Franklin County Profile

County Lead

Suzanne Lavigne, Director, Franklin County Community Services

SOC Team

Franklin County Community services
Phoenix Project
North Star Community SupportServices
North Star Behavioral Health Services
St. Regis Mohawk Health Services
Citizen Advocates, Inc.
Youth and family members


Approximate population – 51,700, 85% White, 6% Black/African American,1% Asian and <.05% other, median age – 39.6, 20% under the age of 18, 8% of individuals 5 yrs of age and older speak a language other than english at home, meadian income – $45,667 (16% of households earn less than $15,000 annually)


  • Create a Family Intervention Team (FIT) awareness among all settings
  • Create a SOC that is guided by empowered youth and family advocates
  • Develop and implement a data collection system to track outcomes
  • Identify and provide training opportunities on SOC evidence based practicies


Franklin County is one of 12 Upstate NY counties that volunteered in July 2011 to take part in a pilot project funded by NYS OMH. In October 2012 these same 12 counties became the first cohort to participate in the NYS Success System of Care (SOC) Learning Collaborative.Franklin County SOC leaders chose to strenghten and expand existing county collaboratives: such as, the Tier I and Tier II CCSI existing teams, the Family Intervention Team, and the Residential Placement Prevention SteeringCommittee to represent their SOC leadership team. Other representatives were added to the team as they began toform their workplan (MHA & OPWDD). The Franklin County SOC leadership team chose to focus on strengtheningthe county’s Family Intervention process and to engage the school system to collaborate on Trauma Informed Care.In 2013, Franklin County SOC launched an initiative to infuse the value and principles of trauma informed care into service delivery and schools in-part through funding provided by a NYS Success Innovation grant.

System of Care Expansion Planning and Implementation Activities

Training / Technical Assistance

  • Ongoing cross-system trauma training (7 school districts, BOCES, and 8 system partners)
  • Family Intervention Training
  • May 2013- day HERO’s (trauma-informed approach) training
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention training
  • 7/7/15 – NYS Success re-fresher SOC orientation by NYSS team members: Mary Coppola (Director); Diane Buoni (Project Coordinator); Daphnne Brown (FTNYS); Brianna Valesey (YP!); Lauren Pualvere (Evaluation consultant University of Albany)

Cultural & Linguistic Competence

  • 9/20/13 – Cultural Competence Workshop facilitated by NYS Success consultant Lenora Reid-Rose


Six Month Report

1. Describe the main objective(s) to be achieved with this funding.

Franklin County SOC TA Funds were dedicated to the Trauma Sensitive Schools Project. The intent of the project was to expand existing collaborations with local school districts and community providers. Funds were also used to provide additional/advanced TIC trainings.

2. Describe progress made to date on achieving stated objective(s).

“Trauma 101 and Beyond” was used as the 2014-15 SY Kickoff Event; presented by Dr. Elizabeth Meeker and hosted by Brushton Moira Central School on November 4, 2015. Educational presentations were provided to parents and school personnel at Brushton Moira and Davis Elementary on November 4-5, 2015. A staff and parent presentation was provided on January 28- 29, 2015 at St. Regis Falls Central School. During a third visit on March 19-20, 2015; Dr. Meeker facilitated similar sessions at Flanders Elementary, Malone Middle School; elementary and secondary schools at Chateaugay Central School. These same schools participated in Collegial Learning Circles during spring 2015 and utilized the text, Reaching and Teaching Children Who Hurt – Strategies for Your Classroom, by Susan E. Craig. During summer 2015, the SOC Leadership Team will work Dr. Meeker to create a sustainability plan to define work moving forward and create strategies to assist the local school districts in serving students impacted by trauma. This will include creating a guidance document to be utilized by school planning teams and providing a work session for schools facilitated by Dr. Meeker. The session would be conducted by Go to Meeting; or, if additional funding can be secured, an onsite training will be made available and sponsored by Franklin County SOC/Community Services.

3. Describe any barriers encountered thus far and steps taken to overcome those barriers.

The major focus of Franklin County SOC has been the trauma sensitive school project. The project was rolled out as a way to assist the schools in working with children impacted by trauma. Most providers had obtained trauma training and understood the need to develop trauma informed care approaches. Due to budget constraints, school districts had not been able to provide trauma training to their staff. The schools initially responded to the project as an assignment of blame; “schools were the reason children were struggling and they weren’t doing their job”. Great effort was necessary to clarify the intent of the project and insure that all parties understood we are all equally accountable for providing the best services possible for children; regardless of service area. The school districts in the northern end of the County have embraced the project and recognize the need for ongoing training and collaboration. Franklin County SOC continues to reach out to the districts in the southern end of the County; efforts to engage these schools have been unsuccessful.