The Lincoln Center for Family and Youth (TLC) was founded in 1970 as the Department of Consultation and Education of Eagleville Hospital, which was funded by a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grant. TLC initially focused on drug and alcohol prevention through educational programs for students and occasional in-service training for school personnel. Program diversification eventually led to independence from Eagleville Hospital in 1983, and TLC became an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
TLC began school based counseling services in 1973 when the organization placed its first counselor at Keith Valley Middle School in Horsham, PA. TLC counseling and drug and alcohol awareness programs continued to expand into school districts through the Greater Philadelphia Area. The division, now referred to as our School-Based Staffing division, serves students in multiple school districts facing diverse socioemotional and mental health challenges. Today, TLC provides a number of different staffing solutions to schools including mental health counselors, behavior specialists, crisis intervention specialists, and school psychologists.
TLC expanded into secondary education in 1975 when it opened its Montgomery County Community Day School, a day treatment counseling and educational services for troubled youth grades 7-12 who would otherwise face institutionalization. The Day School later partnered with the Norristown Area School District to form the Lincoln Academy, named collectively by its students. The idea of the Lincoln Academy branched off into schools called Genesis, which were schools located within the school district needing services for nontraditional learners. Our various schools and the Transformational Educational philosophy behind them have converged into our current school, TLC Leadership Academy at Audubon.
In 1978, TLC established the Family Resource Center under a grant from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect as a counseling center for at-risk individuals and families experiencing high levels of stress or suffering from abuse. In 1985, TLC started a single parent program in which single parents received group education and counseling services. These programs have evolved into what is now our Coaching and Counseling Center. In partnership with the county’s Office of Children and Youth (OCY), TLC provides free mobile counseling to individuals and families throughout Montgomery County, PA.
In the mid-1980s, TLC began group meetings for seniors to discuss challenges for the aging population. TLC provided elder people with consumer programs and medication management training. The Lincoln Center continued its counseling of the elderly through the Elderwise program, which addressed social isolation and depression in older adults. Today, the elder population is served through the Elder Victim Mobile Support (EVMS) team, a program funded by U.S. Department of Justice grants.
In 1987, TLC was awarded its first grant funded by the Crime Victims Fund, established by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984 and administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 1990, TLC has received numerous VOCA grants that provide mobile counseling services, including art therapy services, for any victim of a crime up to 59 years of age who reside in Montgomery County, PA. The Elder Victim Mobile Support (EVMS) team provides fee mobile counseling and case management support for any victim of crime who is 60 years or older and who reside in Montgomery County, PA.
In 2018, TLC started its College and Career Readiness Center to provide wrap-around services to at-risk middle and high school students in the Norristown Area School District. The program, funded by a U.S. Department of Education’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant, provides college and career counseling, coaching, mentoring, tutoring, family engagement, afterschool, and summer programming.
For 50 years, The Lincoln Center has served students and families in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Our primary services continue to revolve around education and counseling, two areas in which mental health fluency and mental wellbeing is a goal of our organization and a demonstrated area of need throughout the counties we serve. The Lincoln Center for Family and Youth remains dedicated to its commitment to improve understanding of social and emotional challenges within the community, the mental health of our students and clients, and innovation in alternative education theory and practice. We continue expanding services to provide for those who don’t have access to human services they need not just to survive, but to thrive.