This article about foster-adoptive parent Frances Gracia, talks about adopting 2 year old Giuseppe and overcoming health challenges READ MORE

Bill’s letter from earlier in the month was picked up, encourages others to support recommendation against spanking READ MORE

Ralph with Tim Jefferson, the supervisor of our Supportive Housing Program, at the StoryCorps recording studio in Lower Manhattan.

 

About a year ago, during my first Foundling blog update, I was living in an apartment run by The New York Foundling’s Supportive Housing Program. I have since aged out of the program, and now I have my own apartment.

 

The feeling is bittersweet yet rewarding! I currently live in Midwood, Brooklyn, and absolutely love my neighborhood. I never imagined I would be able to afford an apartment in such a neighborhood, simply because growing up all I knew and saw was poverty-filled neighborhoods.

 

While living with The Foundling’s program, I was able to build upon my education, leadership skills, and people skills, all of which have allowed me to land a job working at Amazon, where I currently work in the AMZL shipping division. I am a Shift Lead. My sole role is to oversee the Prime Free Same-Day operation to ensure customers who ordered packages for same-day delivery in fact receive them that same day.

 

I love working at Amazon. This opportunity has allowed me to age out of care very swiftly. I am also currently enrolled in CUNY School of Professional Studies. I am finishing up my bachelor’s degree in Business online. My current plans for the future are to continue working at Amazon, but to build upon my credentials so I can be even more of an asset to the company.

 

I will forever be grateful for the opportunity awarded to me by The Foundling — to be a resident in the Supportive Housing Program. That opportunity has changed my life. I will forever be grateful for that opportunity, as I was a young kid on the verge of being homeless.

 

The above essay was written by Ralph, who was part of The Foundling’s Supportive Housing Program. Ralph interned with our Development department in the summer of 2017.

 

Related posts:

 

Today, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) issued a statement that parents should not spank their children, warning against the harmful effects of corporal punishment in the home. Below is a response in support of this policy from The Foundling’s President and CEO.

 

Parents have been disciplining their children by spanking them for generations and it might be tempting for some adults, who were spanked themselves as children, to give short shrift to the recent policy statement of the American Academy Pediatrics. But there is now considerable scientific evidence about the long-term impacts this practice can have on children – cognitively, behaviorally and emotionally. The New York Foundling is on the front lines of dealing with the effects of physical abuse and other trauma on children and often work with parents to educate them on appropriate methods of disciplining their children. Dissemination of this information among physicians by the AAP will improve the likelihood that more parents receive this type of information and counseling and that no child falls through the cracks.

 

Read more in a New York Times article published today by Christina Caron: Spanking Is Ineffective and Harmful to Children, Pediatricians’ Group Says.

 

The New York Foundling’s Crisis Nursery is a one-of-a-kind space where children can safely stay for up to 21 days while their parents work through a short-term crisis. While children are staying with us, our specially trained staff of child care workers, social workers, nurses, and teachers make every effort to maintain normalcy — and that means not missing out on holiday fun!

 

To make Halloween extra special for the kids staying with us, they are able to dress up in a variety of Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating around The Foundling’s offices, collecting toys and candy from staff.

 

The staff at our Crisis Nursery create a loving, safe environment where everything a child needs is provided. Plus, our staff helps the families plan for their child’s return home and provides aftercare services. Each year, the Crisis Nursery provides a safe place for approximately 200 children and responds to phone calls from nearly 1,200 parents and caregivers who need support.

 

To learn more about the Crisis Nursery, or to receive assistance, please visit our website or call 888-435-7553. 

 

Related posts

At The Foundling, we are proud of the work we do to help members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. We provide in-home services to families, help individuals access the tools they need to succeed, work with schools and provide resources and other essential services and programs to nearly 100 families each year.

 

Below is a Q&A with members of our Deaf Services Team to bring greater awareness and attention to the work they do each and every day. We are pleased to share this blog post during Deaf Awareness Week.  Many of the men and women who are a part of this vital team at The Foundling are also Deaf or Hard of Hearing—this gives them the ability to meet with clients without an interpreter.

 

What’s a typical day like at work?

 

“Mostly meeting with families in their homes, attending school meetings or other collaborative meetings to support or help families, make referrals to other services, completing paperwork (e.g., case notes and treatment plans) advocating for our Deaf participants or educating service providers or other family members on Deaf culture or Deaf rights.”

 

-Esther K.

 

What is your connection to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community?

 

“I am a Deaf individual, raised by a Deaf family. I have always been in the community. The community is starting to grow professionally and academically but this needs more push. More awareness!”

 

-Diana A.

 

What are some misconceptions people have towards those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing?

 

“Deaf and hard of hearing people are dumb, mute, aggressive, can’t do anything on their own.”

 

-Amelia S.

 

“Many people assume that Deaf people have some kind of deficits that make them unable to do things like drive or parent children or even work.”

 

-Esther K.

 

What can be done to make New York City more accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community?

 

Captioning or video interpreting in the waiting area or in local offices (e.g., Social Security, HRA, and many more).  All places should have video interpreter to communicate with Deaf and Harding of hearing while they wait for ASL interpreter to arrive.

 

-Lynda S.

 

What are some of the challenges members of the deaf and hard of hearing community face living in New York City?

 

“Communication accessibility”

 

-Coralia A.

 

“Lack of language accessibility; Difficulty advocating for their rights as a Deaf person due to the majority of services providers having little to no experience or awareness regarding how to interact with Deaf persons or how to request and secure interpreters. Various daily challenges navigating the ‘hearing world”

 

-Anna P.

 

What types of services and programs does The Foundling’s Deaf Services Division offer families?

 

“Parenting classes and support, case management, referrals and links to community resources and direct in-home support. Most of our case planners are social workers and have clinical skills and while the program is not clinical or therapeutic, more often than not, staff are providing direct therapeutic support to the families they work with”

 

-Anna P.

 

“They [are] helping families that are deaf or hard of hearing to find anything they need”

 

-Destiny R.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share with people outside The Foundling?

 

“Our Preventive Service Program is amazing as all staff here sign and we are very familiar with the resources in New York City. However there is only so much we could do. More support is needed!”

 

-Diana A.

 

“Our workers work their hardest to fulfill the needs of our families.”

 

-Emilio H.

 

Written by Foundling Guest Blogger, Kyle K., LMSW

 

In the month of September, we celebrate the International Week of the Deaf. As a Deaf professional in New York City and part of an incredible leadership team for Deaf Services at The New York Foundling, I take a moment and reflect upon my experiences, both professionally and personally, with The Foundling and New York City. I also want to take a moment to recognize and celebrate the hardship that we, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, have endured for years. 

 

I see a steady rise of Deaf and Hard of Hearing awareness nationwide; of those pursuing their true callings after climbing over mountains; of those who become strong advocates and leaders of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community through years of resiliency. I also see a steady rise of accessibility within The Foundling.

 

The workforce in The Foundling’s Deaf Services team includes many staff who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, making it possible to work directly with families and individuals—without any barriers or need for interpreters. Colleagues from various departments and programs often sign “Hello!” and make an effort to sign their names. And recently, we upgraded our technology so staff can have better access to Video-Relay Services (VRS) or Video-Remote Interpreting (VRI) when working in the community.

 

New York City is tightening the gaps and barriers that still exist for members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. In August, New York became the third state in the country to ban the term “hearing-impaired” from state law as this is a derogative word and is offensive to the people of the Deaf community. And in March (thanks to the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities), New York City became the first city in the country to provide information and resources in ASL (American Sign Language) directly to Deaf and Hard of Hearing New Yorkers. This allows families and individuals to access an information specialist, fluent in ASL, from any smartphone. Steadily, we’re rising! 

 

As a Deaf professional in the child welfare system, it’s my responsibility to ensure that the families and children stay together. I have a responsibility to advocate and fight for equal accessibility—ensuring that families have qualified interpretation services. I have an obligation to make sure that the families that come to us for help are 100 percent satisfied with their interpretation services and to make sure that we provide the best professional interpreters.

 

Related posts:

After receiving a letter from Mayor de Blasio, Lizzie Burrow, a longtime foster parent with The New York Foundling, reflects on her 30 years of providing youth with safe, loving homes. WATCH HERE

Above (from left): Crystal and her mother Lizzie with Commissioner David Hansell and Liyan Bao, The Foundling’s Vice President of Specialized Services & Permanency Support.

 

On Tuesday, July 24, 2018, Commissioner David Hansell of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services presented Lizzie Burrow, one of The New York Foundling’s longtime foster parents in Staten Island, with a special letter of recognition from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. The letter was an official thank-you from the City of New York her for her 30-plus years of being a foster parent and for opening her home to children in need of love and support. 

 

The recognition from the city was part of City Hall in Your Borough’s week-long visit to Staten Island.

 

Crystal says she is so inspired by the example set by her “nana” (as she affectionately calls Lizzie) that she hopes to one day be a foster parent, too.

 

Earlier in July, Lizzie, who is 76 years old, officially adopted Crystal Smith, who had been living in her home as her foster child for nearly a decade. The two had a special bond from day one, and Crystal credits Lizzie for changing her life. Several news outlets, including the Staten Island Advance, Fox 5, and ABC7, shared their adoption story.

 

Watch Lizzie and Crystal’s interview with the Administration of Children’s Services:

 

 

Related posts:

After nearly a decade together, foster mom Lizzie Burrow officially adopted her foster daughter, Crystal. Lizzie has fostered dozens of children over her 30 years as a foster parent. WATCH HERE