The CCDSS Preventive Unit provides supportive and rehabilitative services to children and youth (birth to 18) as well as their families for: preventing the need for foster care placement; enabling a child who is currently in foster care to return home sooner than would otherwise be possible; and reducing the risk that a child who has been discharged from foster care will return to foster care. Referrals come to the Preventive Unit from Child Protective Services as well as individuals or outside community agencies such as schools and mental health agencies. Applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible for mandated preventive services. The Preventive Unit also receives referrals for the Columbia County and families to avoid further involvement with the juvenile justice system. Community-based services are often recommended to youth and their families to assist them in completing the PINS-diversion program successfully. These services are often provided in conjunction with voluntary agencies such as Berkshire Farms Center and Services for Youth and Northeast Parent and Child Society. These agencies also provide intensive home-based case management services for families at risk of having their children placed in foster care and provide coordination of services to children and youth with behavioral concerns that put them at risk of out of home placement. Some of these services include:
Case management/case planning
Healthy Families NY
Parent aide/Parent training
Crisis respite care and services for families
Substance abuse services
The CCDSS Prevention Unit is also an active member of the Columbia County Intensive Prevention Network (IPN), a team of county agency representatives who meet monthly to identify and discuss children and youth at high risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. The IPN team also uses this opportunity to share information about upcoming community events and provide updates and services available to the youth and families of Columbia County.
For more information contact the Preventive Services Unit of Columbia County DSS at 518-828-9411.