An opinion piece by Hillside President & CEO Maria Cristalli was published last week in New York Nonprofit Media, a leading statewide media outlet highlighting critical issues related to not-for-profit organizations. The article, “The crisis in New York’s child welfare system must be addressed,” identifies the urgent need for increased support of child welfare services in communities statewide.

Cristalli’s message calls for increased funding for additional beds in residential treatment facilities, as well as a multi-pronged strategy that includes expanded levels of care; increased training for staff to deal with the most severe cases; a renewal of community partnerships involving communities, local organizations, and state authorities; and greater coordination with healthcare systems, to provide early detection and diagnosis that can enhance preventive measures.

“It’s time to reevaluate and recalibrate our approach, ensuring that all children—regardless of the complexity of their needs—receive the care they deserve,” Cristalli wrote. “The time for action is now. Our children can’t wait.”

Hillside, one of the largest and most programmatically diverse child-and-family-services agencies in the United States, provides a broad array of residential treatment, community-based and educational services to nearly 9,000 youth, adults and families every year. The agency is a leading voice in local and state advocacy for child welfare services.

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