April 23, 2013- Andrus Early Learning Center Celebrates First Year Anniversary
February 5, 2013- ANDRUS Receives Weinberg Foundation Grant For McGee Hall Gym Renovation
October 22, 2012- ANDRUS CEO Announces Retirement
August 15, 2012- ANDRUS Teams Up with Children’s Hope Chest for Backpack Project 2012
June 25, 2012- Kerron Norman Appointed Vice President at ANDRUS
March 12, 2012- ANDRUS Early Learning Center Announces New Arts Wing
November 4, 2011- ANDRUS Finds New Home for Child Care Program in Tuckahoe’s Village Hall
Markham Rollins III receives the 2013 âFriend of Childrenâ award from ANDRUS CEO Nancy Ment at the national conference of the American Association of Childrenâs Residential Centers. The award recognizes a corporation for its support of AACRC members through âreal-life acts of generosity and compassion.â Mark is CEO of The Rollins Agency, a longtime partner of ANDRUS and many other Westchester charities. Mark also publishes a valuable blog on nonprofit work. Go to www.nonprofitguard.com.
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ANDRUS Recieves Weinberg Foundation Grant for McGee Hall Gym Renovation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has announced a grant of $62,000 to ANDRUS in support of the renovation of the McGee Hall gymnasium, built in the 1950âs to strengthen indoor physical education programming to children served on the ANDRUS campus. The grant completes a three year campaign to raise funds to renovate the building, expand capacity for use and incorporate options for adaptive physical education.
âWe are very grateful for the Weinberg Foundationâs support of this project,â said ANDRUS CEO Nancy Woodruff Ment. âThey understand the significance of this facility in the lives of our children and their grant is a vote of confidence in our work. With the foundationâs support and the help of our other donors, we have been able to make important improvements in a facility that plays a vital role in the life of our campus.â
The 6,000 square foot gym is the largest indoor meeting space on ANDRUSâ 107-acre campus. The gym is currently used for indoor sports, school assemblies, large meetings, conferences, concerts and the annual graduation ceremony for the Orchard School, ANDRUSâ K-9 special education program. The now completed renovations include new bleachers, beams, flooring, upgraded lighting and a new AC/heating system.
With total assets of approximately $2 billion, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. The Foundationâs sole purpose is to assist disadvantaged and vulnerable populations through operating, program, and capital grants to direct service organizations primarily located in Maryland, Hawaii, northeastern Pennsylvania, Israel, and the Former Soviet Union.
The Foundationâs annual grantmaking totals approximately $100 million and is focused on meeting basic needs such as shelter, nutrition, health, and socialization and on enhancing an individualâs ability to meet those needs.
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As part of the Obama administration efforts to identify concrete proposals to reduce gun violence, and the work of the Task Force headed by Vice President Joe Biden, ANDRUS Executive Vice President and COO, Brian Farragher, was invited to the White House this afternoon to speak at a Gun Violence Prevention – Stakeholders Meeting. He discussed Sanctuary, a program developed and implemented at ANDRUS, a trauma informed approach to creating safer organizations and communities. He urged the panel to recognize that violence is really a public health problem and finding solutions require that we look deeper into the roots of violence in young people. He also discussed the complexity of violence in which gun use is a manifestation of greater issues; how physical violence erupts in the face of emotional, social and moral violence; and why people resort to violence when they feel marginalized, mistreated, disrespected or powerless.
Farragher has worked in the field of childhood mental health for over 25 years. During the past eight years he has worked closely with Dr. Sandra Bloom and the staff at ANDRUS to implement the Sanctuary Model, a trauma informed system of care, and create the Sanctuary Institute, which offers training and consultation to other organizations seeking to implement the model. Mr. Farragher has presented at regional, national and international conferences and is the author of many articles on developing trauma-sensitive treatment programs and reducing the use of physical interventions in residential settings. He recently co-authored a book with Dr. Bloom entitled Destroying Sanctuary: The Crisis in Human Service Delivery Systems and this month both are set to release the follow up entitled Restoring Sanctuary: A New Operating System for Trauma-Informed Systems of Care.
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ANDRUSâ Vice President of Community-Based Programs, Kerron Norman, was honored by the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission with a 2012 Diversity Award. Â Kerron received the award at a ceremony on Tuesday evening, December 18 at Brooklyn Law Schoolâs Feil Hall.Â The presentation was made by the Honorable Kathie Davidson, Supervising Family Court Judge for the Ninth Judicial District.
Honorees for the Diversity AwardÂ are selected based on their achievements and contributions in the following areas; 1) promoting diversity and or inclusion in the workplace or legal profession, 2) increasing opportunities for people of color to attain success, 3) advocating for equal opportunity and equal justice in the courts, and or 4) promoting minority causes leading to enhanced opportunities for people of color.
The presentation to Kerron cited her leadership of Westchester Countyâs innovative Family Assessment Response (FAR)Â implementation in the Child Protective services program.Â FARÂ is designed to reduceÂ racial disparities in child welfare services and keep families together. Kerron was also honored for her successful advocacy role in convincing Westchester Department of Social Services and the County Board of Legislators to commit the Undoing Racism trainingÂ to further address the issue of racial disproportionality in child welfare.Â To dateÂ 280 DSS staff, senior county attorneys and Family Court personnel have participated in these trainings.
Kerron Norman joined ANDRUSâ staff in July 2012, having served as Director of Child Welfare for Westchester County DSS since 2006 and previously as Borough Deputy Director of Field Operations for New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services.Â ANDRUS COO Brian Farragher said, âWe are extremely proud of Kerron. She is a very worthy recipient of this award and we are pleased that she is bringing the same commitment to her leadership role here at ANDRUS.”
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ANDRUS has retained the Executive Search firm of Phillips Oppenheim to conduct a national search for its new President and Chief Executive Officer.Â Â For the job description and further information, click here.
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ANDRUS CEO, Nancy Ment Announces Retirement
Following 25 years of service at ANDRUS, including 10 years as CEO and President, Nancy Woodruff Ment has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2013.Â Her tenure has been marked by the dramatic growth of the agency, including two successful mergers and strategic expansion of new programs and services.
Ms. Ment joined the ANDRUS staff in May 1987 as Clinical Director.Â Since 1989, she has been the deputy executive and was appointed President and CEO in 2003.Â In 2005, Ms. Ment completed ANDRUSâ merger with the Center for Preventive Psychiatry, adding three outpatient mental health clinics in Yonkers, White Plains and Peekskill to the agencyâs services.Â In recent years, all three clinics have expanded their outreach programs to schools and child care centers in Yonkers, Peekskill and White Plains as well as the Coachman Family Shelter in White Plains.Â ANDRUSâ second merger, with Family and Community Services of Eastchester, was completed in 2007, adding early childhood education and after school programming to the agencyâs work.Â This year, ANDRUS opened an expanded Early Learning Center in Tuckahoe Village Hall.Â The program is a unique public-private partnership that enabled ANDRUS to triple the enrollment of its preschool and daycare programming.
During her tenure, ANDRUSâ prominence as a policy and program leader in human services has been greatly enhanced.Â In 2006, Ms. Ment oversaw the launching of the Sanctuary Institute at ANDRUS.Â In the past six years, the Institute has trained over 250 agencies in the US andÂ seven countries in this trauma-informed approach to organizational development and services.
In a message to staff at the agency this week, Ms. Ment said âI am very proud of what we have accomplished together to build bright futures for children and families.Â I have great confidence that ANDRUS will continue to thrive even as we grow and change.â
ANDRUSâ Board Chair John P. McLaughlin praised âNancyâs leadership, dedication, accomplishments and outstanding service over the past 25 years.Â We are proud of and grateful for her many contributions to our Mission and our growth.â
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Kerron Norman, VP of Community Based Programs at ANDRUS has been selected as a honoree for the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission 2012 Diversity Awards. CandidatesâÂ are selected based on their achievements and contributions in one or more of the following areas; 1) promoting diversity and or inclusion in the workplace or legal profession, 2) increasing opportunities for people of color to attain success, 3) advocating for equal opportunity and equal justice in the courts, and or 4) promoting minority causes leading to enhanced opportunities for people of color. She will receive her award later this year, congratulations!
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Based on a Satisfaction Survey distributed to the parents of recently discharged students, ANDRUS’ campus programs are very effectively meeting the needs of the families we serve.
The survey asked parents to rate both our special education school and our residential treatment program on a wide range of factors, grading each category from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest possible score.
To view the survey results, click here.
Presenting This Quarter’s Julia Award Winners!
CORINE LURRY, Director, Community Division
Corine is an accomplished achiever. Every contract year we get new cuts, new requirements, and new challenges and yet whatÂ we hear from Corine is: “We’ll make it work!” Her confidence makes everything we do much easier. … Working with Corine makes my job more enjoyable and rewarding…She is always looking for ways to improve the quality of our work…she is optimistic and happy. As a leader she encourages us to do our very best.
MOSAKA HARRIS, Shift Leader, Orchard School
She is calm and engaged… She is willing to lead and is not afraid to take the initiative. .. What I really value about her is her willingness to raise concerns with other people. She really commits to open communication… .. she has a nice combination of being brave enough to identify a problem yetÂ compassionate enough to identify the problem without assigning blame. …She always goes above and beyond when it comes to leading the instructional process at the OS.
LEMAYCI MADISON, Human Resources Associate,Â HR Department
She has a joyful, welcoming spirit demonstrated by her willingness to help anyone who comes to her door… Lameyci has a unique ability to work well with all levels of staff…. she takes the lead on a project and sees it through to completion and always seeks new ways to make the HR Dept. a better and more efficient place to work…. Â No matter how difficult the task, she can be counted on to do her best and will work towards resolution by using every available resource…. she inspires others to do their best.
VICTOR ALVAREZ, Custodial Supervisor, Facilities Department
While Victor is generally positive, helpful, and always willing to pitch in, there was one situation that happened during the past quarter that really stands out: One morning a resident got hold of a staff’s car keys, got into the car, started it, and was revving the engine. The car doors were locked. Victor came by and tried to get into the car. Initially unsuccessful, he finally broke the rear window and climbed in. He secured the keys and assisted the child. It was actually a heroic act. He put himself at considerable risk to keep a child safe.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!
Congratulations to the newest quarterly Julia Award winners, chosen from nominations of staff members who demonstrate these qualities in their work at ANDRUS: Joyful, Unique, Leaders, Industrious and inspiring, and Accomplished achievers.
MAUREEN LYNCH, Teacher, Orchard School
She challenges the students but gives them the tools to succeed….Her dedication, focus , and preparedness are prime examples of her leadership qualities….Maureen introduced several system changes that increased the quality of our program and added elegance to our approaches and methods used to work with our children.
LEANI SPINNER, Peekskill Clinic Manager
Leani is open and honest. She says what is on her mind and does so in a respectful and positive fashion. … Although she is in our most remote site she is among the most well-aligned managers at ANDRUS… Leani is willing to engage the community, develop relationships, and beat the bushes to ensure that the clinic is meeting the needs of the surrounding community… She manages the clinic with the right combination of compassion and resolve.
ROGER BURTON, Milieu Manager, Griffith Hall
Roger takes great joy in his work and shares that joy with others. He works above and beyond to assist children to cope with their most difficult feelings and experiences… Roger is always deserving of recognition, but what set him apart this quarter was the way he managed himself and his colleagues through the loss of their teammate, Clinton Mills…. He was pivotal in helping his team move through their grief so they could support the children in their grief.
ANTONIO ORTIZ, Custodial Worker, Facilities Department
Antonio works well with all staff and in every location. … Antonio takes a lot of pride in his work and comes to work with a good attitude. .. His co-workers love working with him and he is their leader… Staff always request him to come back and work in their area…. Antonio has been here for 7 years and will be retiring on May 25th. It has been a blessing both personally and professionally to have him working with us here at ANDRUS.
Melissa Duquesnay, Payroll Administrator, was honored with the annual Debra Jeanne Snyder Spirit of Sanctuary Award which is presented annually to an indirect care employee whose work requires regular interaction with multiple departments and division staff, is viewed as a knowledgeable resource for the ANDRUS community, and models the seven commitments of Sanctuary.
Congratulations to all!
This Quarter’s Julia Award Winners Shine!
The Julia Award honors Julia Dyckman Andrus, for whom we were named over 80 years ago.Â Awardees are selected quarterly following nominationsÂ of staff members who demonstrate these qualities in their work at ANDRUS:
Joyful Â Unique Â Leaders Â Industrious and Inspiring Accomplished Achievers
” …Danni is full of energy, she is extremely positive and has exceeded at everything she has taken on. Most recently she has served as the clinician at the Fermi School in Yonkers. She has developed outstanding relationships with the staff and administration at Fermi and has become an important part of their school culture. She has advanced the ANDRUS brand in that school and has made us all very proud.”
” …About a year ago Cinthia was asked to lead the Sanctuary Certification process for ANDRUS and she did so willingly and enthusiastically. She has coordinated regular meeting agendas, the work plan and certification visit. She kept us focused and on point… She works hard, effectively with others, and is deeply committed to the success of the agency.”
“…Whenever I see Terence he is fully engaged with the children. He smiles, he speaks with them in calm and supportive ways, he sets appropriate limits and appears to really enjoy what he is doing. He is an outstanding model of emotional Â intelligence. He never gets flustered, never raises his voice and always is positive and forward looking. He is a gifted and hard working individual and we are lucky he is here.”
“Ms. Chisolm is always seen with a smile on her face. She often asks her students Â to work together to help the needy Â (in Japan, Haiti, Trees for Troops, etc.) . …Recently, Ms. Chisolm conducted two major events for the Departmental Cluster… She seeks out people Â (students and staff) to celebrate their goodness… Â Ms. Chisolm uses her charm and awesome personality to change the most difficult Â students into high school and college graduates.”
We are pleased to welcome and congratulate our new Chief Nurse- Bernadette Santos-Glanzman. Bernadette has been with ANDRUS since July 2011 as a Per Diem Registered Nurse.Â In her new role as Chief Nurse, Bernadette is responsible for supervision of nursing staff, coordination of care with other disciplines, provision of quality medical care for residents and day students, and oversight of employee health issues. We sat down to congratulate her and find out more about her journey to ANDRUS:
Tell us about your road to ANDRUS!
I graduated with my BSN from the University of Michigan.Â Since then I have worked in various high-intensity fields in tertiary care medical centers. Right out of college I worked in the Labor and Delivery unit of Hutzel Hosital. After getting married, I moved to North Carolina where I worked at the Respiratory and Infectious Diseases unit of University of North Carolina Medical Center.Â When my husband decided to go into private practice instead of research, we moved to the Upper Peninsula of MI where I worked in the Intensive Care Unit of Marquette General Hospital.
I found ANDRUS at a job fair at Pace University where I am currently pursing my Masters of Arts in Nursing Education.
What made you decide on a career in Nursing?
There is a difference between medicine and nursing. Nursing looks at the whole picture, a comprehensive approach to the person, which really attracted me to the profession. Medicine diagnoses a problem and states a solution, whereas nursing incorporates all life factors into the treatment- including emotions, family, personal and other issues. We look at everything that affects a person.
Most of your background has been in intense medical settings (hospitals, etc.)Â Why the switch to a childrenâs residential campus?
Over the course of my career I have become a mom to three daughters. Two of them are teenagers and one is going into middle school next year. For me, the shift to focus on children seemed natural. Working with children offers a lot of rewards. You experience their struggles as well as the amazing triumphs.
What drew you to working at ANDRUS?
I heard about ANDRUS at the job fair and it sounded like a great setting and place for me. I was particularly drawn to Sanctuary and how the entire organization ascribes to the Model.Â We have amazing kids here at ANDRUS too!
Explain why you were so taken in by Sanctuary.
Not only is this model taught to the children but also to the staff. Everyone in the organization follows and tries to live by this very important, nurturing model. I live the concepts of Sanctuary in my personal life already. I teach the same concepts to my own children. For me, communication is a key tool at home with my family and also at work.
What initiatives do you hope to implement in your new role? What are your goals for the Health Center on campus?
I hope to promote overall health and well-being to everyone on campus, not only the children. Iâd like to focus on nutrition for the children and work hand in hand with the school. I hope the Health Center will become a place for everyone to turn.
What healthy tips do you have for parents?
Listen to your kids, understand them and spend time with them. It will help you care for them better.Â Oh, and drink lots of water!
I try to achieve a balance. Scheduling and finding time to renew myself puts me in a much better position to come to work. My Buddhist principles help me achieve this balance.
What are some of your hobbies outside of ANDRUS?
I like Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging- see picture at right) reading, journaling and exercising. I hold very dear the Buddhist philosophies and try to incorporate them as much as I can in my life.
Good luck in your new role, Bernadette!
Risheen Maheswaran, LMSW, a clinician in our ResidentialÂ Treatment ProgramÂ is the recipient of an endowed scholarship to attend the 2012 American Group Psychotherapy Associationâs Annual Meeting in New York.Â Risheen will get to attend and train with some of the leading group therapists in the country.Â Â She was chosen from a pool of applicants across the country for this honor. Congratulations!
Announcing Â the first group of Julia Award Winners!
The Julia Award honors Julia Dyckman Andrus, for whom we were named over 80 years ago.Â Awardees are selected quarterly following nominationsÂ of staff members who demonstrate these qualities in their work at ANDRUS:
Joyful Â Unique Â Leaders Â Industrious and Inspiring Accomplished Achievers
” Dr. Effinger is committed to the values of the Sanctuary Model and encouragesÂ innovation in this area to all staff members. The greatest quality Dr. Effinger has is his ability to mold people into great teachers, incredible MTs, and awesome administrators.”
Deborah Lee, Recreation Therapist
” Deborah incorporates students and staff members into the planning of events and activities. Deb is also a member of the Diversity Team and plays a significant role in the development of programs. Deb can be found mentoring a staff member orÂ Â engaging a student…. She is extremely bright, focused and committed to the work we do at ANDRUS.”
Serafina Rosario, Food Services
“Serafina shows aÂ great commitment to our Sanctuary Values. She always has a smile on her face, always willing to help others, she is well liked by the kids and staff. When she is not around, the kids right away ask about her. … She also ignores any negative influences around her, does her best and is open to change. It is a pleasure working with her….”
Tyrone Hodge, Residential Program Manager
” Mr. Hodge is a skilled leader and collaborator. He takes proactive steps to assure the smooth operation of his program. He manages his emotions so he is calm and deliberate, even when the pace is hectic and the demands are many. …His ‘positivity’ is veryÂ Â addictive and makes you want to do well. His presence lights up the cottage and has given a better outlook for staff.”
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ANDRUS Family Programs at Tuckahoeâs Village Hall
Andrus will extend its footprint of services in Tuckahoe by providing expanded child care and family support services in Tuckahoeâs Village Hall. Andrus Family Programs will offer a range of exciting classes and early childhood enrichment activities designed to help children explore, learn and grow in a nurturing and creative environment. Andrus Family Programâs at Tuckahoeâ s Village Hall will include:
The Andrus Early Learning Center
Tuckahoeâs Village Hall will be the new home of the Andrus Early Learning Center [formerly known as the Eastchester Child Development Center (ECDC)]. The Andrus Early Learning Center will provide local families with a superior early learning environment for children ages zero to five. Andrus will serve infants, toddlers and preschoolers in our award winning child care program in its new home in Village Hall. The Andrus Early Learning Center will offer an Arts room, indoor and outdoor Play Space, Little Peopleâs Theatre and Westchester Countyâs first ever lending Toy Library, complete with a Toyrarian.
Mommy / Daddy and Me Classes
Designed to support parents or caregivers in meaningful play and attachment, classes emphasize fun with children from infancy through kindergarten. Each class is 45 minutes long and filled with activities.
This flexible drop off program consists of sessions that are three hours long from 9 am â 12 noon and designed for children ages 3â5. Parents can elect to use the program one to five mornings per week. The focus of this program is the development of socialization, fine and gross motor skills, as well as basic literacy and numeracy skills, depending on the age of the child. Sessions include painting and drawing, crafts, music, movement and other “guided” play. Just Me is an ideal opportunity for parents to introduce their child gradually to learning and playing in a group setting, in preparation for kindergarten.
Look for other new family support programs including:
- Before the Stork â Expecting parents can schedule a meeting with an early childhood expert to prepare for babyâs arrival. Services will include counseling, home preparation, and other supportive activities to get mom and dad ready for their new bundle of joy.
- Date Night Events â Local parents can take a night off of parenting and enjoy some time together, while their children stay safe and have fun at Andrus. Date night events will be scheduled monthly.
- Birthday Parties â Children (ages 1 â 7) can celebrate their birthday with us in one of our specialty rooms: the Play Room, Little Theatre or Arts Room. Parents should inquire for details.
- Other supportive services â Andrus is committed to making sure that the whole child is nurtured in order to maximize developmental potential. We will be working closely with families to create new services.
A dog is said to be a âmanâs best friendâ, but here at ANDRUS a dog can be anyoneâs friend, as well as confidante, a helper or even a shoulder to cry on. Our girls cottage, Bourne Hall, is fortunate to have a French Bulldog named Maggie volunteer, once a week. Since Maggie herself canât do interviews, we sat down with her owner Nancy Clarke to talk about their work with Bourne.
What is the Good Dog Foundation and how did you and Maggie become involved?
The Good Dog Foundation serves the tri-state area by training and matching pet therapy dogs with organizations. It was founded post 9/11 when the founder felt she needed to do more and began to bring dogs to the WTC site. Â I became involved when I lived in NYC and I felt I could do something to make the world a bit better. When I moved to Yonkers, I was looking for a place for Maggie to continue volunteering and stumbled upon Andrus!
Tell us about Maggie.
Maggie is a mellow, easy going six year old French Bulldog. She has been certified for three years, which includes basic obedience training and four weeks of pet therapy training. The dogs and their owners are exposed to different noise settings and learn to cope with many distractions. Maggie graduated with top honors!
How is pet therapy beneficial for children with emotional or behavioral illnesses?
Pets have been shown to lower blood pressure, help cope with depression and provide a sense of calmness. An animalâs company can help children de-stress, be still and in the moment. A dog like Maggie can just listen and be a great friend.Â Itâs no wonder this is so successful!
Were the girls receptive to your presence?
The experience at Bourne has been so wonderful and organic. When I first started, staff told me the girls might be resistant, but I didnât find that the case. Some of the girls were scared or didnât want to take part but they have come around and now find it less intimidating. I take it week by week and I let the girls decide if they want to spend time with Maggie. We have formed a friendship now where they are comfortable and share feelings with me.
Tell us about the experience at Bourne.
I visit once a week and it is great to see how excited the girls get when we arrive. Maggie gives off this easy energy and offers moments of peace and pure love to those girls. Most of the time they just enjoy holding her and having the opportunity to be still, Â Maggie is not asking anything of them; she has no agenda or expectations. Sheâs just enjoying their company and that is a wonderful thing for the girls.
Many people are probably wondering what exactly a pet therapy dog, the owner and the children do during the hours you are here at ANDRUS.
Maggie does all the work! I am just happy to spend time with the girls and witness the effect of the dog on them.Â Sometimes it is five or six girls and other days one girl may need her own âMaggie timeâ. The girls like to take her for walks, dress her up, and play games and puzzles. It is very non-competitive and every girl has a chance. They enjoy learning how to care for a pet and the basic necessities. By being around Maggie and learning to care for her, they learn boundaries, responsibility and life. But no doubt, when Maggie leaves- she is TIRED!
What do you think the girls have gained from Maggie and yourself?
As simple as it sounds, some of these girls have never had a pet and I am able to give them a little taste of that.Â Maggie has the ability to sense when people need her and she will simply lean on their leg and let them know she is there for them. When one resident was having a particularly tough week, staff suggested she get some extra one on one time with Maggie. The girl later told me, âThis is the only medicine that worksâ.
Has it been rewarding to come to ANDRUS?
Yes! Andrus is the idyllic setting for this work. The staff has been so supportive, appreciative and open to having us. Of all the places I have brought Maggie, this has been the one that feels most right and we have made the most impact. Do we change the world in drastic measures? No. But do we make someone smile and give them something to look forward to? Yes, and that is a great feeling.
ANDRUS COO, Brian FarragherÂ Takes Part in Podcast Series
Over the summer, Brian Farragher was interviewed for a 2- part podcast entitled “”The Sanctuary Model – Changing the Culture of Care: It Begins with Me” for the University at Buffalo School of Social Work’s Living Proof podcast series.
“Living Proof is the podcast series of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. The purpose of this series is to engage practitioners and researchers in lifelong learning and to promote research to practice, practice to research. Living Proof features conversations with prominent social work professionals, interviews with cutting-edge researchers, and information on emerging trends and best practices in the field of social work.”
Here is Part I of his interview where he talks about the history of Sanctuary at ANDRUS, the Seven Committments and how implementation of the Sanctuary Model happens at organizations worldwide.
Peekskill Clinic’s Angelica Hinojosa Interviewed for Hispanic Heritage Month
To honor Hispanic Heritage Month, Help Starts Here- an organization highlighting the work of Social Workers, asked Latino social workers to talk about their career and proudest achievements. Angelica Hinojosa, MSW, LMSW a Psychotherapist at our Peekskill Clinic spoke about her education, what led her to this career and the importance of her work. Read the article here.
We are supporting Westchester Childrenâs Associations â Vote for Kids Campaign
Andrus Hall Renovation
This spring, 14 young boys who call Andrus Hall home moved back into their completely renovated Tudor residence.Â After months of dormitory style living in the rec room in McGee Hall, the renovation was complete and the bright blue ribbon waited to be cut.
Andrus Hall was the first cottage built by John Emory Andrus in 1931 after he turned the family farm into an orphanage. This renovation fulfills our commitment to provide the best possible care for children.
And what a terrific renovation it is! Refinished walls painted in bright and inviting colors, all new flooring, energy efficient lighting and a handsome dining room to gather together make Andrus Hall a welcoming home away from home. The wonderful new strong stuffed couches, âboy-proofâ beds and dressers, crisp new bed linens and curtains create a space these boys can call their own. Andrus Hall is our third cottage on campus to have a complete basement to top floor facelift.
Andrusâ Residential Program serves seventy-three boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 14.Â Services are provided in five brick and stone mansions. The 110-acre campus straddles the town property lines of Yonkers and Hastings, NY.Â With rolling hills, a pond, wooded areas, orchards, and wildlife including turkeys, geese, deer and ducks, our campus is a calm, safe setting in which children have a chance to heal.
Andrus is privileged to serve a diverse population of children. All the residents present emotional, psychiatric and/or behavioral challenges that require intensive care so that they can rejoin their families and home communities safely and successfully. We are committed to providing trauma-sensitive care in the Sanctuary Model. Children who come to Andrus need safety and nurturing to heal from the stress and difficulties they have known. Beautiful, child-friendly surroundings promote healing.
13th Annual NYSPEED Conference Held on Campus
Three hundred educators, administrators and social workers met on the Andrus campus for the 13th annual New York School Principals for the Education of Students with Emotional Disabilities (NYSPEED) conference.
NYSPEED is an organization of school professionals founded in the late 1980âs to provide a vehicle for communications and support to improve studentsâ educational opportunities. The annual conference, first held in 1999, draws hundreds of attendees from all over the Hudson Valley for a full day of workshops and a keynote speaker. NYSPEED President Bob Kelderhouse and Michelle Grogan, the Reading Specialist at Andrus, along with many others, work all year to put the conference together. âItâs important to have a place for professional educators to gather and discuss their techniques and strugglesâ Grogan said. âWe host cutting edge workshops that combine great new minds and traditional theories, all to improve the field of special education.â
The Orchard School on the Andrus campus is a Blue Ribbon special education school serving grades K to 9. Former principal, Jack Breen was one of the founders of NYSPEED, along with Dr. Howard Muscott of BOCES. The conference served as a staff development day for the current teachers at the Orchard School and an opportunity to absorb new information to bring back to their classrooms. Social workers and administrators of the Orchard School were also in attendance, taking part in workshops on topics ranging from counseling and technology to behavioral issues and understanding a diagnosis.
The morning keynote speaker was Ross Greene, Ph.D, author of The Explosive Child and Lost at School. Dr. Greene is Associate Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School, staff psychologist at Cambridge Health Alliance and a veteran lecturer in the field. He began his talk by explaining how many children are poorly understood and therefore poorly treated. His theory of collaborative problem solving is âa more accurate, compassionate, productive understanding of (and approach to helping) behaviorally challenging kidsâ.Â He advised educators to focus less on the behavior of challenging students and more on understanding why they behave as they do and how to respond effectively. The answer to the âwhy are they challengingâ question is not a broken home or bad neighborhood. According to Greene, the reason is lagging- children need to be taught and practice the skills necessary to cope with lifeâs challenges. Children are challenging when the demands of their environment outweigh the skills they have to adapt. âKids do well if they canâ, Greene said.
The full day conference offers true opportunities for educators to learn, especially as the demand for quality in special education continues to grow. Â Â Both Grogan and Greene agreed that âspecial education has improved because research has helped us better understand the complexity of the children we serve.â
Michelle Grogan will attempt to relax and focus exclusively on providing reading instruction for a few months before all the planning begins again for the 14th conference next spring. See you then!
Brian Farragher and Sandra Bloom are the co-authors of a powerful and influential new book, Destroying Sanctuary: The Crisis in Human Service Delivery System. The book, published in 2011 by Oxford University Press, outlines the state of our countryâs mental health and social service systems. Brian Farragher is Andrusâ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and Sandra Bloom, M.D is Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy at Drexel University School of Public Health.
Using trauma theory and organizational development theory, the book details the challenges facing the mental health and social service providers that are attempting to help clients recover from the impact trauma and adversity has had on their emotional and physical health. The book details the current crisis in the human services systems and how economic and social forces and have resulted in treatment environments that are highly stressed, and less and less able to meet the needs of highly stressed clients. Â The book makes the argument that to establish safe havens for individual recovery we need to promote greater organizational health in systems and services that are supposed to provide help. Like the troubled clients seeking help, organizations too have become âcrisis oriented, disempowered and demoralized, often living in the present moment, haunted by the past and unable to plan for the future.â The authors make the case that the Sanctuary Model in an effective antidote to the chronic and unrelenting stress experienced in human service organizations. The Sanctuary Model has been the organizational model at Andrus since 2002. In the last five years the Andrus Sanctuary Institute has trained over 200 other organizations worldwide in the Sanctuary Model.
Destroying Sanctuary is a call to action: for reform and recovery. Co-author COO Brian Farragher has worked at Andrus for 25 years, gaining a practical grasp and in depth knowledge of trauma-informed care and the business side of social services. Andrus is proud to have such compassionate and innovative thinkers working towards nurturing hope in children and building a better future.
Hereâs what others are saying about the book:
“Health care and human services have become commodities, and caregivers are forced into a factory system where productivity has nothing to do with patient care. This volume forms the diagnosis; we can eagerly look forward to the next volume in which the authors promise a treatment plan.”-Judith L. Herman, MD, Cambridge Hospital
“This should be required reading for clinicians, administrators, public policy makers, and the general public. Sandra Bloom and Brian Farragher do nothing less than describe in gripping detail what is wrong with the mental and medical health service delivery systems as they have become profit-driven and dehumanized.” -Christine A. Courtois, PhD, Associate Editor of Psychological Trauma: Research, Theory, Practice & Policy
“Sandra Bloom and Brian Farragher provide reflective readers with a wonderful description of human development and the observable steps by which we grow into content, productive people or become chronically distressed and physically ill. Destroying Sanctuary is particularly timely as we rethink various aspects of the U.S. medical care system, especially the cost of our comfortable inattention to the far-reaching impact of traumatic life experiences. ”
-Vincent J. Felitti, MD, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program and University of California
“Bloom and Farragher challenge administrators to think in terms of reform and recovery, rather than falling back on our emphasis on ‘fixing people’ when in fact our systems need to be fixed. This is a rallying call for creating and sustaining healthier service systems.”
-Angie Logan, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
“Packed with wisdom, scientific evidence, and concepts that are vital to understanding and healing the ‘chronic public health disaster’ that is a consequence of endemic traumatic stress and adversity. Read it once and learn…study it and learn more.”
-Robert Anda, MD, MS, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
“Bloom and Farragher remind us that the essential task of our human services and mental health organizations is to create and maintain environments that provide physical, psychological, social, and moral safety. They make a strong case that our current policies and programs produce institutions that are toxic for both staff and patients and this toxicity destroys any potential for emotional growth, stability, or safety.”
-Michael Nunno, DSW, Cornell University
“The concept of Sanctuary has served as the guiding star of Dr. Sandra Bloom’s determined quest to find better ways to offer solace, succor, and hope for people experiencing the ravages of violent and traumatic experiences. In this book series, she brings these unique talents together in creating a vision of how we can all move ahead together toward dreams that we hold dear for our individual and collective futures.”
-Susan Salasin, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA
“This powerful, disturbing and highly readable new book shows, with poignant examples, that toxic stress affects not only individuals but also impairs the function of organizations, including those that are supposed to provide sanctuary for traumatized children and adults.”
-Bruce McEwen, PhD, The Rockefeller University
“The strength of this book is that a complex array of dynamics that stem from a dysfunctional human service delivery system are presented in a single volume, a timely contribution in this period of rapid health care reform.” — Michael B. Greene, PsycCRITIQUES
Thursday Club Raises Funds for Hope Space Greenhouses
The Thursday Club, a philanthropic group based in the Rivertowns, held its 88th Annual Benefit dinner dance and auction April 16th at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor. Â Each year the Club chooses a Westchester-based organization to support with the event’s proceeds .Â This year, over two hundred guests enjoyed a dazzling evening and raised $80,000 for the Hope Space project at Andrus.
Andrus President and CEO Nancy Woodruff Ment spoke at the dinner, warmly praising the way “this collaboration brings together two premier organizations that, for more than 80 years, have been committed to the communities of Westchester County, and families and children who live here.”Â Â Thursday Club President Lynn Sobel agreed, noting that “Andrus is a wonderful partner for the Club in serving and healing local children. We are so pleased to support your outstanding work.”
The proceeds of the event will be used to develop the two acre Hope Space project on the Andrus campus in Yonkers, and specifically to renovate the greenhouses as part of Andrus’ environmental programming.
Hope Space includes organic vegetable, fruit and flower gardens, a contemplative labyrinth, the two historic greenhouses which are undergoing renovation, and a horticulture and earth science classroom which is part of the Orchard School for special education.Â Â “Hope Space is dedicated to engendering hope for the future in the hearts of the children and families we serve,” said Mrs. Ment. “We know that the cycles of nature, growth and renewal in Hope Space help heal and support the children in our care who have suffered trauma and loss.”