Submitted by Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children
Spence-Chapin, a New York City-based non-profit adoption and family services agency, announced today the launching its first domestic Granny Program, expanding their successful international program to the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, NY. The Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center serves 137 of New York State’s most medically complex children, providing specialized clinical and rehabilitative services to children with multiple physical and neurological conditions and disabilities.
Children growing up in institutional care are often deprived of the opportunity to bond with a consistent caretaker. To address this, in 1998 Spence Chapin created The Granny Program, an early intervention program developed to provide critical one-on-one attention to children living in orphanages. Spence-Chapin brings volunteer “Grannies,” retired local women from the community, into institutions to spend time with the same child every day. This program has been shown to greatly improve both the attachment and development of participating children. In the nearly two decades since its founding, The Granny Program has had a dramatic impact on the lives of hundreds of children across seven countries and four continents.
“Adapting the successful Spence-Chapin Granny Program model for the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center will bring the many benefits of loving one-on-one relationships to a population that is right here in our local community,” says Ann Hassan, who oversees the granny programs for Spence-Chapin. “Volunteers in our Granny Program will be a vital addition to the exceptional medical and developmental care received each day by the young residents of the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center.” Central to the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center’s approach to care is the belief that children should be able to live in an environment that approximates a home-like setting, with elements of a neighborhood community. “What is more like a neighborhood than the opportunity to develop a special relationship with a caring local grandparent? We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the community that the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center has created,” Hassan adds.
Each Granny from Spence-Chapin will be paired with one child at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, providing consistent companionship, interaction and socialization thus enhancing the child’s quality of life. The residents of the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center have busy and structured days filled with stimulation and activity. Nights are quieter, and bedtime is a natural time to crave one-on-one attention, therefore the Granny Program at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center will help each child with their nighttime routine. “From reading bedtime stories, to being a consistent comforting presence, these Grannies will become a vital part of our holistic care team, and will add to the normalization of the environment,” says Vanessa Andrews, Coordinator of Volunteer Services and Clinical Lead, Child Life, the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center. “We hope these relationships will aid in reducing anxiety and increasing healing.”
Many of the residents of the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center require total care to help them interact with the world around them. Most cannot attend programming, play with toys, or read a book without the assistance of caregivers who have over time earned the trust of and learned to interpret the subtle cues of each child.
“It takes a dedicated and collaborative community to meet the unique needs of each of our residents,” says Ms. Andrews. “The Grannies will be a welcome addition to the group of caring individuals who provide exceptional care to these children.”
Spence-Chapin is actively recruiting Grannies—and Grandpas—for this very special and groundbreaking program. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help to change the life of a child living at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center please call 212-369-0300.
About Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children
Spence-Chapin is an adoption and family service agency bringing over 100 years of experience in finding families for children. Spence-Chapin’s fundamental belief is that Every Child Deserves A Family. To underscore this commitment, Spence-Chapin has eliminated many financial barriers for families who are embarking on the adoption journey. Through their Modern Family Center, Spence-Chapin has broadened their impact and provides support, workshops, and counseling services for: birth parents, adoptive parents, families formed through adoption, teens, children with special needs, and adoptees at every life stage. Learn more about Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children at www.spence-chapin.org and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/spencechapin.
About Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center
The Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center is a not-for-profit, pediatric specialty nursing facility, serving the most medically complex children in New York State. The Pediatric Center, which is a 137-bed and 165,000-square-foot complex located in Yonkers, is in its 27th year of service. We are rated as a five-star facility in the “Best Nursing Homes” category of U.S. News & World Report. Our state-of-the-art, child-centered building is the only LEED Gold certified “green” pediatric facility in the country. Children come to us with serious medical and neurological challenges. We provide comprehensive health care, rehabilitation and special education services to all our residents. Our services include, but are not limited to: medical care, nursing, respiratory therapy, palliative care, pastoral care, social work services, physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapies, music therapy, art therapy, aquatic therapy and Child Life. The Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York and is part of a Continuum of Care known as the St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation, which also includes the John A. Coleman School and the Children’s Rehabilitation Center. Learn more about the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center at www.setonpediatric.org and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/setonpediatric.
SPENCE-CHAPIN IS AN ACCREDITED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT HAS BEEN OFFERING QUALITY ADOPTION SERVICES FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS. Our mission is to help find loving families for children whatever their needs or circumstances, and provide counseling and support for all children and the families to whom they have been born or entrusted. Our mission is driven by the simple belief that every child deserves a family.
Spence-Chapin focuses on finding adoptive homes for children who need families; promoting the understanding of adoption through counseling and public education; and improving adoption's image and practice. Through our Modern Family Center we are helping each family member navigate their individual adoption stories with clarity and confidence. Spence-Chapin's roots can be traced to the early 1900s and the pioneering work of Clara Spence, and Dr. and Mrs. Henry Chapin, who independently established nurseries out of concern for homeless infants abandoned in hospitals and shelters.
Today, Spence-Chapin is proud of our role as a prominent voice and leading advocate for adoption, and of our commitment to the wellbeing of all members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adoptive parents, and their children.