Q: ADVANCE is a fee-for-service program; can I receive services if I can’t afford to pay?
A: Yes. While client fees help support the operation of ADVANCE, we do not let a person’s lack of financial resources prevent them from being served. We offer an income-based sliding scale fee structure that allows many to pay what they can afford. Limited resources are available to assist those with no ability to pay.
Q: Do I have to be court-ordered to ADVANCE?
A: No. While many individuals are court-ordered to ADVANCE and/or have participation as a condition of probation or Accelerated Rehabilitative Dispostion (ARD), ADVANCE also accepts referrals from community partners like mental health programs, York County Office of Children, Youth & Families, etc. Those who want to seek services on their own can self-refer.
Q: Does ADVANCE serve people only in York County?
A: No. While ADVANCE is based in York County, our services and/or group sessions are available to those who are willing to come to us. Many clients come from other counties in the South Central PA region or from Northern Maryland.
Q: Is ADVANCE a program just for men?
A: No. ADVANCE is an educational resource for those who have been violent and/or abusive regardless of gender. Those interested in services for women should ask about Intervention Services for Women (Women Choosing Non-Violence).
Q: Does ADVANCE serve minors?
A: Yes. Our Intervention Services Passages program is designed to work with males ages 16-22 who have been abusive in dating or family relationship or who are referred because of sexual harassment. Minors can be referred to the Passages progam by courts, school staff, family, mental health providers or others. Our goal through the Passages program is to provide early intervention, confront thinking about masculinity and change behaviors.
Q: I didn’t hit or physically harm my partner; do I still need a program like ADVANCE?
A: Yes. ADVANCE addresses the concepts of power and control that exist in abusive relationships; controlling behavior is highly abusive. In addition, controlling behavior can lead to physical violence or be just as harmful. Coercion, verbal threats, intimidation and isolation are forms of abusive behavior that may not involve hitting. Not hitting doesn’t equal not being abusive.
Q: Can I get help from a program like ADVANCE without everybody “knowing my business”?
A: Yes, with some exceptions. ADVANCE provides its services in a discreet and confidential manner. However, individuals referred by the courts, probation officers and/or child welfare agencies are required to give ADVANCE consent to communicate with those agencies. Also, in order to ensure safety, ADVANCE participants are required to give the program consent to contact partners/victims.
Q: I was told to attend an “anger management” group; is that what ADVANCE is?
A: ADVANCE deals with the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to abuse/violence in relationships with intimate partners, children and/or family members. Many people, including courts and other professionals, may still refer to domestic abuse intervention as anger management. In addition to anger management, we teach skills to help individuals interact in a safe, non-abusive and non-threatening manner. You can call the ADVANCE program for an assessment that will determine if anger management, domestic abuse intervention or other services are appropriate.
Q: I attended ADVANCE before; do I have to start completely over?
A: When individuals reconnect with ADVANCE, they will meet with staff to determine if they need to start over. People and situations often change and change quickly. Through reassessment, we ensure that we are addressing new relationships and new safety concerns.
Q: Does ADVANCE provide marriage counseling?
A: Yes. ADVANCE provides counseling for some marriage problems, although we do not provide joint counseling. If there has been violence in the relationship, there will be a power differential that can interfere with coming together as equals to solve problems. Our recommendation is that couples do not attempt joint counseling until after each has had separate counseling.
Q: I think we can fix our relationship, if we communicate better and compromise; do I still need ADVANCE?
A: Yes. ADVANCE includes communication skills and conflict resolution skills, but also much more. We believe compromise has a limited usefulness in a relationship because it is based on each person giving up something. ADVANCE examines expectations about roles in relationships, addresses how to value what your partner brings to a relationship, and teaches how to use collaboration to build on each other’s strengths to resolve conflict.