Otsego County Courts

Family Court

Children's Center General Guidelines

1. The Children’s Center is open daily from 8:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. There is no charge for use of the Center.

2. The Children’s Center is open to children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years, whose caregivers are there for Family Court business or have appointments on premises with the Department of Social Services. The service is available only while the caregiver is in Court, in other activities involving their appearance in Family Court, or is directly involved in an appointment for services.

3. The caregiver must sign the child(ren) in and complete the required forms before leaving the child(ren) at the Center. Please allow 10 minutes for this process.

4. The caregiver must give The Children’s Center staff their location at the time of registration. Any changes in location must be reported to the staff.

5. If The Children’s Center is at capacity, the caregiver can place the child(ren)’s name on a waiting list. The caregiver must also state where he/she can be found should an opening occur. Capacity: 6 children.

6. The Children’s Centers Program has a statewide “NO VISITORS” policy. No visitors (anyone other then the party who signed the child(ren) in) will be allowed into the Center. Reunions, visitations and interviews ARE NOT ALLOWED in the Center.

7. The child(ren) will only be released to the person who signed the child(ren) in, or the designated alternate who signed the intake form. When there is a change of custody or removal staff must receive a copy of a signed Short Court Order before releasing the child(ren).

8. Children with communicable diseases will not be accepted into the Center. If a child becomes ill while in the Center, he/she will be given a quiet place to rest and the parent/caregiver will be notified.

9. Staff may not administer any medication (over-the-counter, or prescription).

10. In case of an emergency evacuation, parents or caregivers should go to the Courthouse instead of returning to the Center. Children may not be signed out until they are inside the Courthouse.

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