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Events

Back to School Supplies Needed

 

Help children entering kindergarten to grade six start the school year prepared and ready to learn by donating new backpacks, pads, pencils, pens, crayons and other school supplies. New backpacks are greatly needed. Young children especially welcome colorful and sturdy backpacks that display their favorite characters. Please help add to their excitement and reinforce the value of education. Donations are appreciated by August 15, 2014. For more information, call Lucy Melendez and 203-624-2600 x 231

 

 

Family-Based Recovery is One Year Old!

 

 

The Family-Based Recovery Program (FBR) at Family Centered Services of CT, Inc. celebrates its first anniversary July 2014. The FBR program was Family CT's first experience in pairing reinforcement based therapy to treat parental substance abuse with parent-child psychotherapy, to improve secure attachment. Its purpose is to ensure that children ages birth-three develop optimally in drug-free, safe and stable homes with their parents. After some time in the program, JO says FBR helped her to take the first steps toward completing goals she didn't have the initiative to start earlier. For more info, see http://www.familyct.org/programs.php

 

 

Teen Outreach Students Volunteer at New Haven's

Davenport Children's Community Garden

 

Grade 8 students in the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) spent a Saturday with other community volunteers to weed, rake and prepare the Davenport Children's Community Garden for planting. The garden cleanup was organized by the United Way of Greater New Haven as part of their Hands-On Saturday. The TOP students are not new to volunteering: Each of them must complete 20 hours of service learning during the academic year. Program Facilitators Barbara Osahon and Cassandra Nonossi explain that the work "gives the students a sense of purpose, a feeling that they can make a difference in their community." "If they see the work it takes to keep this garden clean, they might be more likely to keep their own neighborhood clen, and that could help them in thinking about keeping the environment clean in general." To read the entire story, go to http://www.uwgnh.org/hands-helpers

 

 

Family CT Awards Judge John T. Downey the

 

Richard Manware Humanitarian Award

 

On May 2, 2014, Family Centered Services of CT, Inc. honored Judge John T. Downey with the Richard Manware Humanitarian Award. Over 170 friends and supporters rose in a standing ovation for a man who has had an incredible life, earning the trust and respect of Connecticut's judicial and child welfare community.

 

After his graduation from Yale University, John Downey entered the Central Intelligence Agency and was sent to the Far East.  On November 29, 1952, while on a flight over Northeast China, his aircraft was shot down. Downey and Richard Fecteau were captured by the Chinese.  Downey was tried and sentenced to life in prison.  Through the efforts of President Richard M. Nixon, Downey was released in March 1973, having served 20 years and three months.

 

On his return to the United States, Downey entered the Harvard Law School, receiving his J.D. degree in 1976.Downey has spent much of his judicial career in Juvenile Matters, serving as Presiding Judge of the New Haven Juvenile Matters Court.  In 1990, he was named Chief Administrative Judge for Connecticut’s Juvenile Matters Courts, serving until his retirement in 1997. 

 

In September 2002, the Connecticut Judicial Branch re-named the New Haven Juvenile Matters Courthouse, the John T. Downey Courthouse.

The Central Intelligence Agency has awarded Downey its Distinguished Intelligence Medal, its Medal for Distinguished Service and the Director’s Medal.

Judge Downey lives in Wallingford with his wife, Audrey Lee and son, John Lee Downey, Wwesleyan '02.

Family CT has named the Richard Manware Humanitarian Award in memory of its much loved Board member Richard Manware, who died before his time after contributing much to the community.

 

Family CT to honor Judge John T. Downey with

the Richard Manware Humanitarian Award

 

Family CT is pleased to honor Judge John T. Downey on Thursday, May 1, 2014 for his work on behalf of children and families. Judge Downey survived 20 years of captivity after being shot down on a mission over the People’s Republic of China. He returned to civilian life, ultimately becoming Chief Administrative Judge for Juvenile Matters in New Haven. The New Haven Juvenile Matters and Detention Center has been named for him. The Connecticut Bar Association has honored Judge Downey with its highest honor for a judge, the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award, for his outstanding contributions to the judicial field in Connecticut.

 

The Richard Manware Humanitarian Award is given to an individual who has impacted the child welfare field. It will be presented at Family CT's annual signature event, a cocktail party at Amarante's Sea Cliff on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm. Tickets are $50/pp and include hors d'oevres and open bar. A Silent Auction will be held to further support Family CT's child abuse prevention and family strengthening work. Tickets may be purchased here or send your payment to Manware Event, Family Centered Services of CT, 235 Nicoll Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

 

2014 Richard Manware Humanitarian Award Sponsors

 

 

 

 

 

CHAMPION SPONSOR

 

Yale-New Haven Hospital

http://www.ynhh.org/

 

Jury Sponsor

 

 

Community Foundation of Greater New Haven

 

http://www.cfgnh.org/

 

Esquire Sponsor

 

Advanced Office Systems

http://www.aosinc.com/

 

Biller, Sachs, Raio & Zito

http://bsrz.com/

 

Chase

https://www.chase.com/

 

People's United Bank

https://www.peoples.com/portal/site/peoples/

 

T.M. Byxbee Company

http://byxbee.com/

 

Tzedakah House

 

Webster Bank

https://www.websteronline.com/personal/personal-homepage.html

 

Advocate Sponsor

 

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy

http://www.uks.com/

 

Silent Auction Items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sneak peek at the Silent Auction, to be held at our annual cocktail party on May 1, includes the following:

 

 

  • 2 tickets to Sarah McLaughlin concert at Mohegan Sun with Meet & Greet
  • 4 pack tickets for Bridgeport Sound Tigers
  • 2 hours of bowling for six including soda and shoes
  • A one-two hour on-location family photo shoot with Lisa Bousquet Photography
  • A pass for four Introduction to Climb at City Climb
  • 4 Park Hopper Passes to Walt Disney World
  • Wine tasting at Gouveia Vineyard
  • 2 tickets for any performance at the Long Wharf Theater
  • Fun Certificate activities at Sports Center of CT

Join us on May 1 to see our other silent auction and raffle items and help to support the programs at Family Centered Services of CT. For tickets go here


 

BAR 14th Annual Real Ale Festival benefits vulnerable children

 

barGenerous proceeds from BAR's 14th Annual Real Ale Festival will help support the child abuse prevention and family strengthening activities at Family CT. The Festival has always supported local children's charities, thanks to the commitment of BAR and brewmaster Jeff Browning. In 2010, Mr. Browning received the Champion Partners Award, given by Family CT to celebrate his commitment to New Haven's children and families.

 

 

Over 100 Community Members Walk Against Domestic Violence

 

On October 5, over 100 community members marched to raise awareness about domestic violence and its effects on children. Research is showing that exposure to family violence alters brain functioning. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network suggests that, besides the physical, behavioral, psychological, and cognitive effects, children who have been exposed to domestic violence often learn destructive lessons about the use of violence and power in relationships. Children may learn that it is acceptable to exert control or relieve stress by using violence, or that violence is in some way linked to expressions of intimacy and affection.

 

Family CT is grateful for the support of the New Haven Police Department, the sponsors listed below and Vanessa Stevens, singer/songwriter, survivor and founder of The Purple Song Project for all their help and support.

 

 

Sponsors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ameripro Quality Remodeling

Boots Inc.

Ciancola Tree Care

Dava's

Kohl's

Premier Car Wash

The Sandpiper

Subway #2920

Ted and Ellen Wright

 

Volunteers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kohl’s

Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.

The New Haven Police Explorers

The United Way of Greater New Haven

 

Supporters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cafe Romeo

East Rock Pharmacy

Nika's

Romeo and Cesar's

 

 

 

 
 
     
   

 

   
   
   

 

 

 

    Volunteers hold up signs along the route

     

       
       
       

     

    Volunteers from Kohl's, a sponsoring business 

 
 

 

 

Vote for us at Blue State Coffee!

Family CT has the opportunity to receive 2% of sales from Blue State Coffee at 276 York Street in New Haven beginning on Monday, July 22. Visit the store - Every time a customer makes a purchase, he/she is given a token to vote for one of the four charities featured.  The charity that gets the most votes over the next six months “wins” the donation.

Since the first Blue State store opened in 2007, they have donated $355,000 to over 150 nonprofits. Blue State has a commitment to philanthropy, sustainability and community. For more information, contact Kristy Jelenik at 203-624-2600 x 118.

 

Family CT Annual Back to School Party

 

   
   
       
 

THANK YOU to Girl Scout Troop 60914 for all their help to stuff backpacks and lead activities during the party!

 

THANK YOU to the donors who made it possible for us to provide 118 children with backpacks and school supplies:

 

 

Erica Azarigian                

Mr. and Mrs. Jon Brower

Mrs. Pamela Campagna

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Cook

Ms. Michelle DeBarge

Ms. Shannon Duplin

East Haven Girl Scout Troop 60914

Ms. Tracey Flynn

Dr. Terrance Foster

Dr. David Gibson

Marlene Graham

Ms. Adele Haggarty

 

Hamden Plains United Methodist Church,

Women’s Group

Ms. Irene Juniewic

Employees of LeClairRyan

Steve Levine

New Haven Fire Department

P&M Orange Street Market

Carol Richards

Sargent Manufacturing Co.

Ms. Angela Thelin

Mr. and Mrs. John Womer

Suna E. Woods, DDS

 

 

 

Join our Newly Forming Social Committee

     

    Purpose: To encourage philanthropy and social activism.  The Social Committee will help Family CT fulfill its mission and sustain program services to families through the development of fundraising events.

    Target audience: Young professionals (ages 20’s-late 30’s) with the means and social network who will commit to organizing and attending fundraising events to benefit Family CT. 

    Benefits to committee members: 

     

    • The opportunity to “give back” and make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children and parents.
    • Attend fun social gatherings with old and new friends.
    • Network with professionals from an array of career fields.
    • Gain project management skills.
    • Enhance your resume.
    • Look attractive to potential employers.
    • Special recognition in Family CT publications, press releases and on our website.ally sustainable, fairly traded coffee.

Key responsibilities and expectations:

The Social Committee plans and organizes at least one (1) social event/ fundraiser over one year. Committee members are responsible for determining date, location, and theme of the event as well as seeking donations to underwrite its cost. Guest/invite list will come from committee member social network.  Members will be expected to sell tickets to their friends/family/colleagues.

The Social Committee will also plan and organize Family CT’s annual Back to School Party for the children in its programs.  This annual celebration occurs in August.  Members will be responsible for seeking donations of backpacks and school supplies for the children in our programs, in addition to organizing the 2-hour party for the children.  The party can be held at Family CT, assisted by Family CT staff members.

If you are interested in joining Family CT’s Social Committee, please contact Kristy Jelenik, development officer at 203.624.2600 ext. 118 or kjelenik@familyct.org. 

- To donate 2% of sales to local

r environmentally sustainable, fairly traded coff

- To donate 2% of sales to local non-profit organizations voted on by our customers.

- To become a zA Great Evening with Friends -

Family Center's Signature Annual Event

May 2, 2013

  

On May 2, 2013, old and new friends joined Family Centered Services of CT, Inc.

for its annual signature cocktail party at Amarante’s in New Haven. The event featured Dr. Amy Zabin, founder and director of The Music Therapy Center of Greenwich, giving an inspirational talk about the power of music to inspire and heal from child abuse and other challenges.

The power of music to heal, empower and evoke strong emotions fuels Dr. Amy Zabin’s passion as a Music Therapist.  As Dr. Zabin introduces herself she often asks, “What kind of music do you listen to?” and from there a rich conversation begins.  Dr. Zabin received three degrees in Music Therapy.  She is the founder and director of The Music Therapy Center of Greenwich, serves on the faculty for the graduate Music Therapy program at New York University and is a consultant for the Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk Hospitals.  She holds executive positions on the boards of the Child Guidance Center, Jewish Family Services and the Anti Defamation League.  Her published ground-breaking book 'Conversations With A Pedophile-In the Interest of Our Children' is approaching its second printing.  Dr. Zabin has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, The John Walsh Show and numerous nationally syndicated radio shows. 

At the end of her talk, guests were startled to see a couple take the floor and begin to dance. The couple were soon joined by others in a FLASH MOB that demonstrated, through music and dance, the vulnerability of young children and their need to have the loving protection of their caregivers. The dance was choreographed by Nancy Ryan, owner of Moving Forward Fitness. Nancy generously gave her time and talent to create this moving portrayal. Family CT is grateful to her, the volunteers and Family CT staff who participated.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and The Spot of New Haven, CT received the Richard Manware Community Champions Award. Family CT Executive Director Cheryl Burack said "If you grew up in New Haven, like I did, you have many happy memories of your visits to Pepe's. We developed a personal connection to the family when Bernadette Bimonte Hackett came to work for Family CT, and later served as a Board member. She has been a long-time supporter and thankfully, her value of philanthropy is shared by the entire family." Bernadette and her brother Gary Bimonte accepted the award.

Family CT is grateful for the guests and sponsors that made this memorable evening possible (see below).

   
   
   

 

 

2013 Sponsors, with thanks to all -

Key Note Sponsor

Yale-New Haven Hospital

http://www.ynhh.org/

 

Melody Sponsors

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

www.cfgnh.org

First Niagara

www.fnfg.com

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

www.shipmangoodwin.com

 

Tempo Sponsors

Biller, Sachs, Raio and Zito

http://www.bsrz.com/

People's United Bank 

www.peoples.com

 

P&M Orange Street Market

http://pnmorangestreet.com/

 

Southern CT State University

www.southernct.edu

T.M. Byxbee Company

http://www.byxbee.com/

 

Tzedakah House and

Helping Hands Community Thrift Store and Furniture Bank

http://tzedakah-house.com/

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. 

http://www.uks.com/

 

Webster Bank

https://www.websteronline.com/personal/personal-homepage.html

 

Lyric Sponsors

BEI Telephone Systems

http://www.beiinc.com/

Space-Craft MFG

http://www.space-craft.com/

85 Willow Street NH LLC-O, R & L Commercial LLC

http://www.orlcommercial.com/

The Walker Group

http://www.thewalkergroup.com/

 

The Silent Auction was made possible by the following generous donors:

Anchorage by the Sea

Kyle Ballou, Esq.

Boots Retail

Branford Car Wash

Chuck’s Steak House Margarita Grill

CitySeed

Clear Reflections Healing Center in Naugatuck

Courtyard by Marriott San Juan Miramar

Esthique Spa

The Fitness Haven in New Haven

Fired Up

Ms. Marlene Graham

Green Mountain Roasters

Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Harrington

Robert Heinimann, Esq.

Ms. Jean Hosier

Allison Kaas, Esq.

Dr. and Mrs. Tom Kelly

Thomas A. Kelly DMD in North Haven

Dr. Jack Levine

The Lobster Cove

Jarad Lucan, Esq.

Elaine Moheet

 

Mystic Aquarium

New Beginnings Tattoo

New Haven Open at Yale

Old Sturbridge Village

Amber Papastavros Hair & Makeup Design LLC

Angel Peterson, Esq.

Philadelphia Soul

Pieces of Time

Ms. Angela Proto

Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel & Casino

Robinson Flight in East Haven

Schooner

Mrs. Galit Sharma

Six Flags New England

Stargazer Travel

Subway

Mrs. Stephanie Thach

Thimble Island Brewing Company and

Towne Billiard in Hamden

Mr. and Mrs. Greg Whitehouse

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Yale Repertory Theatre

Your Community Yoga in Hamden (Jenniger Brosious)

Louise Zito, Esq.

 

 
       
       
       

 

Cheryl Burack Receives Liberty Bell Award                                        

Family CT's Executive Director Cheryl Burack was awarded the 2013 Liberty Bell Award, presented by the Foundation of the New Haven County Bar Association. She was honored at a Gala dinner dance on Saturday, Jan. 26th. The Foundation honors non-lawyers or community organizations that have shown an extraordinary commitment to justice or provided outstanding service to the local community. In accepting the award, presented by former Family CT Chairman of the Board of Directors Attorney Robert Reger, Cheryl thanked the Foundation for their commitment to social justice and their funding of charitable programs like those at Family CT. The full text of her remarks follows (see below).

 
 
 
 
 

Cheryl Burack Accepts Liberty Bell Award

Thank you, Bob (Reger), you are very kind. You always brought wisdom and thoughtfulness to our Board meetings, so this is special.  Thank you to the New Haven County Bar Foundation for this tremendous honor. It is especially humbling to receive this award on the night you are honoring the memory of Carrie Witt, and I am very grateful. I’m grateful also to be sharing this night with my family, friends, colleagues and Board of Directors at Family Centered Services of CT. I’m getting the attention tonight but it’s really the staff in the trenches who are the heroes.

Have you ever thought about why you go to work every day? I work with people who want to change the world. And for the most part they’re young people, who haven’t had a civil rights movement or a peace movement to inspire them.  They’re motivated by their belief that the world can be a better place, and they want to contribute to that change.

That desire to work toward social justice is something The Foundation and Family CT share. This is more important than ever, given the economic climate in our state and our country. We can expect our next state budget to contain deep cuts to programs that help the most vulnerable in our communities, those often called the invisible poor. We must give voice to people that others don’t even see and make some hard choices without shredding a safety net that has taken years to build. When I was at the Capitol last week, I heard a great deal about the need for mental health treatment, and of course we need a comprehensive assessment and treatment system. But let’s also start a conversation about what children and families need beginning at birth, so all our children grow up safe and healthy.

At Family CT we make free home visitations to families experiencing significant challenges. The Foundation has funded some of that work. We have found that sometimes, these families feel like they need to fly below the radar.  This should not be true, but if you happen to have a mental illness, or you’re experiencing domestic violence, and you’re a parent, you might be afraid to reach out for help for fear of having your parenting questioned and your children removed. This makes it even more important to maintain community-based services that create a safe environment for families to acknowledge their challenges and to realize their strengths.

Finally, Family CT and the Foundation share a deep commitment to mission. Our mission at Family CT is to do nothing less than end child abuse, and we believe it can be done. To all of you who are dedicated to a cause, you don’t have to jump into the trenches but you can send an email to your legislator, or write a check to a deserving organization. Collectively, we can be the voice that says that everybody in this state matters as much as everybody else.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this message and for the tremendous honor you have given me tonight.

 

 

Governor's Budget 2013

The Governor’s budget includes an important consolidation and reorganization of early childhood programs into a new Office of Early Childhood. All of the critical early childhood programs, including Care4Kids, School Readiness, Head Start, multiple quality enhancement programs, the 211 Childcare contract, Birth to Three, child care licensing, home visiting programs including The Nurturing Families Network and Connecticut Charts-a-Course, will be housed in this new office by FY 15, with many of them moving in FY 14. A total of 71 staff members will move from the Department of Social Services, the Department of Education, the Department of Developmental Services, the Department of Public Health, and the Higher Education Board of Regents with these program shifts. Additionally, the Governor’s budget includes funding for four new staff positions in the Office for Early Childhood. Please see below for testimony to the Education Committee, meeting on February 15.

 

Testimony to the Education Committee Public Hearing 2-15-13

In Support of HB 6359: Creation of an Office of Early Childhood

 

Dear Honorable Committee Members:

My name is Cheryl Burack and I am the Executive Director at Family Centered Services of CT (formerly Coordinating Council For Children In Crisis, Inc.). I would like to strongly support HB 6359, An Act Concerning an Early Childhood System.  HB 6359 will create an Office of Early Childhood to coordinate early childhood programs and services, including the early home visitation programs now funded by the CT Departments of Public Health and Social Services. Coordinating these services is overdue. Consolidation into one Department will avoid problems currently caused by multiple funding streams, missions, and governance. It will prevent fragmentation and duplication of services, help to identify and fill service gaps and provide more comprehensive information needed to make informed policy decisions. It will help to ensure that each family is directed to the program that will best meet their needs. It will promote a common set of outcomes, and tracking the results across programs can give us a stronger and much clearer picture about how we are doing in CT to meet the needs of infants, toddlers and their families.

 

As a provider in the Children’s Trust Fund’s Nurturing Families Network, I am especially pleased that this program will be a part of the Office of Early Childhood. I would like to thank the Governor for preserving this program that works with Connecticut’s first-time parents at highest risk for child abuse or neglect.

This proposal, with an Office of Early Childhood that reports directly to the Governor, will give early childhood services and programs the focus and attention they deserve. I would like to thank Governor Malloy and the Legislature for the vision to pass an Act (11-181) that called for the development of a coordinated system of early care and education and child development leading to an Early Childhood Plan, with great thanks to the Planning Team and Governor.

Submitted by:

Cheryl Burack, M.S.

Executive Director

Family Centered Services of CT, Inc.

 

Honorable members of the Education Committee,

My name is Galit Sharma, I am the Program Director of the Nurturing Families Network at the Family Centered Services of CT (formerly the Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis), and a Co-Chair of CT-PEN, the Connecticut Parenting Education Network.   As a long time advocate for support and education for parents with young children, I am honored and excited to testify in support of HB 6359, which calls for creating an Office of Early Childhood (OEC).   

In the past few years there has been much talk about the fragmented way that early childhood services are delivered, the frustration that providers often feel and the effect of this disconnected system on the families being served.  Today- I want to say Thank You.  Thank you to the Governor, the Legislators and the Early Childhood Planning Team. Thank you for listening, thank you for recognizing the challenges, for taking action to generate change and  create new opportunities for a better, unified early childhood system. 

There are many good programs in CT, where many good, dedicated people do good and helpful things for families.  This is good, but is not enough.  These programs have the potential to impact families in more significant ways if they work together by improving communication, combining resources and increasing collaboration.  Instead of wasting time and resources on wondering what others are doing and if we are reinventing the wheel with every new idea, we will be able to focus our attention on developing our programs and moving forward.   The Office of Early Childhood can help facilitate this change by providing one ‘home’ to these programs and adopting a team approach.  We need a connected network of early childhood services for children and parents that builds on children’s natural development from infancy, through toddlerhood and preschool, and into the child’s school experience.

As a director of a Nurturing Families site in New Haven, I see the impact of early parenting education and support every day.  The impact of this early home visitation program on parents that are at high risk for child abuse and/or neglect is clear not only by perception and wishful thinking, but by proven research results that show a decrease in rigid parenting attitudes, a reduction in family isolation and an improvement in parental understanding of attachment and age appropriate expectations (please see attached RBA).   With the creation of an Office of Early Childhood I envision a continuum of such support that begins with home visitation when, or before, the baby is born, follows the family to a high quality toddler or preschool program and helps transition the family to school. 

Thank you again for your vision and commitment.  I look forward to an integrated early childhood system that will benefit Connecticut’s children and their families.   

Galit Sharma

Family Centered Services of CT

235 Nicoll St.

New Haven, CT 06511

Phone:  (203) 624- 2600 ext. 207

gsharma@familyct.org

 


Holiday Events

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Southern Connecticut State University Student and University Affairs run an annual "Adopt A Family" food drive to benefit Family CT. They collected 230 boxes of food, cleaning and personal items and small toys to be distributed to families participating in Family CT services. Thank you to these dedicated students, staff and faculty!    
   
   
Holiday donors make wishes come true for children who may not otherwise share in a celebration    
     

 

We have a new name -

CCCC is now Family Centered Services of CT

We believe that our new name underscores our knowledge that the strengths and needs of each family member must be considered and that families and their growing children must be the informed decision-makers about their own care. A respectful family-professional partnership honors the strengths, cultures, traditions and expertise that everyone brings to the table and we embrace this approach. Family Centered Services of CT (or Family CT, “for short”) is a more positive name than Children In Crisis and better reflects the range of services we offer to children, youth and families.

Please remember that our mission has not changed and we plan to continue doing work that earns your respect. Call us if you have any questions. Executive Director Cheryl Burack can be reached at (203) 624-2600 x111.

 

Family CT HAS MOVED!

Our new office at 235 Nicoll Street in New Haven has more space for confidential individual counseling and educational support groups. We also have an expanded playroom and food and diaper bank.

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Top photos - our first day in our new home at 235 Nicoll Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Bottom photo - moving day on Dwight St

Our phone/fax remain the same 203-624-2600/203-562-6232

   

One Step At A Time...A Walk Against Domestic Violence

October 6, 2012

 

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From top to bottom: The community rallies during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to take a public stand against abuse.

Chief of Police Dean Esserman and the New Haven Department of Police Services participated to send a message that they work for the people and families of New Haven

Students at Squash Haven show their support

 

Eating Pizza For a Purpose!

Family CT thanks Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

for another great Dine-Out!

     
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Each year Frank Pepe Pizzeria donates a percentage of a full day's proceeds to benefit the family-centered services of Family CT.

   

 


Family CT thanks our Sponsors

An evening of inspiration


This We Believe


Words of life, love and family


Held Thursday, May 3, 2012

 

True Believer

Yale-New Haven Hospital

http://www.ynhh.org/

 

Dedicated Believer

First Niagara

www.fnfg.com

Enthusiastic Believer

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

http://www.aecf.org/

The Annie E. Casey Foundation believes that all children deserve to be raised in strong and supportive families within safe communities that provide for safety and opportunity

 

Encouraging Believer

 

Advanced Office Systems Inc.

www.aosinc.com

 

Biller, Sachs, Raio and Zito

 

http://www.bsrz.com/

Biller, Sachs, Raio and Zito believes in teamwork, collaboration and commitment to our community

 

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

 

 

www.cfgnh.org

 

 

People's United Bank

 

www.peoples.com

 

Southern CT State University

www.southernct.edu

SCSU believes in pursuing excellence, fostering leadership and empowering communities

 

 

T.M. Byxbee Company

http://www.byxbee.com/

 

Tzedakah House and

Helping Hands Community Thrift Store and Furniture Bank

http://tzedakah-house.com/

Tzedakah House believes… that for-profit businesses should give back to the community by supporting non-profit organizations like Family CT and its clients. We believe in making a difference

 

UI/Southern Conn. Gas

 

www.uinet.com

 

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.

 

http://www.uks.com/

 

Webster Bank

https://www.websteronline.com/personal/personal-homepage.html

 

Wiggin and Dana LLP

http://www.wiggin.com/

Believer

 

The law office of Cheryl A. Juniewic

 

North Haven, CT

 

 

Real Living Wareck D'Ostilio Real Estate

 

New Haven, CT

 

http://www.realliving.com/wareck-dostilio

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It's Not Too Late - Submit an Essay!

                                                                                                                                               

What are your most cherished beliefs -

We create our own happiness?

Every child deserves a nurturing family?

People learn from their mistakes?

Words can hurt?

How you act in a crisis shows who you really are?

 

You are invited to participate in

This We Believe

 inspired by “This I Believe,” the iconic national media project heard on NPR

Explore your own beliefs, become empowered and gain new personal insight!

 

This I Believe- Overview

This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Some 100,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, are archived on the website (www.thisibelieve.org), heard on public radio (NPR), chronicled through books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow. Family CT plans to develop its own collection of essays from members of the Greater New Haven community.

This I Believe Essay-Writing Guidelines (copied from website)

We invite you to contribute to this project by writing and submitting your own statement of personal belief. We understand how challenging this is—it requires such intimacy that no one else can do it for you. To guide you through this process, we offer these suggestions:

Tell a story: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in the events of your life. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.

Be brief: Your statement should be between 350 and 500 words. That’s about three minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.

Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief, because three minutes is a very short time.

Be positive: Please avoid preaching or editorializing. Tell us what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Make your essay about you; speak in the first person.

Be personal: Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.

For this project, we are also guided by the original This I Believe series and the producers invitation to those who wrote essays in the 1950s. Their advice holds up well and we are abiding by it. Please consider it carefully in writing your piece.

Please contact us at (203) 624-2600 x328 or kjelenik@Family CTnh.org for more information or to learn how to submit your essay.

 

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Jeff Browning at BAR's Real Ale Festival, proceeds to benefit Family CT's services to families

 

 

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International Parents As Teachers Names Noreen McElroy

Parent Educator of the Year

Noreen McElroy, a Home Visitor for the community-based Nurturing Families Network at Family Centered Services of CT, has been named Parent Educator of the Year by Parents As Teachers (PAT). PAT is an international organization that helps organizations and professionals work with parents during the critical early years of their children’s lives to increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices, provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect and increase children's school readiness and school success. Only five Parent Educators nationwide were selected for this honor.

Ms. McElroy makes weekly home visitations to high-risk parents who have volunteered to accept services and learn how to meet the needs of their young children. In her nomination application, Clinical Supervisor Galit Sharma wrote “Noreen is sensitive and respectful of families from all backgrounds and enjoys the diversity of her families. She fully embraced a strength-based approach which she uses to guide and empower her families, and many of them are now in school or working as they continue to receive her support in parenting and in working towards meeting their …goals… Noreen’s commitment and tireless efforts to help these high-risk families break the cycle of abuse, neglect and poverty and ensure a better life for both the parents and their children, along with her training, experience and a high level of proven success, is what makes her well deserving of receiving the honor of becoming the PAT Parent Educator of the year.”

The Nurturing Families Network, funded by the CT Department of Social Services, provides home visitation, parenting education and parenting groups to first-time parents with specialized outreach to fathers. The Pew Center on the States reports that services like these can help parents learn how to care for their children and themselves, and that children are safer, healthier and better prepared to learn as a result. Studies of the Nurturing Families Network by the University of Hartford’s Center for Social Research indicate that parents in the program make significant gains in education, employment and self-sufficiency; spend more time with their children; and become more sensitive to their needs.

 

Holiday Season at Family CT

     
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International Parents As Teachers Names Noreen McElroy

Parent Educator of the Year

Noreen McElroy, a Home Visitor for the community-based Nurturing Families Network at Coordinating Council For Children In Crisis, has been named Parent Educator of the Year by Parents As Teachers (PAT). PAT is an international organization that helps organizations and professionals work with parents during the critical early years of their children’s lives to increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parenting practices, provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect and increase children's school readiness and school success. Only five Parent Educators nationwide were selected for this honor.

Ms. McElroy makes weekly home visitations to high-risk parents who have volunteered to accept services and learn how to meet the needs of their young children. In her nomination application, Clinical Supervisor Galit Sharma wrote “Noreen is sensitive and respectful of families from all backgrounds and enjoys the diversity of her families. She fully embraced a strength-based approach which she uses to guide and empower her families, and many of them are now in school or working as they continue to receive her support in parenting and in working towards meeting their …goals… Noreen’s commitment and tireless efforts to help these high-risk families break the cycle of abuse, neglect and poverty and ensure a better life for both the parents and their children, along with her training, experience and a high level of proven success, is what makes her well deserving of receiving the honor of becoming the PAT Parent Educator of the year.”

The Nurturing Families Network, funded by the CT Department of Social Services, provides home visitation, parenting education and parenting groups to first-time parents with specialized outreach to fathers. The Pew Center on the States reports that services like these can help parents learn how to care for their children and themselves, and that children are safer, healthier and better prepared to learn as a result. Studies of the Nurturing Families Network by the University of Hartford’s Center for Social Research indicate that parents in the program make significant gains in education, employment and self-sufficiency; spend more time with their children; and become more sensitive to their needs.

coalition Breakfast For Champions

 

The Coalition for the Nurturing Families Network hosted a breakfast on November 1, 2011 to honor supporters of the Nurturing Families Network including participant families and members of the New Haven Delegation. Representatives Patricia Dillon and Juan Candelaria accepted the honor and spoke about the importance of strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect. A presentation highlighted the program’s proven outcomes with families at risk of child abuse or neglect. The Nurturing Families Network provides telephone support, parenting education in the home, fathering programs and prenatal and parenting support groups for first-time parents.  Last year almost 500 New Haven families participated in the program, which is designed to promote parent-child attachment, increase parental knowledge of child development and important developmental milestones and keep infants and young children safe and healthy. Family CT is a community-based site for the program. For photos and more information, visit http://nfnnewsandnotes.yolasite.com/

 

 

One Step at a time…

Walking Against
Domestic Violence

     
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Family CT Staff, friends and concerned community members came together at East Rock Park to send a message about domestic violence. After hearing the moving testimony of Christina, participants went on a mile walk to raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time for those dedicated to ending violence against women and children to come together to mourn those who have died, celebrate the survivors and connect to continue the work. For more information on domestic violence, click on domestic violence

Thank you to our sponsors -

DV Walk Sponsors

Premier Car Wash LLC

Ciancola Tree Care LLC

Whitehouse Contracting LLC

 

Thank You For Supporting our Dine-Out at

the Original Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

 

Pepe’s, located on Wooster Street in downtown New Haven, has donated 10% of their sales from their lunch and dinner service on August 25th to Family CT.

“We are honored that this New Haven landmark partnered with us once again with the message that children need to be safe, loved and have all their basic needs met", says Cheryl Burack, Family CT Executive Director. 

 

Family CT Celebrates Families at Family Appreciation Day

Lighthouse Point Park June 2011

 

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Annual Spring Cocktail Party

Youth Poetry Slam and

Richard Manware Humanitarian Award

Thank you to all our guests, donors and poets!

 

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Family CT thanks our Sponsors Annual Spring Cocktail Party

Sonnet Sponsor

Yale-New Haven Hospital

http://www.ynhh.org/

Haiku Sponsor

 

First Niagara

https://www.fnfg.com/default.aspx

Southern CT State University

http://www.southernct.edu/

 

Free Verse Sponsors

Advanced Office Systems

http://www.aosinc.com/

Biller, Sachs, Raio & Zito

http://www.bsrz.com/

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

www.cfgnh.org

People’s United Bank

https://www.peoples.com/portal/site/peoples/

T.M. Byxbee Company

http://www.byxbee.com/

Tzedakah House LLC 

http://tzedakah-house.com/

United Illuminating Company

https://www.uinet.com

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.

http://www.uks.com/

Webster Bank

https://www.websteronline.com/personal/personal-homepage.html

Wiggin and Dana LLP

http://www.wiggin.com/

Silent Auction Donors

AMF Bowling Lanes

BAR

Bella Napoli

Bertucci’s Restaurant

Bikram Yoga New Haven

Bix’s Cafe

Candy’s Apples

Claire's Corner Copia

Eli Whitney Museum

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

Ferraro’s Market

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Sue George

Gouveia Vineyards

Green Mountain Coffee

Imagination Movers

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Kelly

LL Designs

Lady Nails & Spa in Orange

Michelle Lawler

Dr. Jack Levine

Steve Levine

Long Wharf Theatre

Maritime Aquarium

Massage Envy in Milford

Mary Kay

Frances Miller

New Haven Museum

New Haven Open at Yale

North Haven Therapeutic Spa

Olde School Saloon & Bistro

Premier Car Wash in North Haven

Press 200

Quassy Amusement Park

 

Robert Rattner

Sachem Card & Party

Barbara Saltman

Rosa Santana

Estella Sequeira

The Study

Thimble Island Cruise

UCONN Division of Athletics

Verizon Wireless Zone

Wave Gallery

Chion Wolf

WWE

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Louise Zito, Esq.

     
     

 

Appropriations Committee Restores Funding for

The Nurturing Families Network!

Please see http://nfnnewsandnotes.yolasite.com/ for the most up-to-date information about the community-based Nurturing Families Network sites in New Haven and Hartford

 

Testimony in support of the Nurturing Families Network and Teen Pregnancy Prevention

CT Department of Social Services Public Hearing

March 4, 2011

Honorable Committee Members:

My name is Cheryl Burack and I am the Executive Director of Family Centered Services of CT, Inc. in New Haven. I am here to urge you to oppose Governor Malloy’s proposed budget cuts to the CT Department of Social Services teen pregnancy prevention and Nurturing Families Network Programs. 

I would like to share 3 important facts about both programs:

  • Both are evidence-based with proven results
  • Both provide one-of-a-kind services to some of the most vulnerable populations in our state
  • These services save Connecticut money by preventing more serious and costly future problems

Our surveys in New Haven show that of the middle school students who are sexually active, their first sexual experience took place at age 11. This helps us understand that early intervention is critical in preventing teen pregnancy. This is especially important in

New Haven, where the pattern of adolescent pregnancy is almost double what it is in the rest of the state.

The Teen Outreach Program is unique in its emphasis on service learning, helping students become the help givers rather than the help receivers and giving them a sense that they can contribute to their community and have a future here. The Teen Outreach Program has been evaluated nationally and shown that participants in the program have a 60% lower rate of school dropout, 14% lower rate of school suspension, 11% lower rate of school course failure and 33% lower rate of teen pregnancy.

The Nurturing Families Network serves an equally vulnerable population, providing intensive home visiting to first-time parents at-risk of child abuse or neglect.

  • The NFN has demonstrated a rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect in participating high-risk families of only 2% compared to 20% for similar families not participating in this type of program.
  • The immunization rate for two-year olds in NFN is 93% compared to 66% for two year olds with a similar demographic background on Medicaid.
  • A significant percentage of parents in NFN complete high school, become employed and become more economically self-sufficient.

It is important for you to know that this bill proposing a funding cut gives the impression that services will be relatively unaffected since the hospital programs will remain in place. This is false. The truth is that there are 700 families/year that the community-based programs serve and who will now have no place to go. Seventy-five employees will lose their jobs and another 25 would be destabilized.

Last year, Jessica, a mother in our program, shared with you her childhood memories of group homes and residential institutions, her suicide attempts and psychiatric challenges. She asked you to support funding for nurturing families. “If I didn’t have their support” she testified, “I will probably have the authorities in my life and my daughter would not be with me today.”

For all the Jessica’s who find a lifeline in their Home Visitor, please support funding for the Nurturing Families Network.

Thank you for your past support of these programs, and I hope you will keep up the fight.

Thank you.

Cheryl Burack, M.S.

Executive Director

Family Centered Services of CT, Inc.

                                     

Senator Harp, Representative Walker, Honorable Members of the Committee,

My name is Galit Sharma, I am the Clinical Supervisor of the Nurturing Families Network (NFN) at the Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis, Inc. in New Haven.  Please vote against eliminating the Nurturing Families community-based sites as proposed in the Governor’s budget (page 357 under cuts to DSS) .

Eliminating these sites will not save the state money- because

PREVENTION COSTS LESS:

We use the principles of prevention to our benefit in other areas of our lives:

  • We highly recommend the use of $50 car seats for children while driving, because they have been proven to prevent not only loss and suffering but also to save thousands of dollars in case of an accident. 
  • We highly recommend the use of $15 smoke detectors in homes and businesses because they have been proven to prevent not only loss and suffering but also to save thousands of dollars in case of a fire. 
  • Therefore, we should recommend and support the Nurturing Families Network, because it has been proven not only to prevent family suffering but also to save thousands of dollars by decreasing family involvement with DCF. 

PREVENTION COSTS LESS:

Supporting a family in NFN costs only $3,000 dollars annually while the same family under DCF would cost the state $30,000 a year. 

The University of Hartford’s Department for Social Research reports that in 2008 there were only 1.3% cases of abuse and neglect among NFN families, and only 2% were reported in 2009.  This is compared to 20% in similar high-risk populations.

The proposal calls for eliminating ‘only’ the non-hospital based sited and emphasizes that others will remain in operation.  However, all of these sites are located in the high-need communities of New Haven and Hartford.  If the plan passes, services in New Haven and Hartford will be reduced by more than 70%.  Fourteen NFN sites will close and services provided by the remaining five will be like a drop in the ocean compared with the need in the community.  It is like saying that only 30% of homes should use smoke detectors, or recommending that only 30% of children should use car seats while traveling in a car.

Also important to mention is that three of the six New Haven sites that will be eliminated provide specialized services for fathers.  We provide home visiting, fathers groups, support with employment and education and opportunities for social interaction.  Such services for fathers are very hard to come-by.  Cutting three sites that provide them will be unfortunate, especially since Fatherhood Initiative sites are also up for elimination.

  • I am currently working with Jimmy, a 17-year old father in a juvenile prison facility.  In response to one of my letters he wrote back:  The day of our meeting I was thinking that it’s time to grow up.  I did everything and been through some things that most grown men can’t handle but that’s getting old.  I realize I am getting older and that path will lead me to death or life in jail, I don’t want either, especially for my child.

I just want to come home and be the father I didn’t have to my daughter.  

 

  • In another letter Jimmy wrote: Being a father is a very big responsibility that many people can’t handle.  Sometimes they don’t have the patience and sometimes they just don’t know what to do.  That’s why people that care have programs for parenting.

With the encouragement and consistency of Nurturing Families’ visits and letters, Jimmy is making progress in self-reflection and personal goal setting, keeps up with his child’s development and stays involved with his daughter in spite of their difficult circumstances.  

Consider the Nurturing Families Network as the smoke detector of child abuse and neglect:  Inexpensive, effective, consistently present to detect an early sign of trouble and address it.  I hope you will oppose the cut to this valuable, money-saving program, because, we know that-

PREVENTION COSTS LESS !

Thank you for your time.

Galit Sharma  

Clinical Supervisor                                                                                                                                             Family Centered Services of CT

 

My name is Camellia Redway, Program Director for the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) at Family Centered Services of CT (Family CT) in collaboration with Augusta Lewis Troup School in New Haven Connecticut. We are in the fourth year of teen pregnancy prevention funding. Family CT has been trained to utilize the science-based Wyman Teen Outreach Program model that is committed to ensuring program fidelity, utilize service learning to foster community engagement and make vulnerable students the givers rather than receivers of help. I have been placed in a wonderful position at our local middle school where I have acknowledged how important it is to talk to our youth. It’s important to speak on a personal level and have them understand the world they live in and how they are able to make changes for themselves and/or others. The TOP students complete a minimum of 1000 service learning hours each year. The Wyman TOP program is evidenced-based and results show students participating in TOP have a 60% lower rate of school dropout, 14% lower rate of school suspension, 11% lower rate of school course failure and 33% lower rate of teen pregnancy.

 

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy estimates that in 2004:

  • Teen childbearing (teens 19 and younger) cost Connecticut taxpayers (federal, state and local) $98 million.
  • Of the total teen childbearing cost in Connecticut, 47% were federal cost and 53% were state and local cost.
  • Between 1991-2004 there have been more than 48,700 teen births in Connecticut, costing tax payers a total of 1.9 billion over that period.
  • In Connecticut the average annual cost associated with a child born to a mother 17 and younger is $6850

Annual tax payers costs associated with children born to teen mothers included:

  • $23 million for public health care (Medicaid and SCHIP)
  • $34 million for child welfare
  • $37 million for incarceration
  • $20 million to loss tax revenue, due to decreased earnings and spending.

 

We would like to maintain the Teen Pregnancy Prevention funding to preserve the uninterrupted delivery of science-based teen pregnancy prevention program for at-risk youth. Service learning influences the students to become better people in their homes, schools and general communities. This program will put forth outstanding students who will eventually give back to their communities.

Camellia Redway                             

Teen Outreach Program Facilitator

158 Families 'Adopted' For the Holidays!

Thank You to our Generous Donors

 

Thanks to very generous donations made by community members, business and faith groups, 158 families received gifts from their wish lists this holiday season. In addition, each member of our Parent Education, Children's, Teen and Women's Empowerment Groups received gifts. We are always so touched, not only by the generosity of donors but also by the personal touches that tell a child or parent that this gift was meant especially for them, given by an anonymous but caring friend. Many of these children would not be remembered during the holidays if not for the donations, and their parents join with Family CT staff with deep gratitude for making this possible.

 

Joy! The New Haven Chorale Sings for Family CT

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On December 12, 2010, The New Haven Chorale presented JOY!, a festive community holiday celebration to benefit Family CT's child abuse prevention services.

Now in its 60th anniversary season, the New Haven Chorale is an auditioned, professionally conducted chorus of volunteer vocal musicians devoted to musical excellence. The JOY! concert featured Mozart's Spatzenmesse (Sparrow Mass) in C, Bach's Missa Brevis in G, and sing-a-longs of holiday favorites including spirited orchestral accompaniment.

Holiday Pictures!

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Top L & R   Children's Empowerment Group

Middle L-R  Higher One employees; Hamden Plains United Methodist Church

Bottom L-R Hamden Hall students; Murtha Cullina Law Firm employees

Helping Hands Community Thrift Store and Furniture Bank

1593 State Street New Haven, CT  (formerly The Costume Bazaar)

Family CT has partnered with Helping Hands Community Thrift Store & Furniture Bank, LLC in a unique fundraiser and we need your help in making it a success!

Helping Hands accepts donations of furniture, household items, clothing, etc. All items donated by Family CT supporters will be designated to our organization, and we will receive 18% of the sale price of these items when sold in their Thrift Store and Furniture Bank.  Helping Hands is filling their warehouse now, with a grand opening scheduled for January.  This is an ongoing fundraiser for Family CT and your help is very much appreciated.

So . . . please clean out your attics, closets, and basements and bring your items to Helping Hands on Tuesdays or Saturdays from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Helping Hands can also pick up your furniture for a fee. Please call (203) 214-3038.

We want to fill their warehouse with items designated to Family CT.  Please forward this e-mail and attached flyer to everyone on your e-mail contact list and help spread the word about Helping Hands.  Let’s turn your donated items into cash for Family CT.

 

Pepe's Pizzeria Supports Family CT

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Ozzie Levene (L), Steve Levine, Linda Levene and Bernadette Bimonte-Hackett

New Haven's Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana donated a percentage of the August 26 daily proceeds to Family Centered Services of CT, Inc. in support of the agency's child abuse prevention and treatment services. As usual, the line of people waiting to enter the pizzeria was long but guests chatted and joked as they waited to 'eat pizza with a purpose!' and were rewarded with Pepe's delicious pizza pies. Bernadette Bimonte-Hackett, granddaughter of Frank Pepe,  one of 7 owners, and Family CT Board member says "Pepe's believes in the mission of the 4 C's, which is to eradicate child abuse. We would like to believe that all children have enough food to eat and love to share, and we are proud to contribute to those ideals." Thank you to Pepe's Pizzeria and all our friends and supporters who came out to enjoy!

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Marc Donald, Riley Donald (L), Phinn Donald and Kristy Jelenik

 

David Mandel Receives Richard Manware Humanitarian Award

 

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Marcy Manware, David Mandel and Family CT Executive Director Cheryl Burack    

 

David Mandel, MA, LPC, nationally recognized domestic violence author, trainer, and consultant, was honored by Family Centered Services of CT, Inc. for his work in improving systems' responses to domestic violence when children are involved. Mr. Mandel has piloted a national workshop seminar, "Safe and Together: Concrete Strategies for Addressing Domestic Violence When Children Are the Focus" and is overseeing a statewide network of domestic violence consultants for the CT Department of Children and Families. He has conducted national research on batterer's perceptions of their children's exposure to violence, written curriculum for batterer intervention providers and worked for batterer accountability and systems change.

Each year, Family CT recognizes individuals who have made a difference in the lives of troubled and vulnerable children, women and families through our Richard Manware Humanitarian Award.  Past award recipients have included author and teacher/volunteer Wally Lamb, activist Naomi Wolf and domestic violence researchers Evan Stark and Anne Flitcraft. Last year's recipients were Adam Francis and Kathy Busch (see below). 

Ted Koppy, News Channel 8 Reporter and Co-Anchor, moderated this special program.  Jeff Browning, Brewmaster at BAR accepted Family CT's first Community Champion Partner award on behalf of himself and owner Randy Hoder for their charitable efforts on behalf of children and the annual fundraiser they sponsor each year, resulting in a generous contribution to support Family CT services.

Guests were entertained by the musical talents of the a cappella ensemble, The Conn Artists.

The Humanitarian Award Event has become a signature occasion for us to increase community awareness about some of the challenges that children in our community face, as well as serves as an opportunity to support Family CT’s free, bilingual and home-based child abuse prevention programs. 

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Ted Koppy with Family CT Assistant Director Jacquelyn Farrell and Vice Chairman Steve Levine    
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Jeff Browning receives award

2010 Richard Manware Humanitarian Award Sponsors

 

GOLD SPONSOR

Yale- New Haven Hospital

www.ynhh.org

SILVER SPONSOR

New Alliance Bank

newalliancebank.com

BRONZE SPONSOR

Biller, Sachs, Raio & Zito

http://www.bsrz.com

Casey Family Service/Annie E. Casey Foundation

www.caseyfamilyservices.org

Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

www.cfgnh.org

People’s United Bank

www.peoples.com

T.M. Byxbee Company, P.C.

http://www.byxbee.com

 

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.

 

http://www.uks.com

Webster Bank

www.websteronline.com

 

Thank you to Family CT's Event Committee and Supporters - You raised over $3000 for kids and families!

march madness

March Madness was a great success with lots of food and fun...and over $3000 raised to help support the child abuse prevention programs at Family CT. March Madness was sponsored by Family CT's Event Committee, a network of young professionals working to make a difference...One party at a time! For more information, see Event Committee

Advocate for Families

We did it!

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galitPublic Hearing 3-11-10

   

A budget plan has been approved for fiscal year 2009-2010 that leaves the Nurturing Families Network, teen pregnancy prevention and parent aide programs intact for this year. Our legislative advocacy definitely made a difference - thank you!!

Our work is not done. FY 2010-2011 begins July 1 and once again significant cuts have been proposed. We have learned that legislators are responsive to our education and advocacy. Please keep it up!

A $2 million cut has been proposed to the CT Department of Children and Families (DCF) Parent Aide Program (now Family Enrichment Services). This represents a 47% cut in core services to some of Connecticut’s neediest families. These programs provide free and home-based parenting education to families experiencing family violence and those at-risk of child abuse and neglect, and work to strengthen and preserve families that might otherwise face the removal of children from their homes. Please urge that this funding cut be reconsidered in light of the following:

 

    • Cost of Parent Aide (now called Family Enrichment Services) services is $1600 per family, regardless of family size
    • The cost of regular foster care is $9212.60 per child
    • During the 07-08 year 97% of the children whose parents received Parent Aide services remained in the home
    • During the 08-09 year 98% of the children whose parents received Parent Aide services remained in the home

Please contact your legislators to urge that funding be restored to the DCF Parent Aide Program. To find your legislator, go to legislator

Governor Rell has proposed a Deficit Mitigation Plan that would eliminate the community-based Nurturing Families Network (NFN) programs in New Haven and Hartford. The NFN provides intensive home visitation and parenting education to first-time parents at-risk of child abuse or neglect. Testimony presented at two Public Hearing follows, including testimony from a parent served by Family CT.

NFN programs are funded through the CT Department of Social Services and, as a prevention program, saves the state millions of dollars. It is estimated that a cut to these home visiting programs will likely result in over 350 additional cases of child abuse and neglect next year at a cost to the state of nearly $11 million.

Here is what you should know if these cuts are enacted as proposed:

  • Over 100 employees statewide will lose their jobs
  • Almost 1050 fewer families will receive services
  • A cut to the home visiting programs will likely result in over 350 additional cases of child abuse and neglect next year at a cost to the state of nearly $11 million in new DCF cases
  • It costs only $3500/family to provide home visiting through the NFN
  • Poverty is one of the major indicators for child abuse and neglect – New Haven is the poorest city of the 21 towns making up the New Haven area
  • The median family income in New Haven is $35,950, which is only 49% of the regional average (2000 census)

The Nurturing Families Network has proven outcomes, evaluated by the University of Hartford’s Center for Social Research.

  • The rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect in high-risk families participating in Nurturing Families is, on average, only 3% compared to 20% for similar families not participating in this type of program.           
  • The immunization rate for two-year olds in NFN is 93% compared to 66% for two year olds with a similar demographic background on Medicaid.
  • A significant percentage of parents in NFN complete high school, become employed and become more economically self-sufficient.

The Nurturing Families Network is a highly cost-effective program that depends on years of infrastructure development across the state and will not be easily reconstructed if subjected to the Governor’s cuts. Each DCF case is almost 10 times as expensive as the most intensive Nurturing Families Network home visitation service. Furthermore, by the time children are referred to DCF, real damage has already occurred. The NFN’s “penny of prevention” can save the state many “pounds of cure” while preventing long-term damage to children.

John Leventhal, medical director of the Child Abuse Programs and Child Abuse Prevention Programs at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital explains this.

                                             An Ounce of Prevention                                        3/8/10

Should Connecticut dismantle its child abuse prevention program after 15 years of working to build this program from 2 to 42 sites to support the state’s most vulnerable families -- socially high risk, first time mothers and their young children? Unfortunately, that is Governor Rell’s proposal as put forth in the deficit mitigation plan. The governor wants to reduce the $13.5 million for the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) -- the state’s child abuse prevention program -- by over 50%. This reduction will eliminate 14 sites and shrink each of the remaining sites by at least 30%. Is it wise to do away with this ounce of prevention?

The prevention services of the Nurturing Families Network of CTF are provided by trained home visitors who make weekly home visits to first-time mothers from the time of the child’s birth to the child’s fifth birthday. The home visitor models and teaches parenting, helps the parents with life skills, and encourages the parent’s own goals, such as returning to school or work. Many are teen mothers, and some are cognitively, emotionally, or socially challenged. Many have been poorly nurtured themselves, and the program aims to break the cycle and help parents effectively nurture and stimulate their child. The program has had success. For example, the rates of substantiated cases of abuse and neglect are 1.5 to 3% per year as opposed to rates 4 to 6 times higher in similar populations without these preventive services.

During this past year, almost 2,000 families were served state-wide by the home visitors, at a cost of $3,000 per family per year. Compare this with $30,000 per year for a case of abuse or neglect substantiated by DCF.

As the Medical Director of the Child Abuse Programs at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, I know all too well the difference between seeing a child who has been maltreated by his caretaker and a child in our prevention program. When a child has been maltreated, he or she suffers from the pain of the injuries or the neglect, the family is torn apart, and the state tries to put the pieces together, often at enormous financial and personal costs. Surely, it is cheaper and more humane to help children from falling off of the cliff than to rescue them at the bottom after they have fallen.

The Governor’s proposed cuts will reduce the number of families served by home visitors around the state from over 1,850 to about 800.  In New Haven alone, the cuts will be more dramatic since 5 of the 7 sites will be closed. Home visitors from these 7 programs serve over 350 families, but if the Governor’s proposed cuts are passed, fewer than 90 families will be served each year.

For $2 per state resident per year, the home visiting programs could be saved. At this time, it makes little sense to eliminate prevention programs that work.  An ounce of prevention is what this state needs, not doing away with the Children’s Trust Fund’s home visiting program.

John M. Leventhal, MD, is medical director of the Child Abuse Programs and Child Abuse Prevention Programs at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and is professor of pediatrics at the Yale University School of Medicine, which receives funding from the state’s Children’s Trust Fund.

Tim Black, a researcher of the Nurturing Families Network, writes the following:

Should child abuse prevention programs in our cities be eliminated?

Should home visitation programs for vulnerable first-time mothers be eliminated in Hartford and New Haven? The Governor’s answer is yes, even though she does not explicitly identify the cities where these programs would be eliminated. Instead, her deficit mitigation plan proposes the elimination of “non-hospital” home visitation programs managed by the Children’s Trust Fund. Her language, however, is misleading – there are many community-based sites throughout the state, but only programs in New Haven and Hartford are being targeted for elimination. Why?

In 2006 and 2008, the Nurturing Families Network (NFN) home visitation program was expanded in Hartford and New Haven, with a similar vision planned for Bridgeport. The reason for the expansion was simple – to concentrate services in our largest cities where poverty and vulnerability are likewise concentrated. Our cities are among the poorest in the country and the concentrations of child poverty in our urban cores are striking.  For instance, of all poor children five years of age or younger living in the 21-town New Haven region, 62% live in the city of New Haven. Similarly, 60% of poor children in the Hartford 17-town region live in the city. The governor’s plan does not target “non-hospital” NFN sites, it targets these expansion sites.   

The NFN home visitation program sends trained home visitors into the homes of our most vulnerable families throughout the state at the time of the mothers’ first births. Home visitors develop healthy relationships with vulnerable parents whom they see on average two to four times a month, help them bond with and facilitate the development of their children, help them cope with a range of problems, many associated with poverty, help them achieve their educational and employment goals, and provide a constant source of support and guidance to these mothers.

The program has been carefully developed over the past 15 years, utilizing research to enhance program practices – I know because I have been the principal researcher. Because of coordinated efforts with the Children’s Trust Fund, the NFN research committee (which includes researchers from UConn and Yale) and key legislators, the program has expanded to all 29 birthing hospitals in the state, has focused services in areas where the greatest needs exist, serves around 2000 vulnerable families each year, and has demonstrated a wide range of positive outcomes. Consider, for instance, that among our most vulnerable families in the state, only 1.3% of participating families in 2008 had substantiated cases of state reported child neglect, and there were no cases of child abuse -- an astonishing achievement.

The state’s proposal would reduce funds to all NFN home visiting programs by 30%, but it would eliminate 14 program sites in New Haven and Hartford. Almost 700 mothers a year in New Haven and Hartford would lose these services, 95% of whom are racial minorities, 91% single, 76% unemployed, and 46% without a high school education.    

Prevention programs like NFN home visitation help to stabilize families living in excruciating circumstances. State money invested in the front end saves money in the back end when families are diverted from more expensive services needed to treat family dysfunction, juvenile delinquency, poor health, or educational problems.

Difficult fiscal times call for difficult decisions. But making cuts in programs that have demonstrated effectiveness through carefully designed research and eliminating program services where they are needed most is misguided. It withdraws badly needed support in fragile urban neighborhoods and ultimately misleads taxpayers.

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Timothy Black, associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Social Research at the University of Hartford, is the author of the recent book When a Heart Turns Rock Solid: The Lives of Three Puerto Rican Brothers On and Off the Streets (Pantheon).  

The governor has also proposed major cuts to teen pregnancy prevention funding, also provided through the CT Department of Social Services. DSS has made a decision to fund only those programs that are proven through science-based evaluation. The Teen Outreach Program, one of those initiatives, is part of a national evaluation that has shown a 33% lower rate of teen pregnancy. In 2004, teen childbearing cost Connecticut taxpayers $98 million. The state has made impressive progress in reducing births to teen mothers - now is not the time to eliminate this funding.

Please contact your legislator immediately to urge that these programs be maintained at current funding levels. To find your legislator, go to legislator.

Testimony to the

Appropriations Committee

March 11, 2010

My name is Camellia Redway, Program Director for the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) at Family Centered Services of CT (Family CT) in collaboration with Augusta Lewis Troup School in New Haven Connecticut. We are in the third year of teen pregnancy prevention funding. Family CT has been trained to utilize the science-based Wyman Teen Outreach Program model that is committed to ensuring program fidelity, utilize service learning to foster community engagement and make vulnerable students the givers rather than receivers of help. I have been placed in a wonderful position at our local middle school (Augusta Lewis Troup School) where I have acknowledged how important it is to talk to our youth. It’s important to speak on a personal level and have them understand the world they live in and how they are able to make changes for themselves and/or others. The TOP students complete a minimum of 1000 service learning hours each year. Family CT participates in a national evaluation in which results indicated that students participating in TOP have a 60% lower rate of school dropout, 14% lower rate of school suspension, 11% lower rate of school course failure and 33% lower rate of teen pregnancy.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy estimates that in 2004, teen childbearing cost Connecticut taxpayers $103 million. According to an analysis by the Family Planning Program at the University of Connecticut Health Center, New Haven exceeds the statewide average for births to teen mothers (aged 19 or younger). It is ranked the sixth worst community in Connecticut with an average percentage of 13.1% of all resident births to teen mothers as compared to the statewide average of 6.9% during the same time period.  New Haven is clearly a community in need of teen pregnancy prevention services. We would like to maintain the Teen Pregnancy Prevention funding to preserve the uninterrupted delivery of science-based teen pregnancy prevention program for at-risk youth. Service learning influences the students to become better people in their homes, schools and general communities. This program will put forth outstanding students who will eventually give back to their communities.

Thank you for your consideration

Camellia Redway

credway@Family CTnh.org

203-624-2600 ext 311

Testimony in support of the Nurturing Families Network

And against the proposed cuts in the Governor’s Deficit Mitigation Plan, Line 56 under DSS

Honorable Members of the Committee,

My name is Galit Sharma, I am the Clinical Supervisor of the Nurturing Families Network at the Family Centered Services of CT, Inc., in New Haven.

Here we are again, for the fourth time this past year, asking you once again to support the Nurturing Families Network and to vote against practically eliminating the program from the high-risk communities of New Haven and Hartford. 

I don’t have new figures to share with you -- you have heard it all before, and I have included a fact sheet with my testimony, along with a letter from a mother in our program.  You already know that Nurturing Families is effective in reducing child abuse and neglect and you know how important it is to the State of Connecticut.  You know, because if you haven’t believed in it you would not have supported it in the past.  Please, don’t destroy this valuable asset that took fifteen years to build.  It is truly worth fighting for.

Think of Nurturing Families as a smoke detector:  inexpensive, effective, consistently present to react to an early sign of trouble.   Certainly, investing fifteen dollars in a smoke detector to prevent a costly house fire is a sensible thing to do. 

The Nurturing Families Network is the smoke detector of child abuse and neglect.  It is inexpensive, effective, and consistently present to detect an early sign of trouble and address it.  It is sensible to invest in it at an annual cost of $3,500 per family, so we don’t have to pay $30,000 for the same family under DCF.  It will cost the state 11 million dollars to support the additional families that will end up in DCF.  This is ten million dollars more than what the Governor hopes to save by cutting the proposed sites.

Of course the budget has to be balanced and the economy has to be stimulated. But to stimulate the economy people have to be working.  If the proposed cuts pass one hundred additional Connecticut residents will be out of a job.  The State will have to pay them unemployment benefits, support their children on Husky and WIC and provide additional services they might need.  A hundred families that lost an income will only add to the public’s uncertainty and contribute to the decrease in private spending.

Cutting the Nurturing Families program in New Haven and Hartford doesn’t make sense any way you look at it:  It will cost more, increase unemployment, and reduce positive community outcomes. 

Please, vote to preserve the Nurturing Families Network in New Haven and Hartford.

Thank you for your time. 

Galit Sharma

Nurturing Families Network

Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis, Inc.

131 Dwight St., New Haven, CT 06511

(203) 624-2600 X313

gsharma@Family CTnh.org

 

Testimony in support of the Nurturing Families Network and Teen Pregnancy Prevention

CT Department of Social Services

Honorable Committee Members:


I urge you to oppose Governor Rell‘s proposed budget cuts to the CT Department of Social Services teen pregnancy prevention and Nurturing Families Network Programs.  These combined cuts will result in job losses for at least 118 Connecticut residents. Even more importantly, they will remove a safety net that is saving Connecticut millions of dollars through the prevention of child abuse and neglect and a reduction in births to teen parents. Here is where I get confused about the direction our State is taking.

I have been told that Connecticut is head and shoulders above other states when it comes to using scientific models for prevention. In fact, the Department of Social Services should be applauded for agreeing to fund only those teen pregnancy prevention models that are validated and evidence-based. The Teen Outreach Program has been part of a national study that shows that participants in the program have a 60% lower rate of school dropout, 14% lower rate of school suspension, 11% lower rate of school course failure and 33% lower rate of teen pregnancy. The Nurturing Families Network is part of an ongoing statewide evaluation that has demonstrated a rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect in participating high-risk families of only 3% compared to 20% for similar families not participating in this type of program.  With our government’s focus on results-based accountability, I don’t understand how or why programs that demonstrate successful outcomes have been selected for elimination.

I am grateful for your efforts up to now to keep teen pregnancy prevention and nurturing families network programs fully funded, and I ask you to continue to fight for these services.

Thank you.

Cheryl Burack, M.S.

Executive Director

Coordinating Council For Children In Crisis, Inc.

(203) 624-2600 x303

www.Family CTnh.org

 

Human Services Committee

Testimony in support of the Nurturing Families Network

February 11, 2010

Honorable Members of the Committee:

My name is Cheryl Burack. I am the Executive Director of Family Centered Services of CT and the Program Manager of its Nurturing Families Network (NFN) program. The Governor's Deficit Mitigation Plan has proposed the elimination of all 14 of the non-hospital based Nurturing Families Network sites, resulting in a job loss to approximately 80 Connecticut residents. An additional unknown number of jobs will be lost because even the hospital-based sites will be forced to eliminate positions in order to absorb the proposed 30% cut, added to the 5% rescission that has already been made.  I urge you to vote against these program cuts.

The Nurturing Families Network uses evidence-based materials and achieves very specific and cost-saving outcomes. Research conducted since the program began shows that

  • The rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect in high-risk families participating in Nurturing Families is, on average, only 3% compared to 20% for similar families not participating in this type of program.           
  • The immunization rate for two-year olds in NFN is 93% compared to 66% for two year olds with a similar demographic background on Medicaid.
  • A significant percentage of parents in NFN complete high school, become employed and become more economically self-sufficient.

In New Haven alone we estimate that our capacity to serve high-risk families will go from 442 families to 110, leaving over 330 families without the services that are helping them to achieve these outcomes.

I hope you will refuse to dismantle a statewide network that took 15 years to build and is achieving the outcomes our State is reaching for. Please fight to maintain the Nurturing Families Network in New Haven and Hartford. Thank you for your time.

Cheryl Burack, M.S.

Executive Director

Family Centered Services of CT, Inc.

131 Dwight St.  

New Haven, CT 06511                                                                                   

(203) 624-2600 ext. 303

cburack@Family CTnh.org

Appropriations Committee

December 9, 2009

Testimony in support of the Nurturing Families Network

Honorable Members of the Committee:

My name is Galit Sharma.  I am a Clinical Supervisor with the Nurturing

Families Network (NFN) at the Family Centered Services of CT, Inc. in New Haven.  I urge you to vote against eliminating this vital program, as proposed in the Governor's Deficit Mitigation Plan.

The plan calls for a program reduction that would, in fact, eliminate the Nurturing Families Network entirely by cutting 90% of its funding.  This is not only a "reduction"!  The remaining 10% would clearly be insufficient to run even a few remaining sites and will set us ten years back in terms of program development and outcomes in the community.

The University of Hartford’s Center for Social Research has been following the Nurturing Families for 14 years with impressive results.  They report that-

  • The rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect in high-risk families participating in Nurturing Families is significantly lower than state and national rates. Annual maltreatment rate for our families is, on average, only 3% compared to 20% for similar families not participating in this type of program. 

          This is an amazing finding!

  • The immunization rate for two-year olds in NFN is 93% compared to 66% for two year olds with similar demographic background on Medicaid.
  • A significant percentage of parents in NFN complete high school, become employed and move out of financial hardship.

The State can be proud to have a program like this one.  maybe we can present it as a model to other states and turn it into a source of revenue for Connecticut  instead of fighting for its very existence.

Pulling out our support would be devastating to many families and would come at a high price:  Dr. Charles Super at the University of CT estimates that eliminating the Nurturing Families program will result in 484 additional cases of child abuse and neglect that will be referred to DCF in 2010.  Their annual cost to the state is estimated at additional 14.5 million dollars.  Additional funds will have to be allocated to support growing caseloads at the Department of Corrections, DMHAS, and other programs. 

The Nurturing Families Network helps the most vulnerable families, and reaches as many as 4,000 of them every year.  We are there for the mothers and fathers who have so few resources and so many barriers to accessing them.  We are there to give them the tools and the support to alleviate some of the stress so closely associated with child abuse and neglect.  

If our children are our future, there is no better time to support them than now.

Vote for them.  Vote for the children. Vote for the Nurturing Families Network, and say NO to the Governor's proposal.

Thank you for your time.

Galit Sharma

Family Centered Services of CT, Inc.

131 Dwight St.

New Haven, CT 06511

Phone:  (203) 624-2600 ext. 313

gsharma@Family CTnh.org

Appropriations Committee

December 9, 2009

Testimony in support of the Nurturing Families Network

My name is Jessica F and I am here to speak as a parent participating in Nurturing Families Network. Prior to having my daughter I spent my adult life feeling that I didn’t want to bring a child into this terrible world.  I never felt good enough and everyone put me down.  I felt like a failure.

My mother did the best she could but I know that my life would have been better if she had had the same support I find in Nurturing Families Network.  I came out of my past growing up in psychiatric and residential facilities.  Seven months before I got pregnant I was in a coma following a suicide attempt.  I had hit my rock bottom.  When I got pregnant I knew that if I was a failure my daughter would be, too, if I didn’t change.  The changes I have been able to make come from the education, support, and emotional connection from Nurturing Families.

When I got pregnant I was scared and devastated. I wanted a baby but I wanted a good life for my child.  I wasn’t sure I could provide that.  I saw my therapist and asked for help in being the best parent I could be.  I wanted my child to turn out so much better than me.  One of the places I was referred to was a Nurturing Families Parenting Group.  That group made me feel I was with others just like me.  I felt so connected to those people.  We got insight to our children, we could talk to each other, and we got personal support from each other and our group leader, Renee.  I was fortunate to have this during my pregnancy and in the beginning of my daughter’s life.  I have also been involved in Nurturing Families Home Visiting since I was seven months pregnant.  The thought that I could have this support until my child is five years old is such a comfort.  I have learned so much about by daughter’s development.  I had no idea what was normal.  There were things I was afraid of.  I have been around lots of children but never had the experience of a miserable teething baby.  I wasn’t sure how to handle sleeping issues.  Noreen sat with me one day while I learned to let Mikayla cry and settle herself down for two very long minutes.  Not only did I learn to do it but I learned why it was good for me and my baby.

I don’t feel like a failure anymore.  I have a happy, healthy baby girl who is developing right on track.  She’s beautiful – the joy of my life.  I get a lot of positive feedback about my parenting and my daughter from Noreen and Nurturing Families, my pediatrician, my therapist, even people on the street.

Please keep Nurturing Families Network in the budget for our state and its families.  If I didn’t have their support I would probably have the authorities in my life and my daughter might not be with me today.

 

Jessica F

New Haven

Southern CT State University Collects 400 boxes of Food

for Family CT Families!

Thanks to the students, faculty and staff at Southern Connecticut State University, hundreds of children served by Family CT and their parents will receive boxes of food this winter. The food boxes were put together to be both healthy and attractive. The food drive is an annual event and Family CT is the happy and grateful recipient.

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Third Annual

Dine-Out at Frank Pepe Pizzeria

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Family CT joined the hungry line and partnered with Pepe’s for the 3rd annual “Dine Out” event to raise awareness about the agency and support for Family CT's programs. Pepe’s, located on Wooster Street in downtown New Haven, generously donated 10% of their sales from their lunch and dinner service as part of their ongoing community involvement and dedication to the cause of child protection. Bernadette Bimonte-Hackett, family owner and Family CT Board member, presents the check to Executive Director Cheryl Burack. Family CT is enormously thankful for this opportunity and appreciates Pepe's support for its programs and mission.

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Award-Winning Teens Celebrate at the University of Connecticut

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Participants in the Teen Outreach Program accepted awards for poetry and poster

art in the Expressions Contest, sponsored by the CT Department of Social Services.

The Teen Outreach Program, a partnership with the Augusta Lewis Troup Middle

School in New Haven, is a service learning program that integrates learning and community service. This year, the eighth grade students participated in the Walk for Hunger, worked with preschoolers at the Montessori School on Edgewood, assisted the school's PTO and held a holiday party for elders.

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Spring For A Cause!

On May 9, Family CT’s Event Committee hosted their 2nd fundraising party at Citrus Restaurant in Milford.  It was a success!  Nearly 100 guests enjoyed Citrus’s great food and drinks while listening to live music by Louie and the Rockets.  Comedians George Gallo and Michael Grosso entertained the crowd with their hilarious humor.  And twenty guests walked away with fantastic raffle prizes such as Yankee tickets, a golf bag and putter and spa gift certificates.

A special thank you goes to Family CT’s event committee for organizing and hosting this special event that generated much needed funding for our child abuse prevention programs. 

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Richard Manware Humanitarian Award with Champion Sponsors NewAlliance Bank and Yale-New Haven Hospital

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Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis (Family CT) was proud to present The 2009 Richard Manware Humanitarian Award to Adam Francis and Kathy Busch, volunteers who host a holiday party each year to collect new toys for children served by Family CT. "Adam and Kathy like to fly below the radar," said Family CT Executive Director Cheryl Burack, "and are examples of the unsung heroes who are improving the lives of Connecticut's children. They are role models for the entire community." In accepting this recognition, Adam told the audience of 125 friends and supporters that it is the many guests and donors who are the true heroes.

Ted Koppy, News Channel 8 Co-Anchor and coworker of Adam Francis, moderated the special program. He described how Adam's editing talents combined with his compassion for the plight of abused and neglected children have enhanced the WTNH Wedenesday's Child segments. Joseph Schofield, Citizens TV Executive Director, friend and former Family CT employee, provided a moving tribute to Adam and Kathy, explaining that an unwrapped new toy is the only "price of admission" to the extravagant and festive party hosted by Adam and Kathy each year.

The Conn Artists a cappella ensemble provided entertainment that included a heartfelt rendition of God Bless The Child. (For more information on the Conn Artists, see http://www.singers.com/contemp/connartists.html). Family CT thanks them, the event sponsors (listed below) and the guests and donors who helped to make this event a success and honored the memory of Richard Manware.

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Richard Manware Humanitarian Award Sponsors

Champion NewAlliance Bank
Champion Yale-New Haven Hospital
Sponsors Biller, Sachs, Raio & Zito
  Littler Mendelson
  People's United Bank
  Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.  
  Webster Bank  
  WTNH & WCTX TV  
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Victims' Voice Day - Thank you for participating - Your voice was heard!

Crime victims came to Family CT on March 25 to talk about how they have been impacted and what improvements they would like to see in the criminal justice system. Family CT's Neighborhood Victim Advocates were on hand to hear victim stories and provide assistance. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, assault, robbery or elder abuse in New Haven, West Haven, East Haven or Branford, CT and would like help, contact the Neighborhood Victim Advocacy program at (203) 789-1425.

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Thank you for supporting Family CT's Annual Holiday
Adopt A Family Program - 129 families adopted!

The Adopt A Family Program is a community effort to support families who are struggling and to bring joy into their homes during the holidays. Families, businesses, faith organizations, schools and other community groups can "adopt a family" or "adopt a child" and fulfill some of their needs during this season.

Follow this link to view our brochure.

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The Nurturing Families Network Celebrate at Rascal's Gym

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Children's Empowerment Group Has a Party!

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The Employees of Sargent Manufacturing Company Hold a Toy Drive While Southern CT State University

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The Employees of Sargent Manufacturing Company Donate 300 Boxes of Food

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Ghostly Gathering Costume Party attracts new support for Family CT

Family CT's newly formed Event Committee, consisting of young professionals, organized and hosted the Ghostly Gathering costume party on October 25th at Daniel Street Club in Milford. Nearly 100 people from New Haven and Fairfield counties dressed for the event in their favorite costumes and enjoyed a night of live music and dancing with old and new friends. The Event Committee looks forward to making this fundraising party even better next year and raising more support for Family CT's child abuse prevention programs.

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