Monday, February 8, 2010

Helping Children at Risk

A compelling story in yesterday's New York Times looked at the lives of children attending the Mott Haven Academy. One third of the students are in foster care. Another third are from families so fractured that the New York City Administration for Youth Services is involved in supervising them. And the rest are "just" mired in poverty. Many of the children profiled in the article have significant learning difficulties or emotional problems -- sometimes both.

Key to the school mission is stability; the school keeps children enrolled as they move back and forth from one foster family to another or from their parents to foster care or some other setting. Busses transport the children throughout the Bronx to make sure they can continue in their familiar school setting no matter where life may take them. The warmth, understanding and stability provided by Mott Haven Academy make a significant difference in these childrens' lives.

The agency behind the Mott Haven Academy, which is a charter school, is The New York Foundling , founded in 1869 and serving the children of New York City continuously for the past 140 years. In addition to the Mott Haven Academy, The New York Foundling programs include The Fontana Center for Child Protection, dedicated to prevention and treatment of abused and neglected children. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Vincent Fontana and Dr. Mel Schneiderman, a leading psychologist, the Fontana Center works to eliminate the scourge of child abuse by research and education about best practices to impact this field.

Sometimes a look at children in the most difficult of circumstances, right here in New York City, can give a different perspective on the day to day issues impacting our own lives. It did to us.

No comments:

Post a Comment