At ICAN, we utilize an Independent Practice Association (IPA) for many of our services and programs.
The IPA is a network of contracted partner agencies who provide supportive services, including (but not limited to) behavior management, clinical services, substance abuse, mentoring and peer supports to the community. These services are provided on a fee-for-service basis through contracts developed between the IPA and ICAN.
Erica grew up in Utica, graduating from Proctor High School. She remembers having classmates who were residents in area group homes and after doing some volunteering in after school programs, it really opened her eyes to what her peers were going through. It drew her after graduation to work at a local non-profit for many years and her love of human services was officially sparked.
She started provider work in 2005 with Kids Oneida (ICAN’s former name) under Grassroots Family Assistance. Now through our Independent Practice Association (IPA), she is Behavioral Specialist and she also works full time at our ARCHES program at Herkimer BOCES through the IPA.
In 2011, Erica started Marleau Family Services and found that provider work gave her a lot of flexibility with her family schedule. Her first son was only six months old when she applied for her first contract and she found she could manage her work schedule along with her husband’s and they avoided needing to put their son in day care.
In 2017, Erica joined forces with Sonya Piersma (her best friend since high school) and rebranded to M&P Community Services. M&P focus on children and they offer mentoring, behavioral management, individual and family therapy and psychosocial rehabilitation.
In all, they have 23 employees who are mostly part time, with a couple full time. Most are social workers, behavior managers and Other Licensed Practitioners. They have office space in New Hartford Plaza 5 and have begun holding therapeutic groups there. All M&P employees have access to the office space and the family room/rec space area.
She enjoys working with the IPA because of the support providers get from ICAN - the director is always willing and ready to be there for them. Training support is helpful and ICAN assists in always leading them in the right direction.
The most rewarding part of her job is when she sees a student/client feel like they have some control over their own behavior and they get their power back.
FUN FACTS ABOUT ERICA:
• She has two sons, ages 11 and 9
• She’s a huge fan of The Office and probably can recite every episode
• She really loves lizards and is working on talking her husband into talking getting one
• Their favorite thing to do as family is to have movie nights - they are super into Marvel
• Bulldog named Thor (see last bullet!!)
Definition of Services
Throughout the scope of our services and programs that we offer and describe on this website, deeper definitions and explanations are required in some cases.
Join the IPA
Any Agencies, Municipalities, Private Practices, School Districts or Managed Care Organizations interested in utilizing our services provided through our IPA for their consumer needs should fill out and submit the form below, or contact our Director of IPA Operations Geoff Stewart at (315) 731-2623. Individuals, agencies and private practices can also join our IPA as a provider of services!
Christine grew up in the Bronx and came to Utica for college. Always wanting to pursue something in the area of law, she received a degree in criminal justice from Mohawk Valley Community College and studied sociology with a minor in crime at SUNY IT (now SUNY Polytechnic Institute). Being Hispanic, she was also driven to represent her heritage and also to fight for the under represented.
She is now an Oneida County Probation Officer. She started her career working with kids in that position, and now focuses on adults.
Christine started mentoring through ICAN’s IPA Network well over a decade ago with Oneida Youth Inc. under David Organisciak.
She welcomes the “hard” cases and has a tremendous success rate with her clients. She deals with the kids on their level and goes in acknowledging that each one is different and comes from a unique background and experience. She may spend a half an hour to a whole day with mentees, and anywhere from three months to many years. She is the self-proclaimed “Queen of Free” and finds an amazing array of activities and experiences to do with those she works with. Those free outings can spur new interests, and be things the youth may do again with their families on their own time, strengthening bonds and spending quality time together.
Christine’s grandmother taught her that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. She believes you can truly make a difference in a person’s life.
The stand out mentoring moments to her are the ones working with youth who start off with her with distrust and even combativeness. After showing support, consistency and care to them, they open up and feel like they are part of your family. She always tells the youth she works with that even after their official time together comes to an end, they can always pick up the phone and call her. And they do. She has a no-nonsense approach to life and her work that proves to be magnetic to so many.
In addition to mentoring, Christine has also worked with ICAN in other capacities, including teaching a cooking group and life skills classes, and is on call for our After Hours Crisis Line to assist with behavior management challenges via phone or in person. She enjoys working with ICAN because they value their employees as well as their contracted employees and the culture truly revolves around family, in ALL aspects.
Christine has two children – a 32-year old daughter who lives in Watertown with her family and a 35-year old son who lives in Japan with his family and her two granddaughters. She loves to cook, is very spiritual and she loves to play pool. Fun fact: she was crowned best female pool player in the area in 1995!
Tom is a social worker at Utica City School District at Jefferson Elementary, is the owner of Joslyn Enterprises, LLC and a provider in ICAN’s IPA network.
He was born in Rome, grew up in Utica, graduated from Utica Free Academy and attended local colleges: Mohawk Valley Community College for a degree in criminal justice, Utica College (now University) for a degree in Psychology and then University of Albany for his degree in Social Work.
An interest in social work was sparked in him when he was just a kid and he met someone who became very influential in his life in sports. He was a family friend and he was a social worker, so Tom got a chance to see that work in action firsthand.
Tom’s career has led him to work for other local non-profit agencies and Oneida County Child Protective Services. He left social work for a while and was a Financial Advisor for American Express, but was drawn back to it in the mid 2000s and was back in the school district in 2013.
Tom shares that social work is a challenging career. No two situations are alike and it’s extremely difficult to schedule your day because you never know what will arise. His approach is that everybody matters and working in this space allows you to make the world a better place – sometimes with small moves forward and other times with huge breakthroughs.
He has a strong sensitivity for families and individuals who are striving to do better in their lives, who are taking opportunities to break cycles and are seeking positive change for themselves and those around them.
He has been working with ICAN since 2009 (when we were Kids Oneida) when he started Joslyn Enterprises, LLC, which today has 12 employees. Some who work with him are full time and others are part time while working during the day as social workers themselves, teachers, school principals and more. The need is great and the work is endless! His team provides all of the services of ICAN – therapy, behavioral management, mentoring and more – to individuals and families. Tom himself focuses on working with boys and young men, but his team has males and females to successfully work with a wide array of clients. Joslyn Enterprises covers a large geographic area and work with clients in Oneida, Herkimer and Madison Counties.
He and fellow IPA provider Dave Calhoun have led supportive work groups with ICAN – a program that gives young adults the opportunity to learn on the job training, socialization and soft skills to be better prepared for the competitive work force. They took part in intergeneration clean ups and other community-based work and the kids loved it. There is hope to get these groups going again once it is safe to do so post-Covid.
Tom enjoys working alongside ICAN because the agency is passionate about community involvement and supporting families. ICAN provides referrals of clients and back office support, which helps individual IPA agencies work more efficiently giving them more time to work directly with clients.
For those considering becoming part of the IPA network or exploring mentoring, Tom will tell you it’s worth it. His opening line is most often, “How would you feel about yourself, if you could make a life-changing and positive difference in a child’s life?” The kids are going to look up to you, you will become close with them and you will be a positive role model in their lives. You will be proud of the work you do with kids and you will be given the opportunity to make change.
Some fun facts about Tom:
- He has three adult children, ages 31, 25 and 20
- He is a longtime ice hockey coach, officiates high school and college hockey and has played in men’s leagues
- He is a lover of the outdoors: hunting, fishing, kayaking, snowmobiling and more
- He loves winter!