By Traci Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer
Lead Clinical Coordinator Chrissie Chua conducts tele-therapy sessions with her clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Governor’s office deemed The Child Center staff essential. That is in no small part because of our social workers and other service providers and support staff. They are essential to their clients, and to our community at large, and I can think of no better theme for Social Work Month 2021 than this year’s theme: Social Workers Are Essential. Continue reading
Tribute to the longstanding service of Deepmalya Ghosh
Twenty-two years ago, when The Child Center of NY was still called the Queens Child Guidance Center (QCGC) and focused solely on mental health counseling, then-QCGC Clinical Social Worker Deep Ghosh presented at a conference on childhood trauma. Someone there mentioned Beacon centers.
At the time, “I didn’t know what they were talking about,” Ghosh recalls. “But I learned Beacons are all-purpose centers open to the community for recreation, arts, afterschool — all different things — for all ages. And I thought, I hope we get one.” Continue reading
Tributes in Memory of Gabriella Hernandez, Family Worker at EarlyLearn Corona
By Lillian Rodriguez-Magliaro, Senior Program Director, EarlyLearn Corona
On April 13, 2020, Gabriella Hernandez passed away, as a result of complications from COVID-19. I had known Gabriella for about seven years, and for the past two years she served as a family worker at the EarlyLearn Corona program, where I was her supervisor. Upon meeting her all those years ago, I immediately noticed Gabriella was an exceptional and loving human being. I knew she would make a great addition to our EarlyLearn team. I admired and respected her for her commitment to clients, her friends, and family. Continue reading
A beloved coach is deeply missed by the Child Center community.
Coach Jermaine, center, reflecting the team spirit he was known for.
The terrible news came in mid-March. The COVID-19 pandemic had hit home, taking the life of Jermaine Miller, better known as Coach Jermaine to participants at our Beacon Program at Catherine and Count Basie M.S. 72.
While Coach Jermaine was a natural leader and teacher on the basketball court, his real gift was inspiring youth to live up to their potential not just as athletes, but also in character. Continue reading
Mourning the loss and celebrating the legacy of our former staff member
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched us personally and painfully. Clients’ lives have been devastated. And we tragically have lost three staff members to the virus — beautiful, giving, and selfless individuals who dedicated their lives to service.
In April, we lost a very special young man, Jeremy Beddoe, to COVID. Continue reading
A Q&A with Our HALE III Team
The HALE III team is a close-knit group. Here they are at a baby shower for two of their team members.
Editor’s Note: This Q&A provides a snapshot of the important role our social workers and other therapists play in the lives of some of NYC’s most under-served children and families. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these dedicated professionals now are conducting tele-visits instead of in-person visits — and they have done it without missing a beat. Stay tuned for stories of how various members of The Child Center’s dedicated staff are going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting all of us, but has unique implications for our clients.
The Child Center of NY’s HALE (Holding Adolescents in Loving Environments) III program uses evidence-based family interventions to reduce risks of abuse and foster care placement. Most families in the program have sought our services voluntarily. Some are referred to us by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. Regardless of how families come to us, our HALE III team — made up of therapists Elsa Barkhordarian, LMSW; Webb Casimir, MSW candidate; Therese Despeine, MA MFT; Vanessa Heller, LCSW, MPH; Domonique Wilson, MSW; Tatiana Wilson, MHC; Program Secretary Lissette Camilleri; and Program Director Elizabeth Traverso, LCSW-R — understands that the vast majority of parents want to do well by their children and will do so when given the right skills, counseling, and support. The team works to equip families with these tools. Here’s how they do it.
A linchpin of our Early Head Start program, home visitors play a crucial role in helping clients strengthen the parent-child bond and increase school readiness where it begins: the home. They work with low-income families with babies, toddlers, and pregnant women, using the ParentChild+ home visiting model and curriculum. These dedicated professionals show parents how they can help their children learn, grow, reach developmental milestones, and feel confident and safe.
Alondra Santiago has served as a home visitor at The Child Center of NY for three years — and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Alondra (left) with clients Isaías and his mom Rosalba
How did you get involved in this line of work? Continue reading
Thanks to generous supporter Russ Carson, The Child Center is able to honor an outstanding employee every year at our annual gala. The award is presented to a staff member who goes above and beyond for clients and epitomizes The Child Center’s innovative approach — qualities that perfectly describe Saran Shields. As Senior Program Director and Community School Director at August Martin High School, Shields and her team helped AMHS’s 24 percent graduation rate shoot to 73 percent in three years. Continue reading
On June 19, The Child Center of NY hosted a retirement celebration for Micki Segel, LCSW-R, who began working with the agency an incredible 32 years ago — before we were even known as The Child Center!
Most recently our Associate Director of Youth Development, School-Based Mental Health (SBMH), Micki has been an unfailing advocate throughout the decades for the children in her care, as evidenced by her blog post, Three Ways Schools Can Counter the Rise in Teen Suicide, and her comments in this article about the devastating consequences of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
Below is the farewell address Micki gave to colleagues at Queens Bully — four blocks from our administrative headquarters in Forest Hills and four miles from our South Jamaica (SJ) Clinic, where Micki spent the majority of her tenure with us. Thank you, Micki, for your hard work and dedication. You will certainly be missed.