In the News

Fordham University Social Work Conference Discusses Black Lives Matter and COVID-19

When you hear something is “the bottom,” what do you imagine? The Bottom of the Barrel. Rock Bottom. Hopelessness.

At Wednesday’s Fordham University Annual Social Work Conference, opening speaker Warren Kent, M.S.W., vice president for community-based services at The Children’s Village, spoke about The Bottom.

“My father grew up in Richmond, Virginia, in a place called The Bottom,” he said. “How do you go through life and not think about the impact words have on an individual’s life?”

Kent related his father’s struggles to the ongoing racial disparities and injustices found in Westchester County and the rest of the United States. He reviewed some of the statistics, and one stood out the most: 14.6% of the population in Westchester is Black, but Black youth in foster care make up 57% of its caseload.

Then, Kent finished his address with a powerful question:

“Why did it take a person dying in front of everybody’s eyes for us to remember that Black lives matter, too?”

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Scholar Spotlight: Robin Price

Robin Price was a lawyer. She was a teacher, an art program director, and is bilingual in French. Now, she can say she was a GSS Fordham 2020 Graduate and Children and Families Scholar. This past year, Robin interned at the Adolescent Unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital, helping children who struggle with anxiety, depression, and self-harm. When offered this field internship opportunity, she jumped at the chance. 

Read Robin's story.




Conference to Celebrate Intergenerational Programs

In a collaborative effort, Children and Families Institute will join the Ravazzin Center on Aging for a conference that merges the groups’ two separate missions: one that focuses on helping the aging, and the other which focuses on helping the young.

The event, titled “Enhancing Health and Wellness Across All Generation,” will take place on Wed., April 1st, at Fordham’s Westchester campus from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. National policy and best practices will be discussed in lectures and breakout sessions.

“We often silo child welfare and care for the aging,” said Janna Heyman, Ph.D., professor, and director of the Ravazzin Center. “What we’re trying to foster is a way to blend the services.”

Westchester Recognized Its Foster Care Research

On June 8, Fordham’s Children and Families Institute for Research, Support, and Training (Children and Families Institute) received the 2015 American Public Human Services Association’s (APHSA) Academic Excellence Award for their work with the Westchester Building Futures project.

"When one thinks of Westchester County, leafy suburbs and grand homes often come to mind. In fact, the high cost of living has increased the risk of homelessness for young people in foster care," said Janna Heyman, Ph.D., associate dean of the Graduate School of Social Service and director of Children and Families Institute.

“Everybody thinks of Westchester and they think it's privileged, but because the rents are so high it makes it harder for people to find homes,” said Heyman.

Two years ago the federal government funded 18 projects across the country to identify the risk factors and reduce homelessness among youth. Westchester Building Futures was one of the projects funded. The Westchester County Department of Social Services invited Children and Families Institute to take the lead in examining the problem and identifying factors that could help.

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Children and Families Institute Awarded Contracts

The Graduate School of Social Service’s (GSS) Children and Families Institute for Research Support and Training program has received contracts to provide training and other services to government and private agency social service caseworkers in the city and state of New York.

A contract with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) is to provide organizational analysis and planning for the ACS office.

In addition, another contract is with the State University of New York at Stony Brook to conduct  “Sexual Abuse Dynamics and Intervention Training” workshops during the 2018-2021 calendar year.