Of the countless victims of the ongoing war in Ukraine, children are certainly among the most profoundly impacted. Spurred by concerns about how best to support children who have been dislocated from their families and are experiencing extreme trauma because of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, a delegation from the Open World Ukraine Program visited Hillside on Tuesday, March 19, to meet with agency staff as part of a 10-day U.S. listening tour, “Serving Children in Time of War.”

During the 90-minute visit, a team of Ukrainian civil workers, family/children counselors, NGO representatives and children’s rights representatives met with leaders from throughout Hillside’s program array to discuss the challenges facing Ukrainian youth on a daily basis, including trauma, homelessness and the need for foster care placements.

The 10-day tour is aimed to provide delegates with a better understanding of how local organizations coordinate activities with governmental agencies and how comparable services can be implemented as needed in Ukraine. Visiting delegates also discussed the possibility of building relationships with Hillside and other agencies that could yield longer-term collaborations about addressing new and emerging challenges.

“Children in crisis need help, whether they’re in our community or thousands of miles away,” said Maria Cristalli, Hillside President & CEO. “We’re deeply moved by the situation facing children, adults and families in Ukraine, and we’re proud to play a role in supporting the needs of the Ukrainian people.”

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