Family Opportunity Centers in Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware and Tioga Counties are among community and school-based programs that are eligible for up to $12-million in grants through the end of February, 2026.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the State Education Department are administering the state and federally funded grants to provide services to help reduce the risk of child abuse and maltreatment and improve education.

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Christopher Robbins
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The funding for the programs is coming through the Federal Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Program included in the American Rescue Plan.

State officials say Family Opportunity Centers are designed to strengthen families and help the family resource center model to increase protective factors, support child and parent mental health as well as educational outcomes.

Prevention services offered can include formal and informal parenting, building social connections, meeting family needs and even substance use disorders services if needed.

Eligible applicants for the school funding must be New York State public school districts with a 2019-2020 economically disadvantaged student rate above the state average while community programs can be faith based or school based that are not-for-profit organizations and/or public agencies.

Applicants for the funding can serve one or more of the close to 60 counties outside of the New York metropolitan area.

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Interested parties can go to the OCFS Funding Opportunities website for additional information and submission requirements.  The applications must be submitted to the necessary New York State departments through the New York State Grants Gateway.  That portal can be found at https://grantsgateway.ny.gov/IntelliGrants_NYSGG/module/nysgg/goportal.aspx

In the grant announcement on July 18, Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner, Sheila J. Poole said, “research shows that the existence of family resource centers in a community contributed to a 45 percent reduction cases of child abuse and neglect. Investing in prevention can also reduce the need for more costly intervention services down the road resulting from abuse and maltreatment. "

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