Recent News (UPDATED 01/27/2022)
PCANY FEATURED ON THE BOARD CHECKUP WITH PROFESSOR YVONNE D. CAFIK, PhD.
"In this episode of THEBOARDCHECKUP, the focus is the Case for Board Performance Assessment to Prevent Child Abuse in New York State. Mr. Timothy Hathaway, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse New York, Dr. Vincent Palusci, Board Chair, and Mr. Zakhar Berkovich, Treasurer share their experience with the practice of performance assessment and how it helped the board and staff work more collaboratively as a team to advance the mission of preventing child abuse by building strong families and communities in New York State."
Listen to the Podcast here.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! ASK YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT THE RISE FROM TRAUMA ACT.
Please help us launch a new, federal $4.8 billion grant program in support of community coalitions that are advancing trauma-informed and healing centered initiatives. It's called the RISE from Trauma Act!
U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), along with U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced the bipartisan legislation to increase support for children who have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma, including witnessing community violence, parental addiction, or abuse. The Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (RISE) from Trauma Act dramatically increases funding for community-based efforts to prevent and mitigate the impact of trauma, and expands training and workforce development efforts to support health care, education, social service, first responders, and community leaders to foster resilience and deliver services to heal the impact of trauma.
For more information on the Act, you can read the full release here.
We are mobilizing for mass engagement with this easy to use form! Please fill it out and share with others who might be interested.
CHILD ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS RELEASE LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE CHILD POVERTY REDUCTION ACT
The letter, signed by multiple child advocacy organizations, urges the Governor to sign and enact the Child Poverty Reduction Act, S.2755C/A.1160C without delay. This legislation would have New York’s leaders publicly declare their intent to cut child poverty in half in ten years, with attention to racial equity. The bill swept through the Legislature with near-unanimous upstate and downstate, rural, urban, and suburban support and bipartisan co-sponsorship. As New York mounts its recovery from the pandemic, this legislation will ensure that our children are centered in that recovery.
ESCCC AND WBNY STATEMENT: AT THE CLOSE OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION, EARLY CHILD ADVOCATES CELEBRATE CHILD CARE VICTORIES, BUT CAUTION THAT THE CHILD CARE SECTOR AND FAMILIES ARE STILL IN CRISIS
With New York State’s 2021 legislative session now complete, early childhood advocates claim several significant child care victories while urging further action to stabilize the system, address critical needs among parents, providers and the workforce; and begin to transformNew York child care. The Empire State Campaign for Child Care (ESCCC) and Winning BeginningNY (WBNY) applaud the NYS Assembly and NYS Senate for progress made to improve access to child care in NYS; and celebrate the many provider and advocacy groups across the state who made sure that legislators heard and understood the sacrifice and fragile state of this vital economic sector. ESCCC and WBNY also call attention to new statistics revealing how New YorkState failed to distribute the bulk of 2020 federal CARES Act child care funding, even as the state's child care system was breaking down. Looking ahead, ESCCC and WBNY will be calling for strict distribution deadlines, state hearings and a corrective plan of action to ensure new federal funding gets out quickly to those who need it most.
NEW YORK CHILD ADVOCACY AND HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS CELEBRATE THE PASSAGE OF THE NEW YORK CHILD POVERTY REDUCTION ACT
New York’s Legislature has voted overwhelmingly for the Child Poverty Reduction Act, a bill committing New York leaders to publicly set a goal of cutting child poverty in half in the next ten years and take immediate steps toward that goal. With the Governor’s signature, New York law will clearly signal that our state will no longer tolerate having two in five children living just above or in poverty.
REPORT RELEASED: STRENGTHENING THE INTERSECT BETWEEN HOME VISITING AND CHILD CARE PROGRAMS IN NEW YORK STATE
When it comes to services and supports for families with young children, there is often either a dearth or duplication. One reason for this is the distinction made between early childhood and maternal/child health. Instead of looking at the whole child, we look at their education and care needs versus their health and social-emotional needs. Then we further silo programs by funding mechanisms.
STATEMENT OF EMPIRE STATE CAMPAIGN FOR CHILD CARE AND WINNING BEGINNING NY ON GOVERNOR'S RELEASE OF THE CHILD CARE AVAILABILITY TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
Empire State Campaign for Child Care and Winning Beginning NY applaud the Governor’s Child Care Availability Task Force Recommendations released last week. The recommendations set forth a comprehensive, ambitious, and practical plan for New York to equitably expand access to high-quality child care to all New York families that need it, and to provide child care educators compensation and support reflective of the extraordinary value of their work. They present a consensus vision of the diverse government, business, child care, parent and advocacy leaders who made up the Task Force, arrived at after two years of active engagement and hard work by all.
LEGISLATIVE WIN TO BE CELEBRATED IN NEW YORK ON ACEs AWARENESS DAY APRIL 30TH, FEATURED IN PACES CONNECTION
When advocates gather (virtually) to commemorate ACEs Awareness Day on April 30, there will be lots to celebrate—most specifically, the inclusion of language about ACEs in the FY 21-22 New York State budget (see attached document for the link to the budget and ACEs text).
It calls for mandated reporters to be educated about “ACEs, the importance of protective factors and the availability of services for children at risk for suffering from ACEs.” It also requires the Office of Child and Family Services to implement a statewide campaign to reach parents and others in positions to impact children and families.
See the full story at PACEs Connection.
STATEMENT OF EMPIRE STATE CAMPAIGN FOR CHILD CARE AND WINNING BEGINNING NY ON THE NYS FY 2021-2022 BUDGET
Empire State Campaign for Child Care and Winning Beginning NY applaud the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo for game-changing investments made in early care and education in the FY 2021-2022 Budget. Through the use of Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan and previous rounds of Federal stimulus funding, as well as a tax increase on the highest income New Yorkers, the FY 2021-2022 New York State Budget takes large steps to expand access to child care subsidies, decrease parent costs for child care, equalize subsidy eligibility requirements throughout the State and expand Universal Pre- Kindergarten.
See the full statement here.
HUGE BUDGET WIN FOR NEW YORK'S CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
PCANY is pleased to announce some very good State Budget news! Thank you to our legislative champions, organizational partners, and the Governor for:
Requiring all mandated reporters to take Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)/Protective Factors (PF) training, along with training in implicit bias and how to identify child abuse virtually. In addition, the State Budget provides for the creation and dissemination of trauma-informed materials for pediatricians, educators, child care providers, and local social service staff to share with parents-and-
Adopting a transformative child care package that includes:
providing $1.26 billion in upfront stabilization grants to providers that can be used to increase wages and benefits for child care workers
increasing eligibility for child care subsidies to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) statewide while adding an additional 10,000 child care slots
capping child care co-payments to 10% of a family’s income over the FPL
reimbursing providers for 24 absences per child per year
ensuring 12 month eligibility for families in receipt of subsidies (increased from 6 months)
providing an additional $50 million in funding for existing facilitated enrollment child care providers in 6 regions of the state over the next 2 years
investing $100 million to build new child care capacity in areas of the state deemed to be child care deserts
providing child care scholarships for essential workers,
investing in QUALITYstarsNY, and
providing grants for supplies and PPE to providers.
Restoring all withholding on human services contracts, including Healthy Families NY.
Restoring funding for Advantage Afterschool.
NYS LEGISLATORS CALL ON THE STATE TO ADDRESS ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (ACES) AND CHILDHOOD TRAUMA IN THE FY 2021-22 FINAL ENACTED STATE BUDGET
New York State legislators joined experts in childhood trauma and advocates on 3/18/2021 to urge New York State to include language in the final budget to address the dramatic increase in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Childhood Trauma experienced by
hundreds of thousands of New York’s children as a result of the shelter in place order New York State imposed as a response to COVID-19.
See the full text of the release here.
PREVENT CHILD ABUSE NEW YORK TESTIMONIES FROM JOINT LEGISLATIVE BUDGET HEARINGS ON HUMAN SERVICES, HEALTH, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Jenn O'Connor, Director of Policy and Advocacy, recently testified at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearings on Human Services, Health, and Economic Development.
Follow the links below for full transcripts of her testimony:
RAISING NEW YORK RELEASES FINDINGS OF PARENTING DURING CORONAVIRUS FOLLOW-UP POLL
Raising New York recently released the findings of a 2021 follow-up poll regarding families and the pandemic. Their key findings are below. To read the full report, click on the link at the bottom.
"HERE ARE FOUR KEY FINDINGS THAT highlight the critical need for state leaders to act quickly to support families of infants and toddlers The pandemic continues to be disruptive to parents and families. Parents are concerned about the long-term impact of the pandemic on their children and families. Parents report disruptions to schooling, work, and careers and are using more federal, state, and local supports to keep their family afloat. There is overwhelming support for increased investment in high-quality, affordable infant and toddler care and other supports that will provide much needed relief to families."
See the full report here.
TESTIMONY AT THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE BUDGET HEARING ON HUMAN SERVICES
February 9, 2021
Provided by: Jenn O’Connor, Director of Policy and Advocacy
See the full testimony of the hearing here
Thank you for allowing me to testify today. I am Jenn O’Connor, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY).
PCANY is a nonprofit organization that believes child abuse and neglect prevention occurs in communities--by strengthening families. We provide three primary services at the state and local level: community awareness, training and technical assistance,
and policy and advocacy.
Our community awareness and education efforts increase knowledge about the Five Protective Factors. It is our belief that individuals can use the Five Protective Factors to help prevent child maltreatment. Specific programs include the Parent Helpline and the Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign. The Helpline is multilingual and provides free and confidential support for parents and caregivers. The Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign raises awareness about helping children thrive. These examples embody the Protective Factors framework by providing concrete support in times of need and educational opportunities. Collective community understanding about how to foster resilient New York families is a proven form of prevention.
Our trainings and technical assistance provide professionals and communities with the knowledge, tools and resources to make great environments for families and children. We provide Healthy Families New York (HFNY) Home Visiting Certification and run the New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP), a program that provides support and resources for parents. The Enough Abuse Sexual Abuse Prevention, Community-based Strengthening Families, and Child Abuse Prevention courses offer multi-faceted educational opportunities. In addition, we provide direct staff consulting and mini grants to organizations that are implementing prevention strategies.
Finally, our policy and advocacy efforts drive initiatives at the state and local level to change systems that impact child maltreatment issues. We advocate for evidence- based policy solutions that target root causes of child maltreatment, such as increases for early childhood home visiting, early care and education system development, reduction of unplanned pregnancies, and family stability/economic issues.
These advocacy efforts touch many facets of the early childhood realm, facilitating partnerships with several organizations that are devoted to helping the children and families of New York State (NYS).
All of our work centers around the belief that child abuse occurs because families are under stress and not supported. Multi-generational trauma exists due to poverty, violence, and institutional racism (among other factors). PCANY focuses great attention on decreasing and addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) while increasing Protective Factors and Resilience. All of our budget asks would serve to strengthen families and the communities they live in. During this time of isolation, economic hardship, and racial tension, families need proven services and supports more than ever. We urge you to restore funding, maintain funding, and even invest in the following areas.
Early Care and Education
Organizing care for one’s child is a daunting task. Parents are strapped to find an affordable and conveniently located program that offers hours in alignment with their schedule. High-quality and developmentally-appropriate care is another factor to consider. When families find the ideal program, the cost is often too expensive to sustain for a household budget. High-quality child care costs an average of $15,000
annually per child. This sum is prohibitively expensive for nearly all low- and middle- income families. Fewer than 20% of low-income families eligible for child care subsidies are receiving them. The Executive Budget investment of $40 million to reduce the burden of child care co-pays for families currently receiving subsidy is a step in the right direction to address child care availability and affordability in NYS. However, these are re-purposed subsidy dollars--not new funding.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened circumstances for parents and providers by decreasing program enrollment and impacting job security and financial stability. While many businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, child care providers remained open as an essential service to families. While deemed essential, there are many child care deserts (or areas where there are no programs) throughout the State. PCANY supports the $6 million investment in start-up grants to address NYS child care deserts. Expanding access to care and early childhood supports will help to decrease stress for some families. NYS received new funding in the form of $163.6 million in federal CARES Act funds last spring.
NYS’s allocation of those federal funds has provided some relief to providers and families. However, PCANY supports more sustainable investment of these funds in the future. We expect to receive $450 million from the next round of federal child care funding. NYS’s plan to spend these funds is due February 25th. We hope that it will take into account the recommendations of the Child Care Availability Task Force, a report made possible through statute and supported by members of both houses of the Legislature. We also support utilization of the funds in alignment with the Empire State Campaign for Child Care (ESCCC), Winning Beginning New York (WBNY), and Raising New York recommendations (attached).
High-quality afterschool programs not only provide safe child care for school-age children; they strengthen the Protective Factors (such as relationships with caring adults) that are important for healthy development, especially for those with the highest need. PCANY supports the Executive Budget maintenance of funding for Empire State Afterschool and Summer Youth Employment.
Advantage After School Programs improve social, emotional, and academic competencies of children by providing a safe environment for children to learn after school hours. In addition to receiving quality social interaction, the burden of finding short-term child care in the few hours between the school and work day ends is alleviated for parents. We urge you—as you do every year—to restore the $5 million decrease in funding for Advantage After School Programs to prevent 2,500 - 5,000 students from losing after school care. These funds provide grants for after school programs at a rate of $2,000 per student.
We have attached the NYS Network for Youth Success’s budget request to our testimony.
Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting
Voluntary home visiting programs decrease abuse, improve health outcomes, and increase school readiness. Home visitors are a concrete source of support and a reliable resource to educate parents about child development and community services. These programs have had an impact on the opioid crisis by providing support to addicted mothers and babies.
However, prior to the pandemic, NYS was only serving 3% of all children aged 0-3 and 6% of babies in low-income families.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced programs to pivot, providing virtual visits as well as concrete supports such as food and diapers to families. According to an April 2020 survey by Raising New York, more than one-third of parents with infants and toddlers in NYS have skipped or cut back on meals and more than half feel uneasy about personal finances. These stressors contribute to a heightened state of chronic stress for the families of NYS. Coupled with a lack of parental buffering, the young children in these families are at an increased risk of experiencing ACEs and toxic stress. Investment in targeted support for children to offset these effects can contribute to healthier, more resilient New York families.
Home visiting is a proven prevention strategy. Yet the Executive Budget includes a 20 percent cut to Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), from $3 million to $2.4 million. In addition, the elimination of Public Private Partnership grants to ParentChild+ and Parents as Teachers (PAT) programs, and 20 percent withholds on state funding to all programs, including Healthy Families New York (HFNY), have placed a significant financial strain on home visiting programs. As a result, many programs have been forced to lay off staff, reduce capacity, and in some instances, close their doors. The populations hit hardest by these cuts are the same populations hit hardest by the pandemic and centuries of racial injustice—low-income women and families of color. Now is not the time to decrease these essential services. PCANY urges you to:
● Maintain funding of $26.2 million for HFNY to support sustainability at existing sites
● Appropriate $1 million to restore funding cut in the Executive Budget to NFP
● Invest $2 million in ParentChild+ to support sustainability at existing sites
● Invest $1.3 million in PAT to support sustainability and restore services to two sites in Rochester
PCANY also asks that you continue to support the First 1,000 Days on Medicaid Initiative, specifically the pilot project sights in Albany, Chemung, and Monroe counties, and in Brooklyn. These projects help move NYS closer to PCANY’s 2020 recommendation of universally-offered home visiting, with every new parent receiving the benefits that so few are offered now.
Early Intervention (EI)
NYS EI payment rates are currently lower than they were in the mid-1990s. The percentage of children receiving timely EI services fell from 74% in 2015 to 66% in 2019.
Since then, the pandemic has disrupted service delivery and the programs have struggled even more. Existing disparities have widened. More children are waiting for services. Provider capacity has shrunk. In June 2020 the number of EI providers was down 15% compared to 2019 and it is very likely to have fallen more since then. The number of children enrolled in EI is at its lowest point since 2013, and the number of EI claims has dropped 29%.
We urge NYS to secure additional revenue that will be needed to build back EI and Preschool Special Education systems in order to provide timely services to all eligible children and to eliminate long-standing disparities due to race, poverty or geography. The State must increase the rates for EI providers and preschool special education programs by at least 10%. We also recommend:
● As a step towards an increase of 10% in both EI and Preschool Special Education reimbursement rates, the State should conduct a comprehensive assessment of the methodology used to determine payment for all early intervention evaluations, services and service coordination, and should develop a new tuition rate-setting methodology for Preschool Special Education so that rates better reflect the costs of delivering services.
● The State should guarantee parity in annual funding increases between public schools and preschool special education programs.
● Passage of the health care workforce bill to establish regular collection and release of health workforce data, including EI providers, to inform and approve health planning and access and emergency preparedness.
● Launch an outreach campaign and develop a comprehensive plan for developmental screenings to identify young children with developmental delays and disabilities and connect them to services.
● Provide adequate technology and training to families and providers.
● Engage in targeted outreach to families to identify and address barriers to participation, including issues related to telehealth access and equity.
● Provide make-up services to compensate for services missed during the pandemic and prepare for a potential surge in children needing EI and Preschool Special Education evaluations and services.
REQUESTS FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT
Understanding that the State is in a fiscal crisis, PCANY is not requesting additional dollars for any primary prevention initiatives. However, we must point out that now is not the time to cut prevention services for families, and in fact is the time to think about shoring up prevention programs so that we are better positioned to handle hardship in the future. Therefore, we want to call your attention to some initiatives that we hope to see strengthened.
Family Resource Centers (FRCs)
FRCs are community-based sources of support for parents and caregivers. FRCs embody the Protective Factors framework because they are a dependable resource for education and because they facilitate social connections for parents. In neighborhoods where FRCs are in place, the rate of child maltreatment decreases. Flexible and family focused, FRCs provide a culturally-sensitive environment that is especially important in the context of the dual pandemics facing our country today - COVID-19 and racial injustice. FRCs are a potential place to launch a public education campaign and to provide resources about the COVID-19 vaccine. Communities that have experienced
inequities and discrimination in healthcare approach the vaccine with mistrust and tension. FRCs can help deliver the message that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Help Me Grow (HMG)
Many important programs that positively influence and enrich children’s lives exist in NYS. Frameworks that strengthen the operating capacity/connections between these programs, such as HMG, are valuable for increasing accessibility and service delivery to families. HMG is a system that coordinates community services such as health care, early learning services, nutrition information and parent support. HMG builds upon existing community resources to better connect services to families. Nurturing child development and strengthening families is a theme of the system model. Currently, the Help Me Grow model is being implemented in two locations in NYS - Onondaga County and Long Island. An expansion of HMG could create a central hub that would provide coordinated intake and referrals to home visiting programs.
Abusive Partner Intervention Programs
One out of four parents with young children in NYS worry about substance abuse and domestic violence in the family (Raising New York, 2020). Children and youth who live with domestic violence are affected by the experience. Children can display a variety of behaviors due to witnessing domestic violence and those behaviors can affect their ability to be successful in school and other social settings. Additionally, 30% to 60% of perpetrators of domestic violence abuse children in the household.
Abusive partner intervention programs in New York currently operate with no licensure or oversight. PCANY echoes the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) request for oversight of abusive partner intervention programs. This change will improve the response to accountability for those who harm and ensure that programs are appropriately monitored. Communities and the court system will then be able to confidently utilize this resource as a component of their response to domestic violence. A streamlined system for domestic violence intervention and response, overseen by OPDV, can contribute to building a more unified, trauma-informed system in NYS.
Strong Starts Court Initiative
The Center for Court Innovation operates this Initiative, which currently operates in The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn serving court involved families with infants and toddlers. PCANY recommends funding this program, thereby intervening with families when their children’s brains are the most plastic and prevention is the most impactful. An entire generation experiencing ACEs could be helped by
broader implementation of this Initiative. The program:
Ensures that infants and parents receive comprehensive screening and assessment at entry into the child welfare system, and periodically thereafter, to generate appropriate and targeted service plans.
Creates a network of community-based service, including child development services, adult development services, and services required for family stability.
Shifts from an adversarial to a collaborative approach in addressing the needs of families.
Conducts monthly clinical and court conferences to ensure appropriate oversight of cases and to ensure that children's and families' needs are met.
A trauma-informed approach is the basis for all of PCANY’s work. We end this testimony with that foundation and ask that you build policy and support legislation on that foundation. A trauma-informed approach is relevant and necessary in both policy and practice. Policies and procedures crafted to prevent re-traumatization and to address underlying emotional/social trauma is one strategy to address health and social issues impacting the State today-- such as substance and alcohol abuse, incarceration, and domestic violence. Knowledge about ACEs and how to prevent/mitigate ACEs is important for law enforcement, healthcare, social services, educational institutions, and government agencies.
PCANY has met with more than 150 members of the Legislature (and their staff) in an effort to create a Trauma-Informed Legislature. We have worked with legislative champions to mandate trauma-informed training for domestic violence shelter workers and child care providers. With this work, PCANY aims to:
Prevent ACEs in future generations
Identify and mitigate the effects of childhood trauma
Teach resiliency with strengths-based approaches (such as the Protective Factors Framework)
In addition to the 10 original ACEs identified by the CDC, the legacy of racism and discrimination toward Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities has fragmented the experience of many families living in NYS. Poverty and violence also negatively impact entire populations. And as the pandemic continues, we have seen a generation of children traumatized by fear and isolation. PCANY requests that our work to craft trauma-informed training for all child-serving professions be supported at the State level.
The country is facing a tumultuous era of uncertainty and unrest. Mounting tension surrounding public health and social issues have enveloped NYS. Governor Cuomo articulated in his State of the State address that New York is tough and that New Yorkers are resilient. However, these statements are in reference to the current generation.
As we look toward the future, combatting the virus, stabilizing the State, and rebuilding in the wake of uncertainty, “Do we move forward or backward? The future is in our hands.” The future Governor Cuomo made reference to is the children of NYS. Resilience is fostered at an early age, when Protective Factors and prevention measures can best be ingrained at the community level. In pursuit of this vision, PCANY
requests that you consider our budget requests to strengthen families and serve New York’s children.
In closing, we support the agendas of coalition partners working on: kinship care, foster care, mental health, reproductive rights, and LGBTQ+ issues.
TALKING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT THE EVENTS AT THE US CAPITOL IN WASHINGTON, DC
Yesterday was a sobering day for our country, and a difficult one to explain to our children.
Challenging questions for any parent to answer, like: What's happening? Why are people behaving that way? What will happen to our country? Am I safe?
Events like this can affect our kids in all sorts of ways. The trauma they experienced by either watching yesterday's scenes unfold on TV, watching your reaction, or seeing various opinions on social media will take time to process and might not manifest right away. And there is no "right" way for them to deal with what they're feeling.
Your child may become clingy, or they may pull away. They may ask a million questions, or they may shut down. They may act out in anger or become weepy. Depending on their age, they may want to seek out friends and peers to help them process.
So what can you do? Fortunately, multiple professionals have offered advice on how to help your kids (and you!) through challenging situations like this. Here are some resources that can help:
PCANY SIGNS ON TO CAMPAIGN FOR TRAUMA-INFORMED POLICY & PRACTICE (CITPP)
PCANY is proud to be a part of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy & Practice (CTIPP) and recently signed on to the attached letter to the incoming Biden-Harris Administration. The letter and accompanying document prioritize actions that the incoming Administration can take in its first 100 days to address childhood trauma, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), historical trauma, and other traumas, and to nurture resiliency across the country. The recommendations for administrative actions are in two buckets: first, the severe trauma being caused by COVID-19; second, the trauma that has harmed so many families and communities for many generations, far beyond the pandemic. We encourage others to sign on! Please email email@example.com to do so.
Here is the full text of the letter.
PCANY ENCOURAGES NEW YORKERS TO VOTE WITH CHILDREN IN MIND
In early Fall, Prevent Child Abuse New York released an ad campaign encouraging all New Yorkers to vote with children in mind. The notion that children have some of the greatest needs, but don't have a voice in the election process is one that has been held by child advocates for decades. Whether it is food insecurity, lack of equity in education, safe and affordable housing, child care, afterschool programs, or health care, children need our voices (and votes!) to protect them.
The ads were shared with organizations throughout the State and disseminated through social media outlets.
PCANY SIGNS ON TO SUPPORT "COMMITMENT TO REDUCING CHILD POVERTY BY 50% WITH A FOCUS ON RACIAL EQUITY"
Nearly one in five New York children lived in poverty in 2019 and the pandemic brought high unemployment statewide, significantly exacerbating child poverty. New York children are more likely to live in poverty than in 32 other states, with 18% experiencing poverty in 2019. In some New York communities the percentage of poor children exceeds 50%. Due to structural and systemic racism, child poverty among New York State children of color has long approached 30%. Research shows that this unacceptable level of child poverty costs New York over $60 billion a year.
Prevent Child Abuse New York and ten other organizations signed on, committing to reducing child poverty by 50% with a focus on racial equity, asking Governor Cuomo to do the same.
PCANY AFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO BUILDING PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING ON ISSUES OF CHILD ABUSE
PCANY affirms our commitment to building public understanding on issues of child abuse.
The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:
"Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which result in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation" or
"An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."
This definition of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers. A "child" under this definition generally means a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor.
Educators who are responsibly teaching approved curriculum are not engaging in child abuse. We stand with teachers and against the implication or suggestion that by educating children they are somehow abusing them. That is a misrepresentation of child abuse and this critical issue.
An average 65,000 children are actually abused or neglected in our State every year and there is much work being done to prevent and mitigate that abuse.
Our work often focuses on addressing childhood trauma, including the injustices that have happened over generations. We consider systemic racism to be an adverse childhood experience (ACE) that colors and possibly clouds a child's life into adulthood. Last week, PCANY signed on to PowHer's vision statement regarding gender and racial equity. We strongly believe that we have an obligation to protect all children and families from racially-based bias, prejudice, and institutionalized discrimination. We will continue to support policies and practices—in schools and elsewhere—that lift up the voices of the marginalized and respond appropriately to their concerns.
We urge people to understand what true child abuse/neglect looks like and to reach out to families who might be struggling. For more information and useful resources, visit our website.
RAISING NY STATEWIDE COALITION CALLS FOR PROTECTING, EXPANDING HOME VISITING
The Raising NY statewide coalition of parent, early childhood, education, civil rights, business, and health organizations, including Prevent Child Abuse New York, joined Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) today to call for New York State to adopt the recommendations of a new policy brief to make proven home visiting services available to more families to address inequities caused by systemic racism, improve maternal and newborn health and well-being, and achieve a positive return on the public investment.
At a virtual roundtable event, supporters said creating a universal home visiting system – which is a proven strategy for helping new and expecting parents connect with resources, information, and supports they need prenatally and during the early weeks and months of a
baby’s life – would build on statewide efforts already underway. The coalition noted that serving more families and strengthening the patchwork system that currently exists would benefit the physical and mental health of both children and parents and save $3 for every $1
invested, according to the brief from Raising NY.
Read the full text of release here.
PCANY POSITION STATEMENT ON EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT
PCANY sent the following statement/offer to the Governor, as well as to NYSED, NYS OCFS, NYSSBA, NYSCOSS, and NYPWA.
"In New York State, about 10% of all neglect reports are for suspected educational neglect, or the failure by a parent or guardian to provide adequate schooling for the child(ren) in their care. PCANY believes that every child has the right to a high-quality education with appropriate supports, and understands that there are times when a report and/or charge of educational neglect is warranted..."
Read the full text here.
PCANY RELEASES HOME VISITING COORDINATION INITIATIVE (HVCI) FINAL REPORT
Today, Prevent Child Abuse NY released the NYS Home Visiting Coordination Initiative (HVCI) Final Report, which includes considerations for increasing access to and investment in maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting. We thank our partners in this endeavor, including the Raising NY coalition and all of the community organizations across NYS who gave their time and knowledge and who are dedicated to supporting young children and their families. Now more than ever, home visiting is vital to strengthening families.
Read the full report here.
See the data here.
PCANY CELEBRATES THE ROLE HOME VISITING IS PLAYING IN SUPPORTING FAMILIES THROUGH PANDEMIC
When the world shut down, families' needs for home visiting support and services went up--exponentially. Suddenly, some parents found themselves out of work and a paycheck, while others were expected to continue working with no child care available to them and children who needed homeschooling. Some parents were faced with caring for aging or ailing parents in the same home as their young children, while trying to figure out how to protect them both. And everyone was faced with the uncertainty of what was happening in the world and how long we would actually all be forced into close quarters with no outlet or end in sight.
Incidents of domestic violence increased, while the number of child abuse cases reported actually went down--only because the people who normally do the reporting were no longer coming face to face with those kids.
According to a poll from Raising NY Coalition, most parents (73%) say the coronavirus crisis has significantly disrupted their home and family lives (particularly in New York City: 77%) and many worry about their family’s mental health as a result of the coronavirus crisis (75%). Two-thirds of parents (68%) worry their child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development will suffer as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and three in four (77%) report their own levels of stress is much higher than usual during this time.
But home visiting staff in Healthy Families New York (HFNY) programs throughout the state hit the ground running and innovated solutions to be able to continue serving families in their communities: most moved to completely virtual visits while still providing contactless deliveries of essential items to families.
Join Prevent Child Abuse New York this week as we highlight home visiting, and HFNY in particular, for all of the work they are doing to support families and children during the pandemic. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram (@preventchildabuseny), and Twitter to hear stories of our workers and the families they have impacted.
To read all of the stories at once, read The Link.