Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Seen and Heard: Sustaining a Clinical Response Model to Childhood Trauma

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

November 2, 2011





Child abuse and domestic violence are serious problems plaguing the Southeast Queens neighborhoods of Jamaica and Far Rockaway.

Because this violence often occurs in the home and can involve any member of the family, children are especially susceptible to witnessing these acts and internalizing the trauma, often leading to severe behavioral and physical problems. In response, Safe Space NYC has been operating the Seen & Heard program to provide mental health, counseling, and family support services to young children and their families suffering trauma and domestic violence. In the current economic climate, continued government support (even at reduced levels) is in immediate jeopardy and an unreliable source. This project enabled Safe Space to transition into a sustainable, billable model through its existing Mental Health Clinic structure and provided bridge funding during this period.

Safe Space has held an Article 31 clinic license since 1984, including services for adults, adolescents, and children above age six. To transition its Seen & Heard program to a fee-for-service basis within the existing Mental Health Clinic billable structure, it successfully applied to the State to expand its existing Article 31 license to include serving children ages zero through five. The ability to bill Medicaid for the sessions and complex care management for these young children will provide a sustainable financial basis for the future.