Sponsored by the Child Welfare Fund, the Lower East Side Family Union continues to meet the emotional and mental health needs of young children and their families. In partnership with NYU Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital we provide services that help to foster healthy attachments between children and caregivers, promote emotional stability, effective and positive parenting, and increase the overall safety of children. LESFU and Bellevue will be working together to complete relevant screenings, offer an evidence-based parenting training intervention (Circle of Security) and have committed to unified processes that will facilitate “warm hand-offs” between the two institutions as needed.
The families that come through our doors at the Lower East Side Family Union are often vulnerable, highly stressed, and perhaps have a history of trauma. Research shows that children as young as 0-3 can be affected by the family’s circumstances and that these experiences can impact later emotional health and learning for these children. In order to ensure healthy child development in these families, there needs to be a way to quickly identify their needs and intervene with early childhood mental health problems in both children and parents alike. Coupled with this, integration between community-based programs and hospital-based mental health clinics is key, and needs to be thoughtful, concerted, and almost seamless.
The sooner we help to address early childhood mental health problems with the families we serve, the better position the families can be in as the children develop, grow up, and eventually enter school. We at LESFU are truly excited about this initiative and have a shared dedication and collective responsibility to the emotional well-being of the young children and families in our community.