Preventive Services

The Preventive Services program cares for families referred by the Erie County Department of Social Services who may be experiencing difficulties related to parenting, interpersonal problems, educational issues, alcoholism, drug abuse, family and/or community violence, or sexual abuse. In some cases, these difficulties may have put children at risk of foster care placement. In addition, expectant mothers and families with infants who may need a helping hand are assisted by the program.

The goal of the Preventive Services team is to preserve the family unit, avoiding placement of a child outside of the home. All Caseworkers work toward strengthening and stabilizing family units through a comprehensive, strength based and family-focused approach. The entire family unit is involved in the treatment plan.

Trained staff members help families learn to cope with everyday stresses and to build skills such as effective parenting, nutrition, budgeting/financial management, homemaking, appropriate health/hygiene and medical care management. 

The program also provides referrals to community services as needed. Staff members help to identify issues, stabilize them and then step away, allowing the members of the family to use what they have learned and function independently.

Our Goal is to Help Families Stay Together

To accomplish this, team members utilize a home-based approach, offering all of the following services:

  • Individual Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Instruction in Parenting Skills
  • Support with Everyday Stresses
  • Advocacy
  • Referral to Community Services
  • Psychological Consultation
  • Psychiatric Assessment

How Can a Family Access the Program?

All referrals must be certified as eligible for Preventive Services by the Erie County Department of Social Services. Once eligible, assistance is provided without regard to income.