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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!

Photo of the Month: Welcome to the Cohen Family Wellness Center!

Ribbon cutting of the Cohen Family Wellness Center in Woodside, Queens
Ribbon cutting of the Cohen Family Wellness Center in Woodside, Queens

From left to right: Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan; Child Center of NY Vice Chair Samuel Freed; Executive Vice Chair Dick Jay; Board Chair Adam H. Schwartz; CEO Traci Donnelly; Julianna Sabra, Co-Head, Foundation and Community Engagement of the Amazin’ Mets Foundation; Alex Cohen (center, cutting the ribbon); Jeanne Melino, Executive Director of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation; NYC Council Member Julie Won; Congresswoman Grace Meng; Child Center client Jonathan; Jane Son, Co-Head, Foundation and Community Engagement of the Amazin’ Mets Foundation; and Assemblymember Steven Raga. Photo credit: Michael Dorgan, amNewYork/QueensPost.

We cut the ribbon at the state-of-the-art Cohen Family Wellness Center (CFWC) in Woodside, Queens, this month, and we couldn’t be happier, prouder, or more grateful! Continue reading

Photo of the Month: Lunar New Year!

A P.S. 182 family attends The Met's Lunar New Year Festival

A P.S. 182 family attends The Met's Lunar New Year FestivalMeet Tahmid and M.D., students at P.S. 182 in Jamaica, Queens, and their parents Mohiuddin and Humaiara.

In honor of Lunar New Year, they, along with 60 members of the P.S. 182 community, attended The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Lunar New Year Festival. Together, students and their families celebrated the Year of the Rabbit with performances, interactive activities, and artist-led workshops for all ages.

P.S. 182 is what is known as a Community School. Continue reading

November Photo of the Month: Cash+Community Works

Corona Cohort A, the Empresarias Soñadoras, of Cash+Community Works

Corona Cohort A, the Empresarias Soñadoras, of Cash+Community WorksMeet the Empresarias Soñadoras, also known as the Corona A cohort of The Child Center of NY’s groundbreaking Cash+Community Works initiative.

Meaning “dreaming entrepreneurs,” the name Empresarias Soñadoras embodies the spirit of Cash+Community Works, a movement grounded in the concept of peer-driven change and defined by direct investment in under-resourced families, trusting them with power, and connecting them with peers in an effort to uplift whole communities. Continue reading

Photo of the Month: Head Start Awareness Month

October is Head Start Awareness Month, a special time to highlight the crucial role of Head Start and Early Head Start in supporting the cognitive, social, and emotional development of young children, ages 0-5, from low-income families.

Pictured here is 3-year-old Omar, who attends our Escalera Head Start program, and his mom, Evelys, during the first of many of the program’s family events. Continue reading

Photo of the Month: Project Promise

Project Promise client at Jamaica Family Wellness Center, Child center of nYQuanasia (pictured here with her baby Amelia) is a client of our Project Promise program, designed for women who are pregnant or have young children and have struggled with substance use issues. Quanasia is now working full time, and Amelia is registered in nursery school. The proud mom is in recovery and creating a bright future for herself and her beautiful daughter.

Photo of the Month: Holiday Party

A good time was had by all at this year’s annual client holiday party! We had a great emcee and DJ duo, Mr. Marc and DJ Mikey Palms from Party Like Brooklyn, Baby, who played games with the kids and got everybody on their feet. Special thanks to KPMG, Metropole Realty, and High Water Women, who donated gifts so that every child in attendance got a present, and to students from Long Island City High School who led crafts with the children. Continue reading

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