Family Supports

ACCESSING SERVICES:

If parents or caretakers of children and teens are interested in receiving any service(s) with Arc Herkimer or investigating other services offered, they should contact the Outreach Development Coordinator at (315) 574-7000.

Arc Herkimer’s Outreach Coordinator can help individuals or families substantiate developmental disabilities. In addition, the Coordinator can assist with Social Security applications, guidance with applying for other government programs such as food stamps and ACCES-VR (Vocational Rehabilitation), and/or provide a direction of where to begin with services. If individuals are already determined to be eligible, but wish to access some of the Arc Herkimer services listed on this site for themselves or family members, or if they are working with service coordinators from a different agency—the Outreach Development Coordinator can assist in applying for or accessing programs.

GUARDIANSHIP PROGRAMS:

Guardianship Assistance

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 right up to the presentation to the appropriate courts.

Corporate Guardianship

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.

SPIRITUALITY:

This program allows individuals opportunities to participate in nondenominational spiritual retreats, Coffeehouses, services, and bible study groups. These opportunities are offered throughout the year to any individual with a developmental disability in various locations within the community as well Arc Herkimer sites. This service is often enhanced through the commitment and planning of volunteers from the community and individuals from community houses of worship. Volunteers and participants are always welcome.

AUTISM MOVEMENT THERAPY:

Arc Herkimer offers Autism Movement Therapy classes for adults, teens, and children. AMT I classes, AMT II classes, and AMT certification workshops will be led by certified Autism Movement Therapy instructors. Participants from Herkimer and neighboring counties are welcome to attend, based on availability and on a pay-per-service basis. Autism Movement Therapy is fun! While this therapy was designed with Autism in mind, it’s used for individuals with Down syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, and intellectual disabilities. AMT classes provide participants with an opportunity to enjoy music, movement and dancing in a setting which allows socialization. The AMT approach utilizes music, rhythm and motion to address gross motor, communication, and focus skills. Whether it’s following simple movement sequences or moving to their own beat, participants will energize mind and body.

VALLEY COMMONS FAMILY PROGRAM:

Valley Commons offers long term support and education to parents with developmental disabilities. Families may be headed by one or two parents. The parent must have custody of the child. 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. Valley Commons involves others organizations serving the parents, such as school teachers, Public Health, Social Services, Cooperative Extension, Head Start, and others, in the family’s planning and education. Examples of parent skill building include: positive discipline, bedtime routines, meal planning for child brain development, who is a safe person to be with my child, and how do I know if my child is too sick for school.

Valley Commons provides group day habilitation, evening and weekend habilitation, and at-home residential habilitation. Two families rent safe, affordable Valley Commons homes that serve as learning environments for the parent. 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.

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