house slated for Children’s Home
New facility offers modern options to
residents of Northeast Parent & Child Society
By Jackie Sher
The Niskayuna Spotlight
May 21, 2009
Northeast Parent & Child
Society is celebrating the grand opening of its
new Children’s Home on Tuesday, June 9. Located
at 122 Park Avenue, the new facility replaces
one that was built in 1955.
“The project cost
approximately $11 million,” said Laura Alpert,
vice president of communications for Northeast
Parent & Child Society.
According to Alpert, $10
million was funded through the Dormitory
Authority of the State of New York, and the
other $1 million was collected through private
The former Children’s Home
is being demolished, and in its place will go
playing fields and baseball fields. Northeast
Parent & Child Society looked into renovating
the original structure and discovered that it
made more sense financially to build an entirely
new building. It also avoided disrupting the
“It will actually provide
more space for recreation, which we’re excited
about,” said Alpert.
The new facility has been
serving children since April.
“It serves 68 children at a
time, which translates to approximately 170
children per year,” said Alpert.
The children it serves are
11 to 18 years old. About one-third come from
Schenectady County, and among the referrals are
cases of abuse, neglect and poverty.
“Many of the youths
accepted into the Children’s Home have skipped
school, stolen or participated in fights, and
some have been charged with minor legal
offenses,” said Alpert.
To get into the Home,
candidates go through an intensive screening
process that ensures residents are willing to
participate in treatment. Once they are in the
program, they receive many services, including
counseling, individual, group, and family
therapy, career development services, and
recreational programs. The youths attend The
School at Northeast, which is an alternative
education program for children in grades six to
The length of stay for each
child varies from a few months to a couple of
“Because we have a facility
that provides a high level of service, we’re
confident that we’ll be able to reduce the
length of stay for our youths,” said Alpert.
The new Children’s Home has
a modern design with safety and increased
security features. For example, 15-second time
locks have been placed on doors so staff members
have time to react to a resident who might be
planning to leave without permission.
Each dormitory will hold
“Each [resident will have
a] private bedroom and bathroom with secured
doors and windows. We also have large open
common areas with high ceilings and ambient
lighting and 20,000 square feet of new space for
family treatment meetings, recreation, learning
and career development,” Alpert said. “It’s
extremely exciting. We’ve had very generous
support from the community.”
Alpert added that she is
excited to invite the community to tour the
building at the June 9 open house.
“For me, it’s wonderful to
be part of such a wonderful project,” said
Hector Ramirez, COO of Northeast Parent & Child
“It has the capacity to
serve up to 80 adolescents with out of home care
in a more therapeutic environment.”
He said that the old Home
had really “passed its prime” and it “really
just wasn’t keeping up with the needs of today’s
The intent of the
Children’s Home is that the majority of its
residents return to their homes.
“Some of them are
transferred into our foster care programs,
others go to relatives. It really depends on the
needs of the children and desires of the
families and the Departments of Social Services
that we work with,” said Ramirez.
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