The Division of Integrated Family Assistance Programs is responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of policies and services for mission-critical OTDA programs that provide income support and other services to help families and individuals throughout the State. The Division consists of three program areas that help New York residents meet ongoing basic needs, address emergency needs including homelessness, provide employment services to help individuals obtain and retain jobs, provide targeted services for refugees, and deliver services to help children receive critical financial support from both parents. In most instances, programs are delivered locally by 58 social services districts in the State comprised of 57 counties and the City of New York.
The Division of Integrated Family Assistance Programs encompasses the following three program areas:
Child Support Services
Eileen Stack, Assistant Deputy Commissioner
Child Support Services (CSS) oversees the social services district’s administration of the child support program, that provides custodial parents of all income levels with assistance in obtaining financial support and medical insurance coverage for their children by locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, establishing, modifying, and enforcing support orders, and processing and distributing child support payments. Additional programs that CSS oversees include the:
- Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity program that assists unmarried parents in establishing legal paternity for their child.
- Access and Visitation program that provides services that are restricted to counseling, mediation, parent education, development of parenting plans, and visitation enforcement through supervised visitation, monitored visitation, monitored child exchange and/or neutral site child exchange.
Employment and Income Support Programs
Jeff Gaskell, Assistant Deputy Commissioner
Employment and Income Support Programs (EISP) develop and oversee New York policies and procedures related to State and social services district administration of:
- Temporary Assistance (TA) programs to meet basic income needs for low income New York resident through the Family Assistance, Safety Net Assistance, and emergency assistance programs. EISP also oversees a number of rental supplement programs intended to reduce homelessness.
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to monthly provide nutritional assistance benefits for households. OTDA also contracts for SNAP outreach services as well as related nutrition education.
- Employment services for TA and SNAP clients and other low-income residents as provided by social services districts and OTDA. OTDA provides grants to districts and community based organizations to provide employment service, including the Summer Youth Employment Program, SNAP E&T Ventures, and Career Pathways Program.
- The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) State Supplement Program (SSP), which provides cash assistance to needy elderly, blind or disabled persons.
- The Home Energy Assistance Program to provide benefits to low and moderate households to help meet ongoing and emergency heating needs. The program also supports weatherization services to improve household energy efficiency and heating equipment repair and replacement services.
- As part of this program oversight, EISP is responsible for managing the Flexible Fund for Family Services, which is a $964 million block grant the State provides to social services districts to support a range of services to low-income families.
Specialized Services (Housing, Refugee Services and Disability Determinations)
Linda Glassman, Assistant Deputy Commissioner
Specialized Services provides services targeted to impoverished persons with special needs and or circumstance. Services include:
- Housing services to address the problems of homelessness in the State. These services range from programs which prevent homelessness to the construction of housing for homeless individuals and families. Other programs provide essential services to homeless persons to stabilize their housing situation and increase their levels of self-sufficiency.
- Refugee services directs resources to local contracted agencies to provide assistance to refugees and their families with employment and support services towards early economic and social self-sufficiency, to assure foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors, to assist victims of human trafficking, and to help repatriated U.S. citizens arrive home safely from abroad.
- Disability determinations for determining whether a person has a disability as required for purposes of receiving income support under the Social Security Act for Disability Insurance (Title II) and Supplemental Security Income (Title XVI). Disability determinations are made based primarily on medical evidence provided by treating sources and/or consultant physicians and vocational factors. Program responsibilities are administered under the regulations, guidelines, and quality standards established by the federal Social Security Administration (SSA). Disability determination decisions are processed through SSA for appropriate action on the provision of client benefits.