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Community and Preventive Services

Strong, capable families are at the heart of every community. Our Community and Preventive Services help communities maintain their quality of life by providing assistance while problems are still manageable. All of our Community and Preventive Services are designed to help parents learn how to be more effective, connect the family with the appropriate resources within their community, and help guide, teach, and heal young people who might otherwise be at risk for placement in out-of-home services.

For more than 25 years, New Directions has been a provider of Community and Preventive Services. Our ability to engage families with practical strategies for coping and growth results in achieving self-reliance and long-term success.

Erie County Intensive Preventive Services

Provides in-home support and services to safely keep children with their families.

Intensive Preventive Services works with families who have been referred by Erie County Department of Social Services. A Preventive Service Coordinator works with the entire family to help the family identify strengths, goals, and needs. The primary purpose of the program is to help keep children safe and at home with their families. Based on the situation, the Intensive Preventive Coordinator links families with community resources and provides in-home support and services.


 The Intensive program is short term (around 30 days) and meets with families every day.​

Contact Information for Erie County Preventive Services:

Erin Kent

Program Director

Phone: 716-334-7219
Fax: 716-306-4125


Family Engagement

Family Engagement Facilitators partner with families in this voluntary process designed to help restore decision making power to parents and guardians when children are at-risk of not being able to reside/are currently not residing with their parents/guardians.

This program has integrated the Family Group Decision Making Model in its practice. Referrals for this program come through Niagara County Department of Social Services.


There are two types of tracts this program has been designed for.

Family Group Conferencing – The purpose is for the facilitator to provide a structured family meeting where family members, supportive friends and family, and service providers come together to create a plan focused on the well-being and safety of the children.

Family Finding – The purpose is for the facilitator to partner with family to identify possible temporary and permanent supports for the family while the children are currently not able to reside with the parent/guardians.

Contact Information for Family Engagement:

Erin Ferrante

Family Engagement Supervisor

Phone: 716-334-3362 
Fax: 716-306-4080


Family Assessment Response

New Directions Niagara County Family Assessment Response (FAR) collaborates with Child Protective Services (CPS) FAR team to provide families with an alternative to traditional CPS investigation. With the FAR approach, families are provided with culturally competent, strength based, and needs driven process. Families are assisted in developing and organizing supports, services, and resources in order to achieve their goals, vision, and self-sufficiency.

Services in New Directions Niagara County FAR Program are delivered through FAR care coordinators, carrying a caseload of a maximum of 12 youth and their families. Families can be enrolled in the FAR process for a maximum of 90 days with New Directions. The family assessment and services response is based upon the principle that families are best equipped to formulate solutions to the challenges they face when provided with the necessary support and access to services is facilitated.
Care coordinators will facilitate this level of empowerment through the core practice principles of Respect, Empathy and Genuineness. Funding is provided by Niagara County DSS to purchase services and emergency/as-needed assistance.


Services that may be purchased for youth and families include: tutoring, mentoring, family advocacy, skill building for the youth, parent skills training, respite, behavior management services, parent aide, translation services, transportation services, home repairs, rental assistance, appliances, furnishings, moving expenses, and extermination.
Care coordinators will work in cooperation with the following key partners: Niagara County Department of Social Services, Family Court, Niagara County Public Schools, Niagara County Department of Mental Health, Niagara County Department of Probation and various community agencies. The service values will be strength based (individual and family), respect for youth and family choices, parent mutual support, and youth mutual support.


Contact Information for Family Assessment Response:

Erin Ferrante

Family Engagement Supervisor

Phone: 716-334-3362
Fax: 716-306-4080


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