Family Care

The Family Care Program provides supportive and referral services to those families with minor children who are utilizing the following Erie County Shelters: Safe Horizons, Mercy Center for Women, Community Shelter, The Refuge, House Of Healing, and SafeNet.

The services provided to the families include:

  • Evaluation of the children’s overall development and adjustment to present situation.
  • Supportive services to the parent(s) by focusing on their present needs while gathering information related to their children and fostering parental strength.
  • Education services that provide information about community resources and, when appropriate, direct linkage to those resources that would immediately benefit the children or family.
  • Child care services four hours a day at each participating homeless provider.

While the program focus is the children, considerable time is utilized establishing a relationship with the parents. It is our belief that the parents have many strengths that may need to be directed and/or reinforced; therefore, we view the parental contact as an integral portion of our child advocacy.

Eligibility Criteria

All shelter residents with minor children are eligible for service. This is a voluntary program and family enrollment is dependent upon the parent’s willingness to meet with the Child Development Specialist.

The service is funded through the Erie County Office of Children and Youth. The program employs two workers, a Child Care Worker to provide four hours of child care per day and a Child Development Specialist to provide informal evaluations of the children’s overall development and adjustment to their present situation. Referral and community linkage is provided when appropriate.