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

Saratoga Center for the Family News and Updates

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.

KEYNOTE:

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

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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

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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

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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.

Elementary Educating and Empowering

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General, Prevention Programming by SaratogaCFF on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Thank you.By Pamela Harrington, Crime Victim Advocate

I’m definitely not a winter person, and through the long, cold winter months, I  anxiously await rays of warm spring sunshine. Well, a ray of sunshine came early for me this year, in the form of a thank-you note from a child.

I received this child’s letter after my recent presentation at a Saratoga County elementary school. Funded by a grant, Saratoga Center for the Family is visiting classrooms, pre-k through 6th grade, and presenting an Education and Empowering curriculum. The focus of the presentation is to teach children how to keep themselves safe. The curriculum covers topics like privacy, the correct names of private parts, “okay touch”, “not okay touch”, secret touch, and the four basic safety rules:

  • Say “No!” to inappropriate physical contact
  • Go! Get away from unsafe situations
  • Tell! Tell a trusted adult as soon as possible
  • Keeping telling trusted adults until the touching problem stops

Children at this age are enthusiastic learners who give you their full attention. While it’s crucial for children to be educated on keeping themselves safe, education should not end with them. It needs to be made clear that these children are not capable of keeping themselves safe all alone.

As parents, teachers, coaches, and adults in the lives of these small ones, we need to also be aware of unsafe situations. Sex offenders are master manipulators that can fool adults; just imagine how they can influence children. Abuse prevention is and should always be a community effort.

I feel extremely blessed to be able to educate children in our community. The students I’ve worked with are amazing little people and I can never quite anticipate what they might come up with. Each time I finish a presentation, I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for my job and the special work that is done at Saratoga Center for the Family. Nonetheless, I underestimated just how satisfied I would feel when the gratitude came as a child’s thank you. It was truly a warm ray of sunshine during this very cold winter!

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Saratoga Center for the Family offers Education and Empowering to pre-k through 6th grade classrooms in the Saratoga County school district. If you have any questions about this program or any of the other programs we offer, please call 518-587-8008 or read more here.

 

2nd Annual Valentine’s Day Rose and Chocolate Sale

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, Fundraising Event, General by SaratogaCFF on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 4:45 pm

In partnership with Dehn’s Flowers and Berrylicious Bouquets, Saratoga Center for the Family will be hosting the 2nd Annual Valentine’s Day Rose and Chocolate Sale on Friday, February 14 from 8:30am-6pm at 369 Ballston Avenue in Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Center will be selling assorted color roses by the dozen as well as chocolate-covered strawberries and candies. Chocolate-covered candies include Oreos, Twizzlers, graham crackers and pretzels.

All Berrylicious Bouquet items are available on a pre-order basis only. Rose pre-orders are also encouraged, but day-of rose sales will also be available.

Packaging, pricing and details can be found below. All pre-orders must be placed by Monday, February 10th via our website or by contacting Pamela Harrington at 518-587-8008, ex. 308 or via email.

“Last year was our first year and we were pleasantly surprised at the number of sales we generated! What a great way to show your love – purchasing the traditional items that you normally do for Valentine’s Day and supporting an agency that loves to help children and their families!” said Child Advocacy Center Director, Jennifer Wormley.

All event proceeds will benefit the Saratoga Center’s Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center.

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