I have been an employee of UCP Central PA since December 2017. Professionally UCP has been great- all of my coworkers are helpful and kind, and I find myself doing meaningful, tactile work everyday that I believe truly advances UCP's mantra of "Life without Limits" for so many people in our community. I have had the opportunity to visit many of the programs that UCP administrates and am always impressed with how engaged, friendly, and knowledgeable they are.
One aspect of working at UCP that I have enjoyed is the opportunity to collaborate with other local volunteer organizations and nonprofits. I have been able to work on projects alongside the United Way, Highmark Health, Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources (PAR), and the DREAM Foundation, among others.
I am frequently surprised by how impassioned UCP employees are- whenever I am working through a problem with coworkers, I can tell that there is a genuine enthusiasm for helping differently-abled people and their families achieve autonomy and independence.
Overall, UCP Central PA is a great place to work, full of volunteers and employees who care about the mission statement and providing the best level of service for our clients.
This summer I was an intern in the Assistive Technology department at UCP. I am grateful for the experience and opportunities that I gained from the internship. Meeting and interacting with multiple families and individuals was honestly the highlight of my summer. The work environment and coworkers were very welcoming and supportive. I love UCP!
UCP of Central PA represents to me, one of the best examples of an organization that is working well both internally with their staff and management to create an environment that fosters their success and externally to those they serve in the Central PA community. With these two facets well in place, this organization continues to model the very best ways to provide services that benefit those developmentally challenged and their families.
We are beyond grateful for UCP's Friday Night Respite services! My boys get to do something fun, and my husband and I get the break we need. The program is unique in that it takes all ages and siblings, too. The staff are amazing - they are truly passionate about what they do and always make it a welcoming, fun environment for the kids. They're experienced with the type of behaviors my boys might have, so we can have peace of mind when we're out.
My youngest son first received services from UCP 3 years ago. A developmental therapist came to our home once a week. I was impressed right away by how she was able to get my son to open up and actually try things (which were cleverly disguised as fun!). Eventually, my son started attending the inclusive preschool program at UCP's Capital Area Children's Center. A shy boy with speech delay graduated the program to enter kindergarten with great social skills and is up to speed with the other kids and beyond! We are so proud of him and so thankful to UCP! Both my sons have benefited from the Family Services activities, such as the Fall Fun Fair and Dance Night.
Our family has relied on UCP Central PA for years, participating in several of their programs. The Friday night respite care has been one of the most important programs. It is otherwise practically impossible to get reliable care for a child with special needs for some respite time. My son loves attending, and I know he’s in caring, trained hands! We use it on a regular basis and encourage others to use it as well.
I don't know what we'd do without UCP's respite! This is a place where my son with autism is completely accepted and well-cared for, and my "neuro-typical" son has a great time with friends as well. It is very difficult to find people to care for a special needs child, so when we learned about UCP's respite program, we were thrilled. We've used it for years and both our boys still love "respite night"! We parents get to spend a few peaceful, uninterrupted hours out on the town! Thank you, UCP, for this amazing program and to all the workers who make it possible.
UCP Central PA has been amazing for our family. Our youngest son attends Sibshop and gets so much out of that program. He has learned he's not alone in the struggle of dealing with a sibling who has autism. He has gained friends and a greater sense of confidence. Our family has attended many UCP sponsored programs like Family Fun Fair, picnics, and movie nights. These are all great programs to enjoy in an accepting and nonjudgmental atmosphere. We are very grateful for all UCP has done for the betterment of our family unit.
Daily caring for 4 ASD kids + 1 typical kid: exhausting
Preparing kids for an outing: tears and stress
Driving kids in van for an hour to reach UCP respite: hair-pulling madness
Date night with my husband knowing that my children are safe and properly cared-for: PRICELESS.
I can not begin to express how much UCP's respite program has done for my family. It is incredibly hard to be a care-giver for someone with disabilities. I love my children deeply, but my energy and patience are taxed to the max daily. It is because of this program my husband and I get the break and space we need to continue our labor of love as parents. I know that while I am out, my children's specific needs will be met. I know the staff working with them are capable and have experience with many behaviors. I don't have to worry if my children are going to have problems because these staff are so loving, giving and capable... my children had no problems accepting this new environment and, after a number of years, are never bored and enjoy going. Thank you for providing this phenomenal service!
Our son receives services from UCP's LifeFit program and he LOVES it! His trainer takes him to the YMCA twice a week where they work on strength training and cardio. Last week they participated in the Insane Inflatable 5 K together! We always know when they return home...you can hear them jamming out in the car to the loudest music ever! Awesome program!! Awesome Agency!
I spent the summer of 2017 working as an intern for their Camp Hill office. Excellent staff. Supportive environment. Ample learning opportunities. All-around experience.
I am fortunate to receive donations of gently used Durable Medical Equipment from residents and families here at Bethany Village when they no longer need them. It's wonderful to have a program like Changing Hands at UCP where I know these items will be refurbished and distributed to clients in the community who greatly benefit from them. I am glad to partner with Jackie Wardle and her team to make this happen.
John Bowen, Director of Social Services
I have been receiving services from UCP for many years. I have had the same coach for Lifefit for 6 years and she is the best LifeFit coach ever. My first hab aide helped me to get back into horseback riding, after not riding for 20 years. She helped me to become friends with people at the barn. I am very grateful for what she did. She and my other hab aides help me with cooking, reading, cleaning, and budgeting my spending money. My job coach at UCP trained me on how to use the office shredder. I really like everyone who has worked with me in the past and all those who are working with me now! Everyone is very nice and supportive.
We are fortunate to have peer agencies such as UCP Central PA in our area!! We work together to network resources for local persons. UCP is a great organization to work with and they help so many people!
As both a volunteer and a client served by UCP of Central PA, I feel privileged to be a part of this organization. UCP has always been there for me. As a college student, I interned at the local office and found great joy in doing so. This is an essential organization for so many!
I worked as intern for UCP of Central PA for the last two summers. I must say both internships were quite rewarding experiences. Not only was I included at every staff meeting during my stint at UCP, but also I was made to feel like I was an essential part of the team. I felt like my thoughts and opinions were deeply considered and appreciated when expressed. Both internships gave me great confidence in myself and to be expose to the working world. I saw I could make a difference in the lives of individuals, some who have disabilities similar to my own, mainly through my words.
UCP's staff makes it an incredible enterprise. The service providers and support staff are very dedicated to their work.
I have been a volunteer for UCP Central PA for almost 20 years and have always felt that it is an outstanding organization. From the Board down to the folks providing services to the consumers and everywhere in between they are focused on improving the lives of their consumers. Over the years I have recruited many others to the UCP Central PA cause, and they have routinely thanked me. I am always proud to be associated with this fine organization!
I have been involved in several volunteer opportunities through UCP - all of which have been wonderful experiences both for the participants and volunteers. UCP provides fantastic services to the local community. It is always a pleasure to be involved with such an awesome organization.
UCP offers a variety of events for families with children with disabilities. Our favorites are Family Fun Fair, Bowling, Monkey Jones and Christmas crafts. They are a wonderful opportunity for us to come in contact and maintain old friendships with other families that have kids with disabilities. The kids love these events, because they are a lot of fun, with a lot of attention for the little ones and low expectations for their performance.
We want to thank all the support you have given our family. Our family goes to all the family Activities, its a great way to meat families that have simular issues as you might have, they might know something you dont and pass it on to you. Its a great way to get more resorces and have fun with the family at the same time. My kids get to do things that they might not get to do other wise.
so thank you from the bottom of my heart, you make my kids smile and have fun
The children that I am raising all have special needs and UCP gives them opportunity to do things as a family to enjoy activities with out being hindered thank you very much.
I've been attending their family activities for the last 2 years and i find it and the people working behind the scenes to be a welcome break. my son who is now 6 1/2 has high functioning ASD and ADD and sometimes being out in the community and activities is harder because i have to make sure he is "not jumping all over the place". the family activities set up by UCP have always been fun and a safe zone. my neurotypical younger daughter also always has fun when we go!!! also, when i have reached out to them to ask about books or other help, they have been nice enough to share their own experiences in their own special needs journey.
This is an AMAZING organization. The ladies I get to interact with really care about these kids. My son gets to attend events that otherwise would be very difficult for him to attend. Their support is tremendous. My daughter attends the SibShops , which is wonderful. She is learning she is not alone, she is not the only one with an autistic brother! That some struggles are the same throughout different families. They have taken great time to get to know my kids! They know them by name, ask about them and genuinely care about them. so refreshing in today’s world. I highly recommend them for all of the services they provide.