Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence County Family Support Services

Family support programs provide an array of formal and informal services to support and empower families with children and adolescents who have serious emotional, intellectual, physical or developmental disabilities. These programs are designed to reduce family stress and enhance a family’s ability to care for their child. Family support programs operate on the principles of individualized care. We recognize every child and family is unique in their strengths and needs. By connecting families with children with disabilities, it helps each family identify their strengths and reduces feelings of isolation. Family support programs provide the following four core services: family/peer support; advocacy; skill building/educational opportunities; and family engagement activities.

All family support programs must reflect the following principles:

  • Decisions are based on family preference, choice and values.
  • Families are the primary resource and decision-makers.
  • Families have access to flexible, affordable, and individualized support services.
  • The family’s strengths are the foundation upon which all support is provided.
  • Support services are culturally, linguistically and geographically sensitive.
  • Family support services are affordable, well-coordinated, accessible and available to all families.

Child Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) Principles

Family Support Services follow the Child Adolescent Service System Program Principles. These principles focus on strengths and needs identified by the family.

CASSP Core Statements:

  • Children-centered services meet the individual needs of the child. These services take into consideration the child’s family and community contexts, and are developmentally appropriate, strength-based and child-specific.
  • Family-focused services recognize that family is the primary support system for children. The family participates as a full partner in all stages for the decision-making and treatment planning process.