Getting by with a little help

Healthy Families Program Offers New Parents Source of Comfort, Hope

In rural Crawford, Washington and Harrison Counties, single parents and poverty rank especially high. With 2,547 single parents in the tri-county area in 2016 and 6,812 food stamp recipients in 2017, the area also is known for its continuing drug epidemic.

Just ask Crystal Hess, a single mother who struggled with drug addiction for many years.

With the help of Healthy Families, though, Hess has become a nurturing mother, wife, homeowner and restaurant manager. The state-funded program, offered by Blue River Services, Inc. in Harrison, Washington and Crawford Counties, offers new and expectant parents free, voluntary and confidential assistance. Hess successfully graduated from the program in January 2018.

A Family Support Specialist, who helps parents like Hess cope with stress, identify needs and build on strengths, can even help families with parenting skills and developing goals. The ongoing services also include screening for post-partum depression, a grave condition affecting Hess, along with 600,000 other women in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control. With referrals to community resources and doctors, and developmental in-home assessments, Hess and her son also began receiving services through First Steps after Healthy Families staff identified a developmental delay. Her son received in-home speech and language therapy through First Steps, and at 3-years-old, he is now eligible to participate in an Exceptional Learners program at North Harrison Elementary.

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Blue River Services, Inc. Earns Highest Accreditation Level

CARF Accredited - Blue River Services, IncBlue River Services, Inc. has been awarded the highest level of accreditation by CARF International for its programs in Employment Services (Supports, Job Development and Organizational Employment); Community Integration; Home and Community Services; Respite Services and Supported Living.

This is the eighth consecutive survey Blue River Services has been awarded a three-year accreditation, which demonstrates the agency’s commitment to exceptional personalized care, accountability and satisfaction of persons served.

CARF International is an independent, non-profit accreditor of health and human services providers and a public seal of trust and commitment to quality based on internationally accepted standards.

For additional information about the CARF accreditation process, please visit

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Blue River Services, Inc. Teams with Community to Make Holiday Wishes Come True

Every holiday season, the Children’s Services Department at Blue River Services, Inc. partners with Harrison County Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) to give back to the communities they serve. The 2017 season was busier than expected, but with the help of community members and organizations, Blue River Services provided assistance to more than 20 children, 200 canned goods in the North Harrison School District, and raised more than $500.

Marija Zink, Outreach Coordinator, coordinated food and Christmas gift assistance for multiple families with generous donations from Corydon Presbyterian Church, Big Splash Adventure, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Golf Shores Fun Center, Corydon Cinemas, Hampton Inn, Department of Children Services, Warren Printing, and Butt Drugs.

“With the help of our community, we were able to coordinate Christmas assistance for children in our programs and emergency needs that arose within the community,” said Julia Baylor, Director of Children’s Services. “We all came together and made a difference by meeting many needs in our community. We also raised critical funds that will help the agency continue its after school programs.”

Baylor said the agency is faced with funding shortage each year and relies solely on community support to continue services once grant funding runs out. Blue River Services accepts clothing, non-perishable food items and financial contributions at any of its locations. Donations also can be made online at For more information regarding donations of clothing or other items, please contact Marija Zink at 812-364-1142 or

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