The goal of Child Welfare is to prevent children from be placed in Foster Care. Child Welfare Caseworkers assist families in need of service provisions. The provide assessments, referrals, and case management. They work with families through the Family Court process. If a child has been place in foster care, they work with the families to overcome barriers that prevent a child from returning home.
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and we invite you to join us in raising awareness for this year’s theme: “Thriving Children and Families: Prevention With Purpose.” This month and throughout the year, Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Cattaraugus County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.
Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. The six protective factors are:
- Nurturing and attachment
- Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Concrete supports for parents
- Social and emotional developmental well-being
April is time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and together we can end child abuse. Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.
Please join the Department of Social Services, Child Advocacy Center, Parent Education Program, Community Services, Cattaraugus County Health Department, Cattaraugus County Community Action, Cares Inc., Probation and the Seneca Nation of Indians and wear blue on April 16 for National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
You can find resources for parents and caregivers at: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/promoting/protectfactors/protective-factors-toolkit/
Non-Parent Caregivers (Grandparents, Other Relatives, Friends) Caring for Children
Non-parent caregivers, who are caring for children without a parent living in their home, may be eligible for Temporary Assistance. Temporary Assistance for children not living with a parent is often referred to as “non-parent caregiver” or “child-only” grants, and includes Medical Assistance (MA). If the non-parent caregiver wants assistance only for the children, the non-parent caregiver’s income is not used to determine eligibility and there are no Temporary Assistance work requirements for the non-parent caregiver. Non-parent caregivers may apply for temporary assistance at their local social services office.
In addition to financial assistance, non-parent caregivers (also called kinship caregivers) often have a need for information and assistance related to food stamps, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), custody, guardianship, foster care, adoption, schooling, school enrollment, and other forms of assistance such as child care, social security, respite, case management and service programs.
For information about services and assistance programs please visit the following websites:
- www.nysnavigator.org - The NYS Kinship Navigator’s website offers legal fact sheets, state and local kinship resources, and other information. In addition, the Navigator operates a toll free phone line at 1-877-454- 6463. Kinship Specialists are available from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. A message may be left during non-business hours and calls will be returned when business hours resume.
- http://otda.ny.gov/programs/ - The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).
- www.mybenefits.ny.gov - MyBenefits is an online tool to help you learn about eligibility for financial assistance and other benefit programs. A simple, 10-minute prescreening from any computer with Internet access at any time, determines whether you are likely to qualify for Food Stamps, HEAP, the Earned Income Tax Credit, child dependent care credits, school lunch and other programs.
- http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/kinship/default.asp - The NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) provides contact information and links to the Kinship Caregiver Programs funded through OCFS, as well as a variety of resources for families and staff, including the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP), a subsidy program available to kinship caregivers who are foster parents.
Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services and Office for the Aging are also resources for information on kinship care.