Kin Caregiver or Adoptive Family?
The New York City Family Permanency Center
Contact: Delia Caban, 212-475-0222, ext. 214
The New York City Family Permanency Center serves adoptive families, families in the process of adopting children from the New York City foster care system, and kinship care-giving families. All services are available in English and in Spanish to eligible families living in the five boroughs of New York City, and include:
- crisis intervention and information through COAC’s telephone Warm Line
- individual and family counseling in the home, in the community and at the COAC office
- referrals for mental health services
- linkage and coordination with other needed services in the community
- coordination with COAC’s legal services for families affected by HIV/AIDS
- support groups and educational workshops for parents and caregivers and for youth
- recreational and cultural group activities for families and youth
- referrals for youth to mentoring, tutoring and employment programs
All services are available Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, and as needed beyond regular business hours in response to crisis situations and for some group activities.
The New York City Family Permanency Center serves as a clearinghouse for information on services for adoptive families and kinship caregivers, helps families identify the services that will benefit them, makes the necessary referrals and ensures follow up. To increase the number of New York City’s clinicians with knowledge and understanding of foster care, adoption and kinship care-giving issues, the Center is also available to provide consultation to mental health professionals in the community.
Information and Referrals
Kinship care-giving and adoptive families benefit from support services from professionals who recognize the uniqueness of their circumstances. To help families address their needs and prevent family dissolution, the New York City Family Permanency Center provides information on available services in their communities, helps families identify the services that will benefit them the most, makes the necessary referrals and ensures follow-up.
In crisis? Call the warm line
Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Warm Line provides counseling to families via the telephone. During a family crisis, distressed parents and children can call for counseling and emotional support.
CRISIS INTERVENTION SERVICES
Crisis intervention is available for adoptive and kinship care-giving families. Experienced professional social workers engage with the family to provide immediate support, help defuse stressful situations, and develop longer range problem-solving techniques. Crisis intervention is available through in-home family and individual counseling, as well as at the COAC office and via the Warm Line.
In addition, families interested in ongoing therapeutic counseling are referred to appropriate community agencies and clinicians from the Permanency Center’s network of collaborating service providers.
SUPPORT GROUPS FOR PARENTS AND YOUTH
Parent Support Groups
Parent Support Groups are the cornerstone of the Family Permanency Center’s services. These groups help adoptive and kinship care-giving parents cope with the unique developmental and psychological issues that they and their children face. The groups provide peer support, in a safe and confidential setting, that enables families to learn from one another’s strengths, values and resources. On-site babysitting is available during Parent Support Groups, and whenever possible children are constructively engaged in art and interactive activities utilizing a variety of media.
Groups are culturally relevant, flexible, and driven by parent need. Some of the topics that have been offered include: Help! Understanding the Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD); Educational Workshop: Navigating the School System; Loss and Grief; Working Through the Difficulties; and The Kinship Cycle: When Grandma or a Relative Becomes ‘Mommy.’
Youth Support Groups
Youth Support Groups allow young people to interact and openly discuss common issues with others who are adopted, or being raised by kin other than their birth parents, in a safe and confidential setting. The support groups provide a venue for peer support as well as a channel of communication. The Youth Services Coordinator helps group participants understand the feelings that their families, and even they themselves, may have difficulty acknowledging. A variety of media, such as topical movies, is utilized to stimulate discussion. The youth support groups also periodically offer recreational and cultural enrichment activities and outings. Topics offered include: Internet Safety: What the World Shouldn't Know About You; Conflict Resolution: How to Deal with Anger and Stress; College and Career Exploration: Preparing for the Future; Self-Esteem & Body Image: I'm Amazing Just the Way I Am!
Parent-and-Youth Support Groups provide a safe forum for resolving conflicts that may have escalated at home, allowing parents and youth to communicate their feelings in a safe and non-judgmental environment. The groups help enhance participants’ communication skills and allow them to discuss sensitive issues effectively. Parent-and-Youth Support Groups feature flexible sessions with an emphasis on therapeutic sharing of experiences and concerns.