Brief Services Program

The Brief Services Program, through a contractual agreement with the Erie County Office of Children & Youth provides services to divert families from the Child Welfare system. By providing this service to families whose children are not at risk of abuse and/or willful neglect, we are able to reduce the incidence of placement of children and to ensure the healthy growth and development of children in their own homes. The program targets at-risk, multiple-issue families and delivers an array of short term counseling, parent education, and concrete services over a period of time not to exceed three months.

The Brief Services workers carry a caseload of six families. Sessions are held at least twice a week but can occur on a more frequent basis should the need arise. The program’s goals are to keep the family together and to avoid unnecessary disruptions to family functioning. All services, including those of a therapeutic, psycho educational, and supportive nature, are utilized based on client needs and presenting circumstances.

Eligibility Criteria

  • There is no evidence of severe maltreatment.
  • There are no known risk factors that are not amenable to brief services.
  • The family is in crisis.
  • The primary presenting problem is unmet basic needs due to at least one of the following: lack of social support, poor budgeting, poor homemaking skills, poor decision making skills, and poor child care skills.
  • One adult family member is willing to work with intensive services.
  • Priority will be given to families that would likely be opened and/or children who would likely be placed even temporarily in OCY Intake without service.
  • Primarily, the OCY Intake worker makes referrals when the case is opened for evaluation.