“Strengthen workers by building quality relationships, fostering open two-way communication, and providing the training, tools and resources to create empowered and effective professionals.”
7 Court Street
Belmont, NY 14813
Our Services division assists those who may be homeless, in need of food or clothing, or have various other types of emergency needs. We provide some emergency services directly, making referrals to other providers as required to meet the needs of the individual or family.
Vulnerable adults, both the elderly and those with disabilities, are sometimes abused or neglected by their caregivers or others. The Department of Social Services employs specially trained caseworkers to investigate and respond to reports of physical, emotional, or financial abuse and various types of neglect. Workers in this area are particularly sensitive to an adults’ right to make his own decisions, even when we do not agree with them. Except in rare instances, services are voluntary.
Reports of potential adult abuse are accepted at
Adult abuse can sometimes be prevented through the provision of services. Casework services are available for this purpose. Caseworkers generally make personal contacts with the potentially abused adult, family members, and other care providers. Referrals are frequently made for other needed services.
Financial Management Services
Some adults are not able to manage their personal finances. This may result in unnecessary eviction, utility shut off, hunger, or other problems. We provide direct financial management for these adults, paying their bills directly. Most are referred by the Social Security Administration, although self referrals and other referrals will be considered.
Drug and Alcohol Screening
Drug and alcohol screening and assessment are predominantly designed for recipients of financial or medical assistance from our Department. A Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor meets individually with referred adults to determine if an alcohol or substance problem will interfere with employment. If so, referrals are made to local agencies specializing in the treatment of these diseases. Participation in such treatment is required for continued receipt of benefits.
We make referrals to the local food pantry network for people with emergency food needs or those who do not qualify for food stamps. Comprised predominantly of churches, food pantries have limited storage space and generally provide canned and dry goods.
Emergency Food Pantries
Information and Referral
2-1-1 HELPLINE provides comprehensive information and referral services for Allegany County, connecting callers to available services, programs and volunteer opportunities throughout the region. Dial 2-1-1 (or 800.346.2211)
Caseworkers are available to assist anyone with unmet needs and are knowledgeable about services available in and around Allegany County. We are skilled at directing people to appropriate resources to assist with such issues as domestic violence, mental health, developmental disabilities, and landlord-tenant disputes, to name just a few.
Health-Related In Home Care
Personal Care Services
Adults with chronic illnesses or disabilities may require personal assistance in order to safely remain in their homes. Personal care services may provide help with such things as grocery shopping, meal preparation, cleaning, and bathing. Complete individual assessments are required prior to beginning services and periodically thereafter. Services are generally limited to several hours per week. People must have Medicaid to qualify for this service. Two types of services are possible: (1) traditional care, with a licensed agency sending in specially trained staff, and (2) consumer directed care, with the person needing services recruiting, hiring, training, and supervising the aides themselves.
Private Duty Nursing
Disabled adults or children may require the services of a private duty nurse in their homes in order to remain at home, or to assist family in the care of the disabled individual. Caseworkers assist those with Medicaid or certain Medicaid-waiver programs to acquire and authorize these services. Complete assessments are required prior to the onset of services and periodically thereafter.
Alternatives to Nursing Home Care
Many older or disabled adults prefer to remain in their homes instead of considering nursing home placement. In addition to providing more familiar surroundings and greater degrees of personal decision making, home-based care is usually substantially more cost effective than nursing home care. Through cooperation with the Allegany County Department of Health, we may provide access to skilled nurses who make regular home visits. The nurses provide a wide range of services in the home, including injections, dressing changes, and medication monitoring. Other services may also be available, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, respite, nutritionist services, and lifeline. Eligibility is based on insurance availability and need. Complete assessments are required prior to the onset of services and periodically thereafter.
Medicaid recipients often do not have access to a car to get to and from medical appointments. In these situations we can help you obtain medical services by arranging for transportation.
Medical transportation may be provided on fixed route buses, specially arranged buses, taxicabs, or from an ambulance company. Regardless of the type of vehicle, all medical transportation except for emergencies must be arranged in advance. This begins with a phone call to our medical transportation unit, proceeds to a confirmation phone call the day before the scheduled trip, and concludes when you return from the doctor’s office with documentation of the appointment. Medicaid recipients must follow our guidelines to access transportation services.
Some reimbursement is possible for recipients who drive themselves to appointments. Again, contact our medical transportation unit for more information.
Child Protective & Preventive Services
Reports of potential child abuse or neglect may be made by calling 800.342.3720.
Unfortunately, many American children are abused or neglected each year. The Department of Social Services maintains a team of highly skilled Child Protective Services (CPS) investigators who make personal visits to reportedly abusive or neglectful homes. Investigators interview parents, children, neighbors, school teachers, and others who have information. CPS works closely with the police in investigations of potential criminal actions.
Child Abuse Prevention Services
When our CPS unit finds actual or potential child abuse or neglect, the Department strives to prevent future problems by providing services to the family. Such services generally include home visits and parenting information and assistance, with specialized instruction or assistance in other areas provided as needed. Services are provided by trained caseworkers from the Department of Social Services and partner agencies.
For more information on child abuse, click on this link to the New York State Office of Child & Family Services.
Child Support Unit
Non-parent caregivers, who are caring for children without a parent living in their home, may be eligible for Temporary Assistance. Temporary Assistance for children not living with a parent is often referred to as “non-parent caregiver” or “child-only” grants, and includes Medical Assistance (MA). If the non-parent caregiver wants assistance only for the children, the non-parent caregiver’s income is not used to determine eligibility and there are no Temporary Assistance work requirements for the non-parent caregiver. Non-parent caregivers may apply for temporary assistance at their local social services office.
In addition to financial assistance, non-parent caregivers (also called kinship caregivers) often have a need for information and assistance related to SNAP, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), custody, guardianship, foster care, adoption, schooling, school enrollment, and other forms of assistance such as child care, social security, respite, case management and service programs.
For information about services and assistance programs please visit the following websites:
www.nysnavigator.org – The NYS Kinship Navigator’s website offers legal fact sheets, state and local kinship resources, and other information. In addition, the Navigator operates a toll free phone line at 1-877-454- 6463. Kinship Specialists are available from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. A message may be left during non-business hours and calls will be returned when business hours resume.
http://otda.ny.gov/programs/ – The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).
www.mybenefits.ny.gov – MyBenefits is an online tool to help you learn about eligibility for financial assistance and other benefit programs. A simple, 10-minute prescreening from any computer with Internet access at any time, determines whether you are likely to qualify for SNAP, HEAP, the Earned Income Tax Credit, child dependent care credits, school lunch and other programs.
http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/kinship/default.asp – The NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) provides contact information and links to the Kinship Caregiver Programs funded through OCFS, as well as a variety of resources for families and staff, including the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP), a subsidy program available to kinship caregivers who are foster parents.
Your local Social Services District (SSD) and local area Office for the Aging (OFA) are also resources for information on kinship care.