AAFSC creates strong families and strong communities, using our culturally and linguistically competent, trauma-informed model. We work with families to prevent child abuse/neglect and domestic and gender-based violence. We keep children out of foster care, building on the strengths already present within homes and communities and helping families develop new tools for success.
One of our longest standing programs, Preventive Services, ensures the safety of children in homes where there have been allegations of child abuse or neglect. We strengthen families with individual and family counseling, crisis intervention, problem resolution related to cross-cultural conflict or misunderstanding, and referrals for benefits. We help parents understand rules about education and discipline within the United States, which they may be unfamiliar with. Our Case Planners are certified in Child-Parent bonding best practices.
Through our Anti-Violence Program, we work to end partner violence, create equitable relationships, and revolutionize gendered discussions. We partner with the New York City Family Justice Centers to serve survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and trafficking. Our Case Managers are there for survivors of violence during times of crisis, helping them process emotions and build safety plans and providing legal advocacy, court accompaniments, translation services, assistance with Orders of Protection, and referrals for other services, as needed. We have offered support groups to survivors of violence, where they can build trust and community and share their personal experiences without fear of retribution.
Assisted victims of gender-based violence, impacting 1,400 adults.
Kept 1,579 children safely in their homes.
Strengthened 433 families through trauma-informed home-based services.
The Arab-American Family Support Center developed a Healthy Relationships Curriculum – currently, the only of its kind. The curriculum prepares participants for meaningful, strong, and healthy relationships free from violence and misogyny. The curriculum uses a culturally competent approach to addressing typical challenges young people may face as they develop bonds with parents, peers, and romantic partners. For example, marriage at an early age remains a challenge within the Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities we serve. This curriculum looks at ways to explore other options, have productive conversations with parents about alternative pathways, and support strong communications for when marriage does occur. We use the curriculum for our young women (AYWA) and young men (MENar) support groups.
Our MENar (light in Arabic) program is a male only group dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of boys and young men of color, with an emphasis on creating a safe space to grow, heal, and thrive. We work with young men to develop life skills such as: financial literacy, college and career readiness, healthy relationship habits, and healthy masculinity. The program combines educational workshops, trainings, sports and other activities, field trips, and counseling. We are passionate about building young men who are grounded in a positive understanding of self and others.
We have an equivalent program for our young women, AYWA.
The Arab-American Family Support Center is committed to ending all forms of violence, including gender-based violence. Since November 2016, AAFSC, CONNECT, Day One, STEPS to End Family Violence, and Violence Intervention Program (VIP) have collaborated as part of the Restorative Justice & Intimate Partner Violence working group comprised of 25 advocates, lawyers, and counsellors committed to studying and implementing innovative restorative justice practices.
All of our Priority Areas are linked. Program participants are exposed to a range of initiatives every time they enter our Center and staff across the agency are equipped to work with clients across priority areas. For example, all of our work is done through a lens of mental health promotion. Staff are equipped to recognize signs of distress and refer to our other services as well as partner organizations as needed.