The Wheeling Florence Crittenton Home was established in 1895, when a group of concerned citizens invited Charles Crittenton to visit the city to advise them on the organization of their “rescue” efforts. After touring the city, which suffered a well-established reputation of vice, Crittenton made a donation for the founding of the Florence Crittenton Rescue Home–now known as Crittenton Services, Inc.
Today, Crittenton Services, Inc. offers a continuum of care with two levels of residential behavioral health care for girls and young women on the Wheeling campus, and community-based mental health service for residents in 21 counties. The agency remains the only facility in West Virginia licensed to meet the specialized behavioral health needs of adolescent maternity clients.
The residential programs at Crittenton serve pregnant and parenting girls across the state. Girls (ages 12-21) in the residential programs are in state custody due to abuse, neglect, mental health issues, substance abuse, and abandonment. The level two program is for girls 18 and under. While girls that are pregnant or parenting are the top priority for admissions, approximately 30% of girls are placed in the residential program for the specialized behavioral health care in a gender-responsive, trauma-informed environment. The level one program is for young women 18-21 who need a supportive environment as they transition to independent living. In 2015-16, 87 girls and 40 babies were admitted to residential programs. There are 48 beds available in residential programs.
Wellspring Family Services, the community-based mental health program, serves more than 1300 clients each year. Regional offices are located in Weirton, Wheeling, New Martinsville, Morgantown, Harrisville, and Huntington. Therapists visit nearly all of their 600+ active clients in homes or in schools. Seeing clients outside of the offices removes the barriers of transportation for clients, most of whom are rural, low-income, working-poor citizens.
The TIES (Trauma Informed Elementary Schools) program places licensed therapists into schools to provide early intervention and resiliency-building for at-risk children, with integrated school and home trauma-sensitive environments, in the earliest school years. Therapists provide training for school staff and educators on developmental trauma and its effect on the ability of children to succeed in the classroom. Children in need of intervention are linked to family services through the Wellspring program.
The IOP (Intensive Out-Patient Program) is a program that bridges the therapeutic environment of the residential alternative school and Wellspring Family Services. The IOP program accepts a limited number of at-risk Ohio County girls. After the residential school day, they receive Wellspring counseling services, with their families, in their homes.
Crittenton also operates Cradles to Crayons, a provider of universal pre-K and before/aftercare within the Ohio County Schools System and childcare for residential clients.
Crittenton is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) for the highest standards of professional practice. The agency is committed to trauma-informed care, collaborating with national and regional partners to participate in research on the long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and to utilize the most current, evidence-based approaches to trauma treatment.
Kathy F. Szafran, MA, LPC is the President and CEO of Crittenton Services of West Virginia. She has over 30 years of experience in behavioral health, with roles encompassing senior level administration and therapeutic practice. Szafran has served West Virginia, participating in many state-wide initiatives and with a variety of appointments, including the Comprehensive Behavioral Health Advisory Board and the “home team” for the National Governors Association Three Branch Institute on Child Social & Emotional Wellbeing. She has presented at Congressional briefings related to gender-responsive and trauma-focused care for marginalized girls. She is national presenter and teacher. Under her leadership, Szafran has integrated cutting edge trauma treatment practice into residential and community-based behavioral health services at Crittenton.