Hard-to-Place / Hard-to-Serve Unit


The Council is authorized by law (under powers and duties of the Council) to work with state and local agencies and parents to identify and resolve interagency issues and jurisdictional disputes that impede access to services for children and youth who are hard-to-place and hard-to-serve because of their multiple disabilities. The primary objectives in resolving these cases are to ensure that individual children receive the most appropriate community-based or residential services; minimize delays in arranging services; resolve service disputes; and facilitate the development of specific services and programs designed to meet the needs of children and youth, particularly those with non-traditional and complex needs. Nearly 3,000 children and families have benefited from Council intervention.

Role of the Council on Children and Families

The Council’s Interagency Coordination and Case Resolution Bureau becomes involved in a referral only after available program options and dispute resolution procedures have been exhausted at the local and regional levels. If there is no hard-to-place/hard-to-serve committee or network within a county, referrals of hard-to-place or hard-to-serve cases can be made directly to the Council.

Council staff:

  • work closely with agencies on system reform efforts that lead to improved service delivery;
  • monitor the frequency and severity of cases referred for resolution to determine policy or program implications requiring interagency state-level intervention;
  • track the reliance and utilization of in-state and out-of-state residential placements by localities and school districts in New York State; and
  • maintain a database system on hard-to-place/hard-to-serve referrals.

How to Make a Referral

The agent making a referral on behalf of a child must provide the Council with the following:

  • a completed Intake Form and a signed Release of Information Form;
  • a description of the barriers encountered in attempting to provide appropriate services or placement;
  • a record of the efforts that have been made by the referral source or others to secure services and/or placements for the child; and
  • background information on the child's special needs.

A referral containing all of the information mentioned above may be submitted to:

Regina Canuso, Hard-to-Place/Hard-to-Serve Coordinator
Interagency Coordination and Case Resolution Bureau
NYS Council on Children and Families
52 Washington Street
West Building, Suite 99
Rensselaer, NY 12144

Telephone: 518-473-3652
Fax: 518-473-2570
e-mail: regina.canuso@ccf.ny.gov

Hard-to-Place/Hard-to-Serve Resources