Allegany County Department of Social Services
7 Court Street
County Office Bldg. Rm. 127
Belmont, NY 14813
Edna Kayes, Commissioner
Donald Horan, Deputy Commissioner
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“Strengthen workers by building quality relationships, fostering open two-way communication, and providing the training, tools and resources to create empowered and effective professionals.”
“We preserve families, protect individuals, and promote self-sufficiency.”
Check out new information in Social Services!
Food Resources – New locations have been added in the Canaseraga area.
Emergency Assistance SNAP Benefits – February 2023 is the last month that supplemental EA benefits will be issued, and your SNAP benefits will return to the normal amount in March 2023. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and your local social services district do not have control over this change. The links above provide food resources in Allegany County and information on the emergency allotments ending.
NY State of Health – Need health insurance? Click the button for more information or to get started.
Child Support Debit Cards – Be on the look out for your new child support debit card in the mail. Deposits to the old cards will stop March 30, 2023 so activate the new one as soon you get it.
7 Court Street
Belmont, NY 14813
Our Services division assists those who may be homeless, in need of food or clothing, or have various other types of emergency needs. We provide some emergency services directly, making referrals to other providers as required to meet the needs of the individual or family.
Child Protective & Preventive Services
Reports of potential child abuse or neglect may be made by calling 800.342.3720.
Unfortunately, many American children are abused or neglected each year. The Department of Social Services maintains a team of highly skilled Child Protective Services (CPS) investigators who make personal visits to reportedly abusive or neglectful homes. Investigators interview parents, children, neighbors, school teachers, and others who have information. CPS works closely with the police in investigations of potential criminal actions.
Child Abuse Prevention Services
When our CPS unit finds actual or potential child abuse or neglect, the Department strives to prevent future problems by providing services to the family. Such services generally include home visits and parenting information and assistance, with specialized instruction or assistance in other areas provided as needed. Services are provided by trained caseworkers from the Department of Social Services and partner agencies.
For more information on child abuse, click on this link to the New York State Office of Child & Family Services.
Child Support Unit
Prior to obtaining a court order for child support payments, mothers who were not married to their child’s father must legally establish the child’s paternity. Options for paternity establishment include signed written acknowledgement by the parties, court hearings and determinations, and blood testing. We work cooperatively with single mothers and the court to establish paternity.
Once paternity is established, single parents are encouraged to seek a court order establishing a legal requirement for absent parents to financially help support their children. In addition to setting regular payments that an absent parent must make for his or her children, the court may also determine the absent parent’s responsibilities for assisting with costs of medical coverage and childcare costs. Support Unit staff help custodial parents complete the necessary paperwork, and otherwise assist them navigate the court system and its processes. This service is provided free of charge to all Allegany County residents.
Upon receipt of a court order for child support to be paid, the Support Collection Unit takes a lead role in obtaining the child support. Working with local employers as well as those across the state and the country, we receive payments that are withheld from absent parents’ paychecks, as well as those made personally by people who are self-employed or unemployed. Payments will then be sent directly to the custodial parent, or will be used to offset the costs of Allegany County support of the child. There is no cost to Allegany County custodial parents for this service.
Absent parents sometimes fall behind in their support payments. If this happens, the Support Unit takes action to collect past due child support and ensure future payments. This may include filing legal petitions, referral to a credit bureau or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, interception of Federal or State income tax refunds, suspension of driver’s or professional licenses, or other action. There is no cost to Allegany County custodial parents for this service.
Parent Locator Services
Absent parents can sometimes be difficult to find. The Support Unit has linkages with many outside agencies to assist in locating these absent parents. They may do searches through the US Postal Service, wage or other employment reports, Department of Motor Vehicles searches, the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Veteran’s Administration, and many other options. There is no cost to Allegany County custodial parents for this service.
Legal Services (income-based fees)
When the child or custodial parent receives financial or medical assistance from the Department, we contract with an attorney to represent our interests and the interests of the child in child support hearings. This service is provided free of charge to these custodial parents.
We also contract with an attorney to provide low-cost legal representation to all other custodial parents who request such assistance. These parents pay for this representation through their child support payments.
For more information select a link below:
NYS Division of Child Enforcement
NYS Unified Court System
Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement
Non-parent caregivers, who are caring for children without a parent living in their home, may be eligible for Temporary Assistance. Temporary Assistance for children not living with a parent is often referred to as “non-parent caregiver” or “child-only” grants, and includes Medical Assistance (MA). If the non-parent caregiver wants assistance only for the children, the non-parent caregiver’s income is not used to determine eligibility and there are no Temporary Assistance work requirements for the non-parent caregiver. Non-parent caregivers may apply for temporary assistance at their local social services office.
In addition to financial assistance, non-parent caregivers (also called kinship caregivers) often have a need for information and assistance related to SNAP, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), custody, guardianship, foster care, adoption, schooling, school enrollment, and other forms of assistance such as child care, social security, respite, case management and service programs.
For information about services and assistance programs please visit the following websites:
www.nysnavigator.org – The NYS Kinship Navigator’s website offers legal fact sheets, state and local kinship resources, and other information. In addition, the Navigator operates a toll free phone line at 1-877-454- 6463. Kinship Specialists are available from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. A message may be left during non-business hours and calls will be returned when business hours resume.
http://otda.ny.gov/programs/ – The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).
www.mybenefits.ny.gov – MyBenefits is an online tool to help you learn about eligibility for financial assistance and other benefit programs. A simple, 10-minute prescreening from any computer with Internet access at any time, determines whether you are likely to qualify for SNAP, HEAP, the Earned Income Tax Credit, child dependent care credits, school lunch and other programs.
http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/kinship/default.asp – The NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) provides contact information and links to the Kinship Caregiver Programs funded through OCFS, as well as a variety of resources for families and staff, including the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP), a subsidy program available to kinship caregivers who are foster parents.
Your local Social Services District (SSD) and local area Office for the Aging (OFA) are also resources for information on kinship care.