Photo of the Month: Military Services

From left to right: John Coppola, Co-CEO of InUnity Alliance (formerly the NYS Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers); and the Child Center Military Services Team: Senior Director Julia Floyd; Edgardo Quinones, LCSW-R, Director of Family Therapy Services and Integrated Care Coordination; and Master Social Worker Xinling Yang, MSW

Veterans Day is a time to remember and honor the service and selflessness of members of our military. It is also a time to honor our commitment to them and their families. That is why this November, the team of our new Military Services initiative traveled to Saratoga Springs for the Ninth Annual Veterans Summit: “Front Sight Focused: Healing the Past for a Successful Future,” sponsored by the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (now InUnity Alliance).

“The conference provided a great opportunity to establish meaningful connections with allied services. We connected with various military services, heard inspiring stories of veterans benefiting from these connections, and we are eager to collaborate moving forward,” says Xinling Yang, MSW, who provides therapy to Military Services clients. “This new offering at The Child Center is a chance for us to make a tangible difference in the lives of veterans, their families, and their children, recognizing that family plays a crucial role in veterans’ reintegration into society. It’s an honor to stand by them and ensure they receive the support they truly deserve.”

Thanks to a grant from Mother Cabrini Health Foundation (MCHF), The Child Center is now providing Military Services at each of our three wellness centers. This new service is designed to honor and support those who served our nation, regardless of discharge, by providing specialized outpatient mental health and other services tailored to their unique needs. As with all Child Center programming, we take a whole-family approach: Supporting affected children and other family members is integral to our services.

“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to shed light on the vital work that we do at The Child Center. To me, it’s fundamentally clear that when an individual makes the selfless decision to serve this country, their commitment is shared by their entire family. It’s a service that extends beyond the individual to their loved ones, and it’s this understanding that has driven us to develop dedicated services for families and veterans.

The experiences of those who serve are varied and complex, and the impacts on their families are equally so. Whether it’s a veteran returning home bearing emotional or physical scars, or a family member grappling with the anxiety and fear of their loved one’s return, we recognize the unique challenges they face.

As the daughter of two people who served in the military, I’ve experienced firsthand the diverse effects their service had as I grew up. It instilled in me a deep understanding of the importance of supporting the family members, particularly the children. It’s essential that we provide them with the resources to understand, cope with, and process their experiences.”

—Julia Floyd, Senior Program Director and longest standing member on the ASAP Veterans Planning Committee 

The Military Services team was excited to spread the word about this new offering to the veterans community and connect with other providers around the state at the conference. And conference attendees were excited to see how The Child Center’s Military Services have made serving the entire family a centerpiece of their approach.

“At the ‘Front Sight Focused’ conference, we gathered to discuss how we could strengthen services for veterans,” says John Coppola, Co-CEO of InUnity Alliance. “The Child Center was a strong voice at the conference and is a leader in efforts to ensure that the entire family receives attention when a veteran is in need. With programs like the NY Certification Board’s Veteran Supported Recovery and The Child Center’s Military Services, there is hope that veterans and their families will get the support and healing they need.”

Our Military Services team sees this new initiative, and especially the emphasis on the family, as an idea whose time has come and the fulfillment of a goal they all have shared.

“When I think about military services it takes me to a larger perspective: the family,” says Edgardo Quinones, LCSW-R, Director of Family Therapy Services and Integrated Care Coordination at The Child Center’s Cohen Family Wellness Center in Woodside, Queens. “When providing services, there is a parent, a sibling, or other relative that is reintegrating into the family system after deployment, and the function and functioning of the family system changes. Many times, the client is not aware of the impact the reentry has on the different members, including the veteran.”

Edgardo knows about this firsthand. “I am the child of a WWII veteran. Since my father’s deployment and discharge from the Army happened many years before I was born, I never connected some of my dad’s behaviors to the military. I just thought he was a strict guy who was setting me and my siblings ‘straight.’ The conference helped me better understand my dad and bring a new perspective into our dynamics and relationship. I am not able to share my insights with him since he has passed on, but I hope it will help me help those families going through similar experiences.”

If you or a loved one served in the military, regardless of discharge, and think you and your family might benefit from these services, please call us at 718-358-8288 or email us at ChildCenterNYintake@childcenterny.org. We stand ready to help you build the future you see for yourself and your family!

Important Changes to New York Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan

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Do you or a family member currently have health insurance through New York State Medicaid, Child Health Plus or the Essential Plan? Starting in Spring 2023, New York State will resume eligibility reviews and renewals for people enrolled in these programs. This means you may need to take action to renew your health insurance or the insurance of your family members.

Here are some things you can do now to get ready.

1) Sign up for text alerts
Sign up to receive SMS/MMS Text alerts from NY State of Health so you don’t miss important health insurance updates, including when it’s time to renew your coverage.

To subscribe, text START to 1-866-988-0327.

2) Make sure your address is up to date
Make sure NY State of Health has your current mailing address, phone number and email address so they can contact you about your health insurance. To update your information:

• Call NY State of Health at 1-855-355-5777 (TTY: 1-800-662-1220)
• Log into your account at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, or
• Contact an enrollment assistor
If you enrolled in Medicaid through your county’s Medicaid office or through New York City’s Human Resources Administration, contact that office to update your address and contact information.

3) Take Action
When it is time to renew your health insurance, you will receive a letter from NY State of Health or a renewal packet if you enrolled through your county’s Local Department of Social Services or the New York City Human Resource’s Administration. This letter/packet will let you know what you need to do to renew your coverage and how much time you have to respond. Follow the instructions right away.

National Intern Day: Q&A with Sandra Ka, MSW

National Intern Day is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the instrumental role interns play in keeping our society running and progressing. Here at The Child Center of NY, interns are crucial to advancing our mission to strengthen families.   

 Anderson Sungmin Yoon, Vice President, Integrated and Value-Based Care, oversees our internship program.Our internship program now resides within the Training Institute in our newest division, Research, Development, Innovation, and Training. We are proud to have created relationships and affiliations with more than 30 universities and graduate schools, including Columbia University, NYU, Nyack College, Hunter College, York College, Stony Brook University, Hofstra University, and others. The program places nearly 40 interns annually, matching them with positions that align with their goals and training them to learn and grow as the future generation of professionals.  Continue reading

Supporter Spotlight: Rocco Sacramone

Clients receiving a frozen turkey.


Chef Rocco Sacramone at Trattoria L’incontro in Astoria.

The Child Center received a unique and generous donation just in time for the holidays from local restaurateur, Chef Rocco Sacramone.

The Child Center of NY is fortunate to have supporters who feel a special connection to our mission based on a variety of factors, from their desire to support their local community to their confidence in our results-based approach — and, always, their belief in our guiding principle: that every family and community deserves access to the skills, opportunities, and emotional support they need to build healthy, successful futures.

Late last year, The Child Center received a unique and generous donation just in time for the holidays from local restaurateur, Chef Rocco Sacramone.  

Clients receiving a frozen turkey.

Our clients truly felt the support of their community and enjoyed a special gift for the holidays.

Since 1999, Chef Sacramone’s family has run Trattoria L’incontro, an Italian eatery just 15 minutes from our Early Childhood Center in Astoria.

Every year, Chef Rocco donates frozen turkeys to various charities. Rocco and his team came across The Child Center of NY after a conversation with a customer at the restaurant. Upon learning about our work supporting children and families and our powerful community presence, they knew we were a perfect fit.

Chef Rocco graciously hand delivered 30 frozen turkeys to our Early Childhood Center in Astoria. His wife, Debbie, also sent a gift set of 100 stuffed animals for the children to take home. Thanks to their generous donation, our clients truly felt the support of their community and enjoyed a special gift for the holidays.

“We’ve been in the community all my life actually. My family came here in 1970 from Italy, we’ve always worked in Astoria,” Chef Rocco said. At the end of the day, everything is about the kids. When I saw the kids, that’s what it’s all about.”

Supporter Spotlight: Xun An Chia

Plushie penguins donated to The Child Center of NY

Plush penguins from Singapore find a home in NYC

Thank you, Xun and WT Partnerships, for this special delivery all the way from Singapore!

Brently Winstead, Development Associate at The Child Center of NY, and Xun An Chia of WT Partnership at our Forest Hills office

Plushie penguins donated to The Child Center of NY

At The Child Center of NY, we are fortunate to have generous donors who support our clients with various types of donations. Just last month, Xun An Chia of WT Partnership in Singapore reached out to The Child Center with a unique offer.

WT Partnership had a surplus of penguin plush toys from a charity event, and Xun wanted to find a home for them during a visit to New York. As a mental health advocate, Xun wanted to ensure the donation went to an organization that offers robust and comprehensive mental health services, particularly to children. When he learned about The Child Center and the families we serve, he got in touch with our Development Associate, Brently Winstead, who happily agreed to find homes for nearly 100 penguin plushies with children in our programs. And Xun, penguins in tow, traveled nearly 10,000 miles to place them in our hands.

Xun met with Brently at The Child Center’s headquarters in Forest Hills and, according to Xun, “One of the more thoughtful conversation topics that we had pertained to that of access to resources and help (support services, behavioral health services, etc.) and that sometimes the right to and even knowledge of the existence of such services may not trickle down to those who need it the most, sometimes simply due to the asymmetry of knowledge due to socioeconomic disparities. 

Another topic of conversation, Xun says, was that surprisingly, the plushies were actually quite difficult to give away. Brently was one of the few individuals who responded positively but it all worked out in the end. He continued, “Ultimately, seeing the box and its contents make it way to its intended destination made it all worth it — as was the journey tossing said boxes through various train station gantries from the airport, to carrying them close to a mile from the nearest train station to my place, which was truly an experience by itself.”

Thank you, Xun, for this extraordinarily special delivery all the way from Singapore! Continue reading

Virtual Recruiting Events

Meet our Agency Talent. Learn about our Job Opportunities.

The Child Center of NY is committed to closing the gap for kids and families in NYC’s under-served communities. Doing this requires recruiting dedicated individuals who have the skill set to make a difference for our communities. During this time of uncertainty, not only are we focused on meeting the immediate needs of our families, but we are actively looking toward the future and searching for the right individuals to join our team! And, we offer per-diem and work-from-home opportunities!

In order to connect with talented and qualified individuals, we are coming to you through virtual interviews with our hiring managers!

Continue reading

Our Team Makes Communities Grow

By Sonia Banks, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Human Resources

The Child Center of NY SVP of Human Resources Sonia Banks introduces Staff Spotlights.

Two months ago, I joined The Child Center of NY as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. It has been an amazing journey so far! This is a mission-committed workplace culture where staff are dedicated to bringing unique skills and competencies to their work.

I believe one of the roles of Human Resources is to support the strategic plan and vision of an organization. I look forward to supporting this vision by working with my team to ensure that processes and programs empower staff to reach their potential. Our focus is on supporting a stronger infrastructure so we can be more responsive to employee needs — because at the end of the day, when employees have the tools to be their best, they naturally empower those in our communities to achieve their educational and economic potential.

As a Queens resident, the mission has a special meaning to me. I am a social scientist who has worked in the corporate arena, at nonprofits, and government agencies helping them create high-quality, collaborative, and efficient work environments. I am honored that through The Child Center, I work alongside those who are invigorated to serve the community I grew up in.

We have wonderful opportunities ahead to transform Human Resources by tapping our collective potential to solve problems and build a culture we all thrive in. Over the coming months, we’ll be developing new ways to spotlight staff across the organization, both as a means to celebrate individual contributions to our mission and invite others to join our team. Stay tuned! I look forward to hearing from my fellow employees with their own inspiring stories of what they love about working here at The Child Center. And to those of you who are interested in making a difference through your work, in your own backyard — join us!

Learn more about Sonia by reading her bio on our Executive Leadership page.

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