Since 2000, My Sisters’ Place (MSP) has had the unique opportunity to work in collaboration with our colleagues in Westchester County’s Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services (CPS). With initial funding from NYS Office of Children and Family Services, this innovative program emerged through recognition of the critical need for our agencies to work more closely together with families experiencing both intimate partner violence and child maltreatment, towards a mutual goal of increased family safety. MSP and CPS take steps to assist victimized children and parents through supportive counseling, safety planning, information and referrals, and advocacy. We aim to support and help the non-violent family members’ efforts to be free from violence.
Based on the success of this collaboration, and with additional resources from Westchester County and private foundations, our program has grown to become the largest of its kind in New York State. All seven program staff are co-located alongside CPS caseworkers in county offices throughout Westchester.
What we offer:
- Counseling in English and Spanish, as well as advocacy, crisis intervention, safety planning, court accompaniment, relevant referrals, shelter placement, and emergency assistance.
- Services to clients throughout their 60-day CPS investigation, and support, information, and referrals for one to four months after the CPS case has been closed, regardless of case outcome. If further support is needed, referrals are made to MSP’s Community Counseling and Advocacy Program (hyperlink) and to other relevant service providers.
- Formalized training and day to day support for CPS caseworkers and supervisors in how to identify signs of intimate partner violence as well as effective approaches to working with victims and their families.
Did you know?
- We have counselors in all four of the Westchester County Department of Social Services district offices: White Plains, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and Peekskill.
- In 2016, the Collaboration program assisted 550 families.
- The free and confidential services provided by MSP in this program often make the difference in keeping children and their non-abusing parents together.