Family & Children's
Services & CPS Units
Our purpose is to empower families to become self-sufficient
while ensuring child safety and family preservation.
The purpose of Preventive Services is to prevent out-of-home placements of
children. Families work with
Preventive Services on a voluntary basis or services can be court ordered
through Family Court. A Caseworker
is assigned to the family and conducts an assessment to identify service needs
and to create a service plan. Caseworkers
work with families to put specific services in place to address the identified
issues. The Department has a
specialized Caseworker dedicated to working with single adults, pregnant and/or
parenting teens and families who present as homeless in order to assist with
obtaining permanent housing and in order to ensure the needs of their children
Foster Care Services
Foster Care is a temporary living situation for children who would be unsafe
due to their caretakers or their own behavior if they remained in their
family homes. Every effort is made
to implement a safe plan that permits the child to remain in the home or with a
relative before a foster care placement is considered.
The agency certifies local families to foster children in need of a safe
home. When the needs of children are
too challenging to be met in a foster home, children are placed in therapeutic
foster homes, group homes or residential centers operated by private agencies.
Caseworkers engage families and children to implement plans to move toward
reunification or other permanency.
Elmcrest Family Support
Program The Elmcrest Family
Support Program provides services to children in foster care and their families
which are designed to protect children, reduce trauma, engage families and
provide a discharge/permanency plan that can be achieved in the shortest amount
of time possible. The success of
this model rests in the ability of Cortland County DSS and Elmcrest to develop
and maintain a partnership that has a shared focus and commitment for the best
outcomes for children. An
important part of the program is to have specific foster homes that can provide
care and services to children first entering foster care.
These homes are available to accept children 24 hours a day/ 365 days a
year, are highly flexible, and are open to having multiple appointments during
PINS (Persons In Need of Supervision) Diversion
Services Probation and a DSS Senior Caseworker
collaborate to provide PINS Diversion Services.
Prior to a case being opened, parents who come to the PINS Diversion
Office to file a PINS complaint must attend a Pre-PINS Parent Orientation
session. Here the parent learns
about PINS Diversion services, the requirements for the program and what other
services are available in the community. Respite
Services for up to 21 days can be provided to families as an alternative to
actual foster care placement when a brief separation between the youth and
parent is necessary.
Adoption Services for the Department are provided through a contract with
Catholic Charities of Cortland County. Once
a child is legally freed for adoption, the childs case is transferred to the
Adoption Caseworker. The Caseworker
is responsible for working with potential adoptive families, law guardians,
attorneys, family and surrogate courts as well as various service providers.
When a family is ready to adopt a child and paperwork is completed, the
familys attorney prepares a petition for adoption that is filed in Surrogate
Court. The matter is then scheduled
in Surrogate Court for Finalization.
Child Protective Services
CPS reports are received locally from the State Central Registry (SCR)
through the Connections computer system. The
Department is mandated to investigate them and to assess the safety of all the
children in the household within 24 hours. This
service is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Department has 60 days to complete an investigation.
If there is some credible evidence found to support the allegations of
the report, then the report is indicated. An
indicated report will stay on file in the system until the youngest child in the
household is 28 years of age. In
certain circumstances, the Department ensures childrens safety by putting
preventive measures in place or by making referrals for families who need some
assistance. In more serious
situations, the Department is legally bound to remove a child from the household
and initiate family court proceedings. This
is always a last resort and staff work diligently to engage the family in safety
planning to prevent a removal. If
there is no credible evidence to support the allegations, then the report is
determined to be unfounded and is sealed and retained for 10 years after receipt
of the report.
provide families and children experiencing multiple and complex needs with a
strength based, community system of care that exists to improve the well-being
of youth and families in their homes, their schools, and their community.
Coordinated Children's Services Initiative (CCSI) -
CCSI works to ensure that families are supported in
staying together and that children with emotional and behavioral challenges
remain at home and in their communities. CCSI in an innovative approach to
working with families who need the help of a variety of service systems. CCSI
brings families and service providers in their community together to create a
coordinated, comprehensive and strength-based family plan that utilizes multiple
Parker - Director of Services
Lockwood - Director of Services
Alexander Sr. Case Aide
Centolella Case Aide
Starr Lacey Case Aide
Dohanich Case Aide
Care/ Preventive Services
Allison Veintimilla -
Grade B Supervisor
Maureen Spann -
Grade B Supervisor
Jen Hammond Sr.
Rochelle Crane Sr. Caseworker
MaryGail Archer Sr.
Colleen Thomas Caseworker
Christina Slater Caseworker
Maureen Roberts Caseworker
Tammy McCall Grade B
Kwak Grade B Supervisor
Amanda Rainbow Sr. Caseworker
Jaime Reed Caseworker
Linda Stock Caseworker
Bruce Rogers Caseworker
Renee Weeks Adoption
Caseworker (Catholic Charities)
Paula Williams Caseworker
Katrina Cranston Case
Vacant - Caseworker
Livia Hamilton Community Services Worker
Edwards Community Services Worker
Colin Cummins - Grade B
Marie Rook Sr.
Jodi Griffin - Caseworker
Andrea Sears Sr.
Rebecca Petrie Caseworker
Jordan Perkins Sr.
Hugh Reed Caseworker
Ann-Marie Natale Caseworker
Bethanne Barber Caseworker
Nicole Koekebacker Caseworker
Shannon Seaward Caseworker
Danielle Wooldridge Case Aide
Driscoll Grade B Supervisor
Johnson Case Aide
Shannon Westmoreland Case Aide
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