Category Archives: Family Counseling Program

Rally to Stop Preventive Services Funding Cuts

Planned cuts in state and city budgets will decrease funding for the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), which coordinates the work of preventive service providers. As a result, the number of families that community agencies will be able to serve next year will be reduced by 2,500-3,000.

Preventive services are community-based programs that strengthen, support and nurture families, helping to prevent child abuse and neglect. They help make homes safer for children and reduce the likelihood that they end up in foster care. Preventive services not only ensure children’s well being, they are also a great investment: each child whose placement into foster care can be prevented saves large amounts of money for city and state.

Julia Jean-Francois, the Center's Co-Director, addressing the rally on Monday

On Monday, community organizations from all boroughs attended a rally at City Hall, organized by Citizens’ Committee for Children, to protest the planned funding cuts. Among the speakers was the Center’s Co-Director, Julia Jean-Francois. Continue reading


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Filed under Child Welfare, Community Collaborations, Family Counseling Program

Brooklyn’s Chinatown: An immigrant community awaits spring awakening

by Hou-Kai Chen

Hou-Kai is a caseworker in the family counseling program of Center for Family Life. Born in Taiwan, he now helps Asian families living in Brooklyn’s Chinatown find stability and build a nurturing and dynamic community.

hou-kaiWalking in Brooklyn’s Chinatown, which stretches along 8th Avenue from 39th to 65th street, at first you may be surprised at the mixture of food fragrances from restaurants and grocery stores and at its high density of residents. It is a shelter for new immigrants of Chinese heritage. You may feel like you’re walking in a foreign country, as a “frozen tradition” guides everyday life here – a way to comfort residents’ nostalgia. The area is a tiny cradle that bears more people than its capacity can endure. People here live in a twilight zone where they are neither geographically close to their homeland nor emotionally attached to the land of their dreams. Language barriers, culture differences, byzantine bureaucracies and other complications, as well as mistrust carried over from a catastrophic past and other traumatic experiences wall them off from mingling with the mainstream.

To many Americans who are foreign to Chinese culture, they may look indistinguishable. Meanwhile, they may not want to be understood or recognized. The way they learned to survive is to be anonymous. Collectively, they represent a group of people sharing common characteristics such as diligence, perseverance, low profile, acceptance of their destiny, and struggles for daily survival.

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Filed under Center for Family Life, Family Counseling Program, Immigrants in NYC

At a Baby Shower

by Andrea Gonzalez

Andrea Gonzalez is a social worker at the Center for Family Life Family Counseling program. She was recently invited to her client’s baby shower ceremony, and we asked her to write about the experience.

My client’s oldest adolescent daughter is pregnant. After several months of pretending there was not going to be a baby shower, my client rented a hall, invited over 50 of her closest family members, cooked enough to feed a small army, hand made all the centerpieces and party favors and surprised her daughter. Continue reading

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Filed under Family Counseling Program, Immigrants in NYC