Hillside’s commitment to providing innovative services to youth and families realized another milestone this month, with notification from Cornell University that the agency’s Monroe Campus programs and staff have earned Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) Agency Certification status.

Cornell-developed CARE is a framework for best practices that drive results in working with children, caregivers and families. Implementing this framework fosters the development of a shared agency-wide approach that equips employees with the perspectives and skills to achieve positive outcomes.

Successful certification requires a rigorous multi-year process that includes staff training; technique and documentation reviews; and assessments collected from families served by the agency, as well as from staff and leaders. Periodic site visits by RCCP representatives maintain connectivity with Cornell along the way.

In a letter informing Hillside of the recognition, Martha J. Holden, director of Cornell’s Residential Child Care Project (RCCP) in the university’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, stated that Hillside’s work to achieve this certification reflects that “the leadership is strongly invested in the CARE model.” 

“Monroe Campus has thoroughly implemented the CARE model and remains committed to improving the lives of the children and families that it serves,” Holden wrote. “The programs clearly demonstrate trauma-informed care and strong family involvement. Through strong leadership and consistent support for CARE, Monroe Campus held the model through the last few difficult years.”

Hillside’s Finger Lakes Campus previously earned CARE certification, and the Snell Farm and Crestwood campuses are in varied stages of the certification process. CARE principles are also being integrated into the applicable work of Hillside’s non-program staff.

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