Let the Good Times Roll
Children's Services and the Parent Advisory Work Group
hosted a special Parent Appreciation Day on Saturday, October 11th at Harlem
Lanes in Manhattan. The Let The Good Times Roll
event proved to be a day of family fun and networking for parent advocates working in local foster care agencies along with Children's Services staff who help to manage the programs that support children and families.
Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Commissioner of the Division
Affairs, said "Children's Services recognizes the value and significance of parent advocates. This event is one of many focused on highlighting their importance as our partners; we want to encourage agencies to hire more parent advocates because they make an important contribution to our achieving best practices in our field. Parent Appreciation Day lets ACS say "Thank You" to our advocates, and it gives them a chance to get to know one another, to interact with ACS staff, and to enjoy a day of fun with their children."
Dana Guyet, Director of the Office of Advocacy at Children's Services, said "Parent Advocates play a critical role by offering peer support and drawing on their own personal experiences as they help other parents who are working toward preserving or restoring family unity despite the challenges of their everyday lives."
Other senior staff at the event included Eric
Commissioner in the Division of Family Permanency services and staff from throughout the Agency acting as volunteers and resource persons for the day. The families and children attending the event had a full day of activities including bowling, games, DJ/karaoke and an art and crafts area supported by the Children's Museum of the Arts, which resulted in the creation of a collage of work done by the families. Harlem Lanes and the Bronx Zoo provided additional support for the event in the form of prizes and entrance passes.
The ACS Parent Advisory Work Group (PAWG) was
established in 2000. Its mission is to explore and address the issues that
parents and caregivers face when dealing with the child welfare system; and to
effect positive changes by working in partnership with ACS staff. PAWG is
comprised of parents and primary caregivers whose families were served by ACS
and ACS' contract agencies, and who have successfully reunified with their