Annual Report

2017 ANNUAL REVIEW

INTRODUCTION

Families at Forestdale make advances because of and sometimes in spite of local and national trends.  This year, seismic shifts occurred in the areas of immigrant’ and women’s rights, as well as college support that impacted the families we serve.  Forestdale is honored to work with families and communities across Queens who labor to maintain their families, heal from trauma, and build stronger communities so the next generation of children can thrive. With 2.3 million people living in the great borough of Queens (including immigrants from more than 120 countries), we are “the world’s borough.” In Queens, you can have a bagel for breakfast, shawarmas for lunch, and dim sum for dinner, all on the same block. In 2017, Forestdale continued to support the mosaic of Queens’ families we serve as individuals and communities responded to attacks on immigrant rights, women’s rights, education equity, civil rights, and equal access to healthcare. The world can sometimes be cruel, but families come to Forestdale to push forward together.

 

  • When refugees were detained at airports in Queens and around the U.S., Queens’ families came together in massive demonstrations to call for the protection of immigrant rights (including DACA). At Forestdale we see the stress and concern as dads in our Strong Fathers Program confront the fear of deportation of a loved one and potential loss of protections for their children. At our recent Strong Fathers graduation one participant spoke of the hardships his father had faced as an immigrant; his father never expressed warmth or affection toward his children. This man looked at his small son seated in the second row of the auditorium at the Queens Museum and spoke of passing on the good things he got from his father but adding important things he never received. As he walked into the luncheon holding his son’s hand, it was clear that he was making good on his pledge.
  • People have come together across New York State to make college education more attainable. We are grateful for a 3rd consecutive year of the Fostering College Success Initiative (FYSA) that has helped to cover the cost of college for hundreds of young people in the NYS child welfare system. Our Forestdale Scholars have benefitted from these college supports, as the number of Forestdale youth in college doubled in 2017.  We congratulate them one and all!
  • As people across the world have stepped forward to denounce sexual harassment and demand gender equity, participants of our Strong Mothers program are taking significant steps towards self-determination in their careers, education, housing, and parenting education. These pregnant & parenting young women are raising the next generation of children who will hopefully honor all genders as equal and the next generation of women who will lead the way to a more just world.

Forestdale continues to embrace families and provide innovative programs to help them through their struggles, as we have been doing for more than 164 years. While we are undeterred in our mission, our needs continue to grow. For this, we must rely on our neighbors, community, and family. While the pendulum of power swings, changing the course of social institutions in the country, we will continue to be family when families need us and provide necessary services for the long run.

Looking forward,

                              William Weisberg, Executive Director                                              Robert Whiteford, Chair, Board of Trustees

                                                                                  

 

Forestdale’s commitment to ending child poverty is expressed primarily through our work to strengthen individual families, helping them break the intergenerational transmission of poverty. In 2017, Forestdale continued this work with children healing from abuse or neglect, and through programs for teens and parents.

At Forestdale, we share the vision for a world in which children have everything they need for healthy development because we know that if children get what they need, a safe and loving home, a stimulating environment, and equitable opportunities; they can flourish.  We also wish that families of all kinds can always be welcomed and feel included; that all workers receive a living wage, so no child goes hungry; that affordable housing is available so children do not live with instability, and for great schools that children can’t wait to get to in the morning. What needs to be done to make all of this a reality in Queens?  Forestdale continues to work with others to advocate for those changes while focusing on relieving immediate distress for children and families in a way that helps them be more resilient in the face of future challenges.  Our array of parenting, family, and youth programs are designed to provide expert service to the vulnerable children and parents who have survived abuse or neglect.  Our results have been excellent.  To become even more effective, we are jumping forward in three areas:

Forestdale’s work is made possible through long-term partnerships with public and private foundations, corporate partners, and generous individuals. In order to continue the high-quality and innovative services we provide to the families we serve, we require engaged and committed partners including governmental agencies, private foundations, corporate entities, and individuals.

Forestdale is able to provide the services families need as a result of its strong financial position. To read details of the audited financial statement for FY17, please click below:

Fiscal Year 2017 Audited Financial Statements