Bridges to Health

Support Services for Children with Disabilities Who have Lost Their Parents and are in Foster Care

Our Bridges to Health Program (B2H) is certified by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and Bureau of Waiver Services and is funded through direct billing to Medicaid. It provides care for disabled children who have experienced the loss of a parent through death, imprisonment, abandonment, mental illness or substance abuse. They are now in foster care and have serious emotional problems, developmental disabilities or are medically fragile.

By improving their overall function, health, and well-being in a supportive environment, B2H prevents the likelihood of the enrolled child's need for institutional medical care. The program also serves his or her families including birth parents, foster parents, pre-adoptive parents and siblings.

The House of the Good Shepherd is a certified New York State Health Care Integration Agency (HCIA) that works with each Local Department of Social Services (LDSS) to make referrals, determine eligibility and handle enrollment decisions. Our Health Care Integration (HCI) Program coordinates and administers the child's healthcare plan. The Waiver Service Provision (WSP) provides the child services in addition to his/her Health Care Integration.

bridges to health

Who is Eligible?
  • Children in the custody of the Commissioner of the Local Department of Social Services or the state Office of Children & Family Services.
  • Must be Medicaid eligible.
  • Have a qualifying diagnosis.
  • Be able to benefit from our services.
Services Available for the Child, Family and Caregiver
  • Integration of the child's healthcare
  • Skill building
  • Comprehensive family and caregiver support and services
  • Day habilitation
  • Prevocational services
  • Supported employment
  • Planned respite
  • Special needs community advocacy and support
  • Crisis avoidance, management and training
  • Immediate crisis response service
  • Intensive in-home support
  • Crisis respite
  • Accessibility modifications
  • Adaptive and assistive equipment

In Utica Call Graceann Guzski, Associate Executive Director Community Services, at 315.235.7701 or email

In Watertown, call Kathy Perkins, Associate Executive Director Community Services, at  315.782.8064 x15 or email

The House of the Good Shepherd Foster Care Program offers free 12-week training classes.


Jamie Andrews - 315.272.8474

Sue Novak - 315.272.8352


Utica Application
for Foster Care Certification



Chelsea Martin - 315.782.8064 x32

Allison London - 315.782.8064 x10


Watertown Application
for Foster Care Certification


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