The Save Our Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center Coalition, in partnership with NYSUT, will donate hats and gloves to the CAO Head Start Program, during a media event at 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 11. The CAO Head Start is located at 257 Ridge Road, Lackawanna.
"While it has been a mild winter, children still need to be bundled up to prevent winter illnesses," said Stephanie McLean Beathley, president of PEF Local 167. "This is our 2nd year of giving back to a community that continues to join in our fight to preserve children's mental health in West Seneca. It has been a long road, but the support of the community and our state representatives have provided us with encouragement and momentum." The governor has announced plans to close WNYCPC and transfer the children to Four (4) floors of the adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center. The coalition is fighting to save WNYCPC because children do not belong in the same facility as adults.
"Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center opened in 1970 because traumatized, emotionally fragile children with severe psychiatric problems do not belong in an adult facility,"" said CSEA Western Region President Flo Tripi. “Children require specialized care and a specialized environment. Today, WNYCPC continues to be a state-of-the-art facility for treating children and teens. It provides a safe, welcoming, nurturing environment. Families are also welcomed and involved in treatment, and family involvement is extremely important."
Children have unique needs that require unique services, McLean Beathley said. "Children need space and support to move forward with the healing process. WNYCPC has everything the children need. As president of Local 167, we are united with the Save OUR WNYCPC coalition, our WNY delegation and brothers and sisters of CSEA to ensure that our children are not locked up and tossed away."
"WNYCPC has the lowest readmission rate of any psychiatric facility in the state," said Tom Weston, president of CSEA’s Western New York Office of People With Developmental Disabilities Local. "The environment at WNYCPC cannot be duplicated at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. The plan to move the children to the adult facility is unacceptable."
This year, the Save Our WNYCPC is working with NYSUT who represents the para-professionals at the CAO Head Start. "Staff is very committed to the children and families at all the CAO centers throughout Erie County despite unfair labor practices." said Danielle Judge, Organizer, NYSUT. Ms. Judge stated that our children are our most precious resource and we must do everything we can to ensure their protection and safety.
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