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Welcome to the OnTrackNY Blog!

We are Talia Richkin, and DJ Wilkerson, the OnTrackNY Youth Coordinators, and we are excited to welcome you to the new OnTrackNY Blog. The Blog will feature content including: our monthly newsletter, photovoice projects from our #OnTrackEXPRESS campaign, a series of videos featuring OnTrackNY participants, and guest posts from participants and staff alike. We hope everyone who visits the blog can find something they connect with, something that inspires them, or even just something that makes them better able to understand another's experience.


Talia Richkin

DJ Wilkerson
Child Center of New York Opens OnTrackNY Program
Youth Coordinator
/ Categories: Blog Posts

Child Center of New York Opens OnTrackNY Program

OnTrackNY was recently awarded a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the implementation of OnTrackNY. The program is called “Promoting Hope and Opportunities for Youth with Early Psychosis” (ProHope), and allows New York State to expand the OnTrackNY model of Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC). ProHope will be implemented at the Child Center of NY (CCNY), and at two Westchester Jewish Community Services clinics. Below is an introduction provided by our OnTrackNY team at CCNY:
The Child Center of NY began in 1953 as a single children’s counseling center in Queens. Today, it is a multiservice organization that annually reaches more than 35,000 children from birth through young adulthood at almost 70 school and community locations. Its mission is to strengthen children and families with skills, opportunities, and emotional support to build healthy, successful lives. The Child Center works in five main program areas: early childhood edu-cation; behavioral health; child abuse prevention and family support; health homes and integrated care; and youth development.
The Child Center is all about helping people overcome the obstacles they face to reach their full potential, and the OnTrackNY program fits in perfectly with this goal. The program serves up to 40 clients and offers services in six lan-guages: English, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tagalog. This is in keeping with one of the core principles of The Child Center: that clients are best served by staff who are not only bilingual, but also bicultural, often com-ing from the same communities and cultures as their clients.
The Child Center’s OnTrackNY team is led by Team Leader and Program Director Diane Valente, LCSW-R, and includes Primary Clinician Zhen Han, LMSW; Supported Education and Employment Specialist Lauren Nieves, M.S. Ed.; Peer Specialist Elizabeth Haley, A.S.; Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Richard Callado, PMHNP-BC; and Registered Nurse Edward Lopez, RN. The program is located at the Macari Family Center in The Child Center’s Flushing Clinic at 140-15B Sanford Avenue in Flushing, Queens. It’s a multiservice site that also offers mental health and substance use disorder treatment, early childhood mental health services, child abuse prevention, and a Single Stop program that provides free counseling on entitlement, health insurance, social services, and legal services. You can reach The Child Center’s OnTrackNY program by phone at 718-358-8288 or by fax at 718-358-5265. Its hours are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The team opened its doors in January.

“We are grateful to have an opportunity to assist young people from all cultures and backgrounds who are facing mental health challenges to achieve their goals of school, work, and relationships,” says Valente. “Some people come to us and ask, ‘Can I recover from this and still find work while also establishing more meaningful relationships?’ With OnTrackNY, I’m happy to be able to tell them, ‘Yes, you can.’”
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