Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano congratulated the Children’s Services division, part of the Department of Social Services (DSS) for receiving an award from “What’s Great in Our State: A Celebration of Children’s Mental Health Awareness” on their latest initiative, the Babies Can’t Wait project. Nassau’s Babies Can’t Wait which began October 2013, is a collaborative with Chief Judge Edmund Dane of the Nassau County Family Court and Adelphi University Institute for Parenting, which seeks to achieve expedited safe and lasting permanency for children in foster care ages birth through five by providing intensive mental health treatment to the children and their parents.
This award was presented to Nassau County’s Babies Can’t Wait honorees on May 5th in the Huxley Auditorium at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY by a New York collaborative which consists of The New York State Office of Mental Health, The Council of Children and Families and the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, The Early Care & Learning Council, The National Alliance on Mental Illness-New York State, The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, The Capital District Child Care Council and Families Together in New York State.
“This recognition is very timely,” said County Executive Mangano. “May 7th marks the 10th anniversary of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day which highlights behavioral and primary healthcare, child welfare and education. We applaud New York State’s Mental Health community for recognizing Nassau County’s Babies Can’t Wait initiative as being the first of its kind in New York State which addresses the mental health needs of very young children in foster care.”
“Since the program’s inception in October 2013, there have been 18 families engaged with Babies Can’t Wait,” added Nassau County DSS Commissioner Dr. John Imhof. “We are grateful to our partners, Presiding Family Court Justice Edmund Dane and Marcy Safyer, Director of Institute for Parenting at Adelphi University for joining DSS on this important project. We are further appreciative to the New York Mental Health consortium for recognizing our work in this area.”
DSS Director of Children’s Services Maria Lauria further stated, “our goal with Babies Can’t Wait is to improve outcomes for infants and toddlers in foster care. By improving parent-child relationships through mental health intervention, we can reduce future risk and expedite permanency for this vulnerable population.”
To learn more about the Babies Can’t Wait and other DSS initiatives, please visit: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=773