ELMIRA (WENY) -- It's been a few days since an 8-month-old baby was found abandoned in a plastic bag in the yard of an Elmira home. In wake of the incident, we decided to look into resources available for parents who may need some support.
Whether they're struggling with being a new parent or do want to surrender their child, the Department of Social Services says they can help.
There are plenty of resources and referrals they can make.
Two mentioned today were the Southern Tier Pregnancy Center and Mothers Helping Mothers of Elmira. Both provide guidance when it comes to being a new parent, dealing with stress or a handful of other parenting obstacles.
The DSS says regardless of the issue, their goal is to help not only the child, but also the parents.
"When a parent is in a position where they don't want to take care of a child anymore, we typically try to work with that parent to find other resources," says Chad Hammond, an assistant counsel for Chemung County's Social Services. "[That could be] a family member, a teacher, a pastor--someone who can take that child and can alleviate them from that responsibility. [We] then put them into services to try and help them get to that level they need to be at to take care of the child."
That also goes for anyone who could be concerned about a child's well being.
There are dozens of resources, including hotlines through the DSS that encourage anyone who may be concerned to make that call.
Regardless of the caller's involvement, Hammond encourages the public to know the DSS is simply there to help.
"Those agencies are designed to assist you and point you in the right direction," says Hammond. "Our Preventative Services Department here at Social Services is one of the agencies that will put you in every which way and direction you may need."
For more information on any of the available services, visit Chemung County's Department of Social Services website.