the Child Center of ny Helping At-Risk Children Succeed

I went into Queens today, the last of the four boroughs I have to visit. Thomas Meyers at the The Children’s Centre NY says you catch the L train. It’s not the L line, it’s the El train short for Elevated. It travels up over the city all the way up to Flushing site where the my stop and the line ends (photo opps galore) The journey to it takes a good 30 minutes rolling over the streets of lined little houses of suburbia rather than flats. Think of ‘Ugly Betty’s house. You leave the city behind or enter it which ever way you travel. There is an amazing view of a full sectioned warehoused graffiti covered gem, totally took me by surprise so I’ll have to go on that train again tomorrow.
Queens is so diverse in it’s ethnic cultures, The ‘Flushing’ stop (end of the 7 line and my stop) is definitely the most authentic ‘China Town’ I’ve seen with mostly every sign/leaflet/store front in typed Cantonese. It’s 9.40 am and the place is teaming with people walking everywhere shopping for food / flowers. The flight path for La Guardia Airport is mapped above the streets with imposing planes arriving every 50 seconds! There’s lots of Irish Pubs too!? Theres the centre for Science, Museum of Moving Image and Louis Armstrong’s house to visit so lots to do.
My first visit at the Child Center of NY Helping At Risk Children Succeed. They’re a mission based NGO in their 60th year. I am due to meet Adam Chaiken Associate Executive Director and covers the Mental Health Services Program. He has told me to meet him at 9.30 for the clinic visit. I find the place eventually along a quieter street you, pushing large glass doors you enter taking the lift to the second floor. It’s like a doctors waiting room. He greets me, but has totally forgotten i’m coming – (first time for everything) He is very apologetic he’s just going in to a WebnR which is a virtual online training session with loads of other professionals around the states learning a new software package. He says I can stay here and listen or come back tomorrow. I say i’m due to see his colleague anyway later so I’ll just go and do that and meet him again tomorrow.
I give in and go to ubiquitous Starbucks for WiFi. I bring my meeting forward with Thomas Meyers a their head office site in Woodside. Thomas is the Associate Director of Child Centre for NY looks after the Child Abuse Prevention, JobNet and Single Stop (Welfare Rights). I’m surprised to see the offices are in a mall type shopping car park place. We meet there but go for a slice of pizza because it’s lunchtime. Thomas, wants me to try proper Queens pizza – he’s convinced its got something to do with the New York water in the dough mix. Thank you Thomas the pizza was amazing.
The child center of ny is really a huge service covering lots of different intervention programs. Unlike the the Centre for Family Life, they operate in within a larger borough and not in a concentrated area of one. They get most of their referrals from ACS and work at really trying to keep families together on ‘evidence based’ programs. Depending on which level of intervention a family requires they have different approaches. Wherever possible they match same speaking nationals to help families. I asked about retaining parents and carers and training like all the other places i’ve visited but he said they don’t do that, but something they would look into.
I’m going back there today to meet Adam there really is too much to write about this in one entry and there’s another person who does the early childhood support too I need to meet.
Overall this is a well established more formal intervention service than others so far.
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