Advocating for Children and Families

The Children’s Village takes pride in our advocacy efforts for children and families. Staff at all levels are involved in letter-writing campaigns, social media efforts,  testifying before New York City Council, serving on Boards, and more. We are active in issues involving LGBTQ youth, homeless teens, teens who are sexually exploited or trafficked, foster children, and families.

A Leader in the Field

President and CEO Jeremy Kohomban is a vocal advocate for change in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. He serves in leadership roles with several advocacy groups:

In addition, Dr. Kohomban’s articles on the disproportionality of Black and Brown children in poverty and low-performing schools appear in the Huffington Post and other news outlets. See below for a sampling of his published articles.

 
See our In the News page for a full listing of articles.

LGBTQ Advocacy

The mission of the LGBTQ committee at The Children’s Village is to advocate for the rights and needs of LGBTQ youth, raise awareness of LGBTQ topics through education, and ensure that The Children’s Village is providing a safe and affirming environment for LGBTQ youth, families, employees, and visitors. The committee is open to all staff regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

CV’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) meets weekly and is a time for residents to learn about themselves and the LGBTQ community. They come together in a safe space to learn about and discuss current events as well as how current events affect them personally and as a community. They are able to talk openly about themselves and also support others who may be struggling with personal issues.

Parent Council

The voices and perspectives of parents are essential to success in our work with families. The Parent Council’s main role is advocating for programs and services for families, with a focus on customer service. The Parent Council representatives attend parent workshops to provide support for struggling parents, and maintain connections to many programs to ensure parental voices are heard. To learn more about the Parent Council, contact Parent Advocate Maria Centeno.

Youth Advocacy

We believe it is important for young people to have a voice, particularly as it relates to their own futures. To that end, we encourage the development of youth-led groups in our programs to act as a collective voice to advocate for their needs. For example, CV’s Strictly Business group is comprised of youth in residential care; the Youth Advisory Board is for youth in our adoption and foster care programs; and our Street Outreach Program employs youth advocates who provide peer-to-peer outreach and guidance to street-involved youth. In many of our programs, we employ credible messengers, people who have been in care and can approach our work from the teens’ point of view.

Externally, we have supported Bravehearts, an advocacy group of former and current foster youth, since its inception. This group holds weekly meetings and support groups in our Yonkers office to discuss ways to better the foster care and juvenile justice systems.

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