Family and Child Service of Schenectady, Inc. is a private, non-sectarian, non-profit. It was established in 1930 as the initial project of the Junior League of Schenectady to help them gain admission to the National Association of Junior Leagues. The original mission was to help improve the quality of family life to families in distress within Schenectady. Over the years the mission has remained relatively constant although the programs have changed. Being considered a ‘small’ agency FCSS is better able to respond to the changing needs of the community with relevant programs. Although the name says Schenectady, our program services reach into the greater Capital Region. FCSS has consumers in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie Counties.
I. Homemaker Program (HMM): The HMM program operates and is regulated by the NYSDOH. The HMM program provides Homemaker services as defined by the “Personal Care Level I” definitions. The goal of this service is to help frail elderly and disabled maintain the hygiene of their personal living environment so they may maintain the dignity of remaining in their homes for as long as possible, deferring longer term residential placement. HMM services include light housekeeping, laundry, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, grocery shopping, meal preparation, cleaning bedrooms, etc. as defined by each clients care plan. This program receives referrals for HMM service from Schenectady County EISEP, SC Medicaid, and the Visiting Nurses Association of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties. The program also accepts ‘private pay’ clients.
II. Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC): FCSS’s MSC program operates and is regulated under the jurisdiction of the NYS OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, formally OMRDD). The philosophy of OPWDD’s is “person centered” services. The goal is to create opportunities for individual consumers to live enriched lives, as independently as possible within their communities. MSC is broadly considered ‘case management’ services. Each MSC has a caseload of approximately 30 or so consumers diagnosed with “pervasive developmental disability’. Most consumers have other physical and psychological diagnoses as well. Many of our consumers have inadequate financial resources and social supports. Each MSC is considered the consumers primary advocate. Together with the consumer they develop an individualized service plan (ISP) that reflects the needs, goals and aspirations of the individual consumer. The MSC then begins to coordinate services and resources to help the consumer realize the needs, goals and aspirations of their personal plan.
III. Family Support Services Program (FSS): The FSS program operates and is regulated under the jurisdiction of the NYS OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, formally OMRDD).
The FSS program has several components to it. They are: respite care; community habilitation; family grants; Integrated Behavioral and Family Intervention Program.
Respite Care: This service provides supervision to consumers with developmental disabilities in order for their primary caretaker to take a break from the stress of providing full time care to a dependant with special needs. Each consumer is assigned and is eligible for a number of hours of respite care to be used at the discretion of the consumer and their primary caregiver.
Community Habilitation: This service works with consumers with developmental disabilities on designated life skills to help improve their ability to function more independently. Each consumer has developmental and/or age appropriate goals that are tailored to their individual needs. A habilitation specialist works with the consumer and their family toward achieving those goals.
Family Grants Program: NYS OPWDD makes funding available to designated ‘voluntary’ agencies to distribute to families with developmentally disabled dependants. Families can make a formal request for goods and services on behalf of their developmentally disabled child for what they believe will enhance the quality of their dependant’s life. These may be goods and services they may not otherwise be able to afford. Each request is considered by the “Grants Review Committee” which involves the Program Director and volunteer parents of dependants of developmentally disabled consumers.
Integrated Behavioral and Family Therapy Intervention Program (IBFTIP): This service Is offered at the request of a consumer’s MSC. In situations when a consumer is showing signs of distress such as behavioral problems at home, in school or in the community, the service dispatches a behaviorist to work with the individual consumer and a family therapist to intervene with the family. The goal is to help the individual and families integrate their learning into more adaptive skills and mitigate dynamics that create and perpetuate family distress.
IV. Traumatic Brain Injury Program (TBI): FCSS’s TBI program operates and is regulated under the jurisdiction of the NYS DOH. The goal of this service is to create opportunities for individual that have acquired a traumatic brain injury to live enriched lives, as independently as possible within their communities. The role of the TBI Service Coordinator is broadly considered to provide ‘case management’ services. The TBI Service Coordinator has a caseload of consumers diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. Most consumers have other physical and psychological diagnoses as well. Many of our consumers have inadequate financial resources and social supports. The TBI Service Coordinator is considered the consumers primary advocate. Together with the consumer they develop an individualized service plan (ISP) that reflects the needs, goals and aspirations of the individual consumer. The TBI Service Coordinator then begins to coordinate services and resources to help the consumer realize the needs, goals and aspirations of their personal plan.
V. Counseling Program (CNS): The counseling program is the program area that is considered to be “unfunded”. This service provides traditional talk therapies to individuals, couples and families. Most service clients have private insurance. The Agency does provide a modified fee scale to those who are uninsured.