Introduction/Summary The philosophy that applies to all NPCS Family Services Programs including the Juvenile Fire Safety Services Program (JFSS) in Rensselaer County is to provide services to children and families in their homes and in their communities in order to meet our mission of protecting children, preserving families, and strengthening communities. JFSS services are voluntary and conducted in the home, office or in the community. Services are provided to families wherein a youth has engaged in unsanctioned fire-related behavior; there is a suspicion that unsanctioned fire-related behavior has occurred/may occur; or where there is concern that the youth exhibits an elevated interest in fire.
The goals of JFSS are: to assist in detecting youth likely to be involved in unsanctioned fire-related behavior; to educate the youth about fire safety; to prevent the development of undetected fire-related behaviors; to interrupt dangerous behavioral patterns of using fire as a coping mechanism; and to replace dysfunctional patterns with healthy coping skills. There is no cost to families for JFSS services.
What are the services available? Specific services offered by the two JFSS master’s level Clinicians include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Firesetting pre-assessment screenings and comprehensive firesetting risk assessments
- Fire safety educational groups (10-week duration divided into latency-age and adolescent groups)
- In-home fire safety reviews
- Family casework/case planning services
- Specialized individual and family counseling services
- A precise and detailed safety plan
- Trauma informed care (particularly through the Attachment, Self- Regulation and Competency/ ARC model)
- Skill building to reduce risk of firesetting behavior, which includes anger management, stress management, problem-solving training and coping skills
- Supportive, concrete services (assistance with transportation, budgeting, housing and household management)
- Educational presentations and consultation to staff of the referring agencies/departments, as well as to service providers and community organizations within Rensselaer County
- One of few programs in New York State that provides specialized, intensive juvenile fire safety services both within the home setting and a group setting
- Intensive assistance with parent, child, and family issues within the family’s home
- Improved opportunity for children to remain safely within their home, school and community
- Parents more understanding of and better prepared to manage their child’s behaviors and emotional needs as they relate to unsanctioned fire- related behavior
- Flexible scheduling to meet family needs and 24 hour on-call crisis support
Who can access services? JFSS accepts all referrals from the Rensselaer County Department of Social Services as well as families and other community resources including Family Court, Department of Probation, Fire Departments, Police Departments, Office of Public Safety and Mental Health. JFSS also provides fee- based comprehensive firesetting risk assessments for youth who reside outside of Rensselaer County.
How are services accessed? Contact Megan Stackelberg, MA, Ed.S., Program Manager (518- 477- 9085 ext. 7101 or Megan.Stackelberg@neparentchild.org) for more information.
When are services available? Day and evening sessions Monday through Friday, as well as twenty- four hour on- call crisis support.