Drug overdoses, fueled by opioids, are the leading cause of accidental death for working-age Americans, killing more than 64,000 last year, and the rate of deaths continues to increase. So it’s good, and about time, that our president declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency last week. I’m in favor of any move that gets opioid addiction, and substance abuse in general, in the news and on people’s minds. But there were two missed opportunities in the declaration: one, which is rightfully getting a lot of press, is that the announcement did not include any requests for funding; and the other is the way Trump chose to frame the issue of addiction — as a moral failing and weakness of will power, instead of the disease that it is. Continue reading
Vice President Mike Pence unwittingly made the Broadway show Hamilton even more famous than it already was when he got a personal message from the cast about representing all Americans — including immigrants. As an agency that serves one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the nation, we at The Child Center were grateful that the episode brought attention to the plight of immigrants, especially at this pivotal time in politics. But, as expected, the attention was short-lived. That’s why we’re so glad Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez have teamed up to create a music video set to the show’s unforgettable song, “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done).” Continue reading
Our organization is a vital partner with government in providing services in the community; government relies on our expertise in creating and delivering programs, and we in turn rely on government contracts for many of the services we offer. Through this partnership, government obligations are met and our mission is moved forward.
In fact, New York City outsources almost all human services to nonprofits, investing about $4 billion annually in programs that serve 1.5 million New Yorkers each year Continue reading
On behalf of everyone at The Child Center of NY, I want to express my deepest sadness on the passing of former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. Continue reading
With all the recent press surrounding criminal justice issues—including President Obama’s record number of sentence commutations and his substantial piece in Harvard Law Review about the need to replace a policy of ongoing punishment with a policy of second chances—where is the mention of incarcerated mothers? Barriers that prevent women from raising their children from prison and upon their release are having a profound impact on many communities and the nation as a whole; removing them should be at the top of any criminal justice agenda. Yet the issue receives nary a mention. Continue reading
People can’t stop talking about President Obama’s farewell address, which sure is saying something, because presidential farewells are typically regarded as snoozers. (President George W. Bush’s staff reportedly had to beg networks to air his.) There’s no question that part of the reason why Obama’s remarks were water cooler-caliber was because they were uncommonly eloquent (which they were), or because we’re having end-of-term nostalgia (which many people undoubtedly are), or because his tone was so strikingly dissimilar to the tone taken by his successor the next day. But I think the reason the speech resonated with so many people was because of its spot-on emphasis: Continue reading
My son Drew came with me to vote on election morning with a sense of excitement and hope. The next morning he had so many questions about the outcome of the election. I shared the following perspective with him.
The truth is that we haven’t come as far as we think we have. Although we are facilitators of change, it appears that it is not as much, nor as systematic, as we may have hoped. There are still great divisions in our country, based more on race, background, and other such factors than we would ever have liked to admit.
It’s been nearly a year since Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or nation. Last week, the administration took an important step in ensuring that the program benefits our youngest citizens. First Lady Chirlane McCray announced a new ThriveNYC initiative called the Early Childhood Mental Health Network, which will provide mental health services and support for families who have young children (ages 0-5) with mental health needs. The Network was developed to work alongside new social-emotional learning support that will be offered at Administration for Children’s Services’ EarlyLearn sites and Department of Education Pre-K for All sites across the city.
As an organization with deep roots in both mental health and early childhood education services, The Child Center of NY was a natural fit for this initiative, and we are pleased to serve as the Queens borough-wide provider of the Network.