Snyder County Children and Youth Services (SCCYS) is the County’s public agency mandated by state and federal law to protect children from abuse and neglect. It provides a wide range of child protective and supportive services – through a network of contracted agencies – to children and families in Snyder County. It is an agency committed to providing the highest quality of service to children and their family who experience child abuse/neglect. Above and beyond that commitment is our belief that “prevention efforts” will create the strongest foundation for the future well being of our children, families, and community. To that end, we continue to embrace and support numerous community efforts to assist children and families before they ever enter official Children and Youth services.
While our overall goal is simple – to protect children from abuse and neglect, accomplishing that goal is much more complex and challenging. We recognize that successfully meeting our goal can only be accomplished in partnership with families, communities, and other child serving systems.
Clearly caring for our most vulnerable residents, abused and neglected children, is a monumental task. This task calls for the commitment and enthusiasm found in the Agency’s dedicated, professional staff. Their caring, selfless support of children and families is the backbone of our efforts.
Snyder County Children & Youth Services is guided by three goals established by the Commonwealth for all child welfare agencies statewide:
Initial inquiries and reports to Snyder County Children & Youth Services are received by a professional caseworker in the agency’s office. The function of that caseworker is to take the report or information, assess initial risk to the child, and, when appropriate, provide information and referrals to the family. In many instances, contact with the agency may end with this initial call. If it is determined that social services involving a child under age 18 are needed, the report will be assigned to an intake caseworker for assessment and follow up. These services are confidential and provided on a voluntary or involuntary basis, depending on circumstances and level of risk to the child.
In addition to reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, other concerns for children and their families may be reported to the Agency for assessment and follow up. These general referrals may include, but are not limited to the following:
Requests for supports services may also be made to the Agency in cases where the family is in need of assistance in resolving issues, establishing family supports, and arranging services. Such cases may include the following:
Support may be provided to these children and families through telephone and/or in-person contact. In some instances, the family may simply contact the agency for information as needed. In other situations, a caseworker may be assigned to assist the family for up to 60 days. Within 60 days, the caseworker will assist the family in resolving issues, establishing family supports, and arranging services. The caseworker will also decide with the family if Agency involvement should continue beyond 60 days.
The Protective Services component of the Agency is responsible for providing ongoing, in-home services to families for whom an area of abuse, neglect, or other child welfare issues has been identified. A number of the families have requested services from the Agency; however, most are involved involuntarily. The Protective Services units are responsible for providing ongoing supervision and support to children remaining in their own homes or in the homes of family members or friends. When necessary to assure child safety, Court involvement mandates services (protective supervision) or results in placement of children outside the home. Various services are offered and referrals made to assist the family, including parent education, intensive services, self-esteem building programs, independent living skills building, counseling, drug and alcohol screenings, educational support, and assistance with basic needs. In house support through the agency social service aides have enhanced these services as well as partnerships with various community agencies, retailers and the Midd-West and Selinsgrove School Districts.
Individuals that are employed through Snyder County Children & Youth Services provide in-home support services. These support services assist parents that are unable to provide adequate physical and emotional care for children or who need assistance of an instructional nature ranging from basic techniques of home management such as budgeting, child care and parenting to the more difficult and complex social service issues. Families are referred for these services by other units within the Agency. The social service aides assists families with activities of daily living such as family budgeting, marketing, housekeeping standards, personal health and hygiene, nutrition, food preparation and storage, and use of resources. This position also provides transportation for clients to medical, dental and other needed services, supervises visits with parents and children in placement and seeks community resources for families in need.
The General Protective Services Unit is responsible for handling all cases of truancy. Truancy referrals are accepted from the Midd-West and Selinsgrove Area school districts. Each school district has their own truancy policy.
Referrals may be made to the agency by calling (570) 374-4570 during normal working hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday). During hours the agency is closed, emergency referrals may be made by contacting Emergency Services at (570) 372-0826. Mandated reporters should make reports directly to ChildLine. For more information on reporting child abuse, go to: keepkidssafe.pa.gov.
There is no specific age noted in law that identifies when children may be left alone without supervision. Parents or other caretakers must determine when their child is mature enough to stay home alone. Children under the age of 10 certainly need adult supervision.
The law has not established a “legal” age at which someone may be a babysitter. However, factors to consider when determining if a child is age appropriate include the child’s level of maturity, number and ages of children being babysat, special behavior problems of children being babysat, length of time child will be required to baby-sit, and accessibility of a responsible adult in the event of an emergency.
All custody matters are handled by Family Court. For more information, contact an attorney.
If you are interested in making a difference in the life of a child by providing a healing, nurturing environment in your home and in your heart, then read on. We are in need of individuals and couples that have the skills, abilities, and the motivation to provide a family foster home for boys and girls of all ages. For specific information on how to become a foster parent, call (570) 374-4570 and request to speak with a screener. Do it today!