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News stories tagged with "social-services"

Prospective foster parent Jared Carey works as the production coordinator for the Community Performance Series at SUNY Potsdam. He's also the business manager for the Orchestra of Northern New York. Photo: Zach Hirsch
Prospective foster parent Jared Carey works as the production coordinator for the Community Performance Series at SUNY Potsdam. He's also the business manager for the Orchestra of Northern New York. Photo: Zach Hirsch

What it takes to be a North Country foster parent

This week, we've been reporting stories on foster care in the North Country (find more stories here). A foster home is supposed to be a safe place for kids. And foster parents are the people who make that happen.

Not everyone is cut out to be a foster parent. Getting certified takes a lot of work. Foster parents have to get a background check, they have to take classes, and their house has to get inspected, to name just a few of the steps. In this last installment of our series, we go behind the scenes.  Go to full article
Case planner Matthew McAllister runs through an exercise with prospective foster parents. Photo: Zach Hirsch
Case planner Matthew McAllister runs through an exercise with prospective foster parents. Photo: Zach Hirsch

North Country fostering: "The need's not going anywhere"

Over the last few months, we've been researching foster care in the North Country (find more stories here). Yesterday, we met Dominique Tarkenton-Otto, who gave us the children's perspective. Now, we hear from the case workers who help those kids.

Zach Hirsch talks with Martha Foley about some lingering questions about his profile of Dominique, and the bigger picture.  Go to full article
In the basket: $36 worth of food, the value of the monthly cut food stamp recipients received beginning in early November. Photo by Karen DeWitt
In the basket: $36 worth of food, the value of the monthly cut food stamp recipients received beginning in early November. Photo by Karen DeWitt

Federal cuts strain food pantries

With winter officially here, New York's food pantries and soup kitchens are feeling the strain of feeding the hungry, especially after two key benefit cuts from the federal government.  Go to full article
Canton Church and Community Program Director Catherine Matthews says private donations are playing a bigger role in stocking pantries. Photo: Julie Grant
Canton Church and Community Program Director Catherine Matthews says private donations are playing a bigger role in stocking pantries. Photo: Julie Grant

Food pantries reluctantly play larger role in feeding hungry

Food pantries and soup kitchens say they're reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation's safety net for the poor.

In a new report on New York's charitable food distribution system, the groups say government needs to step in and lend a helping hand.  Go to full article
Comlinks food distribution warehouse in Malone
Comlinks food distribution warehouse in Malone

Comlinks to close for good on Saturday

A once powerful social services agency in the North Country will close its doors for good on Saturday. ComLinks is based in Malone. President Joe Selenski says attempts to survive years of theft and mismanagement have failed.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports that board members decided there was no way to make it financially viable, and shutting down the organization was their only option.  Go to full article
"We seem to be faced with many ghosts from the past."
- Joseph Selenski, ComLinks board president

Wracked by controversy, ComLinks intends to close

A once powerful social services agency in the North Country is now headed towards closing its doors. ComLinks, based in Malone, says attempts to survive years of theft and mismanagement appear to have failed.

As recently as three weeks ago, Comlinks was talking with local lawmakers and making plans to start over as a grassroots not-for-profit. But board president Joe Selenski says it turns out there's just too much to overcome.  Go to full article
Donít make a child go to bed hungry because your government wants to come up with a fraud program that requires fingerprinting.

Cuomo wants better access to food stamps

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich intends it as an insult when he calls President Obama, the "food-stamp President." New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems not to fear being called the food stamp governor; he's proposing ways that more New Yorkers in need can access the federal program. Karen DeWitt has this report from Albany.  Go to full article
Thatíd be devastating. Thereís a lot of vulnerable people, elderly people, people that are home-bound...

Federal Medicaid cuts threaten NY economy

A health care advocacy coalition reports cuts to federal Medicaid spending, now being considered in Washington, would cost New York more jobs than any other state.

Families USA also says the loss of government entitlement programs will hurt the state's most vulnerable populations.

The Innovation Trail's Emma Jacobs reports.  Go to full article

ComLinks blasted in state audit; DA investigation urged

A state audit is slamming the management of one of the North Country's largest non-profit social service agencies. A Comptroller's report released yesterday claims that ComLinks, headquartered in Malone, has suffered for years from mismanagement and nepotism.

The audit also alleges that former ComLinks CEO Nancy Reich diverted nearly $100,000 in funds for her private use.  Go to full article

Lowville, pt.2: inside the safety net

This week, we're viewing the recession through the lens of one North Country community: the village of Lowville in Lewis County. Yesterday we heard from Main Street merchants struggling to make a living. Climb the hill from Main Street, up the Tug Hill Plateau, toward the East's largest wind farm, and you reach Lewis County's social services building. Inside, caseworkers are flooded with new clients. Heating assistance and food stamp applications are up 40%. As David Sommerstein reports, those who hold the safety net want even more people to use it.  Go to full article

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