Gateway-Longview

Areas Served:
The Geographic area of service includes families residing within Erie County, inclusive of the City of Buffalo, and the surrounding suburbs. Families living outside of these areas could also be serviced providing authorization of the funding source and the family having a means of transportation to the visitation site.

Program Info:
The Gateway-Longview’s Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation serves families with children from infancy through 18 years old. The Gateway-Longview Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation Services serves families who are receiving co-occurring services from the Erie County Department of Social Services or Kinship Caretakers. This may include, however are not limited to the following: Families whose children are in/out of home placement (preventive services, kinship, foster care, etc). Families referred through the Erie County Family Court where there is a need for therapeutic intervention and facilitated visitation between the parents and their children. Types of Settings and Facilities The Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation program is located at Gateway-Longview’s Community Service’s location at 605 Niagara Street, on the West Side of Buffalo and on Buffalo’s East side at 347 E. Ferry Street. Off-site and in-home visitation also available to families who need them. • Gateway-Longview seeks to provide protection to all individuals within and visiting the site. Security procedures exist in writing and shall be followed for all clients, staff, volunteers, and visitors. A Visitation Aid is available to assist for sessions held in the evenings and weekends. For high-risk situations, an off-duty police officer can be hired for additional security. Gateway-Longview is committed to putting safety first. We accomplish this goal by providing the following safety precautions :  Audio surveillance of each visitation Video session.  Video (without audio) recording of each visitation session. Video footage is purged on a monthly basis.  Particular hours of additional security provided by community off-duty police officers.  Minimum of two staff present at all times.  Secure facility entrance procedures, which require that clients get “buzzed in” after identification is provided.  Multiple entrances available to facilitate monitored exchange and to accommodate for orders of protection.  Staff trained in basic CPR A prominent feature of the Therapeutic Supervised Visitation is the continuum of levels in service provision. The program is able to service families who are in need of high to low levels of supervision along with providing specialized therapeutic interventions. The therapist can utilize various therapeutic approaches to assist in the parenting process such as but not limited to: empowerment theory, behavior modification, cognitive behavior techniques, social learning theory, resiliency theory, and parent skills training (Parenting Wisely). Facility Settings The TFV program offers four specialty visitation rooms targeted to meet the various needs of families served. These include the following: “The Family Room” is a visitation room offering a bright, full eat-in kitchen, coupled with a comfortable family room area. This is particularly beneficial for large families, as well as those with infants and toddlers. Likewise, the set up allows for practical skill building surrounding independent living skills as well as a natural setting for parents managing multiple tasks (i.e. preparing meals, structuring the environment, managing children’s homework completion, building family partnership, etc.). A security camera mounted in the room offers additional supervision and security. “The Play / Therapeutic Room” offers a warm comfortable and playful environment decorated with primary colors and a variety of options for parent/play. Families can gain valuable skills in problem solving, enhancing parent/child attachment through therapeutic interventions and while enjoying additional opportunities for individualized parent/child visitation. Staff, students, and mentors provide parent training and support in enhancing interactions and attachment. This setting affords a one-way mirror for observation purposes as well as a mounted security camera for additional oversight. “Teen Central” is aimed at providing a more comfortable setting for families with older youth and teens. Gateway recognizes the importance of providing developmentally appropriate opportunities to older youth and the value of providing opportunities for parent-youth connection. This setting offers the family and teen opportunities such as sharing conversation with access to a stereo system, karaoke for family fun, a station for hair braiding/ styling, nail polishing, as well as other activities to encourage teen/parent communication. This setting will also have the security of a mounted camera. “Music Room” In an attempt to afford families the opportunity to visit in a setting that embraces cultural diversity, Gateway –Longview has added a new room for families as of January 2007. The room is equipped with donated musical instruments and it allows the family who has interest in the arts the ability to visit while sharing in their gifts. For some families it may be their first exposure to the piano or the drums. “Arts and Craft Room” This room was established per the request of the consumers both parents and children who are art enthusiast. The room provides an opportunity for the parent or child to bond in an activity they enjoy. A fourth visitation room provides additional opportunities for visiting parties. This room is also equipped with a mounted security camera. East Side Visitation – An additional visitation is available on the East Side of Buffalo where a disproportionate number of at risk families reside. In addition to the logistical advantages of this site, this model will encourage collaboration with an existing community based organization in efforts to share resources and expertise to better serves families from that community. Primary Objective The focus of the program is to facilitate the engagement of healthy interactions between the visiting parent or relative and the child. This process is fostered by ensuring that all visiting parents have or are participating in a parent skill building training. Gateway-Longview offers each visiting parent or relative the opportunity to participate in evidence based parenting curriculum known as “Parenting Wisely”. The parent is given the opportunity to strengthen their parenting skills and demonstrate in the visitation that they can utilize the techniques they are being trained in. The parent education and training is utilized to promote bonding and positive attachments between the parent and child. Gateway-Longview also works collaboratively with ECDSS identified parenting programs to come to the visitation site to assess the parent’s utilization of their model of parenting. In the course of providing therapeutic supervised visitation we are able to assist in the solidification of the permanency plans for children. The therapist work consistently to be involved in the Service Plan Reviews on cases to collaborate and engage with all collaterals to ensure what the goal is for the child. The therapists are able through the therapeutic process to engage with the parent to understand and clarify multiple issues around the identified goals. In cases where the parent may be facing a surrender of parental rights or a termination of parental rights, the therapist are able to engage in closure and grief work with the parent or visiting relative and the child. The goals of the program are designed to ensure that the safety, permanency and the well-being of the child and family are promoted. The Therapeutic Facilitated Visitation Program provides the following service components, however is not limited to:  A structured, secured, and highly monitored setting to provide opportunities for families to strengthen their familial bonds in a safe environment;  Therapeutic supervision and facilitation of visitation services according to court orders , established visitation plans, or other relevant agreements;  Provide education and hands on guidance to visiting parties, with the goal of skill transference from the visitation specialist to the parent;  Provide feedback to the visiting parties utilizing a strengths-based approach;  Provide ongoing assessment of the visitation plan, identified goals, and progress toward transition planning to a less restrictive visitation setting.  Provision of 1:1 individual parent training using the “Parenting Wisely” curriculum. An evidence-based curriculum designed to enhance family bonding and parenting skills.

Gateway-Longview.org

Buffalo, NY

La-Verne Blades

716-783-3187 | lblades@gateway-longview.org

Michelle Federowicz

716-783-3187 | MFederowicz@gateway-longview.org