HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN WHEN VISITING COURT?
We know being a parent is difficult, but it’s even harder when simultaneously dealing with family issues like divorce and custody. Many single parents who need to attend court are forced to bring their children with them due to the high costs of childcare and other outlying factors. However, in certain instances being in court could possibly expose children to traumatic experiences as they observe the discord in family situations. That’s why we provide a safe place for children to wait while their parents or guardians are in court at the Suffolk County Children’s Center at Cohalan Court.
Our center is run by trained childcare providers and volunteers who are dedicated to making every child’s experience away from Family Court a good one. We welcome children as young as 6 weeks to 12-years-old. Kids are able to play with a variety of fun items including educational computer games, board games, arts and crafts, and books. We know that reading is imperative early on in a child’s life, so we promote literacy and a love of reading by giving each child a book to take home at the end of the day.
Some children visit the center frequently, but have no idea they are at a court house. Between the games and snack time, many think they are at a preschool class because of how much fun and learning they experience. Their faces light up each time they come and go home with a new book.
In addition to providing a safe and fun environment for the kids, we also have supportive services for their families. Every year, we give out winter apparel, school supplies, Thanksgiving meals, and acquire gifts for them during the holidays through Adopt-a-Family. We also help parents receive referrals to other resources like legal assistance, childcare, Head Start programs, and parenting classes.
If you’re in Suffolk County and have to visit Family Court at the Cohalan Court Complex, drop off your child with us at no cost so you can attend to your business without the extra worry of exposing your child to unnecessary stress.
To learn more about the Suffolk County Children’s Center at Cohalan Court, click here.
Want to help the Children’s Center? Support our upcoming Cohalan Cares for Kids event, which raises funds for the kids, or contact us to donate supplies like books, healthy snacks, bottled water, diapers and wipes, or newborn clothes.
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Cassandra Huneke was the Development & Marketing Specialist at EAC Network. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a B.A. in English and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Media Studies at The New School University in New York City.