Children's Services Honors Child Safety Advocates for Helping to Protect NYC's Children
Awards are part of Child Abuse Prevention Month – New Yorkers are Urged to Call 311 or Abuse Hotline If They Suspect a Child is Being Abused or Neglected
New York –The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) today honored four New Yorkers and one organization with the Commissioner’s Child Advocacy Award for their efforts in protecting and keeping New York City’s children safe. Today’s ceremony, held at the Children’s Services office at 150 William Street, is part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Marion White, a founder and Executive Director of the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP), and prevention specialists, who perform skits using life-size puppets to tell stories of physical and sexual abuse.
The honorees are: The Chinese American Planning Council (CPC); Marjorie Marciano, Deputy Director of NYC’s Department of Transportation (DOT) Safety Education Division; Marion White, founder and Executive Director of the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP); Sgt. Stephen Giuntini, of the NYPD Child Abuse Squad; and Rachel Lloyd, Executive Director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS).
“The Commissioner’s Child Advocacy Awards is the honor we give to those who go above and beyond to help ACS protect vulnerable children and families in our City,” said ACS Commissioner John Mattingly. “We could not reach as many children without our community partners and individuals like you, and I thank you.”
The Commissioner pointed out that the Child Advocacy Award is the same award given weekly to Children’s Services’ front-line workers who have the very difficult task of investigating reports of child abuse and neglect. “Our workers are often in complex and dangerous situations, where the answers are never clear and the work is demanding, but they do it day in and day out, each and every day, seven days a week,” he said.
The honorees cited today are:
The Chinese American Planning Council (CPC) is being recognized for its general preventive program, Asian Family Services, and because of its continued demonstration of outstanding work in the child welfare practice. CPC provides a wide variety of services including employment and training; day care services; multi-social services; senior citizen services; youth services; and cultural arts. These programs aim to improve the quality of life among both new immigrants and established Asian Americans. CPC has locations in Brooklyn and Queens. The Chinese American Planning Council was represented by the organization’s Executive Director David Chen, Program Director Judy Ah-Yune and Supervisor Sherry Ng. For more information on CPS go to www.cpc-ny.org
Marjorie Marciano is the Deputy Director of NYC’s Department of Transportation Safety Education Division. She develops and directs programs for students in elementary and middle schools. She manages the child passenger safety program at DOT, which includes car seat inspection stations across the city, parent workshops, certification training courses, and the low-income seat distribution program. Ms. Marciano also spearheaded the formation of Safe Kids New York City, a multi-agency coalition that is working to prevent unintentional injuries to children under age 14. The coalition supports outreach to parents and other caregivers to provide training and information on issues such as pedestrian safety, bike safety, fire safety and water safety for children and adolescents.
Marion White is a founder and Executive Director of the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP), a nonprofit agency established in 1986. CAPP’s programs include the Adopt-A-Boro initiative, which hires and trains prevention specialists to educate thousands of elementary school children about physical and sexual abuse, and the Children’s Clothes Closet Project, which provides clothing toiletries, toys and books to fill overnight bags for children who are being removed from their homes to safer situations because of abuse and neglect. CAPP’s Child Safety Workshops feature prevention specialists performing skits using life-size puppets to tell stories of physical and sexual abuse.
Sgt Stephen Giuntini has been a dedicated member of the NYPD for 37 years and he has been protecting the children of Brooklyn as the Supervisor of the Brooklyn Child Abuse Squad at the Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center for the past 14 years. Sgt Giuntini has supervised thousands of child abuse investigations. He is a member of the joint response team that includes Children’s Services, District Attorneys and hospitals to keep children safe and apprehend offenders.
Rachel Lloyd, Executive Director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), is a leading advocate for commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked girls. In 1998, with only a computer and $30, Rachel established GEMS. Since its inception as a one-woman outreach initiative, GEMS has grown steadily, building its services and programs and garnering increased visibility and recognition under Lloyd’s leadership. Now the nation’s largest organization offering direct service to this population, GEMS’ mission is “to empower girls and young women, ages 12-21, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and to develop to their full potential.”
New York City joins the nation in stressing that reporting child abuse at the first sign of potential trouble is the best way to keep children from being harmed. Children’s Services urges all adults who suspect abuse or neglect to call 311 or New York’s Child Abuse hotline at 1-800-342-3720.
The Chinese American Planning Council (CPC)
Sgt Stephen Giuntini, a dedicated member of the NYPD for 37 years and Supervisor of the Brooklyn Child Abuse Squad at the Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center
Marjorie Marciano, Deputy Director of NYC’s Department of Transportation Safety Education Division
Sharman Stein / Laura Postiglione 212-341-0999