Social Services – Children and Family Services


The Children and Family Services Division has responsibility for adults, children, and family services (other than financial and medical support) designed to keep families together and to protect children and adults from abuse and exploitation.

Services provided include:

    • Child Protective Services
    • Child Preventive Services
    • Foster Care
    • Foster Parent Recruitment
    • Adoption and Adoption Subsidies
    • Adult Protective Services
    • Guardianships
    • Residential Placement-Adults
    • Personal Care
    • Family Type Homes for Adults
    Child Protective Services are provided to families with children under 18. Investigations are conducted by casework staff after a report of alleged child abuse or maltreatment at the hands of a parent or caretaker has been made and accepted by the New York State Central Register. Caseworkers investigate the reports and have 60 days to make a determination as to the abuse or maltreatment allegations. Caseworkers arrange for, monitor, and work with the family to assure that appropriate rehabilitative services are in place to assist the family during this time of need. Such services may include counseling, parent education, and transportation to name a few.To report a child abuse/maltreatment situation you need to call the Child Protective Services Hotline at 1-800-342-3720.

    Child Preventive Services are supportive and rehabilitative services that are provided to children and families in order to preserve family functioning. The goal of Child Preventive Services is to intervene at the earliest possible time in order to prevent the child(ren) from entering either the foster care or the juvenile justice system.

    To receive child preventive services there must be a:

    • Concern regarding the health and safety of a child
    • Child service need
    • Child at risk of placement outside the home.

    Services that may be offered to clients include:

    • Casework counseling
    • Transportation
    • Education and referral
    • Mental health or drug/alcohol treatment
    • Parent education

    Foster Care provides children with a temporary home when it is necessary to remove a child from his or her home due to various reasons. Examples of reasons include: a child who is a victim of sexual abuse; a child who is considered neglected due to poor living conditions or the parent’s or caretaker’s failure to seek medical care for the child; behavior problems such as truancy, poor school attendance, and disruption in school; drug or alcohol abuse; and/or assault or delinquent behavior. Foster Care is provided at many different levels of care, which include family foster homes, group homes, or residential treatment centers. In an effort to reunite families, a variety of services are provided. Examples of such services include: casework counseling, transportation, education, mental health or drug/alcohol treatment, parent education.

    Foster Parent Recruitment Foster parents play an integral part in the provision of services to children in foster care. Their willingness to open their homes to children in care assures a safe, temporary, and loving home environment while allowing the children to maintain connections to their families and communities.

    Foster Parents most go through an initial training and certification process. The training is provided by staff of the department of social services. For further information as to how to become a foster parent, please call (518)295-8334.

    Adoption and Adoption Subsidies – Adoption services are provided through the agency’s Foster Care Unit in an effort to find adoptive homes for children in foster care who have been surrendered by their parents or whose parent’s parental rights have been terminated by the Family Court. Services and support are provided to the child, the birth family, and the adoptive parents.

    Adoption subsidies may be provided to children based on their handicapped or hard-to-place status. Subsidies are paid as maintenance for the adopted child’s living expenses and support. In many cases, children are also covered by medical subsidies through the Medicaid Program.

    Adult Protective Services are services provided to people 18 years of age or older, regardless of income, who meet all three of the following criteria:

    • physically and/or mentally impaired; AND
    • in need of protection from actual or threatened harm, neglect, or a hazardous situation due to the action or inaction of either themselves or other individuals; AND
    • who have no one willing or able to assist them responsibly.

Guardianships – Under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, the Court may appoint a guardian for a person if it has been determined that the appointment is necessary to provide for the personal and/or financial affairs of the person. At times it may be necessary for the Court to appoint the Commissioner of Social Services as such guardian.

Adult Residential Placement – Placement referrals are provided to those people 18 years of age or older, who are mentally and/or physically impaired, in need of a supervised living situation, and who meet specified income levels. The Department can assist clients that it works with to access a family type adult home, an adult home, or a nursing home placement.

Personal Care Services – Personal Care services are available to individuals receiving Medicaid who have medical needs in the home. The Department coordinates with the Schoharie County Public Health Department and home care agencies for client assessment and provision of aide services. Using a shared aide program, services at three senior citizen housing complexes in the county are provided.

Family Type Homes for Adults are adult care facilities established and operated for the purpose of providing long-term care and supervision to four or fewer adults. Family type adult homes provide the least restrictive community based alternative to institutional care. At the direction of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, agency staff perform recruitment, inspection, and investigation of unlicensed homes and on-going inspection of the certified homes in Schoharie County.