Youth will no longer live at Children’s Home of Jefferson County

News release

WATERTOWN, NY —  To allow improved focus on national and statewide treatment trends, CHJC (Children’s Home of Jefferson County) is excited to announce the restructuring of its child welfare related residential programming. This proactive approach directs the Agency’s focus to more trauma-based treatments and therapies, allowing for improved youth and family outcomes and their long-term success.

The changes were planned in accordance with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), Office of Mental Health (OMH), and Department of Juvenile Justice best practices and recommendations, focused on keeping youth at home or in a family setting, and out of institutional placements. The changes were planned with the full support of CHJC’s Board of Directors.

Effective June 30, 2021, CHJC on-Campus residential programming will be discontinued. The Campus buildings currently housing its residential programs, will be repurposed to serve youth and families with new, innovative programs including short-term respite and crisis services.

The COVID-19 pandemic allowed CHJC to help youth remain successfully in their home. Concurrently, the pandemic also resulted in new operational practices at all levels. More specifically, with court closures, youth learning remotely, and services being provided virtually, there was a significantly reduced need for Residential Care.

As a result, overall State trends of youth placed at the Residential Level of Care also significantly decreased, allowing CHJC to identify alternative treatment options. The COVID-19 pandemic changed previously long-term espoused child welfare beliefs and practices. One of its benefits was allowing youth and families, with support from CHJC Service Providers, to be successful in home-based settings.

The Agency’s transition with new programming is set to launch sometime during the Fall of 2021. When possible, affected Staff will be transferred to other CHJC program positions or encouraged to reapply as new programs are launched.

CHJC’s roots date back to 1859 when it opened as an orphanage. During the mid-1970s, the Agency transitioned into a Residential care facility. Since then, CHJC has continued to adapt and diversify to meet ever-changing community needs. Its current list of programming includes Foster Care in several New York counties, a community mental health outpatient clinic, an expansive community-based Care
Coordination program, and at-risk youth prevention programs including the SoZo Teen Center. CHJC is the oldest, continuously running Northern New York human services agency.