Alternative Response Program (ARP)

Young Children at Home Coloring on Living Room Floor The Alternative Response Program (ARP) holds many differences than other services provided by Community Care. For most other programs of Community Care, individuals can make referrals either for themselves or on behalf of somebody else in order to become connected with a needed service. In the Alternative Response Program, all referrals come from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – specifically the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS).

The Alternative Response Program was created by DHHS in order to partner with local DHHS districts to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect. The reports that are sent to the Alternative Response Program tend to be those reports that DHHS has determined to be low to moderate risk. Our Alternative Response Social Workers contact the family to explain the nature of the report, conduct a child safety assessment, partner with parents/care providers to assist them in identifying supports they feel would be helpful, make referrals for services, and monitor  progress towards goals that are identified to ensure child safety. There are times when cases may be closed after the safety assessment is completed if it is determined there are no child safety concerns. Other times, the social worker could remain involved with the family for up to 4 months.