The Cortland County Placement Diversion Program provides comprehensive home-based intervention services to families who have children that are at risk of out-of-home placement. The primary purpose of the program is to identify and intervene in the patterns of family behavior which may have resulted in a PINS petition, Family Court involvement or Preventive Services. Program staff work with families and other service providers to remove the risks to placement and provide the supports that families need in maintaining long-term stability.
Families in Cortland County are eligible for the program when they have a child who has not yet reached their 19th birthday and are determined to be at risk for detention or institutional level of placement due to either being the subject of a PINS petition, begin the subject of JD charges, having needs for supervision that cannot be met by the child's caretaker without the aid of intensive services, or because the child has been in out-of-home care and risks re-placement due to reoccurrence of problem behavior. The family must demonstrate an interest and capacity to benefit from intensive home-based services.
Families are referred to the program by either the Cortland County Department of Social Services or the Cortland County Department of Probation. Once a family has been referred for services, they are contacted for a pre-admission assessment by one of the program's therapists to determine whether these services can meet the family's needs. Because services are voluntary, the family can decide if the services available would meet their needs.
Prior to admission into the program, the child's DSS caseworker, probation officer, school teacher/principal and previous service providers are also contacted to provide relevant history and a current status report.
A formal determination for admission is made between the family and Liberty Resources service provider. Once a family is admitted into the program, a preventive services case is opened with DSS (if one is not already open).