Juvenile Residential Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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What is the goal of the Family Advocacy Bureau?

The goal of the Family Advocacy Bureau is to help families with children in OCFS facilities. The focus of the Family Advocacy Bureau is on facilitating the successful reintegration of children released from OCFS facilities into their families and home communities. The Family Advocacy Bureau works with families to develop intervention plans that will address issues and concerns in the home so that the families are better able to provide for their children when they return home.

Can the Family Advocacy Bureau help families visit their children who are in OCFS facilities?

The Family Advocacy Bureau provides limited assistance to family members to enable the family to visit their child in placement, as a part of an overall intervention plan for the family. This limited assistance may include arranging for the facility to pick up the family at the bus or train station or other logistical or financial assistance.

Who are the Family Advocates?

Family Advocates are trained staff with a background in social work and experience in working with families. There are nine Advocates in various OCFS aftercare offices. These offices are located in NYC, the Capital District, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.

Are aftercare workers like parole officers?

Aftercare workers provide services similar to parole officers in that they supervise youth in the community who have been conditionally released from OCFS facilities. Like parole, if a youth on aftercare violates his or her conditions of release, the youth may be returned to an OCFS facility.

Why do youth go into aftercare supervision?

Aftercare helps the youth to successfully reintegrate into community living after facility placement and provides supervision throughout this adjustment. In addition, aftercare workers provide or arrange for youth to receive needed services such as counseling or substance abuse treatment.

Why do these youth return home, why not foster care?

It is always preferred to reunite youth and family and to provide assistance to the youth and his or her family to assist in a successful transition back home. Where it is not appropriate for a youth to return home, foster care or independent living are also options.

Who is the aftercare worker and supervisor in my county?

To find this out, call the Bureau of Aftercare Services located in the OCFS Central Office, Rensselaer, N.Y. at 518-474-1308.

How long are youth on aftercare?

The average period of aftercare is approximately 6 months.

Do schools have to enroll youth on aftercare who were released from an OCFS facility?

Yes, youth released from an OCFS facility on aftercare status are entitled to full access to public education.

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