New York State Office of Children and Family Services
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2010)|
|Office executive||Sheila J. Poole, acting Commissioner of Children and Family Services|
|Parent department||New York State Department of Family Assistance|
|Key documents||Social Services Law
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is an agency of the New York state government within the Department of Family Assistance. The office has its headquarters in the Capital View Office Park in Rensselaer.
OCFS was officially created on January 8, 1998 by merging the programs of the former state Division for Youth, the developmental and preventive children and family programs administered by the former state Department of Social Services, and the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.
OCFS has wide-ranging responsibilities for the provision of services to children, youth, families, and vulnerable adults. The agency is responsible for programs and services involving foster care, adoption, and adoption assistance; child protective services, including operating the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment; preventive services for children and families; child care and referral programs; and protective programs for vulnerable adults. Additionally, OCFS is responsible for the state’s juvenile justice programs, administering and managing residential facilities located across New York State for youth remanded to the agency’s custody by family and criminal courts. The agency also supports and monitors detention, aftercare, and a range of community-based programs. OCFS also coordinates, in part, the state government response to the needs of Native Americans and their children on reservations and in communities.
Prevention and rehabilitation efforts are joint ventures with local and county government, supported by federal, state, county, and municipal funds, as well as private contributions. OCFS provides technical and financial assistance to agencies involved in community youth programs and monitors activities of voluntary child-care and detention agencies in New York State.
The agency divides its responsibilities into two main areas: program and support. The program divisions/offices include:
- Division of Child Welfare and Community Services
- Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth
- Office of Juvenile Justice Oversight and Improvement
- Division of Child Care Services
- Commission for the Blind
The support divisions/offices include:
- Division of Administration
- Division of Legal Affairs
- Office of Communications
- Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Development
- Office of Special Investigations
- Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Development
- Office of the Ombudsman
OCFS has regional offices in Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, and Spring Valley. The Regional Offices help districts and agencies keep children safe, achieve permanency, and improve the quality of life for children and families. Regional offices provide "oversight" to local districts and voluntary agencies. The responsibility to provide oversight is defined as (1) assuring compliance with OCFS regulations, (2) reinforcing good practice standards, and (3) improving district/agency capacity to achieve positive outcomes for children and families.
- Executive Law § 500. "There is hereby continued in the department of family assistance an autonomous office of children and family services. The head of such office shall be the commissioner of children and family services, [...]"
- The Welfare Reform Act of 1997, Chap. 436 of the Laws of 1997, § 122. "(a) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contrary, effective April 1, 1997, the department of social services, as established by chapter 55 of the consolidated laws of the state of New York, is hereby renamed the department of family assistance. Within the department there shall be the following autonomous offices: (1) the office of children and family services; and (2) the office of temporary and disability assistance. (b) The head of the office of children and family services shall be the commissioner of children and family services and the head of the office of temporary and disability assistance shall be the commissioner of temporary and disability assistance. [...]"
- "Contact New York State Office of Children & Family Services." New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Retrieved on June 3, 2010. "Capital View Office Park 52 Washington Street Rensselaer, New York 12144-2834"
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.