Our Valley Commons Family Program provides long-term support and education to parents with developmental disabilities. Families in our program may currently have custody of their children, or they are working toward custody/have supervised visits. Staffed by Family Educators, the program focuses on helping parents develop an individualized plan that teaches the needed skills to build a bright future for themselves and for their children.
The program is a mixture of site-based, community, and supplemental habilitation services all throughout the week. Valley Commons also involves other organizations supporting the parents, such as school teachers, Public Health, Social Services, Cooperative Extension, Head Start, and more, in the family’s planning and education. Examples of parent skill building include: positive discipline, bedtime routines, meal planning for child brain development, child safety, and child health.
Parents not enrolled in the program may also join in parenting and other classes with the Valley Commons families at the Learning Center located in Herkimer, NY.
This service will be available for individuals who live in an un-certified setting and who are already deemed OPWDD eligible. Individuals identified are either a parent with IDD who struggle with maintaining a positive home environment and dealing with their children, or they are a person with IDD who lives at home with family and presents with challenging behaviors that add additional stress on the family unit. This service will be available for individuals of all ages who live with and are trying to maintain a family unit. While Arc Herkimer is the service agency, it is not intended to be limited to only Herkimer County. It can also be provided to individuals residing in Lewis, Madison and Oneida Counties. Individuals receiving services must be eligible for FSS and OPWDD services and exhibit significant behavioral issues (DDP2 Behavior Score of 50 or greater).
Arc Herkimer is a contracted provider for the Herkimer County Preschool program assisting with providing evaluations for preschool services. Access to Arc Herkimer’s Preschool Services must come through the child’s local school district. Parents should contact their local school to discuss their child’s needs. If parents and the Chairperson for Preschool Special Education determine that there is a need for an evaluation, they decide what evaluation will be requested and select the provider. If Arc Herkimer is selected as the provider, upon receipt of the referral contact, Arc Herkimer will work with parents to schedule an appointment(s) for those evaluations. Arc Herkimer provides evaluations for Education, Speech, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Psychological Services. The hours of availability and sites vary depending on the particular service/evaluation requested and to meet specific family needs.
Guardianship assistance is provided to any family member who requires assistance in obtaining Guardianship for individuals with developmental disabilities over or approaching their 18th birthday. Under this program it is required that the person needs Guardianship due to their disability and that that disability interferes with their ability to make decisions regarding medical decisions or decisions of daily life. The Guardianship staff at Arc Herkimer will assist in providing step-by-step directions including the presentation to the appropriate courts. The individual needs to be OPWDD eligible.
Corporate Guardianship assistance is provided to individuals with developmental disabilities, age 18 and over, who are unable to make medical and life decisions for themselves, and who have no family members or caretakers who are able or willing to fulfill the role of legal guardian. The Corporate Guardianship Committee is comprised of eleven voting, volunteer members and a staff of coordinators. The group works together to provide services oversight and the voice of a caring family in advocating the best interest of those individuals they serve. The committee insures participants have holiday gifts and birthday celebrations, and oversees treatment care meetings and health decisions, along with individual needs and desires for programming, recreation, and appropriate places to live.