About the Homemaker Program

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Anna is a single mother with HIV. Her health is very unstable, and she is in and out of the hospital weekly. In addition to coping with her illness, she worries about not being there for her two children. They are sad and withdrawn, their teachers say, and their grades are slipping. Where can she turn for help?

The Carson family is going through a difficult time. Dad is in the hospital where he undergoes dialysis three times a week and Mom must work extra hours to provide for their young children. They cannot afford child care, and as recent immigrants, they have no family nearby to ask for help. Who can see them through this time of crisis?

Laura has been raising her four grandchildren since their mother's death in a car accident. But now she has a serious, debilitating heart condition. She refuses to turn the children over to foster care but simply cannot care for them by herself. Who can lend her a hand?

The Children's Aid Society Homemaker Program is there.

About the Program

Founded in 1933, The Children’s Aid Society Homemaker Program is based on traditional neighborly principles. When a mother was ill or had to be away from home, a homemaker would step in to help care for the house and children. Our model has evolved to meet the changing needs of today's families. Today, for example, New York has many more homes headed by single parents, HIV has become a growing concern and more families face multiple crises that compromise their health and safety.

We continue to provide support in a way that is tried and true -– with kindness and flexibility, directly in the home, where it is needed most. Today's homemakers are certified para-professionals who are trained to see families through these intense, compound crises.

In addition, our homemakers are supervised by certified social workers, who make frequent home visits and carefully assess and track a family's needs. They offer the homemakers guidance on which services are needed most. This team model ensures that families get the most comprehensive and professional help available.

This program provides various services depending on a family's individual needs, but generally includes a combination of the following elements:

  • Household Management: The main work of our homemakers is to help parents care for their children and manage the home in times of crisis. This can include escorting children to and from school, helping children with their homework, doing housework and preparing meals, assisting parents with scheduling and budgeting, helping to manage illnesses and much more. A central part of this work is teaching by role-modeling. With the guidance and support of our homemakers, parents learn better ways to run the house, meet their children's needs and constructively solve problems.
  • Family Support Counseling: While homemakers are assisting families with their daily, practical needs, our social workers provide deeper emotional support and help families problem-solve on a broader scale. They meet with families regularly to assess their overall needs and check that those needs are met, either by the homemaker or by additional outside resources. This constant supervision by trained social workers ensures that families receive comprehensive and coordinated support.
  • Advocacy: Together, homemakers and social workers help families access the concrete services they need to bring stability to their lives. This can mean connecting them to public assistance, disability insurance, health insurance, housing services, and/or support groups and other counseling resources. Also, it often involves escorting families to court hearings and other important appointments.

To refer a family or to self-refer, call either the ACS Homecare Division at (212) 676-6800 or, in the case of HIV/AIDS-infection, call HRA at (212) 620-9820.

For more information

For more information about Homemaker Services, call Charlene Visconti, Director of Homemaker Services, at (212) 949-4883.