Program Information

The HOPE (Huntington Observation and Parent Education) Program is a family reunification program providing supervised visitation with pre/post counseling for parents with children in foster care or relative placement. HOPE offers structured feedback, curriculum based instruction, and ongoing support to achieve permanency. Services are provided to expedite reunification whenever possible.

HOPE is a component of the Integrated Visitation Services Partnership which includes the Department of Children and Family Services, Salvation Army (Clinical and Family Coach Services), Huntington Family Centers (HOPE Parent Education Program), and Catholic Charities (Parent Aide Program). Services are provided using visitation rooms at Huntington, the Family Place, or other locations in the community.

HOPE specializes in services to families dealing with multiple issues, especially those with developmental disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.

HOPE’s overall approach combines counseling with education to include:

  • Supervised visitation between parents and their children in foster care. Visit duration/ frequency can increase as parenting progress is made.
  • Pre- and Post-visit instructional counseling addressing educational issues/needs that were discovered during initial assessment phase and why the child came into care.
  • Curriculum based instruction to facilitate family communication, parenting skills, and problem solving, while focusing specifically on what parents do to enhance their child’s well-being.
  • Immediate feedback/intervention is provided during the course of a visit if the family is struggling or safety concerns are evident. The intent of program is to have the parent take the lead with minimal intervention.
  • Follow up support once a family has experienced a successful return or is in need of assistance during a termination of parental rights proceeding. HOPE is instrumental in successful “goodbye” visits.

HOPE can provide supervised visitation until it is safe to move to the unsupervised level, the family is successfully reunited, or permanency for the child is otherwise established.

HOPE referrals are received through the Onondaga County Department of Child and Family Services.

Program Supervisor

Renee Ridgeway