Chester County Prevention Services

Who we are

Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems is a leader in providing services and supports for people with mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. The Chester County Holcomb Prevention department is located at the Holcomb corporate office in Exton, PA. Starting in 2010, Holcomb began providing similar services for Chester County.

Holcomb has been providing evidence-based prevention programs for youth and parents in Delaware County since 1997.


Chester County Prevention Services

467 Creamery Way
Exton, PA 19341
ph: 484-444-0412
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  • Children & Teen Programs

    Many of our prevention and education programs are designed specifically to meet the needs of children from diverse backgrounds and unique family settings.  Expand the sections below to learn about each program. Thanks to funding from the Chester County Department of Drug & Alcohol Services, many of our programs are free to Chester County residents and school districts.



    What is BABES?

    The Beginning Awareness Basic Education Studies (BABES) program is a primary prevention program for children, grades K-2nd. BABES provides factual information on alcohol and other drugs, introduces decision making and coping skills, and works to increase each child’s self-awareness. The goal of BABES is to help children enjoy happy, health, drug-free lives.

    The program incorporates seven fun puppets to introduce factual, non-judgmental information on alcohol and other drugs, decision making and coping skills. BABES is delivered in seven lessons, usually once a week.

    Any school in Chester County (public or private) may request the BABES program by calling Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems. Trained volunteers and staff present BABES to over 500 children each year. In the fall information is sent to every elementary school in Chester County.

    Trained BABES presenters can bring this program to your school at no cost to you, thanks to funding provided by the Chester County Department of Drug & Alcohol Services.

    BABES is also available in Spanish!

    For more information about having this program in English or Spanish, please contact us at 484-444-0412.

    The BABES Lessons:

    #1 Self Image and Feelings

    This lesson teaches that it is important to recognize and communicate our feelings. Introduces “self image” and teaches that we are all special.

    #2 Decision Making and Peer Pressure

    Teaches how to recognize peer pressure and presents ways of dealing with it. This lesson teaches steps for responsible decision making.

    #3 Coping Skills

    This lesson teaches that some things can be changed and some cannot. It also touches on the fact that “coping” is taking care of an unhappy situation.

    #4 Alcohol and Other Drug Information

    Lesson 4 explains that alcohol is a drug that affects mind and body. It also talks about the fact that drinking alcohol is against the law until the age of 21 and that it is always against the law to use illegal drugs.

    #5 Getting Help

    It’s OK to fail at first. You can always go back and try again. This lesson teaches that it’s very important to ask for help when you really need it.

    #6 Help for the Child Living in a Chemically Dependent Home

    This lesson teaches that it is wrong for people to hurt children or touch them in ways that makes them uncomfortable. If this happens, we can tell someone we trust.

    #7 Wrap Up

    The previous lessons are reviewed and children receive a Certificate of Completion of the BABES program.

    Comments from Parents:

    “I feel that it is important that she hear about it both at home and school as it reinforces the issue.”

    “I feel it is important to teach children early about drugs, alcohol, etc. so they can make good decisions when confronted with a difficult choice and/or peer pressure.”

    “He related stories from the program that helped him understand peer pressure and that drugs are bad.”

    Comments from Teachers:

    “I really enjoyed the BABES program. The kids learn a lot of information–they talk about the key words and puppets throughout the remainder of the year.”

    “I really liked the program. It is very informative and a fun way for the children to learn.”

    “The children enjoyed watching the puppets and the information was on their level.”

    Interested in Becoming a BABES Volunteer?

    BABES Volunteers are always needed to become BABES presenters. Volunteer presenters are provided with training and continuing support from our agency. The requirements are ability to read well, be non-judgmental, transport oneself to school sites and of course, enjoy working with children.

    Who can be a BABES Volunteer?

    Counselors, teachers, parents, police, clergy, scout leaders, elders, business people, and youth can be BABES presenters. If you are a warm, caring, non-judgmental person who is sensitive to the needs of young children, you can be a BABES presenter.

    For additional information, please contact us at 484-444-0412.

  • Keep A Clear Mind

    Keep A Clear Mind (4th-6th Grade): KACM is a 5 lesson program that takes place once a week.  This program introduces the topics of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, and Making Good Choices, and the harmful effects and consequences of each substance.  Each week, students are given a work book related to weekly topic which is to be completed with a parent or guardian.

    For additional information, please contact us at 484-444-0412.

  • Say It Straight

    Say It Straight (SIS) is a research-based education and training program that results in empowering communication skills and behaviors, increased self-awareness, self-efficacy, personal and social responsibility, positive relationships and quality of life; and decreased alienation, risky or destructive behaviors, such as alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, eating disorders, bullying, violence, precocious sexual behavior and behaviors leading to HIV/AIDS.

    You Say It Straight When…

    I count myself, I count you, and I count our issues.

    I state my decisions without excuses.

    I stand up for myself and respect your rights.

    I count my feelings and your feelings.

    I express my thoughts and feelings honestly.

    Why Say It Straight?

    -Proven to be effective in the prevention of risky or destructive behaviors, such as alcohol, tobacco, other drug use/abuse, alienation, violence, school drop-out, and teen pregnancy.

    -Promotes wellness, personal and social responsibility, positive self-esteem, and positive relationships.

    -Improves the quality of life with family, friends, schools, and community.

    Host a Say It Straight Program…

    Holcomb Prevention Specialists are available to bring this program to your school, youth group, or parent group – FREE of charge! This program is over 6-10 week sessions and can be presented in a format that works with your group!

    For additional information or schedule a Say It Straight program in your school or community group, please contact us at 484-444-0412.

    This program is coordinated by Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems Prevention & Education and originally made possible through grant funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and now through the Chester County Department of Drug & Alcohol Services.

  • Safe Dates

    Safe Dates is a 6-session program for middle and high school students and is designed to prevent the initiation of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse between individuals in a dating relationship. Safe Dates is an evidence-based program that has been identified as a model program in the National Registry of Effective Programs (NREP), found to be effective in both preventing perpetration and in reducing perpetration among teens already using violence in their dates. Adolescents who have participated in the program are less accepting of dating abuse, have stronger communication and anger management skills, are less likely to gender stereotype, and have a greater awareness of community services for dating abuse.

    Safe Dates is also available in Spanish!


    Session 1: Defining Caring Relationships

    Through a bingo game and class discussions, students are introduced to the Safe Dates program and they evaluate how they would like to be treated in dating relationships.

    Session 2: Defining Dating Abuse

    Through the discussion of scenarios and the review of statistics, students clearly define dating abuse.

    Session 3: Why Do People Abuse?

    Through large and small group discussions and the review of scenarios, students identify the causes and consequences of dating abuse.

    Session 4: How to Help Friends

    Through a decision-making exercise, a dramatic reading, and the introduction of the “Friend’s Wheel,” students learn why it is difficult to leave abusive relationships and how to help a friend if she or he is in an abusive relationship.

    Session 5: Helping Friends

    Through stories and role-playing, students practice effective skills for helping friends who are victims of abuse or confronting friends who are perpetrators of abuse.

    Session 6: Overcoming Gender Stereotypes

    Through a writing exercise, small-group discussions, and scenarios, students learn about gender stereotypes and how these stereotypes can affect dating relationships.

    Session 7: Equal Power through Communication

    Students learn the eight skills for effective communication and practice these skills in a variety of role-plays.

    Session 8: How We Feel, How We Deal

    Through the use of a feelings diary and a discussion of “hot buttons,” students learn effective ways to recognize and handle their anger, so it doesn’t lead to abusive behavior.

    Session 9: Preventing Sexual Assault

    Through taking a quiz and holding a caucus and a panel of their peers, students learn about the issue of sexual assault and how to prevent it from happening.

    For additional information, please contact us at 484-444-0412.
    This program is coordinated by Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems Prevention & Education and funded by the Chester County Department of Drug & Alcohol Services.

  • Parenting Wisely

    Every parent tries to do their best to raise their children to be good adult members of society. Few of us ever receive formal training in parenting skills because they are rarely taught in schools, communities or families. What we tend to do is repeat the kind of parenting which was used by our own parents – but few of our own parents were taught skills! It’s not surprising we often feel frustrated when our best efforts to discipline and teach our kids good behavior result in family disagreements or are ineffective.

    During this interactive workshop, parents will learn how to:

    • Reduce problem behaviors
    • Increase communication & family unity
    • Motivate children toward respectful behaviors
    • Encourage nonviolent conflict resolution

    Parenting Wisely is a FREE interactive parenting program that addresses these and other common problem behaviors!

    Parenting Wisely Young Children is an Evidence-based program proven to help parents learn the skills for the healthy well-balanced raising of children from age 3 to 10. Proven to increase communication and family unity, Parenting Wisely offers well documented and tested solutions and skills that guarantee results!

    You Can Complete Parenting Wisely by:

    Individual appointment: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm


    Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems
    467 Creamery Way
    Exton, PA 19341


    Schedule a Parenting Wisely facilitator to present to your Parent Group!

    To schedule Parenting Wisely, please contact us at 484-444-0412.
    Parenting Wisely is coordinated by Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems and funded by the Chester County Department of Drug & Alcohol Services.

  • Active Parenting of Teens

    A comprehensive video-based parenting program for parents of teens and tweens. The program helps parents gain confidence and courage to meet the challenges of parenting through improving discipline, communication and family bonding. Active Parenting of Teens will give you the guidance and support you need to turn the challenges of raising a teenager into opportunities for growth. It will show you that you can create harmony and stability in your family while communicating to your teens to how to be responsible and confident.

    Parents will learn skills for:

    • Communicating effectively with their teens
    • Preventing the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
    • Disciplining while teaching responsibility
    • Encouraging the development of self-esteem & character
    • Redirecting misbehavior
    • Encouraging nonviolent conflict resolution

    You’ll leave each session of Active Parenting of Teens energized and motivated to make positive and realistic changes in your own family’s daily life!

    For additional information about Active Parenting of Teens , please contact
    us at 484-444-0412.
    This program is funded through the County of Chester, Dept. of Drug & Alcohol Services and the PA Dept. of Health, Bureau of Drug & Alcohol Programs.

  • Padres Activos de Hoy

    Padres Activos de Hoy features all-new video with Latino actors and is designed for three sessions lasting 2 hours each, but it is flexible enough to fit different needs.

    It addresses concerns unique to this audience, including:

    1. How parenting practices must fit the society for which we are raising our children (a special challenge for first-generation immigrant parents)
    2. The presence of the extended family in the home
    3. Encouraging daughters as well as sons to succeed
    4. The importance of learning the language of the land.

    Parents also learn how to build courage and self-esteem, communication skills, win cooperation from their child, use family meetings to solve problems, and emphasize the family unit.

    For additional information about Padre Activos de Hoy , please contact us at 484-444-0412.
    This program is funded through the County of Chester, Dept. of Drug & Alcohol Services and the PA Dept. of Health, Bureau of Drug & Alcohol Programs.

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