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Placement Diversion Cortland

Division:
Child and Family Services


Location:
Cortland County Dept. of Social Services
Cortland, NY 13045


Description History Services Contact

Program Description 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).


Program History Placement Diversion Services in Cortland County were developed at the request of and in collaboration with the County Department of Social Services and the Cortland County Probation Department. It was developed with the goal of reducing long-term residential placements for children who are the subject of JD/PINS behaviors.

This program's development represents the agency's most recent expansion in Cortland County. These services also represent the third Placement Diversion program for the agency's Child & Family Services Division with the other two programs being in Madison and Chenango counties.


Scope of Services Once a family is admitted into PDS, an assessment is conducted to determine the family's strengths and current support system, and goals are developed to prevent placement. Family therapy is provided based on the identified goals. Sessions are provided within the family's home and include all members of the family. Case management services are provided to coordinate services with other providers and to provide support to families as needed. Individual counseling is available to children or parents based on the identified goals. After-hours crisis services are available to families between the hours of 5pm and 8:30am weekdays and 24 hours on weekends.

It is the belief within PDS that home is the best place for changes within the entire family system to occur. The program is interested in helping families remove the risks to placement rather than removing their child from the home. The program seeks to provide opportunities to families to experiment with how to do things differently. Completion of this process is not when a family has solved every problem, but rather when they have had sufficient practice and have developed support systems that allow them to feel confident about taking on the day-to-day challenges in their home.

Placement Diversion Services is staffed by three master's level therapists and a program supervisor. Opportunities for graduate level internships are available.


Contact Information
Adiel Gonzalez, LMSW
Program Supervisor 
Liberty Resources, Inc.
60 Central Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045 
(607) 756-3463 
agonzalez@liberty-resources.org  
 
Donna Carini, MS, MSW
Director, Family Services
Liberty Resources, Inc.
1045 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13203
(315) 425-1004, ext. 1232
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