stress management, conflict resolution, and communication skills; enhance parenting skills and promote effective parenting styles; and to strengthen family bonds, promote positive communication, and enhance the ability to solve problems together. The program has demonstrated effectiveness in increasing caregivers’ ability to set appropriate limits and show affection and support to their youth. For youth, the program has demonstrated effectiveness in promoting critical life skills, such as coping and peer pressure resistance.  Research has also demonstrated long term impacts on adolescent substance use, aggression, and academic performance.

    The COAD Group has been offering the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 since 2010. To date, the program has been offered in the following communities throughout Chester County: Avon Grove, Coatesville, Downingtown, Kennett, Oxford, Phoenixville, and West Chester.

    Program Contact Information:

    For more information about the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 or to register for the program,

    Please contact Johnna Goodridge, Program Director, by phone at 484-713-1107 by e-mail at Johnna.Goodridge@holcombbhs.org

  • Student Assistance Program (SAP)

    Program Overview:

    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program (SAP), which is administered by the PA Department of Education’s Safe Schools Office in partnership with the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ Division of Prevention and Intervention, and the PA Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success. The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program (SAP) is to help students overcome these barriers in order that they may achieve, remain in school, and advance. While Student Assistance Programs exist in other areas of the country, the structure and operation of the program in Pennsylvania is a unique expression of an integrated model serving the needs of Pennsylvania families and their students.

    SAP is a systemic process using techniques to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. At the core of this program is a group of SAP trained school professionals, and Liaisons from The COAD Group, that work with students and their families in a collaborative and confidential manner to identify possible barriers and offer services to help link students with appropriate school-based and/or community-based resources. SAP team members are trained to identify problems, determine whether or not the presenting problem lies within the responsibility of the school and to make recommendations to assist the student and the parent. When the problem lies beyond the scope of the school, the SAP team will assist the parent and student so they may access services within the community. The student assistance team members do not diagnose, treat or refer to treatment; but they may refer for a screening or an assessment for treatment.

    The COAD Group’s Student Assistance Program is a leader in providing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug education, prevention and intervention services to Chester County school systems. Specifically, COAD SAP Liaisons serve as ad-hoc team members to forty (40) secondary SAP Teams in Chester County’s twelve (12) public school districts, whereby they provide SAP technical assistance and support to each core team in following the state mandated SAP process. In addition to regular core team meeting attendance, SAP Liaisons provide case consultation and resource allocation to each of the core teams to which they are assigned. As the team’s process cases, it is up to their collective discretion when a student is referred to the SAP Liaison for a behavioral health screening or for the completion of individual drug and alcohol education sessions.

    School districts also have the opportunity to contract for additional Liaison services, including, but not limited to the following: behavioral health screening and assessment, education, emergency crisis and post-vention assistance, provisions for aftercare planning for students returning from behavioral health treatment, and the co-facilitation of school-based psycho-educational support groups. In collaboration with our Community Prevention Services, COAD makes additional prevention initiatives available to our partners in education.

    Student Assistance Program County Coordination:

    The COAD Group is responsible for the coordination and facilitation of Chester County’s SAP District Council, which provides a forum for student assistance professionals and their stakeholders to network, share resources, and to receive education through monthly guest speakers.

    District Council Meetings are held at The COAD Group on the 2nd Friday of every month, September to May, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

    (Click here for the 2015-2016 District Council Meeting Schedule)

    Student Assistance Program Training:

    The COAD Group is a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Approved Trainer for Student Assistance Programs. The student assistance process is based upon state guidelines, professional standards and policies, and procedures adopted by the local school board of directors. Professional training for team members in all phases of the student assistance process, which is consistent with state guidelines and conducted by a Commonwealth approved training provider, is required to ensure the appropriateness of the recommended services, effective interagency collaboration and compliance with state and federal laws protecting the privacy rights of parents and students.

    The training of team members by a Commonwealth Approved Training provider ensures the board of school directors, school administrators, parents, students, and the public that team members have received up-to-date professional training consistent with accountable standards and appropriate procedures. Guidelines for the Commonwealth Student Assistance Program training system contain training standards and competencies for SAP team professionals. The training offered by The COAD Group is consistent with these standards and competencies.

    Upon completion of SAP training and on-site competencies, team members are eligible to receive thirty (30) Act 48 credit hours and a certificate of completion.

    The COAD Group conducts SAP Training throughout the year.

    (Click here for The COAD Group SAP Training Flyer)

    Program Contact Information:

    For more information about Student Assistance Program Services,

    Please contact Jacquelyn Taylor, Executive Director, by phone at 484-713-1101 or by e-mail at Jacquelyn.Taylor@holcombbhs.org

Staff

Jacquelyn Taylor
Executive Director
Jacquelyn.Taylor@holcombbhs.org
Office: 610-363-6164 ext. 2000
Direct Line: 484-713-1101

Keri Brooks
SFP 10-14 Program Coordinator
Keri.Brooks@holcombbhs.org
Office: 610-363-6164 ext. 2008
Direct Line: 484-713-1109

Linda Hershey
Student Assistance Program Liaison
Linda.Hershey@holcombbhs.org
Office: 610-363-6164 ext. 2004
Direct Line: 484-713-1105

Erin Matthews
Student Assistance Program Liaison
Erin.Matthews@holcombbhs.org
Office: 610-363-6164 ext. 2005
Direct Line: 484-713-1106

Claire Ryan
Student Assistance Program Liaison
Claire.Ryan@holcombbhs.org
Office: 610-363-6164 ext. 2002
Direct Line: 484-713-1103

Susan Cooper
ASAP/APDP Program Coordinator
Susan.Cooper@holcombbhs.org
Office: 610-363-6164 ext. 2001
Direct Line: 484-713-1102

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