359 Ballston Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY   
Phone: 518-587-8008 - Fax: 518-587-8241

Saratoga Center for the Family News and Updates

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, Fundraising Event, General by SaratogaCFF on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 11:33 am
Saratoga Center for the Family Staff

Saratoga Center for the Family Staff

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month; it is a time where the national spotlight is shone on a topic that can be difficult to discuss. At Saratoga Center for the Family, their everyday efforts are focused on helping to treat, prevent and educate the public about child abuse. Executive Director Rebecca Baldwin states, “We all have a role to play in healthy child development, and our goal this April is to help others recognize that role and the ways in which we can maximize our impact.”

According to Baldwin, one way the community can get involved is Wear Blue Day.  On Friday, April 5, Wear Blue Day is a day dedicated to celebrating child abuse prevention efforts across the country.

“Wear Blue Day (April 5) is a chance to highlight the ways that people can help great childhoods happen across New York and the country,” said Baldwin.  “You can get involved in Wear Blue Day by telling people you are participating in a national day to highlight child abuse prevention; by taking a picture of yourself and your colleagues all dressed in blue and share it on your favorite social media platform using the #WearBlue hashtag; or by sharing a story of how you help mentor children, advocate for policies that keep kids safe, or donate time or money to a local child serving organizations and inspire others to get involved during Child Abuse Prevention month.”

Along with Wear Blue Day, Saratoga Center for the Family is running a “Pennies for Prevention” campaign throughout the month of April to raise funds and awareness for child abuse prevention. Baldwin says to look for Saratoga Center for the Family coin drop canisters at local businesses to participate. All donations will directly support the Center’s programs.  Businesses who wish to participate should contact the Center at (518) 587-8008 or email aradik@saratogacff.org.

Later in the month, the Center, in partnership with Longfellows Restaurant, will be hosting its Annual Power of Hope dinner on Thursday, April 18, from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  This event recognizes and thanks donors, sponsors, and supporters of the Center.  The evening will begin with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, followed by a speaking program, dinner and dessert.

The cost to attend is $55 per individual, $500 per table of 10, and $35 for community partners including local, state, and community-based friends and partner organizations.  Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.saratogacff.org and clicking on fundraising events or by calling Saratoga Center for the Family at (518) 587-8008.

“Also, throughout the month of April, as you drive down Broadway (in Saratoga Springs), you may notice our Saratoga Center for the Family flags lining the street,” says Baldwin.  “These are yet another reminder of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and a reminder that we are here to serve the community.”

For over 40 years, Saratoga Center for the Family has served the families of Saratoga County and beyond.  The Center offers assistance with mental health counseling, education and prevention programs, and assistance for children, families, and individuals who have been victimized.  No family is turned away due to inability to pay.  For further information, visit saratogacff.org or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/SaratogaCenter.












New York Child Victims Act Law Long Overdue

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General, Mental Health by SaratogaCFF on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 12:19 pm

John Kelly

“It has been long overdue; today we celebrate with victims,” says John Kelly, Law Enforcement Coordinator at Saratoga Center for the Family regarding the passing of New York’s Child Victims Act.

Kelly explained that for victims of child sexual abuse, the passing of the Child Victims Act will help adult victims of abuse heal. “This is finally a message from our leaders that we believe you and feel this issue is important,” says Kelly. “For years, victims of abuse who bravely approached law enforcement to report the abuse were devastated to learn that no criminal action could be taken in some cases due to the statute of limitations.”

Kelly personally and professionally knows of several adult victims of child sexual abuse who may decide to pursue their options now that the Child Victims Act has been passed, and in doing so will give them hope to keep moving forward. He says, “Some victims may not be looking at just monetary compensation, but rather looking to be heard and acknowledged. Hearing the words, ‘we believe you’ and ‘what happened was wrong and not your fault’ help remove the weight off the shoulders of victims and the road to healing can begin or continue.”

Jennifer Wormley

Jennifer Wormley, Director of the Child Advocacy Center at Saratoga Center for the Family, agrees. “There may be victims who were either afraid to come forward or who just weren’t ready and when they did feel comfortable enough to tell their story, because of the statute of limitations, they may have felt it was pointless,” she says. “Now, all victims can come forward and shine a light on someone that needs to be investigated. Being able to share their story will not only bring them much needd closure, but will possibly help protect others.”

Rebecca Baldwin

“We are all pleased with the outcome of the vote,” says Rebecca Baldwin, Executive Director of Saratoga Center for the Family. “No one should feel rushed to tell their story of abuse; only the individual knows when the time is right for them; and now, the time will always be right.”

For anyone who needs support, Baldwin says Saratoga Center for the Family has certified, professional therapists who are trained in trauma, along with a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) where families and children go to feel safe and supported. The CAC’s multidisciplinary team specializes in working with families and children who are victims of abuse, explains Baldwin.

Saratoga Center for the Family serves Saratoga County and the surrounding communities. They have the Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center and therapists located at their main office at 359 Ballston Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Saratoga Center for the Family also locates therapists in Scotia-Glenville, Shenendehowa, and South Glens Falls School Districts; and community locations in Mechanicville and Corinth. For more information on Saratoga Center for the Family, visit their website at saratogacff.org or contact the main office at (518) 587-8008.


4th Annual Saratoga County Safe Harbour Conference

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General by SaratogaCFF on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 2:16 pm

Friday, October 26, 2018

9:00 AM – 3:30 PM 

LOCATION :  Arthur Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

A conference to educate, inform, raise awareness, and take steps to prevent and stop trafficking and CSEY, and also familiarize attendees with victim resources and services available in Saratoga County. In past years this has been a very popular event and as a result we expect tickets to go quickly. Please only register if you intend to participate in this event.


Jasmine Grace is an effective keynote speaker, panel participant and facilitator for trainings, workshops and groups. She has spoken on panels at the U.S Commission on Civil Rights in New Hampshire and at two side panels for members of the United Nations in New York. She often speaks at schools, churches and conferences. In addition, Jasmine consults with healthcare professionals, law enforcement personnel, educators and nonprofit organizations. She advises on issues such as safe homes, program growth, curriculum development, survivor support and peer mentorship. Lastly, she is a member of the NSN (National Survivor Network).

Silent survivors, justice seekers and direct service providers are talking about Jasmine’s story of survival, faith and victory. People who were previously uneducated about human trafficking have chosen to support her efforts as a modern-day abolitionist because sex should never be called work.

Register here:  https://bit.ly/2ORagcj



Our Banner Year.

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, Fundraising Event, General, Mental Health, Prevention Programming by SaratogaCFF on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm


With just hours left in 2014, we reflect on what a successful year that we have had. Because of the support of a strong community, a dedicated staff and a whole lot of passion, we are celebrating countless healing stories from the past 12 months.

This year we have:

Together, as a community, we achieved this success.
Together, as an Agency, we THANK YOU.

We wish you a happy and healthy 2015!

Valuable Resources for Crime Victims

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General, Mental Health, Prevention Programming by SaratogaCFF on Monday, December 29, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Saratoga Center for the Family is one of the recipients of the 2014-15 grant from the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS). This grant enables The Center to provide victim advocacy services and trauma focused therapy to children who have been victims of abuse in Saratoga County.

At Saratoga Center for the Family, we often work with children who have experienced a traumatic event. Trauma can be any event that, when witnessed or experienced by a child is extremely distressing to them, and each child can react in different ways to a traumatic event.

Therapists at Saratoga Center for the Family are trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), a research based form of therapy, which helps children, teens, and their parents cope with trauma. This counseling is normally provided to children between the ages of 3 and 18. With TF-CBT, talking about the trauma is done in a gradual, supportive way and does not happen until the child has learned some skills to cope with the discomfort. TF-CBT helps families to manage feelings, talk about the trauma, and develop plans for feeling safe in the future.

These TF-CBT techniques are often used in our clinical practice:

  • Education about trauma and its effects
  • Help with parenting strategies for common behavior problems
  • Training in relaxation and stress management
  • Learning about feelings and ways to express them
  • Finding and changing the thoughts about the trauma and self that can prevent healing
  • Developing creative ways for children to gradually talk about what happened
  • Engaging in joint sessions to help the child and caregiver(s) talk together about the trauma
  • Learning and practicing safety skills

We see incredible healing progress with this format of counseling. Children showing improvement typically experience fewer intrusive thoughts about their trauma and are able to cope with reminders and associated emotions. They also show decreased depression, anxiety, behavioral problems and trauma-related shame.

Additionally, in large part due to our OVS grant award, we are able to offer Crime Victim Advocacy to not only all of our clients, but also the community. Our Crime Victim Advocate is available for the children that come through our Child Advocacy Center for investigations of abuse allegations, and also for our counseling clients who may disclose to their therapists that they have been a victim of a crime.

Pam Harrington, our Crime Victim Advocate, is a trained professional that is here to support any victim of a crime. She offers victim information, emotional support; help finding resources, and assistance filling out paperwork.

Additionally, Pam is able to:

  • Listen and provide emotional support
  • Provide Education
  • To be a support and link to resources available
  • Make referrals for counseling
  • Explain and assist with a crime victim compensation application
  • Accompany you and your child to court proceedings and depositions
  • Provide information on legal rights and protection
  • Intervention with landlords, creditors and employers on behalf of the victim

It’s important to note that you do not have to be a client at Saratoga Center for the Family to receive these services. Anyone in the community that has been victimized can utilize this valuable resource.

For more information about Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), as well as victim rights and advocacy, please call Saratoga Center for the Family at 518-587-8008.

An Opportunity To Do Better

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General, Prevention Programming by SaratogaCFF on Friday, September 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

Child Discipline

By Jennifer Wormley, Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center Coordinator

We all have these stories, “when I was little I had to… or my parents used to…” We share these stories with our friends, co-workers, and even our children and usually it’s a funny tale about having to walk three miles up the mountain to school in sub-zero temperatures wearing the only set of hat and mittens that you owned.

Occasionally, it may be a little more serious and a little more personal when you disclose that you used to be whipped with a belt or spanked with a wooden spoon. For many families it was considered normal and appropriate discipline. For some families, it still is. Some may say this is a cultural, generational, or societal “norm.” Do you? Do you feel that this manner of punishment is justified and okay?

I have to find the silver lining in all of the headlines and broadcasting of the recent Adrian Peterson case. I am thankful that the conversations are being had, that there is increased awareness, and that because this parent is a renowned football player many people will reconsider the way they discipline or punish their children and determine if it is acceptable or not. They hopefully will be open to evolving in their parenting choices and choose alternative methods of discipline that do not inflict fear and pain on their child. When we know better we have the opportunity to do better, let’s make this one of those times!

Why Child Abuse Prevention and Education is Crucial

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General, Mental Health, Prevention Programming by SaratogaCFF on Monday, April 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm

By: Kelly Barry, LCSW-R, GC-C , SCFF Clinical Director

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 4.12.22 PM

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and is a good time to look beyond the obvious reasons why abuse and trauma prevention is so important.

Every day I work with children and adolescents that have experienced a single incident of trauma, or have been exposed to multiple traumas and are trying to find ways to cope with the feelings they are experiencing. These children struggle with finding healthy and safe coping skills, and thankfully are receiving treatment to help them achieve this.

However, there are many more children and adolescents that are not fortunate enough to receive treatment for a variety of reasons, and this is going to impact them even into their adult life. It will impact their quality of social, emotional and physical health.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, also known as ACE, is one of the largest studies that links child maltreatment to health and social problems later in life. Adverse childhood experiences include childhood exposure to physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence and family members using alcohol or drugs. These experiences disrupt normal child development, which impacts a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development.

As a person’s ACE score increases, which means the more experiences they have been exposed as a child increases, the risk of many health problems as an adult, including:

  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Liver Disease
  • Lung Cancer
  • Migraines
  • COPD
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Migraines

An elevated ACE score is also linked to an increase in social problems such as:

  • Adolescent pregnancy
  • Suicide attempts
  • Smoking
  • Risk of intimate partner violence
  • Illicit drug use
  • Alcoholism
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Early initiation of sexual activity.

Prevention of child abuse will decrease the number of children that are exposed to these experiences. Children are our future and the more adverse experiences they are exposed to the greater the chance of these children experimenting with risky behaviors (drinking, self-injurious behaviors, drug use, and sexual promiscuity) to cope with the traumas they have experienced. Unfortunately, in addition to coping through risky behavior, they are more likely to experience health problems as an adult.

Here’s how you can you help:

Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month is coming to an end, but we must continuing to educate and raise prevention awareness. As a community, it is our shared responsibility. If you would like someone to talk to, call us 518-587-8008, we are here to help.

Know How To Prevent Child Abuse.

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General, Mental Health, Prevention Programming by SaratogaCFF on Friday, April 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm

By Jennifer Wormley, Child Advocacy Center Coordinator

Know How To Prevent.

Taking steps to help decrease a child’s risk of being sexually abused is an adult responsibility. Nobody wants to talk about child sexual abuse, but unfortunately, it is the white elephant in the room; when you consider 1:4 girls and 1:6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. A little blend of education + common sense + instincts can go a long way in decreasing a child’s risk.

Here are some ways you can prevent abuse:

  • Educate yourself about how to protect your child
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of abuse so you can recognize them
  • Use your common sense when making decisions regarding your child and their activities
  • Monitor their electronic device use
  • Ensure they know what they should do in the event someone attempts to abuse them
  • Build their self-esteem; a child who is not afraid to say “no” will be avoided
  • People who abuse children don’t necessarily look scary – anyone could be targeting your child; usually it’s someone they know, love and trust
  • If your instincts tell you not to trust someone, listen to them; don’t force your children to hug or kiss a family member if they are uncomfortable about it

People who abuse children can be smart and manipulative; it’s easy for them to trick your children, but it’s much harder to trick you – be involved in your children’s lives.

If you have questions, or need someone to talk to, please call us at (518) 587-8008. We are here to help.

April – National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, Fundraising Event, General, Mental Health, Prevention Programming by SaratogaCFF on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm


The month of April is devoted to celebrating everything we can do to transform communities into places that care about and actively support families and children.

Show your support during the month of April by partaking in any of these events or activities. You can also download a printable version of the calendar here.

All of April – 

  • Throughout the whole month of April, when you are cruising Broadway in downtown Saratoga, you will see our flags proudly lining the strip!
  • Each day we will be posting Family Strengthening and Abuse Prevention tips on our Facebook and Twitter channels. Please “Like” and “Follow” us to help us spread the word.

Sunday 4/6

  • Uno’s Dough Rai$er – On Sunday, 4/6, the Saratoga Uno will donate up to 20% of your lunch or dinner check to us! All you need is your appetite and a “dough ticket”, which you can download here.
  • Crime Victim’s Candle Light Vigil – The Crime Victims Vigil is an opportunity for crime victims, their families and friends to come together to share their stories and experiences with the community. The vigil starts at 4pm, on Sunday 4/6 at the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church.

Monday 4/7 –

  • Split: Divorce Through Kids’ Eyes – Told from the perspective of children ages 6-12, this 30 minute documentary explores the impact divorce has on a child’s mind and heart as their families change. This film & discussion is for parents who are divorced along with their children. Our Clinical Director, Kelly Barry, will lead discussion following the viewing. Monday, 4/7, 6:30pm-8pm at Saratoga Public Library.

Thursday 4/10 –

  • Parent University: Online Safety for Kids – The Internet has drastically changed the way that children interact with the world. Along with offering fascination, new ways to connect with the world, the Internet also offers new risks. Join us as we discuss Internet Safety Risks. Presented by FBI Special Agent, David Fallon and NCMEC Education Specialist, John Kelly. Brought to you by Parent University and Saratoga Center for the Family. Thursday, 4/10, 7pm-8:30pm at Maple Avenue Middle School Auditorium. View the program flyer here.

Saturday 4/12 –

  • Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k/10k – The 2nd Annual Bacon Hill Bonanza Road Race, Walk and Fun Run will be donating a portion of proceeds to us! What other 5k/10k also have a home-made pie contest. For more information, please visit their website.
  • The Donny Elvis Show – Enjoy a night with “This King” impersonator, Donny Elvis, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, in Saratoga Springs at 5:00pm. Tickets are $15.00 and proceeds benefit Saratoga Center for the Family. Presented by Ct. McLaughlin #422, Catholic Daughters of the Americas.

Tuesday 4/22 – 

  • Alex and Ani: Charity By Design – Treat yourself or someone you care about to a bauble from the Saratoga Alex and Ani store between 7pm-9pm on Tuesday, 4/22, and 15% of all proceeds will be donated to us! Please join us and enjoy light bites and (+) energy punch!

Protecting the children in our community is everyone’s responsibility. Please join us in recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month!

Ending Blame and Enacting Change.

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General, Prevention Programming by SaratogaCFF on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm
Photo via: ESPN.go.com

Photo via: ESPN.go.com


By Jennifer Wormley, Child Advocacy Center Coordinator

It’s been about two years since news broke of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, and in many ways, it feels like it just happened. This morning on Espn Radio’s Mike & Mike show, the gentlemen discussed Don Van Natta Jr.’s article “The Whistleblower’s Last Stand“, and they had an interesting conversation about what Mike McQueary should have done when he “stumbled upon” Jerry Sandusky abusing a child.

Let’s face it, it’s human instinct to quickly lay blame when horrendous things happen. But, don’t we owe it to ourselves to move beyond that, and instead focus on the lesson that can be learned. We should collectively take responsibility for raising the bar and insisting that change occurs,  so that more people don’t make the same mistakes in the future. History repeats itself, especially if we don’t enact change.

Stop, Go, Tell. This is the curriculum that is taught to young children to help protect them from abuse. Adults should follow the same guidelines:

  • If you see something occurring STOP it  Get yourself and if appropriate, the child into a safe location.
  • Make the call to your local law enforcement or the State Central Registry (The Child Abuse Hotline – 800-342-3720.)

These are the two most important steps to take, do not hesitate, make the hotline call. These calls can be made anonymously, and you can be confident that the information is in the right hands, with those who have the legal obligation to act upon it.  Reasonable suspicion is enough reason to make the call, you do not need proof. You’ve taken the first steps to stop the abuse and begin the healing process for the victim.

Protecting children is everyone’s responsibility, learn the signs and symptoms.