Making A Difference | Foster care at Pressley Ridge


May is National Foster Care Adoption month and this week's Making A Difference highlights an organization that's helping children who need it the most.

Children like nine-year-old Daemon. He enjoys playing games, typical for a boy his age.

But what's not typical is the trauma he's experienced at his young age. And that's why he's at Pressley Ridge in York County.

For the past 185 years, Pressley Ridge has been providing family, outpatient and school based therapy along with treatment foster care for children ages 5 to 21 years old with behavior and mental health issues.

Although Daemon is only nine, most of the children receiving services are teenagers.

Nicole Mulholland is the Director of Community Resident Rehabilitation for Pressley Ridge. She says, “The children get to go to school and they learn positive coping skills from our therapists and how to be a normal teen and deal with the trauma they've experienced in their lives."

In order to provide that 24-hour support, Mulholland says they need homes and treatment foster parents, like James Birch and Dan McMillan.

These foster dads have been part of the team that every year has helped to place 50 children in Central Pa into foster care through Pressley Ridge and more than 2,000 children and adults are served through the non-profit's community based services.

"I have a love for children. I was born in a family of 9, and there was always children around," says McMillan.

Mulholland says you don't have to have too much more than that to be an effective foster parent. You'll get the training from Pressley Ridge and as a result of your time and support, you'll receive love from the children.

"I just had a child who called me and it's really good when they call you and tell you what they're doing, how they're coming along. And you see the progress or let you know you were part of whatever happened. The stories are not always good, but at least you give them that second chance in life."

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