Autumn 2016    Vol. 4 - Number 4
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2016 Code of Conduct Award Winners Hail from North Country to Long Island
Diane Celano-Carnahan is just one example of a caregiver who goes above and beyond her job responsibilities. When two people receiving services at her Long Island agency decided to get married, Celano-Carnahan, a supervisor at Options for Community Living, Inc. helped them arrange a beautiful ceremony with friends and family to ensure their wedding day would be perfect.

Celano-Carnahan of Smithtown was one of five caregivers to receive the Justice Center's 2016 Code of Conduct Recognition award. Rickie and Rose Hoseler, family care providers from Malone; Michael Maloney, Assistant Director of Unity House of Troy; and Ballston Spa resident, Susan Polmateer, a Community Habilitation/Respite Worker for Saratoga Bridges were honored at a ceremony held in Delmar September 29. The annual award recognizes ethical conduct and outstanding service as outlined in the Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs.

“Nearly all caregivers who devote their careers to providing services to vulnerable New Yorkers are absolutely dedicated to meeting the needs of the people they serve,” said William T. Gettman, Chair of the Justice Center Advisory Council. “These awards provide an important opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate their exemplary work, but in particular, those individuals they serve.”

Family members, personal representatives, and provider agencies submitted 60 names to the Justice Center and 17 individuals were selected for recognition. Of those nominees, the Justice Center’s Advisory Council selected four winners, including one couple. The winners work in programs overseen by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH):

Code of Conduct Awardees.

LEFT TO RIGHT, SECOND ROW: Justice Center Advisory Council member Glenn Liebman, Justice Center Advisory Council Chair William T. Gettman, Family Care Provider Rickie Hoseler, Unity House Assistant Service Director of Community Resources Michael Maloney, Justice Center Executive Deputy Director Jay Kiyonaga. FRONT ROW: Saratoga Bridges Community Habilitation/Respite Worker Susan Polmateer, Family Care Provider Rose Hosler, and Options for Community Living, Inc. Supervisor Diane Celano-Carnahan.
  • Diane Celano-Carnahan – Supervisor, Options for Community Living, Inc. (OMH) Smithtown, N.Y. – Ms. Celano-Carnahan has a long history of working in the field – with 30 years at Options. Ms. Celano-Carnahan was noted for her exceptional commitment to the people she serves – including organizing and planning a wedding for two residents receiving services at an agency site. She was also cited for her diligence in maintaining culturally diverse programs.
  • Rickie and Rose Hoseler – Family Care Providers (OPWDD) Malone, N.Y. – The Hoselers, who are receiving the award as a couple, were cited for their tireless attention to a child with special needs who they took into their home and treated as family – ensuring as best they could that he would live his life uninhibited by disabilities and health challenges. They provided loving care to the child throughout his life until his final days. Staff at Glens Falls Hospital were so impressed with their care, that they wrote a thank you and sympathy note to the Hoselers.
  • Michael Maloney – Unity House (OMH) Troy, N.Y. – Mr. Maloney, an Assistant Service Director of Community Resources, is the first point of contact for those who come to Unity House for help with food, clothing, employment and homelessness prevention. He helped create a program using peer-to-peer mentoring to encourage adults to find and receive mental health services available to them.
  • Susan Polmateer – Community Habilitation/Respite Worker, Saratoga Bridges (OPWDD) Ballston Spa, N.Y. – Ms. Polmateer was nominated by a parent of a non-verbal child she was assisting. The parent described Ms. Polmateer’s tireless and creative approaches to teaching daily life skills to the child and how she not only improved the quality of the child’s life but that of the entire family.
The following individuals were also recognized for their good work:
  • Olakunle Dada-Bello, Direct Support Professional, On Your Mark, Staten Island
  • Lisa Falbo, Chief of Residential Services, Rockland Psychiatric Center, Orangeburg
  • Marlene Frazier, Manager, AHRC Nassau, Brookville
  • Lisa Getman, Sr. Vice President Corporate Compliance/HIPAA Officer, United Cerebral Palsy, Utica
  • Ryan Haner, Youth Division Aide 3, Finger Lakes Residential Center, Lansing
  • Mike Hill, Teacher, Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office, Hauppauge
  • Cynthia Jones, Residential Shift Supervisor/DSP-R, The Arc of Ulster-Greene, Kingston
  • Lathia Jones, Program Manager, The Children's Village, Dobbs Ferry
  • Cynthia Longo, Director of Residential Services, CN Guidance and Services, Hicksville
  • Maureen Martinez, Director, Residential Services, Job Path, New York City
  • Heather Oatman, Mental Health Therapist, Credo Community Center, Watertown
  • Emily Schmerbeck, Behavioral Intervention Specialist, Catholic Charities Community Services, Rochester
  • Jacqueline Smith, Day Hab Coordinator, Seneca Cayuga ARC, Waterloo and Auburn
Employees who assist people with special needs must sign the Code of Conduct every year. It provides them with an ethical framework to help people with special needs “live self-directed meaningful lives in their communities, free from abuse and neglect, and protected from harm.”
 Justice Center Provides Support
 to Victims and Families
As part of its mission to put the needs and interests of victims first, the Justice Center employs a team of advocates who provide guidance and assistance to people receiving services who have either been victims of, or witnesses to, acts of abuse and neglect. Services are also provided to their families.
“Ensuring that people who receive services are protected from abuse and neglect is the Justice Center’s number one priority,” said Justice Center Individual and Family Support Director Dee Levy. “We want to be sure that people receiving services and their families have a clear understanding about the investigative process and any support services they may be entitled to, especially in IFSU Advocatethose instances where a crime may have been committed.”
The Justice Center’s Individual and Family Support Unit is staffed with 10 advocates and has responded to more than 3,700 calls from people who receive services or their family members and personal representatives since 2013. Services include: guidance and information about the reporting and investigative process, support during criminal cases and proceedings, victim interview accompaniment, and case status updates. Pictured here is a Justice Center advocate providing information at the Self Advocacy Association of New York State's Annual Conference in Colonie, N.Y.
The Individual and Family Support Unit is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Free language interpretation assistance is available. To contact an advocate for assistance, Call: 1-800-624-4143 and request Individual and Family Support. Relay users, please dial 7-1-1 and give the operator 1-800-624-4143. 

A comprehensive guide for individuals receiving services and their families about Justice Center investigations is available on the Justice Center website here.
Justice Center Develops Abuse Prevention Sample Policy
The Justice Center has developed an abuse prevention sample policy that provider agencies can use tAbuse Prevention Sample Policyo establish their own policy. The sample policy contains definitions and prevention methods including employment screening and selection, monitoring and supervision, and training and reporting requirements. The sample policy can be modified to meet providers' individual needs. Provider agencies are advised to consult with their legal counsel before implementing any new policies. The sample policy is located on the Justice Center’s Abuse Prevention Resource Center web page and can be viewed here.
Administrative Hearing Decisions Now Online and Searchable
Justice Center Administrative Hearing Decisions can now be found on the agency's website.  Administrative Hearing DecisionsDecisions contain findings of fact, and conclusions of law and orders affirming, reversing or modifying original decisions. In keeping with state law, the copies of decisions are redacted, removing peoples' names to protect their privacy and confidential information. Decisions from 2014 to May 2016 can be viewed by key word searching. Additional information about the Administrative Appeals Process can be found on the Justice Center’s website.
New Help Guide for Reporting Abuse and Neglect Available
Help Guide
The Justice Center has published a new guide to educate individuals receiving services, family members, caregivers health care professionals and the public about what they should do if they witness or become aware of an incident of abuse or neglect.

The brochure contains information about the types of incidents that should be reported, how to make a report, and what happens after a a report is made. The guide can be found here

Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader are needed to open the link and view and print the brochure. 

Printed copies are also available upon request by
contacting the Justice Center.

Multiple Systems Navigator Provides Important Information for Children with Special Needs
The New York State Council on Children and Families recently launched an online communications system known as the New York State Multiple Systems Navigator “to provide easily accessible resources, service information and tools to assist youth, parents, family members/caregivers, and front-line staff currently struggling to effectively and efficiently navigate multiple human service systems.” The goal of the project is to create a web-based, “one-stop-shop” providing user-friendly, and up-to-date information for people with disabilities. The project was funded by the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.
Justice Center in the News:

Troy Record: Unity House worker honored for ethics
Smithtown Matters: Justice Center Announces winners of Code of Conduct Award
NY Daily News: Brooklyn juvenile detention center aide faces 16 years in prison

Buffalo News: Clarence Center nurse pleads guilty to sexual abuse
Plattsburgh Press Republican: Court convicts in Sunmount case
Newsday: Ex-manager sentenced in abuse of disabled child
Times Union: Ex-LaSalle teacher charged with sex with student in Albany classroom
Ken-Ton Bee: Tonawanda resident pleads guilty in attempted rape case
WGRZ-TV: Woman charged in attack on youth in her care
Daily Freeman: Kingston man charged with endangering welfare of disabled person
Syracuse Post Standard: Prison possible for nurse accused of pushing mentally ill 6-year-old down
Newsday: Employee at LI center abused person in her care
Plattsburgh Press Republican: Former Sunmount worker sentenced for providing false information
Buffalo News: Wheatfield drug rehab workers charged with having sex with patients
Daily Gazette: Clifton Park man with ties to MMA charged with child abuse
Auburn Citizen: Auburn woman, ex-Unity House counselor, facing rape and sex abuse charges
Finger Lakes Times: Hillside worker accused of assault
The Justice Center's Jurisdiction Covers Certain Facilities and Programs Operated, Licensed or Certified by the Following New York State Agencies:

161 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, New York 12054-1310

Report Abuse: 
1-855-373-2122 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

 Individual and Family Support Unit (IFSU): 1-800-624-4143
(Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm) Request Individual and Family Support

Information & Referral: 1-800-624-4143 (Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm)

General Phone: (518) 549-0200 


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Copyright © 2016 NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, All rights reserved.

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