Our Voice

Hamilton Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s New Video Gets It Right on Immigration

Vice President Mike Pence unwittingly made the Broadway show Hamilton even more famous than it already was when he got a personal message from the cast about representing all Americans — including immigrants. As an agency that serves one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the nation, we at The Child Center were grateful that the episode brought attention to the plight of immigrants, especially at this pivotal time in politics. But, as expected, the attention was short-lived. That’s why we’re so glad Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez have teamed up to create a music video set to the show’s unforgettable song, “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done).” Continue reading

Three Ways Schools Can Counter the Rise in Teen Suicide

And an Offer to Help Schools Implement One of Them

Just in time for Mental Health Awareness Month, CNN reported last weekend on an alarming rise in children hospitalized with suicidal thoughts or actions. To those of us in the mental health field, the news was troubling and disheartening, but not surprising. At The Child Center of NY, which has been providing mental health services to children and families for more than 60 years, we’ve seen the increase firsthand across our clinics and other behavioral health programs. Thankfully, we’ve also seen what works to counter it: more mental health services in the place where kids spend most of their day — their schools — offered early, and on every level. Continue reading

Join the Sustain Our Sanctuary Campaign

Our organization is a vital partner with government in providing services in the community; government relies on our expertise in creating and delivering programs, and we in turn rely on government contracts for many of the services we offer. Through this partnership, government obligations are met and our mission is moved forward.

In fact, New York City outsources almost all human services to nonprofits, investing about $4 billion annually in programs that serve 1.5 million New Yorkers each year Continue reading

When It Comes to Criminal Justice Reform, Why Aren’t We Mentioning Mothers?

mothers in prisonWith all the recent press surrounding criminal justice issues—including President Obama’s record number of sentence commutations and his substantial piece in Harvard Law Review about the need to replace a policy of ongoing punishment with a policy of second chances—where is the mention of incarcerated mothers? Barriers that prevent women from raising their children from prison and upon their release are having a profound impact on many communities and the nation as a whole; removing them should be at the top of any criminal justice agenda. Yet the issue receives nary a mention. Continue reading

Robert Cizma Heads Up New Child Center Program Area

Staff Spotlight:  Robert Cizma, Vice President of Health Homes and Integrated Care


Robert Cizma

“My philosophy has always been ‘it takes a village.’  We want to help families so they get to the point where they don’t need us.  In other words, we want to be that village.”

Robert Cizma is all about comprehensive services and wraparound treatment, having had the opportunities over his 30-year+ career to view client needs at every level.  His extensive experience in behavioral health services, as a line worker on up to his current position as Vice President of Health Homes and Integrated Care for The Child Center of NY, has provided him with a unique perspective. The new position, initiated with Robert’s hiring, creates a fifth program area for the agency.

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Obama’s Speech Was a Call to Support Social Impact Organizations

Obama FarewellPeople can’t stop talking about President Obama’s farewell address, which sure is saying something, because presidential farewells are typically regarded as snoozers. (President George W. Bush’s staff reportedly had to beg networks to air his.) There’s no question that part of the reason why Obama’s remarks were water cooler-caliber was because they were uncommonly eloquent (which they were), or because we’re having end-of-term nostalgia (which many people undoubtedly are), or because his tone was so strikingly dissimilar to the tone taken by his successor the next day. But I think the reason the speech resonated with so many people was because of its spot-on emphasis: Continue reading

Statement of Child Center CEO Traci Donnelly on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Enhanced Middle Class Child Care Credit Proposal

4workers_300x300“Last week, Governor Cuomo announced a new Enhanced Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit that will help more than 200,000 middle class families make their child care more affordable. For many of the nearly 22,000 children and families The Child Center of NY serves per year, limited access to low-cost programs can force parents to choose between providing safe, quality child care arrangements and work. Under the Governor’s proposal, middle class families earning between $50,000 and $150,000 would see their benefit double, on average from $169 to $376. Continue reading

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