Diane Valente, LCSW, Assistant Director of The Child Center of NY’s Woodside Clinic
At The Child Center of NY, we want the children we serve to have the support they need to lead fulfilling lives. That means offering them an array of programs that nurture them wholly, despite any setbacks due to poverty, language barriers, or behavioral health. It means being there for kids whose families or cultures have a hard time accepting them for who they naturally are.
Providing safe and nurturing environments in which children can speak openly with peers about the challenges they face is an important part of who we are, so at our clinics, we try to create opportunities for group therapy as well as individualized counseling. Safe Space groups are often the only method by which young LGBTQ clients can learn to cope with the difficulties they face and develop much-needed resiliency to ensure a brighter future. The Child Center employs experienced, culturally competent behavioral health staff to run these groups and often to work closely with parents of participants to ease their transition from therapy to home life.
We recently spoke with Diane Valente, LCSW, Assistant Director at our Woodside Clinic, who created and manages several support groups there.
A Note from Child Center CEO Traci Donnelly:
I am honored to mark Social Work Month this year by introducing you to one of The Child Center of NY’s many dedicated social workers, Diego Martinez. Diego works in our Jamaica Family Center, guiding clients who struggle with addiction in developing the skills and confidence to find lasting recovery. As you’ll see from this Q&A, Diego represents what is true of just about all the social workers I’ve known (and I’ve known many!): that social work, despite the heavy toll it can sometimes take, is a labor of love. Continue reading
Dr. Anderson Sungmin Yoon, DSW, LCSW-R, came to The Child Center of NY in 2003 as a program manager and behavioral health specialist, serving in a variety of capacities — culminating in Dr. Yoon being named the Vice President of Integrated and Value-Based Care last summer.
Dr. Yoon’s latest project — creating a Family Assessment tool to measure outcomes and connect clients with the full range of services available to them — has been a labor of love, and the accolades for such revolutionary work continue to build. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed Dr. Yoon as a member of The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Substance Abuse Subcommittee and the Municipal Drug Strategy Advisory Council, and in June 2018 Dr. Yoon will join Harvard Medical School’s Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program. Continue reading
By Jennifer Triana, LCSW
School-Based Clinical Supervisor, Long Island City High School
Kevin is a shy, kind, and very intelligent 17-year-old from Queens. On a gorgeous, sunny day this spring, he dons a shiny blue cap and gown with a white stole that reads LIC HS 2017. We make eye contact as he walks down the aisle in Queens College auditorium, knowing how far he has come to achieve this moment.
I began working with Kevin in April 2016, when The Child Center of NY’s school-based mental health clinic at Long Island City High School opened. He was 16 years old but had only enough credits for freshman standing. We met when he was referred by his school guidance counselor for chronic absenteeism and depressed mood.
As a case planner with the Family Treatment and Rehabilitation Program at the Elmhurst Family Center for the past year, Delia Azcona has been putting her master’s degree in social work and her past experience working in a domestic violence shelter to good use. Continue reading
Diane Menzel, in over 15 years with The Child Center, has often utilized her teaching background to better serve clients. At the South Jamaica Clinic, she recognized two challenges: 1) many children facing behavioral health problems have difficulty making friends, and 2) when they are out of school, kids may not otherwise have opportunities to engage with peers. Continue reading
Cheryl Moody is The Child Center’s new Vice President, Controller.
What brought you to The Child Center of NY?
This agency particularly impressed me with the level of service it provides its clients, and especially with its leadership team. In my 20-plus years in the nonprofit sector, I have come to the realization that my heart and passion is here, rather than in the for-profit world. During my initial meeting with Steve and Jaime, I learned that the organization not only had an excellent leadership team, but that the staff also pride themselves in providing the much-needed support to our clients and administrative support throughout the agency. This was later confirmed as I have begun to know my colleagues better, and I’m extremely proud to be among them. I already feel deeply embedded in The Child Center of NY and in ensuring its continued success. Continue reading
The Child Center of NY is pleased to announce that the agency’s chief operating officer, Jaime Angarita, has been selected as a New York Nonprofit Media 40 Under 40 Rising Stars honoree for outstanding work in the nonprofit sector. Continue reading
In the seven years she’s been at The Child Center of NY, Tabatha Ferrer, LMSW, has been a volunteer, group leader, activity specialist, program coordinator, program director, and now a school-based clinical supervisor, splitting her time between Queens United Middle School and Edward Bleeker J.H.S. 185.
Tell us a little about yourself — your childhood, your interests as a child…
I grew up in Queens with both parents and a younger sister. I am the second youngest out of five. As a child, I was active and outgoing. I did dance in and out of school, attended afterschool, and participated in many more activities. I loved playing outside, whether it was jumping rope, playing tag, or going to the park. I thought I would be an actress or lawyer.