Our Voice

The Day After the Kavanaugh Hearings, at a Place that Works with Sexual Assault Survivors

Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Blasey FordBy Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

Revised October 3, 2018. This blog post has produced a very positive response and healthy debate and conversations. In respect for the opinions expressed by a few, we have revised some of the language — though not the essence — of this blog post. The Child Center of NY firmly believes that every voice deserves to be heard.

Women and men were in tears and visibly upset at work yesterday. Some may have been survivors of sexual assault themselves; and many of them, especially clinicians in our behavioral health division, have worked with clients who came to The Child Center for help dealing with what we know are the effects — long-term and short-term — of any sexual assault.

We were huddled around phones and computers, watching with astonishment and disbelief at the Kavanaugh hearings, at the questioning of Christine Blasey Ford, Ph.D., and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Our disbelief was grounded in our professional knowledge of how survivors of sexual assault should be treated, and this was not the way.

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Aggressive Attendance Initiative Brings Success to “Failing” School

Shows Students Have Had the Potential All Along

By Saran Shields, MSW
Community School Director, August Martin High School

Blog author Saran Shields with August Martin High School students

September is Attendance Awareness Month, and there’s no better place to spotlight the importance of attendance — and attendance efforts — than August Martin High School in South Jamaica, Queens. Continue reading

Grandparents as Parents Survival Guide

Tips for Grandparents Who Are Primary Caregivers

By Michele Neuhaus, Director, 0-5 Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative

September 9 is Grandparents Day, one of those holidays that’s seen as cluttering up the calendar and a ploy by the greeting card industry. It shouldn’t be.

In my line of work, I see a lot of families in which, for a variety of reasons, parents are unable to care for their young children, and it’s the grandparents who step in to fill the role of primary caretaker. According to census figures, 2.7 million grandparents nationwide are raising grandchildren, up 7 percent from 2009. It’s the epitome of unconditional love they are showing for both their children and grandchildren; it’s a truly wonderful thing.

Wonderful, but not necessarily easy. Continue reading

The Real People Affected by the Ohio State Domestic Violence Scandal

By Yolanda Vega, LMSW
Associate Director, Elmhurst Family Center

At The Child Center of NY, our primary concern is always for the whole family — and how it affects the children’s overall well-being.

So when I hear about high-profile cases of domestic violence, my first thought is always how the situation affects the children: those directly involved (e.g., the abuser’s children) as well as those with no direct involvement but whose sense of the world is being formed by what they hear of it — especially from the people they love and trust.

It seems this was the last thing on the minds of anyone involved in the case of Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer Continue reading

On the Separation of Migrant Families at the Southern Border

By Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

A famous quote, often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, states that a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. Children depend entirely on others and are therefore the most vulnerable among us. Living up to our responsibility to our children is our most sacred obligation. Continue reading

Stepping Up: Recognizing Men Who Show Up, in Places Where We Think They Aren’t

 

By Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

Manny Fiallo Jr.

Far Rockaway lost a giant of the community last year with the death of the incomparable Manny Fiallo Jr. Manny was a larger than life figure who, at the same time, managed to be relatable and approachable, and always had time for you — no matter who “you” were. In a neighborhood that’s seen more than its share of violence, less than its share of opportunity, and was on the verge of losing hope, Manny stood up to change things. He was dedicated to stopping the violence and embracing the potential in every kid. Manny never considered a child — or adult, for that matter — beyond hope, and he showed us he was right.

I’d say his passing left a void in the community, but perhaps the best thing we can say about a leader when he passes is that he leaves not a void, but a legacy. Continue reading

Spade and Bourdain Suicides Reflect How We Perceive Sadness—in Ourselves and Others

By Joseph Scotto, LCSW-R
Vice President, Behavioral Health

I once had a patient who survived the September 11th terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. He was the only one in his office who did. For four hours, his wife couldn’t get in touch with him and believed him to be dead. Both suffered from extreme depression afterward—but both were too ashamed to acknowledge it. How could they be depressed when he, unlike so many they knew, came home? People around them were quick to tell them how they should feel: “You are so lucky,” people would say after hearing of their harrowing experience. Not: “I’m so sorry you went through this.”

I thought of that man and his wife when I heard about the suicide of Kate Spade and then, just a few days later, of Anthony Bourdain. Continue reading

Love, Inside and Out

By Tina Reynolds, MSW
Project Director, A Vision for Tele-Visiting

When we picture families paying tribute to Mom on Mother’s Day, we don’t tend to envision the celebration in a prison. But that scenario is a reality for many American children, and an out-of-reach dream for others. Continue reading

This Women’s History Month, Time’s Up on More than You Think

The author’s grandmother, Eleanor, who grew up without a mom present — and was the author’s biggest influence.

By Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

Women’s History Month is one of those observances that everyone knows about every year, but few people take notice. While that should never be the case, it is especially important that this is not one of those years. Continue reading

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