Social Services Division

Mission: To strengthen, support and protect Akwesasne Families in all stages of life for seven generations.

Adult Protective Services (APS)
382 State Route 37, Akwesasne
Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 518-358-9659

The Protective Services for Adults or APS program has the legal responsibility to investigate alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation of impaired adults, age 18 and over.

Protective Services for Adults are available to Tribal enrolled members who live in St. Regis County age 18 or older, living in the community, who are at risk of abuse or neglect. Services include: counseling for the adult and family, arranging for medical and mental health assessments, applying for benefits, coordination with law enforcement and other agencies, finding alternative living arrangements, financial management services , homemaker and housekeeper chore services within specified limits, crisis interventions such as protective court orders, and long term legal interventions, such as guardianship.

Child Protective Services (CPS)
382 State Route 37, Akwesasne
Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 518-358-4516, 518-358-9659

Child Protective Services focuses on protecting children from suffering future abuse, maltreatment and neglect. The purpose of CPS is to encourage more complete reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. Child Protective Services is required to receive and investigate child abuse and maltreatment reports, to protect children from further abuse and maltreatment, and to provide rehabilitative services for the children, parents, and other family members involved. CPS focuses on the child in the context of the family, and recognizes the value of the family to the child. Removing a child from the home is the last resort, and used only when less drastic means of protection are impossible. New York State is geared toward helping families by providing services to prevent family break-up or to reunite a child whom has already left a home.

Family Assessment Response (FAR)
382 State Route 37, Akwesasne
Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 518-358-4516, 518-358-9659

The Family Assessment Response (FAR) is a child protective response that does not require an investigation. It is an alternative approach to providing protection to children by focusing on engaging families in informal and formal support services that meet their needs and increases their ability to care for their children. FAR requires an initial assessment of child safety. If a child is assessed to be in danger, the report may not be handled using a family assessment response. States have found that a family assessment approach is less threatening to and is more engaging of families. It allows the family to have a larger role in determining what services will benefit their children and the DSS is more likely to be viewed by the family as a helping entity in the future should issues arise that create risk to children.

Akwesasne Youth Group Home
35 Library Road, Akwesasne
Hours of Operation: 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
Phone: 518-358-9184

Mission: To provide confidential services to strengthen, support and protect Onkwehonwe and their families in all stages of life for seven generations by providing the knowledge and the tools needed to become independent and self-empowered, incorporating traditional values, language and culture.

The Akwesasne Youth Group Home was developed as a result of the need for direct access to active and effective residential services in Akwesasne. The concern was not whether our children were receiving adequate services off reservation, rather that we wanted to develop a program that emphasized the importance of native culture and identity.

The Akwesasne Youth Group Home goals are to establish a behavior modification based program to meet the spiritual and cultural needs of native youth placed within our facility. The basis of this methodology is that the individual is reinforced appropriately, either positively or negatively, for corresponding appropriate or inappropriate behavior. This will be accomplished through the use of native ceremonies, history and education.

The program objective is to provide a consistent, stable, normalized environment where youth will continue to learn and internalize appropriate and desirable behaviors. This environment will contribute to holistic developmental growth; mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. The long range objective is to decrease and finally extinguish the dependency on external controls that regulate behavior. The program will enable youth to develop appropriate coping skills needed to become responsible, successful members of the community.

The Akwesasne Youth Group Home will focus on three basic areas; educational, social responsibility and independent living. The emphasis for each youth will vary according to what specific behaviors and/or skills are in need of attention.

  • Male and female adolescents between the ages of 13 – 17 years
  • Must have proof of Native American status
  • Adolescents can be placed through the court system or as an open case through the Social Services Division
  • Admission packets are available
  • The Akwesasne Group Home is a long-term, 24-hour facility

Foster Care and Adoption
376 State Route 37, Akwesasne
Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Phone: 518-358-4516
Emergency Contact: Tribal Police 518-358-9200

Foster Care is the temporary care of children whose families are having problems that put the children at risk for abuse or neglect. The two types of foster care are Voluntary and Court-Mandated Placements. When children are placed in the legal custody of the Social Services Division, the best suitable housing arrangement for the child is determined. The safety of the child is always the priority of this process. In foster care, it is preferable to keep siblings together and under the care of a person that they are already familiar with. Types of placement include: Family member/Relative, Regular Foster Care, Residential or Respite (Emergency, temporary placement). Adoption gives children a permanent home. Often foster parents choose to adopt their foster child when it is not possible for the child to return home safely. You do not need to be a foster parent to adopt a child. As an adoptive parent, you will receive financial assistance, support through home visits and training opportunities.

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
412 State Route 37, Akwesasne
Weekdays, 8;00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Phone: 518-358-2272
Emergency contact: Tribal Police 518-358-9200

Mission: To insure that all child agencies within and outside New York State are complying with the ICWA Federal Law of 1978 when dealing with enrolled or eligible to be enrolled Mohawk Children.

Federally implemented as law in 1978. To protect the best interest of native children when complying with court ordered federal law. It allows for the child’s identity to be established by providing tribal notification so intervention can be made possible through foster care, adoption and a development plan in working with several social service agencies to enhance positive growth for the child and family. When placement of a child is necessary it prefers extended family, or a certified home within the tribal community.

Intensive Preventive Program (IPP)
878 State Route 37, Akwesasne
Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mission: To provide cost effective home and community based alternatives for the care and protection of “at risk” youth and Families who are at risk of placement out of the home. The program operates on the premise that even the most troubled youth and families have strengths, capabilities, preferences, and values that can and must be fully developed.

The major goal of the Intensive Preventive Program is to provide the Social Services Division, the future Tribal court, and families of the community of Akwesasne, cost effective alternatives to residential care and other forms of out-of-home care. Intensive Preventive Program achieves this through a mix of individualized in-home and community based services developed around each family’s unique circumstances. Connecting families with resources that accommodate specific needs of the family.

IPP operates with the premise that even the most troubled youth and families have strengths and capabilities that can and must be developed. The core features of our program are designed to guide the development of these strengths and capabilities, so youth and families can function positively in their homes and community. Flexibility is a trademark of the Intensive Preventive Program; the basic service delivery system is adaptable to the specific needs according to court orders and Service Plan recommendations.

Preventive Services
376 State Route 37, Akwesasne
Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Phone: 518-358-4516
Emergency Contact: Tribal Police 518-358-9200

Mission: To provide casework services to assist families in staying together when a child is at risk of entering foster care and/or hasten the return home of children in foster care.

Voluntary: Parents can apply for Preventive Services on their own; such as wanting their children to receive advocacy services through the Intensive Preventive Program and/or when placing their teenage child into the Akwesasne Group Home.

Court-Mandated Cases are involuntary procedures that require legal petitions such as Person in Need of Supervision (PINS) and Juvenile Delinquency (JD). They may also be ordered as a result of an investigation through Child Protective Services which would work their way through the Family Court System. Requirements: The applicant must be eligible for enrollment with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and reside on the Franklin County, NY portion of Akwesasne.

Three Sisters Program

Three SistersLocation withheld, Akwesasne
Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: Toll-free  855-3SISTER (855-374-7837)
Emergency: Tribal Police 518-358-9200

Mission: Always Here to Protect, Empower & Guide our Sacred Families


  • Safety Planning
  • 24 hour Crisis Response
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Advocacy
    • Personal
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Family Court
    • Transitional Housing
    • Transportation
    • Orders of Protection
  • Supervised Visitation & Exchange
  • Safe Home

Perhaps the most difficult step in accessing our help is contacting us the first time.  This can take a lot of  courage. Please call toll-free 855-3SISTER. You are not alone.  Living a life free of abuse or violence is a right that all people deserve to have.

View the video, To The Indigenous Woman by John Red Corn on Youtube.  Download the transcript.  Link to the Indian Law Resource Center Safe Women Strong Nation project website.