HELPING THOSE AT-RISK

A new way to help at-risk families. Tonight we’ll take you inside one of the city’s new Group Attachment Based Intervention (GABI) centers.

Aired on November 8, 2017.

TRANSCRIPT

> RAISING A CHILD IS NEVER EASY ESPECIALLY WHILE A PARENT STRUGGLES.

FOR ANYONE FEELING LOST THE ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN'S SERVICES IS HERE TO HELP NAVIGATE UNCHARTERED TERRITORY.

GABBY OPENED THE FIRST FACILITY.

THE PROGRAM IS A CENTER DESIGNED TO SUPPORT AT-RISK FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN FROM BIRTH TO AGE 3.

THE MODEL WAS DESIGNED BY DR.

ANN MURPHY.

IT IS EXPECTED TO EXPAND TO EACH BOROUGH BY THE FALL.

HERE TO TELL US MORE IS THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR COMMUNITY-BASED STRATEGIES IN THE DIVISION OF PREVENTION SERVICES.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

TELL ME ABOUT THE PROGRAM.

BIG PICTURE.

SURE.

SO IT IS REALLY DESIGNED TO SUPPORT PARENTS WHO ARE HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME RAISING KIDS.

WE KNOW SPECIFICALLY FOR 0 TO 3 YEAR OLDS THAT IS A TOUGH AGE GROUP.

A LOT OF PARENTS WE WORK WITH ARE NEW PARENTS SO GABBY IS DESIGNED TO DECREASE STRESS AND HELP WITH THE BONDS BETWEEN PARENT AND CHILD.

IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE YOU WOULD THINK THAT COMMON SENSE WISE PEOPLE WOULD SAY LET'S START HELPING FOLKS WHO NEED HELP WHEN CHILDREN ARE YOUNGER.

IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE WE FOCUSSED ON THAT VERY EARLY STAGE.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS TAKING A WHILE FOR US AND FOR THIS PROGRAM TO GET GOING?

I THINK OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS WE HAVE SEEN A GROWTH IN THE RESEARCH AROUND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT FOR CHILDREN 0 TO 3.

WE KNOW THAT IS SUCH A CRITICAL TIME NOW.

I THINK IT IS REALLY WORKING TO INCREASE RESOURCES FOR THAT AGE GROUP.

WE HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT HOW CAN WE REINFORCE THE DEVELOPMENT WORK THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN FOR THAT 0 TO 3 GROUP BETWEEN THE PARENT AND CHILD.

THAT'S WHY WE REALLY STARTED TO THINK ABOUT IT.

WE ARE USING IT AND A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY THAN WE TYPICALLY DO.

FAMILIES THAT ARE ENROLLED AND THEN THEY GET ACCESS TO GABBY AS AN ADDED SUPPORT.

I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT HOW PEOPLE CAN GET INVOLVED.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE PROGRAM ITSELF.

YOU DESCRIBED THE GENERAL CONCEPT.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

IT IS A GROUP MODEL.

IT IS GROUP ATTACHMENT BASED INTERVENTION.

AND THE WAY IT WORKS WE ARE ADDING GABI HUBS.

THEY CAN CHOOSE WHAT TIME THEY WANT TO COME.

IT IS A TWO-HOUR GROUP AND LOOKS LIKE A PLAY GROUP.

WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL SPACES, FUN TOYS AND IT'S VERY COLORFUL.

NOT INTIMIDATING.

NOT AT ALL.

AND THE DROP IN WE CHOOSE WHEN THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE AND WHEN WORKS FOR THEIR SCHEDULE.

THEY SHOW UP AND DO A GROUP.

THEY START AS A BIG GROUP TOGETHER WITH PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS BETWEEN 10 AND 12 AND THEN DO A WELCOME SONG.

THEY DO 45 MINUTES OF PLAY ON THE GROUND WITH CLINICIANS SUPPORTING ALL OF THE ATTACHMENT WORK AND THEN SEPARATE AND THE PARENTS HAVE A GROUP AND CHILDREN HAVE A GROUP.

THIS IS WATT WE CALL TWO-GENERATION APPROACH.

WE WANT SAFE AND HEALTHY CHILDREN BUT WE CAN'T WITHOUT SAFE AND HEALTHY PARENTS.

HAVING THE PARENT GROUP SEPARATE AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER IS HELPFUL AND THEN THEY COME BACK TOGETHER AND DO A REUNION SONG AND CLOSE OUT.

THAT IS THE TWO HOURS OF THE GABI GROUP.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS SO IMPORTANT?

THE NOTION OF MAKING IT SO EMBRACING.

I SUSPECT SOME PEOPLE WOULD FIND IT DAUNTING.

THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE A PROGRAM FOR YOU.

WHEN THEY HEAR PROGRAM DOES THAT MEAN I AM LOCKED IN A ROOM AND SOMEONE IS LECTURING ME ABOUT WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING WITH MY CHILD.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE CREATED THIS WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT?

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED THROUGH THE RESEARCH IS THAT TWO BIGGEST PREDICTORS OF CHILD MALTREATMENT ARE UNTREATED MENTAL ILLNESS AND SOCIAL ISOLATION.

I THINK GETTING AT SOCIAL ISOLATION PIECE IS IMPORTANT AND IT HELPS REDUCE THE STIGMA.

DOING IT IN A GROUP SETTING WHERE YOU ARE -- AND THEN YOU ARE ENGAGING WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME EXPERIENCES YOU ARE GOING THROUGH.

I THINK WE ALL NEED A SUPPORTIVE NETWORK ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE HOME WITH THE LITTLE ONES THAT CAN BE ISOLATING.

IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE THESE SPACES AND THESE PEER SUPPORTS AND WE WANT TO GET AT THAT.

HOW BIG OF A HURDLE DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

THE NOTION OF ATTACHING A STIGMA TO THIS.

I THINK WHAT YOU ARE SAYING TO PARENTS OR WHAT THEY MIGHT HEAR IS YOU ARE NOT A GOOD PARENT.

I WOULD THINK THAT THAT WOULD BECOME A BARRIER FOR SOME PEOPLE.

IT IS SUCH AN INTIMATE BOND.

WE WANT TO SUPPORT THAT.

GABI TRAINS CLINICIANS TO COME FROM NONJUDGMENTAL STANCE AND SEE THEMSELVES AS A PARTNER WITH THE FAMILY.

IT IS NOT AN ATMOSPHERE WHERE PARENTS ARE BEING TOLD DO THIS OR DO THAT, IT IS ABOUT NURTURING.

GABI IS PART OF THE STRIVE INITIATIVE.

AND THAT INITIATIVE IS REALLY ABOUT REDUCING STIGMA AND TALKING MORE OPENLY ABOUT NEEDING SUPPORT.

WE WANT FOLKS TO FEEL LIKE THIS IS A WAY THEY CAN GET SUPPORT AND THERE IS NO JUDGMENT.

LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

SOMEBODY IS WATCHING THIS AND SAYING EITHER MY FAMILY OR I KNOW SOMEBODY WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM THIS PROGRAM, HOW CAN THEY BECOME PART OF IT?

RIGHT NOW GABI IS AVAILABLE FOR OUR FAMILIES WHO ARE CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN GENERAL PREVENTION AND FAMILY TREATMENT REHABILITATION TREATMENT PROGRAM.

FAMILIES ARE CURRENTLY PARTICIPATING IN THOSE PROGRAMS THEY CAN ASK THEIR CASE PLANNER FOR A REFERRAL TO GABI IF THEY HAVE A 0 TO 3 YEAR OLD.

IF FOLKS ARE INTERESTED WHO AREN'T INVOLVED IN PREVENTION PROGRAMS THEY CAN CALL OUR HELP LINE FOR MORE INFORMATION FOR HOW TO GET INCREASED SUPPORT.

SOUNDS LIKE IT COULD BE A VALUABLE PROGRAM.

THANKS FOR SPENDING SOME TIME AND TALKING WITH US ABOUT THIS.

THANK YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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