The Partnership for Children is a collaboration among youth-serving agencies in Elkhart County that helps identify youth with emotional or behavioral health issues earlier, gets them help faster and improves outcomes for children and families. 
Sometimes kids need help learning to manage their behaviors and emotions. The agencies involved with Partnership for Children serve 16,000 kids in Elkhart County, and they’re in a unique position to help identify kids who are struggling.

PFC exists to help those youth stay in and benefit from the partner agency, expand the youth’s network of positive support and decrease the need for costly, high-end services, such as school suspension, juvenile detention or foster care. Of youth participating in Partnership for Children:



meet their personal goals and stay at their partner agency


develop a stronger support system


avoid or reduce utilization or high-end services

What does PFC do?

PFC provides trained mental health professionals to work exclusively with youth enrolled in our partner agencies. Skills trainers teach skills personalized to each child’s needs. These sessions cover topics like anger management, clear communication and dealing with anxiety, to name a few. Care facilitators provide linkage to other providers and community resources. They can connect youth with psychiatrists or therapists, and support families ina ccessing housing, transportation, employment, government assistance and more.

Additionally, PFC trains all staff at our partner agencies in topics such as Youth Mental Health First Aid, suicide prevention, childhood trauma and other important aspects of youth mental health.

History of PFC

Partnership for Children was an idea born from The SOURCE, Elkhart County’s system of care. Leaders wanted to replicate wraparound, a model that puts families at the center of treatment and “wraps” them in support.

United in their common desire to improve the lives of children and families, and thanks to an initial grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, leaders of these organizations came together to launch Partnership for Children in 2015. Thanks to continued support from the Community Foundation, the Oaklawn Foundation, financial partners Rober Weed Corporation, Everence, Ancon Construction, Lake City Bank and others, the Partnership continues to thrive.

More Information

How can my child join PFC?

Children must be referred to PFC through one of our partner agencies, listed above. Your child may already be involved with one of these programs and you can inquire with their staff about a referral to PFC. If you would like to enroll your child in one of our partner agencies, contact them directly. Their staff can help determine if PFC is right for your family. 

My child has been referred to PFC. Now what?

We will contact you with details about starting services. Services are provided at a time and location convenient to you and are confidential. Our staff works with you and your child to set individualized goals and map out a plan for success. 

How much does PFC cost?

Thanks to generous financial support from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, the Oaklawn Foundation, Robert Weed Corporation, Ancon Construction, Everence, Lake City Bank, Goshen Noon Kiwanis Club and others, Partnership for Children is offered free to families!

My agency wants to join PFC.

If your youth-serving agency is interested in joining Partnership for Children, contact Rebecca Shetler Fast at

I want to donate to PFC.

You can donate to PFC through the Oaklawn Foundation at If you are interested in becoming a premier financial partner of PFC, contact Kari Tarman, Executive Director of the Oaklawn Foundation at 574-533-1234, ext. 2066, or email

Still have questions?

Contact us at or 574-202-2781.

Making a Referral

This 12-minute video gives step by step instructions on how Elkhart County PFC partner organizations can refer a child/youth to the program. 

PFC Partner Resources

PFC Referral Quick Reference

This 2-page printable pdf will guide you through the process to refer a child/family to PFC.

PFC Referral Form

This 1-page referral form can be downloaded as a Word document and filled in electronically. 

Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)

The SDQ is a 25 item, free screening tool that gives us important information about how a child/youth is doing with their emotions and behavior and what strengths can be built upon.

PFC Flyer (English)

A flyer in English to share with parents and caregivers when explaining PFC to them.

PFC Flyer (Spanish)

A flyer in Spanish to share with parents and caregivers when explaining PFC to them.

Monthly Foundational Trainings

A printable 6-month guide to the PFC Partner Monthly Foundational trainings.

Training Catalog

A full list of all the trainings available through The SOURCE.

PFC Poster

A printable 8.5 x 11 inch poster that describes the PFC basics.

PFC Partner Monthly Foundational Trainings

PFC Partners have access to monthly trainings on children’s mental health. Trainings are sponsored by The SOURCE and PFC as part of Oaklawn. 

ACE Interface

January 14, 2021 from 10:00 am to Noon

During this ACE Interface 2-hour presentation, you’ll learn 1) more about the ACE Study, 2) the impact of stress on the brain and nervous system and how that affects a person over the course of their life AND 3) ways to encourage and promote resilience in youth and adults so together we can create a healthier community. Attendees will be able to earn 2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Amy Seipel is the Operations Coordinator for our team the SOURCE. Amy is also a licensed clinical social worker with a degree from Western Michigan University and with over 15 years’ experience in the behavioral health field. Amy used play therapy for the focus of her clinical work with children. Amy is an ACE interface Master Trainer from Beacon Community Impacts 2019 cohort. 

The Use of Trust-Based Relational Intervention Principles to Build Resilience

February 11, 2020 from 10:00 am to Noon

TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection. 

“When you connect to the heart of a child, everything is possible.” – Dr. Karyn Purvis

Participants will 1) understand Adverse Childhood Experiences and how they affect brain development and feelings of “felt-safety”, 2) learn how the application of TBRI builds trust, encourages healing, and leads to better behaviors, 3) learn different tools and techniques to correct behavior while simultaneously building trust.

Matt Borst is the co-founder and Executive Director of Village to Village Intl. He and his wife Stacey have been married for 22 years and have five kids ages 10 to 20. They have been through two adoptions. Before starting Village to Village Intl., Matt worked with teens in IA for 9 years, and taught ESL at a refugee resettling agency in Chicago for five years. Matt is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Village to Village, parent coaching for foster and adoptive parents, and facilitating other TBRI trainings. Matt has also been a CASA for over 5 years in Elkhart County. One of his favorite quotes is from Dr. Karyn Purvis, “Tell your children, ‘you are precious, you are valuable, and nobody else is created like you.’”

Anthony Troyer came on staff with Village to Village, Intl in 2018.  He was a teacher and administrator at The Crossing Educational Center previously.  He and his wife were foster parents for 5 years, and they are just about to complete their 3rd adoption.  His responsibilities with Village To Village include TBRI trainings, parent coaching, and developing TBRI lesson plans for teachers.  He will graduate with his MSW in 2022 and he plans on becoming a therapist for foster/adoptive youth and their families.

Verbal De-escalation

March 11, 2020 from 10:00 am to Noon

Verbal de-escalation teachers practical ways to prevent a crisis before it begins and provides the current objectives. 1.) Learn how to read your own precipitating factors that influence your behavior and how to calm yourself during a potential crisis. 2.) Learn to Identify what message others are sending and the why behind there behavior so you can respond to their message and need, not their behavior. 3.) Learn three de-escalation skills to talk people down from escalating by role playing real life scenarios and applying skills learned in the training. Attendees will be able to earn 2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Darial Sterling is the SOURCE’s behavioral health equity specialist. In his role Darial works with individuals and organizations to help develop systems to reduce behavioral health disparities among minority youth who struggle with mental health challenges. Darial has a Bachelor of Psychology from Ball State and over 12 years of behavioral health experience. Darial works to build equitable and culturally responsive systems and understanding across the county and is has recently been appointed co-chair of Oaklawn’s new Diversity, Equity and Integrity Committee.

Children’s Mental Health Trainings Videos

Teen Mental Health & Wellness: Managing Stress

15 minute view

Returning to Calm After Big Feelings: Self-Regulation for Children 

14 minute view

Building Connections through Play

17 minute view


Developing Empathy in Children

8 minute view

Trauma Informed Environment for Children

14 minute view

The Source • Youth Mental Health Network


If you or your child need help or have questions, check out our list of community resources and remember,


For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 1-800-273-8255 or text the word ‘home’ to 741741 for Crisis Text Line.


For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 1-800-273-8255 or text the word ‘home’ to 741741 for Crisis Text Line.


Thank you for messaging us

We do not monitor these messages 24/7, so if this is an emergency and you need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

If you need someone to talk to, text “Help” to 741741, or call 1-800-273-8255.