Office of Children and Family Services

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Programs and Services Pub. 4601

English PDF Pub. 4601 (119k) Also available in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.

Programs & Services
“…promoting the well-being
and safety of our children, families, and communities. …”

The mission of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is to promote the well-being and safety of the state’s children, families, and communities. OCFS achieves results by setting and enforcing policies, building partnerships, and funding and providing quality services.
   The agency came into existence in 1998 with the merging of the former Division for Youth, the family and children’s programs administered by the former Department of Social Services, and the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NYSCB).
   OCFS has numerous responsibilities related to the following areas: preventive services for children and families; domestic violence services; family support and preventive programs; foster care, adoption and adoption assistance; child protective services, including operating the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment; child care services; juvenile justice services; and preventive/protective programs for vulnerable adults. OCFS is also responsible for the functions performed by NYSCB, and coordinates state government responses to the needs of Native Americans on reservations and in communities.
   In the area of juvenile justice, the agency is responsible for the administration and management of specialized programs for juvenile delinquents and juvenile offenders. It operates residential facilities for youth placed in the custody of OCFS by criminal and family courts. OCFS also regulates juvenile detention facilities operated on behalf of localities.
   OCFS works closely with governmental subdivisions such as the local social services districts and county and municipal youth bureaus to offer youth development services and programs in local communities.
   New York has a state-supervised/locally administered social services system. OCFS has six regional offices that assist in the oversight of both local districts and voluntary agencies, and work with them to fulfill the mission of the agency.

Child Welfare and Child Protective Services
Adoption...OCFS administers the New York State Adoption Service (NYSAS), which approves legal and financial assistance for adoptions of children from foster care. In addition, NYSAS, in collaboration with the OCFS regional adoption specialists, reviews voluntary agencies applying to conduct adoption services in New York State.
Foster Care...Foster care in New York State is administered by a network of local social services districts and voluntary authorized agencies that are empowered by law to temporarily care for and place children who are unable to remain in their own homes, until a more permanent situation is arranged. OCFS is responsible for approving, inspecting, supervising, and monitoring these voluntary authorized agencies.
Statewide Central Register...OCFS maintains the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR), sometimes referred to as the “Child Abuse Hotline.” The SCR operates 24 hours a day and is responsible for handling phone calls from mandated reporters and the general public about suspected incidents of child abuse, neglect and maltreatment, and for referring subsequent Child Protective Services reports to the appropriate investigating agency for follow-up.
   Additionally, the SCR provides database checks of prospective employees of child care organizations and foster care agencies, prospective foster and adoptive parents, and others who come in contact with children.
Abandoned Infant Information Hotline…The hotline is available 24 hours a day to provide information about the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, which became New York State law in July 2000.
Family support and preventive programs… OCFS provides funding opportunities for provider agencies in communities. Programs range from primary prevention programming to services to prevent placement or support the provision of care close to the family and community. OCFS monitors performance and provides technical assistance.
Bridges to Health Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services Waiver… As of January 1, 2008, the waiver program enrolls eligible children in foster care and juvenile justice placements who are seriously disturbed emotionally, have cognitive or developmental disabilities, or are medically fragile. Once enrolled, these children receive additional services to support their health, development, and permanency goals.

Child Day Care Services
The provision of adequate child day care is essential to keeping New York families active in the labor force. OCFS supports a comprehensive system to make quality child care affordable and accessible in New York State. Under the Division of Child Care Services, the agency regulates and inspects child care providers, helps fund new child care programs, assists providers in improving the quality of care, helps families locate child care through a statewide network of resource and referral services, and oversees the provision of child day care subsidies to low-income families.

Domestic Violence Services
The state’s comprehensive response to domestic violence involves an array of state and local agencies working in collaboration. The primary roles of OCFS regarding domestic violence are: licensing residential programs for victims of domestic violence; establishing the per diem rate of reimbursement for these programs; and overseeing county planning regarding non-residential programs. Also, OCFS administers various funding; monitors and provides training and technical assistance to domestic violence programs; and coordinates implementation of a child protective services/domestic violence co-location model and strategy to improve outcomes for families impacted by both domestic violence and child abuse/maltreatment.

Preventive and Protective Services for Adults
The Bureau of Adult Services supervises and regulates local social services districts in their administration of Protective Services for Adults (PSA) and adult preventive services. PSA is a system of services to impaired adults, 18 years of age or older, who are abused, neglected or exploited by others, or who are neglecting their own needs. Preventive services are provided to impaired adults to support their ability to live in the community.
   The bureau oversees local social services districts’ inspection and supervision of family-type homes for adults, which are community-based, long-term residential care programs for up to four individuals.

Native American Services
OCFS is one of three state agencies (with the Department of Education and the Department of Health) charged with specific obligations to New York’s Native American population. It responds to the needs of Indian Nations and their members both on reservations and in the state’s other communities. Its broad responsibilities include: serving as liaison between state agencies and tribal groups; mediation with local social services districts; information and consultation to public and private agencies, educational institutions, and individuals; and social work and educational counseling. Also, Native American Services supports compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth
Juvenile Justice…OCFS operates juvenile residential facilities and group homes statewide for juvenile delinquents and juvenile offenders placed in the custody of OCFS by the criminal and family courts. The rehabilitative services provided to youth in residential care include counseling, health, education, and employment services as well as programs for youth with special needs. Through its Community Services Team (CST), the agency provides post-residential counseling and supervision for juvenile delinquents returning to the community. In addition, the CST helps their families identify and secure transition and ongoing services in the community.
Opportunities for Youth…OCFS is dedicated to positive development of children, youth, and families of New York State, and works closely with county and municipal youth bureaus so that local services are available to meet the needs of young people. In addition, OCFS provides technical assistance in designing and implementing workforce development programs for youth in New York State to help them become self-sufficient. OCFS develops partnerships with public and private sector agencies and organizations to enhance job opportunities for youth.

Services for Persons Who Are Legally Blind
The Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NYSCB) is responsible for the administration of rehabilitation services to residents of New York State who are legally blind.
   Through its district offices, NYSCB provides and arranges for the provision of rehabilitation services, including counseling and guidance, vocational skills training, job training and placement, mobility training, and independent living skills training.
   NYSCB also operates the Business Enterprise Program, which allows for qualified individuals who are legally blind to manage newsstands and food service facilities in government buildings.

New York State
Office of Children & Family Services
Capital View Office Park
52 Washington Street
Rensselaer, New York 12144
Visit our website at:
To report child abuse and maltreatment, call:
Mandated Reporters Hotline for child abuse and maltreatment reports:
For information on the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, call:
866.505.SAFE (7233)
For child and adult safety, foster care, and adoption information, call:
800.345.KIDS (5437)
To report a child care complaint, call:
For information on adult protective services, call:
800.342.3009 (dial 6)
For information about services for the blind, call:
866.871.6000 TDD
For information on Native American services, call:
For community service opportunities, call:
Pub. 4601 (Rev. 11/08)


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