The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Since its founding in 1875 as the world's first child protective agency, The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) has been at the forefront of the effort to keep our children safe and supported in strong, nurturing families. The NYSPCC has developed a wealth of crucial experience in its high quality, broad ranging program areas which are staffed by outstanding professionals who are recognized as experts in their respective disciplines.
Services Offered Include:
In 2004, The NYSPCC launched the Trauma Recovery Program, a special trauma-focused therapeutic program for children who have experienced physical or sexual abuse, traumatic grief or loss, or have witnessed family violence. In order to begin the healing process, a safe, supportive and nurturing place must be available to help children recover from these traumatic experiences. Through individualized, child-friendly and focused counseling sessions, clinicians help children to more effectively understand and manage their emotions. Most children receiving services have never received trauma-focused mental health counseling to help them develop coping skills and recover. To enhance the work done in individual therapy sessions, The NYSPCC provides family therapy with parents or other caregivers, and holds collateral sessions with other adults who are important to the child’s life. Ensuring that a child with mental health problems has a secure support system at home is essential to recovery and healthy development. Group therapy for children who are struggling with similar issues is offered as an additional support.
The NYSPCC offers a therapeutic supervised visitation program designed to help parents who cannot have unsupervised access to their children due to histories of child physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse or mental illness. The NYSPCC has been providing supervised visitation to New York City families since 1992 and accepts referrals from the NYC Family Court when a judge determines that a parent cannot be left unsupervised with a child due to safety concerns, and from the NYC Administration for Children’s Services to serve children in foster care with high-risk parents who require supervised visitation based on the safety risks posed by parent-child interaction. Supervised visitation provides a one-on-one supportive setting where the parent-child relationship can continue while pending legal issues are addressed by the child protective and court systems. The program keeps the children safe while promoting healthy parenting through parent coaching, education and guidance.
The NYSPCC provides a crisis debriefing program that helps stabilize child welfare staff following a critical incident in the course of their daily work, including child fatalities, severe child physical and sexual abuse, and violence in the field. As first responders to reports of child abuse and neglect, child welfare workers have a heightened potential to develop Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) due to exposure to these traumatic events. Crisis debriefing sessions focus on reducing stress reactions as a result of the crisis, and how staff can implement coping techniques to enhance their effectiveness at work and at home. The goals of the crisis debriefing sessions are to mitigate the impact of the critical incident and to accelerate the recovery process.
Through the activities of the Training Institute, The NYSPCC seeks to share its expertise and “best practice” approach to the child welfare field with other professionals and agencies engaged in this important work. The Institute also seeks to educate parents, the business community, and the community at-large on topics relating to child welfare and child safety.
The Institute provides training both locally and nationally, and Training Institute staff presents at local and national conferences. The NYSPCC offers a cadre of standardized trainings which can be customized as needed. Some topics offered include:
- Instruction on Therapeutic Supervised Visitation
- Trauma Recovery Mental Health Services for Children Victimized by Child Abuse
- Crisis Debriefing Services to Address Secondary Traumatic Stress Suffered by Child Welfare Professionals and Other First Responders
- NYS certified Child Abuse and Neglect Recognition and Reporting
- Attunement Skills for Visit Supervisors
- Child Centered intervention in Supervised Visitation
- Integrating Multiple Traumas: Healing Sexually Abused Children in Foster Care Setting
- Therapeutic Supervised Visitation for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
The Institute also provides a sexual abuse prevention program for children in grades K-12. Safe Touches: Personal Safety Training for Children, designed for children in grades K-3, uses puppets in role-play scenarios to help children recognize safe and not safe touches, understand body safety, and know whom to tell if they experience a not safe touch. Sexual abuse prevention workshops for older children and teens offer similar content but are adjusted for the group’s developmental level. All sessions are conducted by clinicians trained in handling disclosures of sexual abuse should one be made by a student during or after a session. The NYSPCC also provides educational workshops for parents and school staff on child sexual abuse, which includes instruction on recognizing its signs and symptoms, appropriate responses to a disclosure of abuse by a child, and dealing with their own emotional reactions to a child’s disclosure.
For more information about any of our services, please contact us at 212-233-5500 or visit us at www.nyspcc.org.