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Albany one of four counties to get mobile response unit to serve families in crisis

May 31, 2022 12:45 am

Lauren Stanforth is reporting for the Times Union that the state has unveiled four mobile response units for use in Albany, Monroe, Onondaga, and Westchester counties to bring services to families in crisis. The units will satisfy requirements in the Family First Prevention Services Act, a 2018 federal law that allows states to use certain funds for prevention services that would allow children in danger of being removed from their homes to stay with their parents, relatives or caregivers. “The time is long overdue for our child protection system to move from a reactive approach where supports and services are offered to families only after they’ve had contact with the system to new approaches that encourage parents to seek help and receive assistance when they need it,” state Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said in a statement. The units resemble mobile command units on the outside, and a recreational vehicle inside, and are staffed with a licensed clinician, a behavioral health specialist, and a family and/or domestic violence advocate. The hope is that an explosive situation at home can be de-escalated before children enter the foster care system, or are moved to a different foster care placement. The state hopes to expand the program to additional counties in the future. Read the full story in the Times Union.