Family Support Services | 518-371-1185

Family Support Services provides respite and skill building, family support, special needs advocacy, pre-vocational and crisis services to children and youth with special needs. We match providers to the child based on interests, geographic location, and experience level. Providers work with children/youth and families to promote a healthy active lifestyle and reach stated individual goals.

Family Support Workers are professional individuals trained specifically to work with special needs children and youth who are fingerprinted and cleared through the child abuse registry, a criminal background check, and more.

The program offers Children and Family Treatment and Support Services, as well as Home and Community-Based Services for families throughout the Capital Region and far beyond.

For more information, call 518-371-1185.

Children and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS)

Children and Family Treatment and Support Services are new behavioral health services covered by NYS Medicaid. CFTSS help children and youth with mental health and substance use needs. CFTSS work with each child/youth to provide care in a way that works best for them and their families.

All children and youth under age 21 who are eligible for Medicaid are covered for CFTSS. Children and youth can get these services from Medicaid. CFTSS works for children and youth from any background, or who speak any language, and CFTSS can be provided in home or in the community, whatever works best for the family.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

Children's HCBS are provided where children/youth and families are most comfortable - at home or in the community. They support children and youth as they work toward goals and achievements. HCBS services help children and youth be successful at home, in school, and in other environments, and offer personal, flexible services to meet the health, mental health, substance use treatment and/or development needs of each child/youth.

Children's HCBS are for children and youth who: 1) Need extra care at home/in the community; 2) Want to avoid going to the hospital or a long term facility; 3) Are found eligible for HCBS*; and 4) Are enrolled or eligible to enroll in Medicaid. Note some children may be eligible for Medicaid if they are eligible for HCBS.

*Enrollment in HCBS requires participation the Children's 1915c waiver.

Caregiver/Family Support and Services

  • Caregivers and families can get training and education to make informed and empowered choices for children with development, medical, mental health, and/or substance use needs.
  • Maintain and strengthen children and youth's independence in the community.
  • Find available resources and services that meet child/youth and family needs.

Community Self Advocacy Training and Support

  • Children, youth, and their families can get help to understanding developmental, medical, mental health, and/or substance use needs.
  • Get help with, or prevent, any difficulties when taking part in community activities.
  • Children and youth, or caregivers and other advocates, can get their own self-advocacy training.

Supported Employment

  • Youth aged 14 and older who are ready for a job can get help to stay in a steady job that pays wages.
  • Get ongoing support while getting a job and while working.
  • Services can include, but are not limited to:  help with finding a job that matches your skills and interests; job coaching; benefits support; help with advancing your career; and other workplace support services.

Respite Services

  • May be delivered at home, in the community, or in another allowable location.
  • Planned respite services provide short term relief for families/caregivers and support the child's mental health, substance use and/or health care goals.
  • Crisis respite is short term relief from a mental health, substance use and/or health care crisis event that without this support the child would need a higher level of care.


CAPTAIN CHS Family Support Services staff are cleared through the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and a criminal background check conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice Systems. All employees are required to complete a New York State Office of Mental Health training as well as the NYS OCFS training requirements prior to providing services.

The training encompasses cultural diversity, normal growth and development, effective use of activities, basic engagement skills, working in a family's home, common mental health diagnoses, required reporting, safety and first-aid, individualized care, dealing with behavioral and crisis situations, child and adolescent development and more.