In an op-ed for MedPage Today, The Foundling’s Joseph R. Saccoccio, MD, Chief Medical Officer, and Ruth Gerson, MD, Senior Vice President for Mental Health Services, share how summer camp is extremely beneficial to children and teenagers – and after strict COVID-19 restrictions, the structure, social interactions, and new experiences of camp are more important for young people than ever.
The New York Botanical Garden is a long-time partner with The Foundling, providing inclusive opportunities to participants in our Employment Services program. As volunteers in the garden’s Edible Academy, Foundling participants learn best principles for organic gardening, general maintenance, propagation, and more – learning useful job skills to aid in their long-term career journey.
In celebration of Disability Pride Month, two Foundling participants – Sophia M. and Adeola O. – shared their reflections on their volunteer experience with New York Botanical Garden’s staff. “My experience was one of the best things I have done,” says Adeola.
MST Services’ latest blog post shares the evolution of their therapy and treatment model for young people and families in New York City, and highlights The New York Foundling’s role in implementing the new MST-Prevention model across four boroughs over the past year.
“I am so thankful to be able to collaborate with the therapists on my team and use the MST model in my caseworker role,” shared Laura Valencia, a Family Resources caseworker at The Foundling.
News 12 recently highlighted Foundling foster parents Jason Knight and Liron Prioleau. When looking to start a family, the couple were drawn to becoming foster parents. “It hit home because there are so many. We learned there are so many kids in foster care that just needed a safe space to be,” Prioleau recalls.
They initially “chose to work with The New York Foundling based on…their openness to LGBTQIA parents and their work with LGBTQIA youth,” said Knight. Their family now includes their two sons, who were adopted through The Foundling, and their biological sister, who they are currently fostering.
Malyk Leonard – one of our Road to Success tutors – spoke at a Fair Futures rally at City Hall on May 19, discussing the need to baseline funds for this important program.
“I help students go to college. I help students find jobs when no one else is willing to help them. I help students advocate for themselves. This is the reason why we need Fair Futures,” he says.
Watch the full video of his speech below:
On OPEN, BronxNet’s regular talk show, Dr. Ruth Gerson and Dr. Jessica Pesantez from our Mental Health Services and Child Welfare teams sat down with host Daren Jaime to discuss child abuse, creating a safe environment for children, keeping young people engaged, and building trust.
Watch the full interview below:
Bronx Times reports the recent Bronx “No Hit Zone” campaign, spearheaded by Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and community leaders including Dr. Mel Schneiderman, Aenior Vice President of The Foundling’s Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection. As part of the campaign, a variety of stores in the area known as the Hub—where East 149thStreet, Willis Avenue and Third Avenue meet—have agreed to be designated “No Hit Zones.”
The Bronx District Attorney’s Office has announced a new “No Hit Zone” awareness campaign to help reduce child abuse in the borough.
As Dr. Mel Schneiderman, Senior Vice President of our Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection stated in the press release, “The New York Foundling is thrilled to participate in the No Hit Zone initiative and commends the Bronx DA’s office in their efforts to create an environment of safety for children and families. The New York Foundling has been dedicated to protecting and supporting New York’s children for over 150 years. Through our Fontana Center for Child Protection, we work tirelessly to reduce child maltreatment, and are involved with many local and national efforts to reduce the reliance on and use of corporal punishment. We are proud to partner with other agencies and offices across the city to work toward this mission.”
Nandini Ahuja, MSW, a licensed therapist in our School Based Mental Health program, discusses the long-term mental health impacts that the past year may have on young people in our community.
“Since March 2020, my colleagues and I have worked day and night in partnership with parents, teachers, principals, medical experts, caregivers, and other trusted leaders to make sure students stay afloat. And what I can say is this: every adolescent and young adult has felt the negative and harsh impact of this horrific pandemic, and regardless of how they have coped for the last 12 months, they will face further challenges in their return to normalcy, whatever that may look like,” she writes.
Ruth Gerson, MD – Senior Vice President of Mental Health Services at The Foundling – was named one of City & State’s 2021 Nonprofit 40 Under 40 Rising Stars!
Read about her successes below:
After working in the children’s psychiatric emergency room at New York University Langone Health for many years, Ruth Gerson says she transitioned to The New York Foundling because she wanted to prevent the kinds of crises that were landing kids in the emergency room.
When she joined The New York Foundling, Gerson started out supervising the psychiatric services for children in foster care and has since helped oversee the organization’s clinic in East Harlem that provides resources for children not in foster care as well.
“It’s not just ‘Come into my office for 45 minutes a week and I will support your child.’ It’s let me support the whole system that’s surrounding you and all of the places that you go,” says Gerson, who describes the organization’s approach as holistic.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Gerson says The New York Foundling has expanded its grief services and provided more services available directly within the community.
“We went from being an organization that had done almost no telehealth, to providing almost all of our services via telehealth in an incredibly short amount of time,” Gerson says.
Outside of her work with The New York Foundling, Gerson has co-edited two books, “Beyond PTSD: Helping and Healing Teens Exposed to Trauma,” and “Helping Kids in Crisis: Managing Psychiatric Emergencies in Children and Adolescents.” Gerson also teaches at NYU School of Medicine, where she is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.