OCO OPTIONS Expands Services

FULTON, NY – Thanks to a new funding source Oswego County Opportunities’ OPTIONS Program has expanded its services.

OPTIONS recently received a grant from the New York State Department of Health that will allow the program to expand its services.

The Maternal and Infant Community Health Collaborative Project (MICHC pronounced “Mitch”) is a five-year New York State Department of Health grant that will allow OCO’s OPTIONS Program to serve all women of reproductive age and their families in Oswego County.

OPTIONS previously focused solely on assisting youth in gaining health care, educational attainment, job readiness, pediatric care and life skills.

According to Family Support Program Manager Christina Bentley this additional funding allows the program to offer benefits to all women of reproductive age throughout Oswego County.

“We have expanded our eligibility for OPTIONS and have made the program more accessible,” said Bentley. “Program participants do not have to be a pregnant or parenting teen to be eligible. OPTIONS can now serve all women who may be pregnant, just had a baby or simply thinking about getting pregnant. OPTIONS also serves women who are not planning a baby but have health issues or concerns, need help getting medical care or health insurance, have mental health or substance abuse issues, are in need birth control, and other related issues.”

Bentley added that OPTIONS also provides assistance with obtaining health insurance, scheduling doctor appointments, connecting families to transportation to go to appointments, health and nutrition education and birth control options as well as a variety of life skills.

“We are here to connect all women of reproductive age and their families to services. We focus on their specific needs. Our compassionate staff offers the flexibility of meeting participants in their home or in a public place if more convenient. We do what’s best for them,” explained Bentley.

OPTIONS is a voluntary program that is confidential and offered free of charge.

Funding for OPTIONS is provided through the Maternal and Infant Community Health Collaborative, Maternal and Early Childhood Foundation, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, United Way and Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention.