Strong Minds and Bodies
Forestdale fosters the healthy development of Queens families

Through our innovative partnership with New York University’s Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry, Forestdale provides free medical and dental care for families.  We ensure families get primary and preventive care, and teach them to seek consistent care and avoid unnecessary hospitalization.

Our evidence-based mental health models help young people and families form strong family bonds and work to heal trauma.

Forestdale is pioneering cutting-edge, evidence-based practices to heal trauma and help families bond. Strong Minds, Strong Bodies has grown to include our work with several mental health model developers, as well as our movement towards a more integrated health services approach.
Children’s Health Homes
This is an innovative Medicaid service model for delivering health care and other services to support a child’s complete well-being. It is a network of organizations and providers that work together to assist each child and family. This allows all of a child’s care providers to communicate and share records to ensure that services are not duplicated or neglected and focuses on strengthening families to prevent crises and pave the way for long-term success and well-being. The Health Home program is intended to be a person/family centered service model with the Care Manager acting as the advocate for the child’s medical and mental health needs.

New State licensure designation

Forestdale has received 29-I Health Facilities licensure for Voluntary Foster Care Agencies.  This licensure allows Forestdale to provide specific specialized medical services to youth in foster care including additional mental health services, nursing services, social skill development supports, community-based psychiatry, life coaching, substance abuse counseling, and other services.

Attachment and Bio-behavioral Catch-up (ABC)

Infants and toddlers in the child welfare system, particularly those in foster care, often exhibit a variety of behavioral, emotional, and physiological problems that can push caregivers away, impeding their healthy development and causing additional stress in the home.  Forestdale was the first organization in New York City to implement ABC, an evidenced-based intervention, lauded by the City Administration for Children’s Services, in which trained therapists use coaching and video feedback to encourage a stronger parent-baby bond.

Developed by Dr. Mary Dozier of the University of Delaware, ABC has been linked in randomized clinical trials to increased attachment and reduced levels of stress hormones among children and reduced avoidance behavior by caregivers, including in families at risk of child neglect. Secure attachment has been linked to better behavior in school, better relationships later in life, attitudes toward work, and adult global functioning.

Trauma Systems Therapy (TST)

While child welfare programs are typically designed to ensure the safety of young people and facilitate better familial functioning, Forestdale is committed to going beyond safety to help young people excel in education, careers, and interpersonal relationships.  Now entering its third year, Forestdale in partnership with Dr. Glenn Saxe and the NYU Child Study Center, is pioneering Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) to effectively treat the trauma that can delay or deter continued positive development as children mature.

Nearly every child involved in the child welfare system experiences trauma – from physical, sexual or emotional abuse to witnessing dysfunction and violence within their homes and communities. With TST, Forestdale addresses trauma that, if not skillfully treated, may result in severe challenges later i, life. TST treats both the young person’s emotional needs and the social environment in which he or she lives.

Research on TST has linked it to many benefits for young people including improvement in emotional and behavioral regulation, lower rates of PTSD symptoms, reduced hospitalization, and improved psychosocial support and stability.

Solutions-Based Casework (SBC)

At the heart of all services for children who have experienced abuse or neglect, high quality casework practice helps vulnerable children achieve safety rather than face a lifetime of challenges.

Developed by Dr. Dana Christensen of the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville, Solution-Based Casework (SBC) is an evidence-informed model in which the Case Planner and family identify problematic patterns, and create a map for the family to consistently pursue agreed-upon outcomes. SBC creates a partnership with the family based on a consensus about the problems, and in language that makes sense to the family.  It then focuses that partnership on the patterns of everyday family life that directly relate to threats to safety and targets solutions specific to the behaviors and conditions that brought the family in contact with the child welfare system.  The family builds skills to create a safe family life.

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