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Family Services, Birch
Birch Family Services is a team of more than 3,000 teachers, therapists, social workers, psychologists, nurses, residence counselors, administrators, board members, and family members working together:
To provide the finest education, habilitation, and residential services to people with autism and other developmental disabilities
To help their families overcome the lifelong obstacles they face in raising children with disabilities.
We’ve grown from a few classrooms into a large network of schools, residences, and family support programs located throughout New York City. Committed to sharing our expertise widely for the benefit of those we serve, we train hundreds of professionals throughout the tri-state area in our Birch Training Institute.
We speak many languages and reflect the social, racial, and ethnic diversity of New York City.
The Services We Provide:
Pre-School Special Education for infants and children through age 4:
Early Childhood Programs:
Special Education Preschool – Special Education Preschool services are for children with developmental delays or disabilities, three to five years old. These programs are at no cost to families and are funded by the New York State and New York City Departments of Education. Services include special education in a classroom setting along with counseling; occupational, physical and/or speech therapy depending upon the child’s needs.
Head Start – Head Start is a comprehensive child development and family support program designed to enhance school readiness for children three to five years old from low income families. We operate Head Start programs in three locations; these programs are free to families and are funded through Human Services Administration for Children and Families and The City of New York Administration for Children’s Services.
Child Care Services, also known as Day Care – This child care program for typically developing children is funded by NYC Agency for Child Development. Birch offers day care (full and half-day) for children three and four years old. The cost to families is based on their income.
Universal Pre-Kindergarten – Universal Pre-Kindergarten services are for typically developing four year olds. UPK is funded through NYS and NYC Departments of Education and is offered at no cost to families.
School Age Special Education- Our school age program for children with special needs serves children five to 21 years old whose special education and related services (speech, occupational and physical therapy, and/or counseling) needs cannot be met in public school placements. The NYC Department of Education determines eligibility for, and the NYC and NYS Departments of Education fund the program.
Children’s Residential Project (CRP). – Some school-age individuals have disabilities so severe and behaviors so challenging that they require their educational and health and safety needs to be met in facilities such as a Birch’s Children’s Residential Project (CRP). Birch’s CRP offers coordinated treatment approaches 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in highly structured residential and educational environments that insure student safety and support student learning.
Birch’s Autism Program – We have over 35 years of experience providing educational, residential, facilitative and family support services for children and adults with autism and PDD. We offer special education and clinical services for children from three through 21 years; Medicaid Service Coordination and family support to individuals of all ages and their families; Day Habilitation to individuals who have aged out of educational services; residential services to those who cannot live at home and Community Habilitation services for those living with their families.
Small Supervised Residences for adolescents and adults:
Day Habilitation Program – Our Day Habilitation Program provides habilitative services to individuals with mild to moderate mental retardation. Day Hab services are consumer-centered, and vary depending upon individual needs, preferences and interests. We offer a range of opportunities designed to help consumers develop personal, social and vocational skills needed to lead productive and independent lives.
Our consumers volunteer to work in a variety of community sites including offices, schools, food pantries and grocery stores. In these settings consumers provide clerical, maintenance, childcare and catering services. In return, they learn the value of engaging in meaningful and productive activities that give them a sense of independence and value.
Community Habilitation – Our Community Habilitation services help individuals to take care of themselves in their homes so that they can continue to live in the community. We work with individuals to help them master activities of daily living such as grooming, cooking, or cleaning; travel training; shopping and recreation. All our services are based upon the needs, preferences and interests of the consumers and their families.
Residential Programs – Our homes provide 24-hour supervised residential care for children, adolescents and adults with autism, mental retardation, physical impairments and other developmental disabilities.
Family Support Services Program:
Our Family Support Services Program is dedicated to strengthening and empowering families to meet the challenges of parenting children with disabilities. By giving parents opportunities to gain support from other parents and professionals, providing information about a complex and often confusing array of public and private resources and how to access them, helping parents understand and manage their children’s special needs and the impact this has on their family, we equip families with the tools they need to face daily and future challenges, and reduce the fear and anxiety that these challenges often evoke. Family support has positive outcome for all family members.
MSC – One program offered through Family Support Services is Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC). MSC assists individuals with developmental disabilities to gain access to the services and supports necessary to meet their needs. Qualified service coordinators use a person-centered approach to develop, implement and maintain an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) for each consumer. The MSC program promotes the concepts of choice, support and consumer satisfaction, and is designed to help our participants achieve their vocational, recreational or social goals.
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