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. Our Case Planners and Therapists are certified in Solution Based Casework and Functional Family Therapy casework models, two evidence-based models for family case management.
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 also offer support groups to survivors of violence, where they can build trust and community and share their personal experiences without fear of retribution. AAFSC is also leading restorative justice initiatives, which is particularly important for those seeking a non-systems approach to healing and recovery.
Dedicated 4,245 hours working with and advocating on behalf of victims and survivors.
Facilitated 9,242 home visits, providing direct support to families in all five boroughs.
Strengthened 707 families through trauma-informed home-based services.
The Arab-American Family Support Center developed a Healthy Relationships Framework, which aims to prepares participants for meaningful, strong, and healthy relationships free from violence and misogyny. The framework 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, North African, 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 framework for our young women (AYWA) and young men (MENar) support groups.
Our MENar (“light” in Arabic) program is a group dedicated to the 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 team-building activities, field trips, and counseling. We are passionate about nurturing 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. AAFSC collaborates with partner agencies like Violence Intervention Program, Sakhi for South Asian Women, and Sauti Yetu as part of the Restorative Justice & Intimate Partner Violence working group committed to studying and implementing innovative restorative justice practices. Through our ongoing efforts, we continue to see the value of culturally-responsive approaches that support all families impacted by violence, including those who chose not to utilize traditional criminal justice paths. We are actively working to develop, standardize, and document best practices for partners and stakeholders.
All of our Priority Areas are linked. Working in partnership with our suite of complementary services, beneficiaries of AAFSC’s Prevention programs receive holistic support through referrals to mental health counseling, immigration-based legal services, adult education and job readiness classes, caregiver child bonding support, emergency financial assistance, and more.