Every day, hundreds of young children accompany caregivers to scheduled court appearances. In Court, the children may be exposed to disturbing proceedings, and their presence can be a distraction from judicial business. If kept outside of the courtroom, children may endure boredom and discomfort in waiting areas.
In response, the New York State Unified Court system developed the nation’s first statewide system of cheerful, welcoming Children’s Centers in the courts. The Centers provide a safe, literacy-rich environment and an opportunity for positive interventions in the lives of vulnerable children. The Rockland County YMCA is proud to provide our exceptional childcare programs for Rockland County Unified Courts.
Research shows that many of the children brought to court are five years or younger, poor, and not receiving vital services -- including health, educational and nutritional benefits -- to which they and their families are entitled. Centers regularly facilitate connections between families and services such as Head Start, WIC, food stamps, literacy and other community services. The Children’s Centers have truly turned a problem into a possibility, with positive outcomes for families.
OUR MISSION IS TO PROVIDE:
- A safe, supportive haven for children in the courthouse; and
- A vehicle for connecting families to needed services.
Throughout New York State, local community agencies, provide day-to-day operation and supervision in the Centers under contract with the Unified Court System. The Rockland County YMCA is proud to be the provider for Rockland County. The project was initiated in 1994 by the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and is currently administered by the Office of Court Administration’s Division of Professional and Court Services, Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Court Improvement. The project continues to operate with the support, advice, and counsel of the Commission.
This FREE program is located on the 3rd floor of the Rockland County Courthouse and is open to all courthouse participants being seen at the Family or Drug Court. Space is limited and is available on a first come first served basis.
For more information please contact
Suzette Venner, Program Director Y's Beginnings-Early Childhood Program
SVenner@rocklandymca.org 845 357 4778