New Washington, Warren Co. program aims to reduce child abuse cases

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – There’s a new anti-child abuse program starting up in Warren and Washington Counties.

The program is called “Healthy Parenting and Mentoring.” It was able to secure $100,000 in state funds to help get started.

It was first spear headed by Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan after a number of child abuse cases. The aim of the program is to help put an end to the vicious cycle of child abuse.

Organizers are calling on successful parents to mentor new ones and teach them ways to raise a child. The program has been in the planning stages for about a year. The Warren-Washington Child Advocacy Resource Center is teaming up with the Glens Falls YMCA and Wait House on the program.

Parenting classes will take place at the Glens Falls YMCA. The program will also feature home visits and offer support from the volunteers.

New mom Natasha Suba-Prosser understands the stresses that come along with being a young parent. She gave birth to her baby girl just four months ago at the age of 19.

“When you have all this going on – screaming, crying – you don’t know what to do,” she said.

Suba-Prosser isn’t alone. And what’s more troubling is when a caregiver or parent takes their stress or frustration out on a child.

In 2012, Gary Carpenter, 5, was killed by injuries he received after being thrown against a wall. In March 2015, Dillin Nelson was accused of shaking his infant son.

“We’re trying to create something that’s new and fresh to get down to the root of the problem,” Wait House Executive Director Duane Vaughn said.

Program Coordinator Kassia May said child fatalities in Warren and Washington Counties is what brought about the idea for the program, and they are looking for volunteers to work with and impact the lives of young families.

“The parents weren’t making the healthiest decisions for their children,” she said. “We found child care was tough for the parents, and their children may not have been left with the most appropriate people.”

The program will team families with trained advocates offering training classes at the YMCA to educate parents on life skills and to help them find better jobs as well as visiting them at home to see what they need help with.

“I think it will help people that are young parents like me,” Suba-Prosser said. “It will be really helpful for them.”

If you’re interested in being a part of the Healthy Parenting and Mentoring program to mentor young parents and guide them, please e-mail Program Coordinator Kassia May at kassiamcc@yahoo.com

The program is free for families who wish to take part in the classes.

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