The sector(s) of case management that I am most interested in and working toward in my degree is mental health and chemical dependency. Though other sectors of human services fall under both categories, my area of interest lies in counseling those who struggle with mental health issues and substance abuse. I feel strongly that I am called to work in this field and think that with all I learn through school as well as internships and my personal history within the system gives me a clear start in the field.
1. Tompkins County Department of Human Services- Human Services Building, 320 West Martin Luther King, Jr./State Street, Ithaca, New York 14850, phone number: 607-274-5266. Ms. Judy Voorheis is the director of the Foster Care Placement and Home Finder at the Tompkins County Department of Human Services
Mission Statement: The Department of Social Services of Tompkins County is responsible for providing multiple benefits, and a broad spectrum of services to sustain families, and individuals, and to assist them in achieving independence.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) of Tompkins County offers many services that I would refer Nancy. The DSS offers day care payment services; subsidized day care of children of low-income families. Since Nancy’s husband is in the military and stationed abroad, and Nancy is unemployed she would most likely be eligible for this service for her 2 youngest children. This would help Nancy immensely as it would free up some of her time to deal with other issues such as search for employment, being able to attend a support groups and maybe be able to attend counseling with her oldest daughter. The agency also offers assistance for those in emergency financial needs and food assistance. Since Nancy explained she was having problems paying the bills and keeping up with the needs at the house. Cash Assistance programs provide financial help to families and individuals as well as some emergency assistance. Income eligibility standards and benefit levels vary depending on the household situation. The Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program provides low-income households monthly benefits to purchase food. Income and resource standards vary according to age, health, household size and household expenditures. Also Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) This Federal program helps low-income households meet the high costs of home energy.
A single annual benefit based on the household’s method of heating is provided. Emergency assistance is also available. Again with Nancy’s income situation she may be eligible to receive this aid.
With Nancy’s issues with her oldest daughter being hard to control; skipping school, coming home past curfew and refusing to respect her mother’s requests she might have to address the issue of DSS’s Youth and Family Services. This part of the agency offers temporary placement in foster homes, group homes, or institutions for children who temporarily cannot live at home. It also provides preventive services to families, and court diversion services for youth.
These services are offered through application and appointment and the individual is usually seen within a week or two. However, in the case of an emergency, for example no food or heat, the individual will be seen the day they call with the exceptions of weekends, where there would be a referral to the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities or the Red Cross. There is also area food banks that are open 7 days a week (in the different towns within the County), along with a local soup kitchen that is open daily.
The DSS serves a diverse group of people with many different needs, who walk through the agency doors each week seeking help. The DSS is a well known agency who offers services throughout the County that is used by many people in need.
2. Tompkins County Mental Health Clinic-201 East Green Street, Ithaca, New York 14850 phone numbers: