New Program Helps Seniors Build Skills for Self-Sufficiency, Lead More Active and Rewarding Lives

Seniors have a new resource to help them retain their independence, increase social interaction, and improve quality of life. Family Service Agency (FSA) has launched the innovative Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) to enhance older adults’ well-being. PEARLS aims to empower individuals with the skills and tools they need to thrive. PEARLS is free to Santa Barbara County residents 60 and older and is operated by FSA, which includes the Santa Maria Valley Youth & Family Center, and the Little House by the Park.

The program focuses on helping participants increase successful problem-solving, enabling them to approach life’s difficulties with greater confidence and effectiveness. PEARLS offers personalized support, allowing participants to work with trained professionals (coaches) who tailor their guidance to the senior’s unique needs and circumstances. Conversations take place in an older adult’s home or a community-based setting that is more accessible and comfortable for the senior. PEARLS also allows for coordination with their current health care providers where appropriate.

“Through one-by-one coaching, we help seniors address challenges they are experiencing. They make a problem list and we help them find solutions. That could be finding ways to increase social activity or connecting them to a community resource to help them access food,” said Megan Young, Senior Services Case Management Program Manager.

PEARLS is modeled after the original PEARLS program developed by the University of Washington. Funding is provided through a grant from the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC).

To learn more, visit Santa Barbara residents can call 805-928-1707 x4228.


Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County (FSA) is a nonprofit social service agency that has served the people of Santa Barbara County since 1899. Operating as Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center (SMVYFC) in Santa Maria and Little House By The Park (LHP) in Guadalupe, FSA helps the community’s most vulnerable children, families, and seniors meet their basic needs while simultaneously addressing mental health needs. Through this holistic approach, FSA improves the strength and well-being of our community. All services are provided free or on a sliding fee/donation scale and no one is denied assistance because of an inability to pay. Visit or call (805) 965-1001 for more information.


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