New York City Administration for Children’s Services Hosts 10th Anniversary Award Ceremony for the Children of Incarcerated Parents Program
Seven program participants honored for their hard work and dedication
New York, NY – The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) held a ceremony today at the Brooklyn Marriot to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Children of Incarcerated Parents Program (CHIPP) and honored seven program participants for their hard work and dedication. CHIPP helps facilitate parent-child visits, sibling visits, and case conferences with an incarcerated parent or incarcerated young person. CHIPP offers services, resources and technical assistance to children, families and service professionals in the child welfare and criminal justice systems in order to improve the experience of children and families involved with both systems. Susan Magazine, Executive Director for New Yorkers For Children, and Sr. Tesa Fitzgerald, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Hour Children, joined Commissioner John B. Mattingly at the ceremony.
“Most parents care deeply about their children – even parents who've gotten in trouble with the law. The more we can help children and parents to stay in touch with each other during those difficult times when they are in jail, the better it will be for both kids and parents. That's what CHIPP is all about. Keeping in touch.” said ACS Commissioner Mattingly.
In 2000, CHIPP was developed in response to the growing number of families in the child welfare system that were affected by and involved with the criminal justice system. Today more than 400 children are involved in the program. Located within the ACS Division of Family Permanency Services, CHIPP works closely with caseworkers in provider foster care agencies, various ACS offices, criminal justice departments as well as other agencies and organizations. New Yorkers For Children has supported CHIPP for many years and has funded several CHIPP events, including today’s ceremony at the Brooklyn Marriot.
“CHIPP is a unique and one-of-a-kind collaboration between the Administration for Children’s Services and the Department of Correction that unites families involved in child welfare and criminal justice systems,” said Paula Y. Fendall, Director of the Office of Family Visiting at Children’s Services. “It is a great program with an important mission, keeping families connected.”
CHIPP offers weekly transportation and support services for child-parent and sibling visits, and case conferences at Rikers Island; transportation and support services for parents in State and Federal correctional facilities within the tri-state area; and a collect call line for incarcerated parents. The criteria for CHIPP involvement is an open ACS preventive, foster care or court-ordered supervision case. CHIPP staff can help locate parents and track their whereabouts within the criminal justice system and can also locate youth who may be in the adult criminal justice system.
This year’s award recipients are:
- Michael Hannon, ACS Assistant Commissioner / Administrative Services – Mr. Hannon oversees four ACS programs that support CHIPP including transportation, out of town travel, office services and the Day Program. CHIPP also serves State and Federal Facilities within the Tri-State area.
- Kevin Haynes, Senior Case Aide / Edwin Gould Services for Families and Children – Mr. Haynes has been escorting children to visit their parents who are incarcerated since the creation of CHIPP. Mr. Haynes escorts children to visit their parents at Rikers Island and the Albion Correctional Facility. As defined by the agency’s founder, Edwin Gould Services for Families and Children mission is "...to reach directly the needy children of the present generation and contribute to their health, physical and educational development until they can be returned to a proper home environment or can be self-supporting..."
- Tanisha Tabb, Case Planner / St. Vincent’s Services – Ms. Tabb escorts youth to see their incarcerated parents and supports the youth during these visits. St. Vincent’s Services offers a broad array of services including foster care, group homes, a program for children with AIDS and other medically fragile conditions, a licensed mental health and chemical dependency clinic, and services for the developmentally disabled.
- Sonya Ward, CHIPP Upstate Women’s Coordinator in ACS’ Family Permanency Services – Ms. Ward has been working in the CHIPP program since its inception and coordinates CHIPP visits once a week at Rikers Island. As the upstate coordinator for women, she also travels monthly to Albion Correctional Facility.
- Tammy White-Gonzalez, ACS Special Assistant to the Director in ACS’ Family Permanency Services – Ms. White-Gonzalez has been with CHIPP since its inception. She is special assistant to the director of CHIPP. Among her many responsibilities in CHIPP, Ms. White-Gonzalez handles special projects and was instrumental in putting together last year’s first CHIPP Parents Reunion Luncheon.
- Jeffrey G. Jackson, Esq., Department of Correction / ACS Coordinator for CHIPP – Mr. Jackson has been the Department of Correction (DOC) counterpart for ACS visits at Rikers Island since CHIPP’s inception. Every week, CHIPP facilitates parent-child and sibling visits at Rikers Island.
- Brunilda Rivera – Ms. Rivera was incarcerated and was reunited with her son, who is now living with her. Ms. Rivera is being honored for her tenacity and dedication in reuniting with her son after years of incarceration. It is not easy for a formerly incarcerated parent to find housing, a job, meet their parole requirements and develop a support network as well as work towards reunification with their child. She is a role model for other formerly incarcerated parents.
“It is the little things that the CHIPP program offers that make a big difference in our lives,” said Rivera. “Parents have rights even if they are incarcerated. CHIPP came into my life and made it possible for me to reunite with my son. And I thank them for that.”
About The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services protects New York City’s children from abuse and neglect. Along with our community partners, Children’s Services provides neighborhood-based services to help ensure children grow up in safe, permanent homes with strong families. To learn more go to www.nyc.gov/acs.
Michael Fagan / Laura Postiglione 212-341-0999