WELCOME TO BLUE RIVER SERVICES, INC.

Blue River Services, Inc. (BRS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1959 by six families who believed that all people are capable of learning when given the opportunity and appropriate support services. With this guiding philosophy for nearly 60 years, BRS has consistently expanded its services to meet the needs of community members and help people with disabilities and the general public overcome barriers to independence.

BRS strives to reach its motto of “People Serving People” by providing exceptional services for all ages, from infants to seniors, in all areas of life and levels of ability.  In fiscal year 2018, the agency served 25,677 individuals through more than 20 programs in 30 Indiana counties.

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BRS Awarded FSSA Grant for High-Quality School-Age Child Care

Blue River Services, Inc. has received a grant for $80,000 from Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning to fund high-quality care to school-age children. The grant will benefit Blue River’s after school programming through the 2020/2021 school years. Blue River was one of 22 recipients chosen from a competitive field and the only in Harrison County.

“One of the challenges that working families face every day is knowing that their children are being cared for in a safe and enriching environment even outside of regular school hours,” said OECOSL Director Nicole Norvell. “We are pleased to support working families through these grants, and provide necessary resources to help these high-quality programs.”

The grant will supplement 80 percent of program staffing costs and allow children from low-income families to attend on a sliding fee. 

Blue River’s Children’s Services Department includes extended day learning programs for school-age children, grades kindergarten through 12, in nine public schools in Harrison Washington and Jackson Counties. This grant will help support after school programs at Morgan Elementary and North Harrison Elementary. 

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BRS Healthy Families Programs Accredited for quality Service

Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) announced January 22 that the Blue River Services’ Healthy Families America affiliates in Crawford, Harrison and Washington Counties have been accredited as a provider of high quality home visiting services to families who want to improve their child’s health, nutrition and developmental outcomes.

HFA is a signature program of PCA America that has been providing home visiting services for more than 20 years. Expectant and new parents have common questions about their child’s development. HFA connects with families through community partners, such as hospitals and pediatricians, to find the answers to their questions, meeting within the familiarity and convenience of the family’s own home. HFA is an accessible, voluntary and well-received service.

“The American Dream starts with a happy, healthy childhood,” said Dan Duffy, President and CEO of PCA America. “As parents, we all have questions from time to time. Our HFA professionals offer evidence-based best practices to provide answers to questions, individualized support when needed most, and linkages to community services. As we congratulate the Blue River Services programs in Crawford, Harrison and Washington Counties, we also recognize the state and community leadership that has contributed to success in these areas.”

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Together We Are Better

At Blue River Services, Inc. our commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, identity, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, perspective, and experience drives us forward every day. In celebration of African-American History Month this February, we would like to thank our employees for their continued commitment to diversity – in the services we provide, for those we serve and one another. 

The many significant contributions African-Americans have made and continue to make in our nation and workplaces are more than just an integral part of our society. These contributions exemplify the spirit of Blue River by bringing perspective, innovation and equality to the important work we do every day. Together – and inclusive of the value that diverse talent brings to the workplace – we are better.

 

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BRS Safe Place Coordinator Receives 2018 Indiana Individual Achievement Award

In recognition of her leadership and dedication, Sheila Bobay-Singh, Safe Place Coordinator, received the 2018 Indiana Safe Place Individual Achievement Award. The award was presented by Robin Donaldson, COO of Indiana Youth Services Association, at the December 6 annual meeting in Indianapolis. The Individual Achievement Award also honors Bobay-Singh for efforts to ensure that youth in Harrison and Crawford Counties have access to immediate safety and resources. In presenting the award, Donaldson said Bobay-Singh singlehandedly provided information to 54% of the youth population (ages 10-17) in her two-county service area. “She is an invaluable resource and support to other Safe Place Coordinators in the state,” said Donaldson. “I am pleased to announce the first recipient of the Indiana Safe Place Individual Achievement Award goes to Sheila Bobay Singh.”

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Resident Camaraderie Triumphs at Halloween-Themed Annual Picnic

Every fall, the Supervised Group Living residential picnic has become a staple and a Halloween theme has become tradition. Held October 31 at United Methodist Church in Palmyra, the inside venue was a last-minute change after massive rain hit the area, but it didn’t take away from the annual event that brings all 48 of Blue River Services’ group home residents together for a day of socializing, food, games and friendly competition.

Of course no Halloween celebration would be complete without a costume contest. The men at Summit View Group Home who stood out for their costumes and expression of roommate camaraderie. Dressed simply in white pants and blue shirts, it was a distinct hat and one cloaked member of the group who brilliantly depicted The Smurfs and their human nemesis Gargamel. The group won first prize in the costume contest, taking home the coveted “Hulk” trophy, which now resides in admiration at the home until it is up for grabs again at the next major contest.

Each of the seven group homes also made their own chili to share. Maybe a chili cook-off is fated for next year’s event?

Summit View residents, from left, Jerry Beverly, Lowell Norskov, Eric Miller, Rodney Wilson and Colin Mikel show off their winning group Smurfs costume.

The ladies at Oak Drive group home, from left, Carol Stocking, Stephanie Ladd, Lisa Schultz, and Dianna Dixon enjoy some Halloween fun.

 

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