Cortland Family Support Services

Family Support Services works with Cortland County DSS to provide the following:

Family Support Services (FSS)

This high-intensity program is designed to stabilize children who are placed in foster care, decrease the length of stay in foster care, and reduce disruptions of placement and recidivism. 

This program is designed as a collaboration between Elmcrest and the county and utilizes frequent and consistent visits, solution-focused therapy, and ongoing evaluation and assessment of the family’s needs and strengths.

As research shows, engagement in a high level of visits reduces trauma and builds resiliency for youth who are in care, and leads to a higher rate of reunification.  Further, contact with a social worker correlates to increased visitation attendance.  Focusing on these components and the collaboration with the county has resulted in a greater positive impact on the community.

Supported Care Programs (SCP)

SCP is an intensive, short-term intervention to stabilize community placement for youth transitioning from residential treatment or those at-risk of higher care. It targets both caregivers and youth, providing customized support plans based on their needs, including parenting skills, routines, and home structure.

Caregivers actively address biases and behaviors to foster a nurturing environment. Youth Support Plans tackle identified problematic behaviors, focusing on developing prosocial skills, effective communication, and healthy attachments.

Family Education Programming (FEP)

FEP provides visitation and parent education for families whose children are placed with a relative or other guardian, and for families transitioning out of the Family Support Program whose children remain in foster care.

Additionally, FEP was aimed at servicing families in the prevention of child removal and is designed to work with families whom the County identifies as being at risk of removal. The goal of this program is to utilize education and hand-over-hand techniques to equip parents with a conceptualized approach and targeted interventions aimed at behavior modification and support in their home environment. The Common Sense Parenting Model will be implement to further enhance the ability to achieve this goal.