Family Services of Westchester Receives $2.25 Million Grant Award for At-Risk Youth Mentoring Initiative

PURCHASE, NY, Dec. 17, 2018 – Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is pleased to announce that it has been chosen by New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to be the recipient of a $2,250,000 grant award for the Community Credible Messengers Initiative (CCMI).

CCMI is a mentoring initiative created by OCFS that is designed to help youth in the juvenile justice system. The goal of the program is reducing recidivism and dissuading youth from further anti-social behavior through the development of regionally placed mentors known as “Credible Messengers” and “Parent Partners.” These “Credible Messengers” and “Parent Partners” are men and women who have had experience with the juvenile or criminal justice system and are able to use their experiences to steer youth in the right direction.

OCFS awarded grants to four nonprofits in four regions – Buffalo, Rochester, Mid-Hudson and Long Island, for the program. The grant will be disbursed annually in increments of $450,000 for a term of five years.

The young people in the juvenile justice system present significant challenges reengaging in positive community opportunities and supports so they require innovative interventions and solutions. Throughout the years, “Credible Messenger” initiatives across the country have been found to be impactful and effective in reducing violence, preventing recidivism and improving overall life outcomes for these youth.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to provide such an impactful program to the at-risk youth in Westchester as well as nearby communities. Programs such as this are vital in helping these young people effectively transition back to their communities and stay out of the justice system,” stated Polly Kerrigan, president and CEO of FSW.

About Family Services of Westchester
Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is a nonprofit organization operating in Westchester County, New York since 1954. With nearly 50 innovative programs, FSW provides mental health and social services that strengthen and support families, children and individuals at every stage of their lives. Learn more about FSW here: www.fsw.org.

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The Sharing Shelf’s Teen Boutique Provides Free Clothing to Hundreds of Teenage Girls in Westchester

PURCHASE, NY, Nov. 14, 2018 – Over 200 teenage girls hailing from all Westchester County attended The Sharing Shelf of Family Services of Westchester’s Teen Boutique this past Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle. Each left the event with a week’s worth of clothing and a boost to their confidence and self-esteem.

The Sharing Shelf’s Teen Boutique is a free, one-day pop-up clothing boutique that provides free clothing for teenage girls ages 13-19 from low-income households throughout the county. Racks of new and gently used clothing, comprised of thousands of donated items, are set up to create a trendy boutique atmosphere and girls are invited to choose and take home a week’s worth of clothing, shoes and accessories.

The event has become a mainstay in the community because although Westchester County has one of the highest median family incomes in the country, there are many families that live in poverty and new clothing is a luxury that they simply cannot afford. The Sharing Shelf works to fill this need by collecting new and gently-used clothing items throughout the year and organizing this biannual event – one in the fall and one in the spring. Girls are referred to attend the event by social service agencies, schools, food pantries, and other nonprofits that partner with the program.

This Teen Boutique, like all others, would not have been possible without the support of the community. The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound was the primary partner for the event and the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle hosted the event at their Remington location. Over 200 volunteers spread across eight shifts and three days helped put the event together. Monroe College, Manhattanville College, Iona Preparatory, Remington Women’s Club and the Junior Board of Family Services of Westchester all sent volunteers. Delivering Goods donated new clothing, Scarsdale Synagogue and the Sunshine Committee at Ward Elementary School donated toiletries, and Miller’s of Mamaroneck donated a truck and driver to transport donated items for the event. Many community members also ran clothing drives for the event.

“I am wowed by the volunteerism and the spirt of generosity that powers this event. Teen Boutique brings together so many people, each working to benefit our wider community,” stated Deborah Blatt, Program Director.

For more information on Teen Boutique and how to get involved, please visit: www.fsw.org/teenboutique.

About The Sharing Shelf
Founded by Deborah Blatt in 2009, The Sharing Shelf, a program of Family Services of Westchester, collects new and gently used clothing for infants, youth and teens. The clothing is distributed at no cost to local children through more than 50 area nonprofits, schools and hospitals that partner with the program. To learn more about The Sharing Shelf, contact Deborah Blatt at (914) 305-5950 or by email at thesharingshelf@fsw.org.

About Family Services of Westchester
Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is a nonprofit organization operating in Westchester County, New York since 1954. With over 40 innovative programs, FSW provides mental health and social services that strengthen and support families, children and individuals at every stage of their lives. Learn more about FSW here: www.fsw.org.

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Retro Favorites the B-52s Join the Harlem Gospel Choir to Headline The Really Big Show 2018

PURCHASE, NY, Oct. 17, 2018 – From the soaring vocals of “Amazing Grace” to the unmistakable opening guitar riffs of “Rock Lobster,” every music fan will be dancing in the aisles when the world-renowned Harlem Gospel Choir joins “the world’s greatest party band,” the B-52s, for The Really Big Show on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, N.Y. at 7:30 p.m.

Back for its third blockbuster year, The Really Big Show — recently named Westchester County’s best nonprofit event by Westchester Magazine — will channel the ‘60s variety show classic, “The Ed Sullivan Show,” to benefit the youth mentoring programs of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester.

Also performing will be Matt Schuler of The Voice fame, whose stirring rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” became a top ten hit on iTunes; 16-year-old blind pianist Matthew Whitaker, hailed by Savannah Guthrie of “Today” as the next Stevie Wonder; the Jazz House Kids and The Really Big Show Singers.

The evening will honor Presenting Sponsor Morgan Stanley’s Managing Director, Chad Johnson, Head of National Sales for Morgan Stanley Private Bank, N.A. Morgan Stanley Managing Director and award-winning children’s book author, Sandra L. Richards, will act as master of ceremonies.

Individual tickets are $175 per person, with sponsorship opportunities available at all levels. Tickets may be purchased online at http://bit.ly/ReallyBigShowTickets and sponsorships by calling (914) 937-3779. Major sponsors include Shoreline Foods, Eaton Vance, Thuzio and ACK Asset Management LLC.

“We are extremely grateful that The Really Big Show has become such a hit in our Westchester community,” said Valerie A. Brown, BBBS Executive Director. “We would not be able to continue our vital work on behalf of Westchester’s youth without your enthusiastic support. We hope you’ll join us for an unforgettable evening!”

Note to Editors:
Complimentary press passes are available to attend The Really Big Show and we have a limited number of slots still open for interviews with the evening’s performers. For information, please call (914) 937-3779.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is a youth mentoring program operated under the umbrella of Family Services of Westchester. Since 1958, its mission has been to help children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships between adult volunteers (Bigs) and young people, ages 7 – 17 (Littles). Learn more about BBBS here: www.bigswestchester.org.

About Family Services of Westchester
Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is a nonprofit organization operating in Westchester County, N.Y.azws since 1954. With over 50 innovative programs, FSW provides mental health and social services that strengthen and support families, children and individuals at every stage of their lives. Learn more about FSW here: www.fsw.org.

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The Really Big Show 2018 Will Feature the B-52s to Benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of FSW

PURCHASE, NY, Sept. 19, 2018 – The Really Big Show — named Westchester County’s best nonprofit event by Westchester Magazine — will return to the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, N.Y., on Nov. 3, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. for an exceptional evening of music and entertainment headlined by “the world’s greatest party band,” the B-52s.

Known for their zany, retro hits like “Love Shack,” “Rock Lobster,” “Roam,” and “Private Idaho,” the B-52s will top an outstanding lineup of variety acts that includes the world-renowned Harlem Gospel Choir, the Jazz House Kids, Matt Schuler, Matt Whittaker, and The Really Big Show Singers.

The Presenting Sponsor is Morgan Stanley and all proceeds from The Really Big Show will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester’s youth mentoring programs. Now in its third year, The Really Big Show was originally inspired by the ‘60s variety show classic, “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

The Really Big Show 2018 will honor Morgan Stanley Managing Director, Chad Johnson, Head of National Sales for Morgan Stanley Private Bank, N.A. The master of ceremonies for this year’s event will be Morgan Stanley Managing Director and award-winning children’s book author, Sandra L. Richards. This year’s event co-chairs are Big Brother Big Sisters Advisory Council members Deborah Boillot and Jackie Meisenberg.

Individual tickets start at $175 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available, ranging from $350 to $50,000. Tickets and sponsorships may be purchased online through this link to the Big Brothers Big Sisters website or by calling (914) 937-3779.

“The Really Big Show is a wonderful evening of music and entertainment that brings everyone together to give back and show support for those in our community who need it most. I am overjoyed by its success and excited that we are back again this year,” said The Really Big Show creator and founder Richard J. Franchella, Managing Director – Wealth Management and Manager of Morgan Stanley’s Central and Eastern Pennsylvania Complex.

“We are extremely grateful that The Really Big Show has been such a success the last couple of years. We would not be able to continue the important work that we do without the support of Morgan Stanley and our wonderful Westchester community,” stated Valerie A. Brown, BBBS Executive Director. “Please join us for a night of unforgettable performances and fun in the name of BBBS and the children it serves. You will not be disappointed!” Additional supporters include Shoreline Foods, Eaton Vance, Thuzio and ACK Asset management LLC to name a few.

About Family Services of Westchester
Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is a nonprofit organization operating in Westchester County, NY since 1954. With over 50 innovative programs, FSW provides mental health and social services that strengthen and support families, children, and individuals at every stage of the life cycle. Learn more about FSW here.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is a youth mentoring program operated under the umbrella of FSW. Since 1958, its mission has been to help children realize and reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships. BBBS matches adult volunteers (Bigs) with young people, ages 7 – 17 (Littles), to create meaningful and enduring relationships that have been proven to positively impact youth throughout their lives. Learn more about BBBS here.

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Alex Payan Joins Family Services of Westchester as Director of Advancement

PURCHASE, NY, Oct. 9, 2018 – Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alex Payan as Director of Advancement. Payan will be responsible for identifying, cultivating, and nurturing FSW’s initiatives and programs, leading the design of fundraising programs for philanthropic and government grant support, and communicating FSW’s compelling stories and messaging to a diverse set of existing and potential stakeholders and partners.

Payan brings experience and a proven track record of success in the areas of marketing, government, education, and nonprofit. Payan has over 15 years of marketing research experience in the corporate sector with an array of worldwide companies. Prior to accepting this position, he served as the director of Port Chester Cares and as a consultant for the Town of Rye. He graduated from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY with a degree in marketing management and has master’s degrees in professional studies, education, management and public administration.

“I am deeply committed to the success of FSW as I have seen what a tremendous impact our programs have on families, youth, and individuals,” said Payan. “I am excited to be joining the talented FSW team and I know that together we can truly change the lives of those most vulnerable in Westchester County.”

“We are thrilled to have Alex join our team,” said Polly Kerrigan, FSW’s Acting President/CEO. “From day one, he understood the challenges we face, and the Board and I feel confident he has the knowledge, energy, and passion to meet those challenges. I am confident that Alex will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset to FSW.” He will be reporting to Valerie A. Brown, Executive Director.

In addition, Payan has been actively involved in numerous civic organizations— Westchester Library System Board Trustee, Chair of the Village of Port Chester Board of Ethics, Advisory Member of the Port Chester Salvation Army, Board member of the Clay Art Center, Board member of Carver Center and member of the Port Chester/Rye Brook Rotary Club International, Kappa Delta Pi – International Honor Society in Education, Alpha Beta Gamma – International Honor Society in Business, among many others. Payan is also the executive director/founder of Port Chester Community Gardens, Inc. He resides in Port Chester, NY.

About Family Services of Westchester
Family Services of Westchester (FSW) founded in 1954, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Westchester County with a broad range of social and mental health services that strengthen and support families, children, and individuals of every stage of the life cycle. Whether placing a child for adoption in a loving family, matching a youth in need with a Big Brother or Big Sister, providing clothing for the children of a formerly incarcerated mother, or offering support groups for veterans as they return home from deployment, FSW’s dedicated staff is there – from Yonkers to Mt. Kisco, from Sleepy Hollow to Port Chester – to meet these varying needs. For more information about FSW, visit www.fsw.org.

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FSW Executive, Michelle A. Nicholas, Named a “40 Under Forty” Achiever

Port Chester, NY (June 7, 2018)— Michelle A. Nicholas, Vice President of Development and External Affairs at Family Services of Westchester (FSW), will be honored at the 21 Annual “40 Under Forty” Achievement Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 21, 2018, in New York City. The award, sponsored by The Network Journal (TNJ), is designed to recognize young African-Americans who have proven to be exceptional performers in their industry and committed contributors to the development of their community.

TNJ created the 40 Under Forty Achievement Awards in 1997 to promote mentorship and professional development for the next-generation of accomplished leaders by introducing them to the established business community as role models for young African-Americans.

“Since joining FSW in 2016 Michelle has helped us raise our profile and we look forward to her work towards increasing our fundraising capacity” said Polly Kerrigan Acting President and CEO of FSW. “We are very pleased that Michelle is being honored by The Network Journal’s 40 Under Forty Achievement Awards for her commitment to our community.”

The awards ceremony, themed “Reaching for Higher Goals,” will be held at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway at 1871 Broadway (bet. 61st & 62nd Street), from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.TNJ.com.

For more information, please visit www.fsw.org or call Alex Payan at (914) 305-6876.

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Family Services of Westchester, Inc. (FSW) is a private, not-for-profit agency serving our community since 1954. Headquartered in Port Chester, FSW runs more than 50 social service and mental health programs that reach 30,000 children, teens, adults, and families a year. Programs include adoption and foster care for children; Head Start and Pre-K programs for Westchester’s youngest students; Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other mentoring programs for teens; social support for the elderly; assistance to veterans; and educational and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. We are licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide comprehensive mental health services at seven Family Centers (Hastings-on-Hudson, Mt. Vernon, Pelham, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, and Yonkers) and five school-based mental health clinics. For more information about FSW, visit www.fsw.org.

Manhattanville Athletic Teams win national award for volunteering at the Sharing Shelf’s Teen Boutique

Cleveland, Ohio: The Manhattanville College Department of Athletics received the highest level of national recognition for its community service efforts from the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA), as Manhattanville was named the Winner in the “One-Time Project” category as part of the annual NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Awards, the NADIIIAA announced on Wednesday.
 The honor marks the third straight year and the sixth time in the last 10 years that Manhattanville has earned national plaudits for its wide-ranging community service efforts, but the first time that Manhattanville (or any MAC Freedom institution) has earned a top honor. In addition to receiving a commemorative trophy at the NCAA Convention on January 18, NADIIIAA and Jostens will also make a $1,000 contribution to Manhattanville’s general scholarship fund.
 “I am thrilled to accept this award on behalf of our women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse student-athletes,” Director of Athletics Keith Levinthal said. “It always gives me great pleasure to see our athletes making a difference, but even more so to see our students having a direct and personal impact on the lives of young people in our area. To be recognized on a national level once again for this work is a tremendous honor and reflects all that our 300-plus student-athletes do in the community.”
 
Manhattanville earned the prestigious honor for its work with The Sharing Shelf’s annual “Teen Boutique”, a Family Services of Westchester program that helps to provide less fortunate girls in the Westchester County area with warm and clean school clothes that they otherwise would not be able to afford. Members of the Manhattanville women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams sorted and arranged the donated clothing before the event, and then served as individual mentors to the teenagers as tandems picked out outfits and accessories together for the girls to take home.
“It’s a really unique and rewarding experience that is very different from other community service work we do; usually you’re helping out at some big event, but this one is much more personal,” said senior women’s lacrosse goalie Lauren Cassidy (Oceanside, N.Y., Oceanside). “The one-on-one interactions with the girls give you the opportunity to really get involved with people and see first-hand how the little things can really make a difference in someone’s day and life.”
With its sixth honor since 2007, only four Division III institutions have earned more NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Awards than Manhattanville over that span. The department previously earned an Award of Merit in the “One-Time Project” category for the 2006-07 school year, and has also has earned four honors in the “Array of Projects” category: one Award of Merit (2007-08) and three honorable mentions (2006-07, 2013-14 and 2014-15).
The Manhattanville Department of Athletics has a long tradition of giving back to the local community through service activities, encouraging our student-athletes to engage in activities designed to support the surrounding Westchester County, New York and Southern Connecticut communities. During the 2015-16 school year, Manhattanville athletic teams volunteered over 2,500 hours of time, enthusiasm and energy that raised money and awareness for a number of important causes.
 
For more information on The Sharing Shelf, visit https://www.fsw.org/the-sharing-shelfs-teen-boutique.

 

FSW receives $50,000 grant from WCF to help children suffering from trauma

PORT CHESTER NY (Jan. 17, 2017) —A $50,000 grant from The Westchester Community Foundation (WCF) will help support Family Services of Westchester (FSW)’s Trauma Systems Therapy counseling program for children. The funding will be used to enhance FSW’s work in its three largest clinics in Port Chester, Mt. Vernon, and Yonkers.

 

Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) is a comprehensive, evidenced-based treatment program for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events and who live in environments with ongoing stress. By addressing both the child’s emotional needs as well as the social environment in which he or she lives, TST aims to understand a child’s symptoms in the context of his or her world and strengthen the child’s coping mechanisms by involving the family, school, and community. The approach is especially useful for children suffering from traumatic events in everyday life, such as domestic violence, community violence, poverty, and other highly stressful chronic situations.

 

“The  grant will allow us to act as advocates for the parents and the child, make referrals to community resources for the child and the family, and develop ongoing relationships with the child’s schools so we can monitor the child’s behavior and performance,” explained Polly Kerrigan, FSW’s Senior Vice President of Program Operations. “By stabilizing the child’s environment—including the home and school—our social workers will help these children succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.”

 

FSW began using TST two years ago, after observing the negative impact of trauma on the children and families with whom we work. Examples of traumatic events include sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and witnessing domestic violence. Other sources of trauma are placement in foster care, separation from a caregiver, living amid community violence, or living in poverty.

 

In an effort to better identify children who have been affected by trauma, FSW began administering a trauma history screening assessment tool to every child admitted to our clinics. After performing more

than 500 screenings, clinicians determined that the average number of types of trauma that a child has endured is five.

 

Children react to trauma in a variety of ways, including avoidance (detatchment, numbness); re-experiencing (intrusive thoughts, recurring distress dreams); and arousal (sleep difficulties, irritabililty; hypervigilance). In many cases, a traumatized child will have trouble regulating emotions or behavior.

 

Trauma often leads to depression, risk-taking behavior, substance abuse, sexualized behavior, enuresis, problems affecting conduct, sleep, eating, and attachment; and more.

 

Beyond the consequences for the child and family, these problems carry high costs for society. For example, a child who cannot learn may grow up to be an adult who cannot hold a job. A child with chronic physical problems may grow up to be a chronically ill adult. A child who grows up learning to hate herself may become an adult with an eating disorder or substance addiction. 

 

TST provides effective, evidence-based services and interventions to help children and families who have experienced traumatic events, whether the event is a single exposure or chronic exposure. TST aims to enhance a child’s ability to regulate emotions while diminishing the ongoing stresses and threats in the child’s social environment. By adopting this dual approach, 1) assessing a youth’s capacity to regulate emotions; and 2) assessing the safety of the social environment in which the youth lives, TST aims to help children gain control over strong emotions and behaviors, ultimately helping them succeed in school and life.

 

 

About Family Services of Westchester

Family Services of Westchester is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Westchester County with a broad range of social and mental health services that strengthen and support families, children, and individuals at every stage of the life cycle. For more information, visit www.fsw.org, call 914-937-2320 and connect with us on twitter and Facebook @FSWestchester

 

 

About Westchester Community Foundation

Westchester Community Foundation’s mission is to connect generous people to the causes they care about and invest in transformative ideas and organizations to improve lives and strengthen our community. WCF is a division of the New York Community Trust, one of the largest community foundations in the country, with assets of approximately $2.6 billion.

 

 

 

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FSW Families Enjoyed Thanksgiving Dinner

WHITE PLAINS, NY – November 30, 2016 – This Thanksgiving, more than 800 program participants and their families received a free holiday meal thanks to the collaborative efforts of Family Services of Westchester (FSW), Huguenot Memorial Church, Pelham Jewish Center, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Saint Catherine’s Rectory, Manor Market and other friends in Pelham and Bronxville. A special thanks to Tina Constable and Meghan Allen and all of our volunteers who packed and delivered boxes. Each Thanksgiving box, capable of feeding a family of eight, was distributed to the families FSW serves throughout Westchester including Mount Vernon, Pelham, Port Chester, Yonkers and Sleepy Hollow.

FSW facilitated referrals from several program social workers to ensure that the meals reach those in need; they are also responsible for coordinating the distribution of meals. On Tuesday, November 22nd, Thanksgiving meals were distributed to the families. “We are honored to be able to provide Thanksgiving meals to the families in our programs each year,” says Susan B. Wayne, President and CEO of FSW. “We are grateful to the organizations that partner with us and the support we’ve received from the volunteers that make this effort possible.”

About Family Services of Westchester

Family Services of Westchester is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Westchester County with a broad range of social and mental health services that strengthen and support families, children, and individuals at every stage of the life cycle. For more information, visit www.fsw.org, call 914-937-2320 and connect with us on Instagram, twitter and Facebook @FSWestchester

Contact:  Michelle A. Nicholas, VP, Development and External Affairs
Email:  mnicholas@fsw.org
Phone:  914-305-6836

FSW’s My Second Home Recognized for Innovative Services

October 13, 2016 – My Second Home, an adult day services program created by Family Services of Westchester (FSW) to address the needs of older adults who are physically or cognitively impaired, has received the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) Innovator Award in recognition of its intergenerational programming. The annual award, established in 2009 to recognize innovative practices that strengthen the adult day services business, was presented at the 2016 National Adult Day Services Conference on September 21-23, in Indianapolis. The conference is the nation’s largest gathering of decision-makers, educators, policy makers, researchers and adult day professionals from across the globe with an interest in senior services, adults with disabilities, adult day services, and home and community-based care.

FSW created My Second Home as a way to address the twin goals of helping cognitively and physically impaired older adults stay in their homes while providing respite to their caregivers. The program, which operates at two locations—in Mount Kisco and in White Plains, NY—offers traditional adult day services designed to provide social and some health services to adults who need supervised care in a safe place outside the home during the day. My Second Home features a safe, supervised, home-like environment that includes wellness activities, excellent nutrition, personal care, transportation services, and stimulating activities that help older adults continue to find joy and meaning in their lives.

In addition to these traditional adult day services, My Second Home also includes an intergenerational aspect that combines child care with adult day services at one site. The intergenerational component, known as JEWEL (Joining Elders With Early Learners) earned FSW the Innovator Award. The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) has identified 5,685 adult day programs operating in the United States in 2014. My Second Home is one of the few, and perhaps the only one in Westchester County, to offer both child care and adult day services together at a shared site.

JEWEL began in 1998 as a collaboration of My Second Home and the Mt. Kisco Child Care Center (MKCCC).The program brings older adults from My Second Home and children from MKCCC together a daily basis to share activities, companionship, and life experiences. The activities, which include reading, arts and crafts projects, exercise and recreation, baking, picnics, gardening, music, and more, give the older adults an increased sense of well-being and satisfaction with life, while children experience the sense of security and self-worth that a caring relationship with an older adult can provide. Daily interactions between the children and the older adults occur through structured activities as well as during informal interactions throughout the day.

In 2002, My Second Home and MKCCC moved into a shared site that was specially designed and constructed to promote interactions between generations while affording each group dedicated space to meet the special needs of its participants. Last year FSW expanded JEWEL to FSW’s Center For All Ages in White Plains, where young children in the school district’s Universal Pre-K program and teens involved in youth programs interact with seniors on a daily basis.

The program has completed both qualitative and quantitative evaluations with the assistance of Fordham University’s Ravazzin Center on Aging. The Fordham researchers found that children in the intergenerational program had more positive attitudes toward older adults, while more than 90% of caregivers noted a positive change in seniors who attended the program, including an increase in self-esteem and self-worth.

Currently, there are some 187,000 residents over age of 60 living in Westchester. According to the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services, Westchester also has the highest longevity rate of any county in New York State (at 79.2 years). As baby boomers join the elderly generation, our nation is facing tremendous challenges associated with caring for this ballooning demographic. It is estimated that nationally every 70 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; by the year 2050, it will be every 33 seconds.

Older adults living alone in Westchester County account for 29% of single person households. The impact of a growing older adult population is significant, as chronic illness, functional impairment, and need for services increases sharply with each passing year. My Second Home offers a cost-effective alternative for elder care—it provides safe surroundings and mental and physical stimulation at half the cost of medical model day care, one-third the cost of home care and one-fifth the cost of nursing home placement.

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My Second Home is an award-winning intergenerational day program for older adults that offers an affordable alternative to assisted living or nursing home care. As the only one of its kind in Westchester County, and a model for the nation, My Second Home features a safe, supervised, home-like environment that includes wellness activities, excellent nutrition, personal care, transportation services, and stimulating activities that help older adults continue to find joy and meaning in their lives.

Family Services of Westchester, Inc. (FSW) is a private, not-for-profit agency serving our community since 1954. Founded in 1954 and headquartered in Port Chester, FSW runs more than 50 social service and mental health programs that reach 30,000 children, teens, adults, and families a year. Programs include adoption and foster care for children; Head Start and Pre-K programs for Westchester’s youngest students; Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other mentoring programs for teens; social support for the elderly; assistance to veterans; and educational and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. We are licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide comprehensive mental health services at seven Family Centers (Hastings-on-Huson, Mt. Vernon, Pelham, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, and Yonkers) and five school-based mental health clinics. For more information about FSW, visit www.fsw.org.

The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) is a professional trade association created to advance the national development, recognition, and use of Adult Day Services. As the leading voice of the rapidly growing adult day services (ADS) industry and the national focal point for ADS providers, NADSA accomplishments have included the development of national recommended operating Standards and Guidelines, initiating nationwide surveys and national accreditation, as well as developing curriculum for professional development geared to the needs of adult day services managers and direct care workers. NADSA members include adult day center providers, associations of providers, corporations, educators, students, retired workers and others interested in working to build better lives for adults in adult day programs every day. For more information about the National Adult Day Services Association, visit www.nadsa.org.

Media Contact:
Michelle A. Nicholas
mnicholas@fsw.org
914-305-6836