Domestic violence (DV) does not discriminate. It happens in all income brackets, in all neighborhoods, and all types of relationships. It thrives in silence and shame and affects the entire family for years to come. According to the Journal of Family Psychology, more than 15 million children in the U. S. live in homes in which domestic violence has happened at least once. For participants in Forestdale’s Strong Mothers program, approximately 88% have been exposed to domestic violence, including prostitution, human trafficking, and forced sexual encounters. Forestdale understands the urgency and reached out to multiple sources for funding to combat this public health issue.
Since 1865, Forestdale has actively pursued innovative approaches to address the changing needs of low-income families across Queens and create lasting, positive outcomes. Funding from the NYS Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS), the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the Frances L. & Edwin L. Cummings Memorial Fund, the Damman Fund Inc., and the Nancy & Edwin Marks Family Foundation, made it possible for Forestdale to develop A Window to Healing, and the Strong Mothers Helping Small Children by Treating Maternal Trauma programs. These new, evidence-informed programs specifically address domestic violence and the accompanying trauma. They promote stability, resilience, and growth among children and mothers, as well as abusive partners, to break the cycle of violence through group interventions, joint child & primary caregiver sessions, and individual trauma-informed therapy.
*If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse call NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE for free, confidential, and immediate help.


On September 25th, Schneps Media’s honored Forestdale’s own Yanick Maakheru with a 2019 Power Women of New York Award. Yanick has served as Forestdale’s Director of Development since August 2016. She was among 44 influential women entrepreneurs, business owners, and community leaders honored that evening for outstanding achievement in their fields.
Schneps Media has been hosting this event for women leaders since 2000. On September 25th, more than 450 people attended the event, held at Terrace on the Park in Queens, to support their colleagues, develop new contacts, and have a great time. New York State Assembly members David Weprin and Alicia Hyndman spoke to the honorees as well.
Before joining Forestdale in 2016, Yanick worked with such well-established NYC-based agencies as A Better Chance, Inc., AHRCNYC, LaGuardia Community College, Urban Health Plan, Hunter College, MCCUSA Ltd, and the BMS, Joseph P. Addabbo, and Access Family Health Centers.
“I am truly touched to be included this evening,” Yanick stated in her remarks. “As Maya Angelou once said, “I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something wonderful in another life.”
The event was hosted by Vicky Schneps, Publisher/President of Schneps Media, and NY1’s Angi Gonzalez. All proceeds from the event raffle benefited Sunnyside Community Services and Commonpoint Queens. A great time was had by all!


Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined Forestdale supporters, staff, and clients on a beautiful afternoon, Thursday, May 16, 2019, for the Teaching Kitchen ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception. Forestdale’s Chef Hannah MacDonald, who has provided culinary instruction at Forestdale since January of this year, and guest Chef Michael Kimberg coordinated the food preparation by supervising the adolescents in our Culinary Arts Internship Program, highlighting healthy options and proper culinary technique that the youth have learned in Forestdale’s Strong Futures Internship (SFI) program. They did a fabulous job making such dishes as a seasonal fruit bowl with strawberry yogurt sauce, a crudité platter served with hummus and a caramelized onion dip, ricotta phyllo cups, banana bites, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, all served beautifully to the guests in silver serving platters. A terrific job! The Teaching Kitchen was first conceptualized by former Forestdale Executive Director Anstiss Agnew, back in 2006. She understood the fact that adolescents aging out of foster care need marketable skills such as food preparation (i.e., culinary arts), and must learn how to stretch their food dollars without sacrificing good taste and nutrition. Bill Weisberg took up that baton when he assumed the role of Executive Director of Forestdale in 2016. Forestdale's Culinary Arts Internship, led by our Strong Futures/Youth Development department, increases the odds for our youth by working with top chefs to prepare the interns with marketable skills for gainful employment, and the lifelong skills to cook healthy, nutritious meals for themselves and their families.

Ensuring that children and families learn, love and laugh
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Ensuring that children and families learn, love and laugh
# of children we protect each year in foster care. 100% who graduated high school were admitted to college.
Families stay together, play together. 400 receiving health services on-site at Forestdale.
Graduation rate for Strong Fathers, where men become great dads

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Forestdale’s mission is to ensure children have the fundamental assets they need to thrive: a safe and loving home, education and career opportunity, and health literacy.

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