Child and Family Services

On Target with Penny Wolfgang
Sunday, August 12th

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This is on target with penny Wolfgang a program that takes an inside look at what is happening in Western New York with the news features and special guests. Now here's your host honey Wolfgang. Hi everybody and thanks again for joining me and on target I am your host annual staying. And we hear every weekend we try to discuss subjects that we think are interesting and important in educational. And topical for all of us live here in the west in your community and we do. Talk about organizations that are doing. Important work here in Western New York a man is what we're going to be doing it and I talked me that today you might I'm sure have heard of children and family services but. You might not be aware of some of the programs that child and family services. Awake at -- child daily services offered here in Western New York. And one of them which I think is probably of Paramount importance in this day and age. And I want all of you to be aware of and not only Allison is by anybody else that's listening. I that you may know that you might talk to about it and that his. A program that is involved with domestic violence intervention. And as part of this program there is a place. A residence called haven house which is all part of the programs that child and family services offer and with this day and age where we are so talking so much and so. Interest in trying to prevent and stop the spread of domestic violence. Ten I Tenet emphasized the importance of these programs to use so I thought. Maybe read let me tell you about it we would bring in two people to on target. Who are involved in the everyday operations and may be vacant. Gave you more details and information about the services they provide so let me first introduce you miracle on wall. And the reason of choosing actress whose name is easier to just sit. The chief development officer. Of son's child and family services and also with us is. You do it is Tim Pitt joked that you know that Kim is Kimberly part I can get yeah yeah and they do it Kimberly can joke. Very god I'm so excited at the Jim was kidding in the suit aces but if there's a lot of letters I can say that they might rent it. He asked as he as names like that it. Well anyway we want to start by asking. Obviously what is. What are the services and child in the services. Provides. Well that's a great question of company services at and around for over a 145. Years and I think when people want to know. Who Wear while we are they asked what do you do and who do you serve. And the question is that we serve the answer is we serve everybody I think when people hear of a not for profit organization. They think oh usurp the family on the east side of buffalo. Look the real answer is we serve the famine eSATA buffalo as well as we serve that spamming East Amherst where one of the oldest not for profit agencies. And Western New York. To answer we do I can tell you. The child who comes and who. Needs a safe place to live because Mimi here she is suffering from some tenement common sense not safe for them to live in their home they might come in and live in a residential treatment program. We might have a family who's struggling to have children. But they know that their lives and be fulfilled until they welcome a child into their lives so they come to us as a Foster parent and hopefully to adopt a child. You may just be struggling in your life and for whatever term Attica banked. We've all had trauma in our lives in some ways you performing you just need a little bit of help we have a counseling program to mental health clinics. One city of buffalo and one in the city of two to log on. We have haven house Erie county is only licensed domestic violence shelter and the important thing about haven house he really is so many of our our services and our programs. As that haven house can affect the man and the woman the child and east and Harrison as well as east Coughlin as well as the east side of buffalo. A lot of our programs we don't discriminate based on race and ethnic background income. And affects everybody and we trying do with coming on these shows and do nineteen presentations is just spreading the word and if you need help we are here you know we tell people. Here one dramatically took that away from meeting our services and answer really profound thought to think about. But as long as people know that there's a place they can come to our doors are opened and really anyone. And it's really important for us to have this conversation because I as much as I've heard of child and family services and haven house and familiar with a from. My life from my money in a position my wife it's everything. I still didn't know and I know our listeners don't all the services that are available. And although I'd heard of it I'm just not like effect familiar when this and that's why it's important for us to talk about it. I wanted to talk to. Do you. Mary about on payment accounts because Clinton. Kim mentioned before and that is actually for some reason I was trying to tell you before I don't know what made me think of it but I wanted to. Discuss haven house because it is so unique services that they think it's likely the only. Really one of its kind here in Western New York. Sure haven house is Mary mansion is the only license to domestic violence shelter. In Erie county we are smear licensed by the office of children and family services and your staffs of children family services. We RE 36 spent shelter that is twenty for hours a day seven days a week and I can tell you there are many days that we are faulty capacity. On the definitely is a need in Erie county. I'm wheat along with swift's safe shelter we take we have the children's programs so children that come with their parents that were a victim of domestic violence. We provide on children's counseling for them a recreation program. I'm oftentimes I children are dubbed the forgotten victims and domestic violence so we. Have dedicated program I just for them we also provide counseling and support groups for. Our residents orange shelter so. That might mean on some some empowerment programs. We have a really I find them are empowerment program based on program out of California called the windows between worlds which is a that helps to it's cathartic program that help help people work through there. Their feelings is they're going to the domestic violence on process. So that so with what's nice about haven house is that it's Tom we are the shelter but we just have a continuum of services homes in addition to our shelter we also Ryan aid we have six transitional housing units. So people who are in shelter and are ready to truly make that break from their abuser. They can take that next step with their family and move into one of our transitional housing units and stay with us from up to six expert. I'm sorry up to two years. And what's nice about that is they also continue to get the services that we provide. I'm mark the support services and we have bomb we've seen some really great success stories with fat so it gives them the opportunity to get back on their feet often times when people come to us. They have no financial management skills their abuser may have managed all the money as a way to control them. So will our dire economic. Economic empowerment program will help them to learn how to budget your check book on maybe go get a job incident helped with the job interview. I'm so built there really able to save that money get back on the feet. I'm Weaver and there's a really nice story that we like to towel that only had a a woman who came into us with her children and shelter. And I'm she was finally ready again to make that break from her abuser and she moved into our transitional housing program. She went back to nursing school and she got her nursing degree and now she's supporting her family is a nurse and you know she she's. Very open about talking about her story can she really serves as a role model to. Two other residents in most of poorly to her children who see who has seen her overcome this adversity. And this difficulty and really come out on top of number we're so proud ever. And and to see what she's been able to do. It's hard to I know to tell other people stories but as you said many fortunately fee you have been successful or. And have been willing to share their stories now I know. Why a foot of asking you to talk that haven house because I was at the luncheon. Where they will you be the beneficiaries. Of the charity and I remember actually people bringing in myself included. A bed linens and towels and things that you need for the people who live in haven house and what I remember most simple is the woman whose stick told her story. About what happened Terry and it's not the when usage but. In the she she had who was sort of like. From a typical I guess humanity typical. The story of an abused person who keeps having. The one thing after another happened but finally could overcome it all of. You remembered you did it well and that was that you was it that you asked Siam months and yeah in it's really interesting is because we're very careful with. Approaching victims who becomes the virus to tell their story because. They always have to make sure that the person and see if we always have to their best interests are we have to keep in mind. But we have found especially over the years that when survivors have a chance to tell their story. They have this really overwhelming sense of empowerment and it's very therapeutic for them. Mean they understand that they're not only unleashing a sense of hope within themselves that they're helping either. People who may be in the crowded who can. The bottle everything up and realize they might not feel the tell anybody what their situation is that if they hear someone else's story and they consider themselves on my passion happening to me. But look at what could happen to me if I just reach out to help reach out for help so I think we hear a lot of those stories we hear a lot of that happening. And then to take that one step further those sanctions are community partners. Are really the foundation. Like he sets Hughes keeps us going a haven house. I don't think people understand that when you have to leave your home. With your child in the middle of not and middle of the night sometimes with nothing but the closure of aryan. We have to get the basic life essentials sometimes winning come to us and they're pregnant and they have therapy be with us at haven house. And they we'd take him home from the hospital and we are showing them how to care for a new born baby we need the bottles in the formula and the diapers. We need we need underwear and Verizon sacks because these women come to us with nothing. So as luncheons like that it's items off her wish list that just keep us going because we have to provide everything. That these women and children and man have left at their house. Did you just find safety. Well where when you hear. Story of the person who is willing to share what happened to them it has the greatest impact on chiller on the the listeners because you think. How could this happen and that's that that's what we have to talk about it a little bit too analysts say is true. There's this unlike you know blame the victim mentality that it is that how you would say yes. Where many people wish we hear these stories that you would describing and that's why it's important for the person to tell what happened. And you would think you why can't she sleep why did she stay with her views are all this time. Why didn't she report it to the police why didn't she have him arrested. And why why why is right and you you've heard. Domestic violence has such a complex. And situation. On its it. Be cut affect its domestic violence somebody that your intimately involved with that you've fallen in love with in a lot of cases and you know it could be also. Between parents and children but but mostly it's between that intimate partner. In you you've fallen in love with that person so on one hand the other wonderful TU depend on the other hand are not domestic violence also doesn't happen on the first date. It's something that happens over time. And so and so that's what makes it's so complex so it isn't really just. We'll just leave them it isn't that easy on and lake Mary said it it. Because it takes so long so long for these new. This situation to happen and to materialize. On but people don't realize often that there in the situation of domestic violence on the it is so important for people to talk about it because domestic violence is also very isolating. The abuser global purposefully attempt to isolate their victim from their friends from their family from anybody else so you feel like you're going through it alone. And we think look at the stats that one in three women and one in format and on have been victims of some tough sort of violence from their intimate partner a lot of people so if you think about that you really aren't alone. Unfortunately domestic violence still remains one of the most under reported crimes. So it isn't being reported to police in one of the things that haven house really does as we go out to the community into a lot of education. I'm with dip with the community for that being education but we also going to different law enforcement venues and teach police officers and judges and in DA's up about. What to tighten the of their complexity of domestic violence. So we haven house also does it we do a lot of efficacy work and we have. On people who are sitting in police stations and in courts to assist victims through the whole process. So we're really we really try to get out there and and and help people not feel so alone. Days and another myths and besides B why don't they leave and let it rip plant your appointments. And that is that the person. Who is the victim of domestic news is I'm educated. And able to loud and take care of themselves. And young. And I don't can't be vulnerable but. Actually it turns out that these are not be stereotype ideas are not correct at all now there is no there are no boundaries for domestic violence we see it. In all demographics pol economics. The demographics in racial graphics inched our communities we see domestic violence everywhere. Assuming I was telling me recently that they've because of that larger refugee population. In Western Europe that it is even more prevalent because of found cultural differences. And do it you might they might need your services more because of that to me. I don't I don't the BC it anymore prevalence because of the refugee population but it's a little bit different because of this into. Armed citizens stash of refugees. Abusers might hold their passports. I threatened to call on the government and have them do it squirted and use a lot of those things which. There's they have a protected status domestic but there's laws to protect victims of domestic bounce regardless of your step. And they and I stayed zipped victim might be afraid to report themselves a little in these same issues if you just death to engine just trying to remind you that you are listening to on target. With fewer host penny Wolfgang NT we are talking with. To represented as a child and family services Kimberly could joke and a Kimberly did you connect and Mary Cornwell has chief. Chief development officer room we've been talking about the domestic violence in the serves as a haven announcement. I know you wanted I think since that Kim is here and you wish you want to get some of the other. Services that you think of the really important for the community. Absolutely so we after we offer a myriad of services where where are tough agency to describe in two minutes because we offer so much as we mentioned earlier. We have a very robust sound mental health counseling program. Where we have Libby serve children ages twelve friends. Really burned up then upped their adulthood we also have a counseling her her rags. Mediation program where we offered divorce. Mediation Cust sitting mean mediation special education mediation. I've really any kind mediation. That really helps entire family you know Arabic arm our mission is safe and healthy children. In keeping children. Comes say it's through whatever program we can offer whether it's Foster care and adoption mental health counseling special education services through the Stanley chief folk school. We have three main locations is is damaging folk school. Actually we just finished the first year removed Jeremy one of arming campuses from Delaware avenue. To that the arrows and a location in the Canton school district because we've been improved by. New York State to serve Eva Marquez because there's just such a great need out there for a special education services. And so we really we serve about ten to 121000 individuals on an annual basis. Pure about twelve different programs so are pretty robust. Not for profit agency and. Let's discuss the how we're talking about down abuse child abuse I mean this as one of the causes obviously for people needing your services. And how how. I don't know of rampant is the word but how prevalent it is that people are not aware of it. There's different kinds in our mind is sexual abuse and there's other kinds of child abuse and if you've probably deal with both of them. We do we deal lists all kinds of that used to can be physical abuse sickened me mental abuse that can be emotional abuse. Financial abuse I think. One of the mess with haven house a domestic past prevention services that people look at domestic fans and they think it's all physical. They expect to see it the individual with a black guy or America on their face or somewhere on their body. When really it can be any kind of abuse and I think the most difficult form of abuses previously redundancy because you don't realize the effect it is having on an individual. And it also makes it very hard for the individual leaves I Kimberly entitled earlier in the show about how to master France is very isolating. And it also makes it very hard for the victim to leave and no one of the stats shows that. The victim often returns it takes them seven times. Fred the victim to actually leave their piece of situation. And I think people often ask why is that if you're being abused. Like you get why don't you just leave their home mothers spend so much more complicated than that. You're leaving your home merely mean. Everything you know everything you have behind if it's at its financial abuse you know longer know how to. Manager finances you may have no money at your own any longer because that's the control your abuser had over your victim. So what are you leaving your homeland if you come to haven house. That's the kind of assistance we will help US getting back on your feet. Managing a budget. Getting and job so you can stand on your own feet and going to see and you don't have to go back to your user to think that that's the only way that you can support yourself. So there's a lot of rebuilding of your entire life. In order to have the confidence to not return to your views there. But that's the safety as and you YouTube and I am one intra contain and let you merely that the safety aspect is that is always. I think and the person's mind before they can flee you'll leave will they go will only be safe had they know they'll be safe. Sure every single person that calls him house we do safety planning west so I'm. I wanna give our hotline number it's I'm 716846000. So if if you or anybody you know was experiencing. Any type of domestic violence or have any questions about Eaton called again so I'm on 68846000. We are there 24 hours a day seven days a week in a life personal Ali's answer black person can't. I really say that please can I speak to a library had a so we will answer. On and we can put sometimes we're just answering questions on and it's and that is how you enter into our shelters so we can answer all of those questions. But we do safety planning with every single person so whether if it. The person might not be an immediate danger right as they're calling so we might calm makes suggestions to them about who they might caller who they might reach out to for assistance. But if they are an immediate danger we certainly would make arrangements for them to come into shelter with us on and then we would from there. Make a more elaborate safety plan about where it whether the next steps where they going to go. On sometimes that might be that we talk alarm systems and homes or change locks or provide cell phones in that on nobody else has access to. On the again we can we insist that all of those things. One of the things that we find is Mary said people often return back to their abusers for Matt from many other reasons that Mary said. But also one of the the things that were really a crisis we're facing in Erie Tony is the lack of safe and affordable housing for people to go to. So they're just are not the resources that we need and that's probably the biggest barrier. That we see people moving in taking that next step so that's something that were kids to continuously reaching out. And looking for collaborations the community and and different. Options that we can seat for our residents in our clients that need that. I just wanted to. I'm glad you gave a hot line because I want and you know to make sure that we say it again and we will. In another minute or something bad when you mentioned. That people. It could could find you liked when he tries to gain and call a hotline and it anything nice dad. Wouldn't that when you mentioned children and kick you have to they must be a plan and they must be something that. You would tell them to do they think it's children aren't off that tells different yeah. Sure that's all part of the safety planning self. Ennui we actually have to edit kits that are embedded with Child Protective Services through the department of social services. So if I'm somebody has a child protective case received guests case. And on theirs on domestic violence that's involved with that our advocates will work alongside which. The victim to help make sure that the child is safe and getting the services they need as well. And you also mentioned which I think is important working with law enforcement because. As you abusive situation. We have often seen the victim. Which is usually a woman is is afraid of physical leave trade mentally afraid and and emotional freight. And the police very often as we know when they are caused when they are called. By the time they get there even if it's immediately. The victory is already like. Wanting to recant or are really afraid to continue because they abuses right there Earl it would get worse or. You know that kind of thing so I think that working with law enforcement. Is something that you have to stress Sher and in New York State arms that police law enforcement are required to. Report on domestic incident report and timing suspect there's domestic violence going on so. On it's it really takes it out of the victim's hands whether or not to press charges the police are required to do that. Yeah it's a way to protect the victims yes. And I think the police are trained and get in the last couple of years especially have received any training and she can handle these situations true. Gas and and then the law enforcement in our area has really opened to that's at hand which is related we were very closely with. On many of the police chiefs and that the jurisdictions as well as a buffalo so they're very open to that we're seeing very positive results but he certainly it's it's it's a constant com. Process but it's where we're seeing some success with that well I think there is that you have succeeded in as a group in organizations. In educating and the police courts and for the public in general is what trying to do about the signs and methods of dealing with feet with two masterpiece. Yes. Okay here and that's not well. It's ongoing yes it is there are many different ways I mean host. Jeannie averaging beanie education I mean we have a staff member that's dedicated to just doing that and we have goals that we have to me. Yeah how many people we reach how many different presentations coming due. A lot of we clock schools are trying to target different age groups. Study showed that earlier we can reach them the more hurt that students are learning even younger students there's obviously differently if tailoring a message so we're not out to scare them. But that we can at least make them aware so they know what to look force they know what. You know what different signs those affection are you know are appropriate and what's not things of that nature that the more we can increase the awareness and hopefully we can help to diminish the problem. You know uncharted natural ago Darlene Hummer. Was here and she does a program she is just explaining winning actually do presentations in schools in different places. Acting out basically situations. I Shea where I can think what it's got a name. A group as the name but it's it's what you're talking about his education. And the younger than that the younger the sooner the better. Is the theory actually and I says now we want to begin to you to tell people hotline how they can reach you things you services. Should the hotline after haven house is 7168846000. Can access any of our services on through that number. And I also wanted to bring it we have two events coming up on October. So the Arab we are very pleased to this will be our twelfth year. Of shining the light and domestic violence violence awareness on October 2. I'm we will be at brighter park where we will light the peace bridge on her focus to recognize com. Domestic violence awareness month and will have on some speakers that'll talk about it ten ties are really really powerful event so we invite the public to that. And then on October 21 we have our fashion show with a twist which is such a fun events. And this year were holding it at the tunnel onto castle which is at 69 Delaware avenue and tunnel Wanda. So we are on very excited it's it's a fashion show we have on. Some really fun outfits and then on there's an opportunity is shocked I get ready for Christmas shopping so I. If it fits everybody's favorite so yes. Just not that. I think they got. You can catch up to me at the thank you so race it was a pleasure talking to both of you and in very informative. And Dutch Melissa's we appreciate you listening and being with us and on target. Join us again next week thank you again and have a good week everybody I'm. You've been listening to one target with many Wolfgang. A program that takes an inside look at Western New York in our community. If you have any comments or suggestions please rate depending Wolfgang it's 500 corporate parkway suite 200 Amherst New York. 114 to six.