Family Support Services

The Family Support Services Program provides outpatient therapeutic treatment to children and families involved with Tompkins County’s Department of Child and Family Services.

Children and adults who are involved with Tompkins County’s Department of Child and Family Services are eligible to receive individual and family therapy through the Family Support Services Program. In addition to therapy, the program therapists provide evaluations to Tompkins County’s Family Court regarding treatment and placement recommendations. Any individual or family involved with this child welfare system is eligible for these services.

The goal of this service is to promote higher levels of functioning for individuals and families that allow for children and families to live in safe and nurturing environments. If this is not possible, the program will assist the family in planning for permanency.

All referrals to this program come from DSS Caseworkers. Referrals can be in any phase of the child welfare process. This means that the program can receive a referral that comes as a result of a child protective investigation, as a result of a Family Court order for services, as a result of counseling needed in a preventive services case, as a result of a potential disruption in a foster care placement, or perhaps, to assist in the transition of a child into an adoptive family. Once a referral is received and assigned to a therapist, the individual and family will be seen at the Department of Social Services building in Ithaca, NY.

Tompkins County DSS contacted Liberty Resources in spring 2001 to discuss their various service needs, specifically the mental health needs of families and children involved with Child Welfare Services. After several needs assessment meetings, a proposal was developed to provide mental health counseling to families and youth who were opened for CPS, foster care preventive or for adoption services. This proposal was funded by Tompkins County in 2003 and program services began April 1, 2003.

Scope of Services

In addition to the completion of psychosocial assessments, the program supervisor will also act as a liaison and mental health presence at Tompkins County Family Treatment Court.