New York City Children's Cabinet Launches 2017 Baby Shower Series to Promote Healthy Development of Babies and Connect Families to City Services

March 3, 2017

First NYC Baby Shower Will Be Held Saturday March 4 in Throgs Neck, Bronx with Community-Based Organization Partner Catholic Guardian Services

NEW YORK—For the second year in a row, First Lady Chirlane McCray and the New York City Children’s Cabinet, chaired by Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, will host a series of free baby showers for new and expecting parents. The first shower will be held this Saturday at Monsignor Scanlan High School in Throgs Neck, Bronx with community partner Catholic Guardian Services.

NYC Baby Showers acclimate new parents and caretakers to raising a family in New York City by providing practical items like diapers, clothing and other baby supplies. They are also a direct-service opportunity for attending families to connect to City and community resources such as registering for a library card, IDNYC, and child care services. In addition, families will have a chance to learn about the Safe Sleep for Babies program, and the maternal and child health resources available in local communities.

Five NYC Baby Showers are scheduled to be held between March and June.

“A child’s emotional resilience and educational success begin with loving parents and caregivers,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Our NYC Baby Shower Series brings communities together and provides families with books and other resources to help prepare their children for a bright future. These baby showers are one of the important ways we are helping make NYC be the best big city in America to raise children."

“The NYC Baby Showers are a fun way to celebrate with the entire community while providing new parents with all of the critical information and resources that the City of New York and its partners offer to families raising young children. I am thrilled that in our second year hosting these Baby Showers we will be able to serve 2,000 additional families. Thanks to our partner Catholic Guardian Services for helping us to kick off this year’s series in the Bronx!” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Chair of the NYC Children's Cabinet.

“We are most pleased to partner with the NYC Baby Shower Program. For many of the women we serve, this is the only baby shower they will experience. The importance of our community reaching out to support effective parenting warrants all of our collective support and a baby shower is a very special way to convey to these mothers that they are not alone and can turn to others for needed assistance,” said Craig Longley, Executive Director of Catholic Guardian Services.

“The City of New York offers a wonderful array of resources and services for families, but too many are not aware that they exist or are unsure how to connect to them. NYC Baby Showers bring City services to life as a catalyst for person-to-person information sharing, live health and safety demonstrations, and fun!,” said Benita Miller, Executive Director of the NYC Children’s Cabinet. “These showers tell all new parents and caregivers that the City of New York is here for you as you navigate the journey of parenting.”

During the program, First Lady Chirlane McCray will read from the original baby book Love is Love published by Scholastic, Inc. to encourage early childhood language development as part of the Children’s Cabinet’s Talk to Your Baby campaign.

Thirty City agencies and community organizations will be on-site at the Throgs Neck Baby Shower on March 4 to provide information about support programs available to New York City families. The attending groups are broken into the following categories: Parenting and Mentoring Supports, Baby Health and Family Benefits, Child Safety and Child Care, Early Education, Personal Health and Wellness, and Activity Stations.

Three of the four additional showers this year will be targeted to reach special populations with this critical information, including immigrant parents, LGBTQ parents and parents living in temporary housing.

More information about the NYC Baby Shower series can be found at http://www1.nyc.gov/site/childrenscabinet/initiatives/baby-showers.page.

"Brooklyn Borough Hall has been deeply focused on early childhood development, a critical component of raising healthy children and families. Our recent report underscores the statistical evidence for greater financial investment in growth between ages birth and three years, which are vital to brain development. I am pleased, in that spirit, to advance strategic partnerships with the New York City Children's Cabinet that coordinate and integrate services in order to provide a continuum of care. I am also excited, as a driving force behind our City's new public lactation room law, to work with the Children's Cabinet on educating families about the public health benefits of breastfeeding," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Council Member Debi Rose said, “With gifts of diapers, clothing and other baby essentials, these baby showers are an important part of our commitment to health care and early childhood development for the 100,000 babies who will be born in New York City this year. Last year, I had the pleasure of welcoming new and expectant parents to a city-hosted baby shower at Snug Harbor Cultural Center with First Lady Chirlane McCray, and I look forward to doing the same this year.”

"Raising a child is not an individual endeavor," said Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the General Welfare Committee. "We all have a role to play in making our community the type of place children thrive. This starts with supporting our city's parents and giving them to tools they need to succeed. These baby showers go beyond education and resources – they show parents we are in this together. As the proud father of a newborn, I fully support this initiative, and look forward to its continued success."

Council Member Mathieu Eugene said, “I want to commend the New York City Children’s Cabinet for their continued support of new and expecting parents. It is of vital importance that we provide families with all available social services to help them raise their children. This program is a wonderful example of how we can utilize valuable resources to put new parents on a path to success.” 

About the NYC Children’s Cabinet

The NYC Children's Cabinet is a multi-agency initiative created by Mayor Bill de Blasio to bolster communication and coordination among city agencies and provides a space to identify and analyze individual and common areas of work that impact child safety and well-being. The Cabinet is chaired by Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, and is comprised of commissioners and directors from 24 City agencies and Mayoral offices.

The Children's Cabinet promotes opportunities to develop partnerships and efficiencies, allowing each agency's efforts to build off each other and produce a greater cumulative impact on youth and their families.

About Catholic Guardian Services

Catholic Guardian Services (CGS), founded in 1899, is a sophisticated human services non-profit organization with programs that respond to the most vulnerable people in the New York City metropolitan area. Our mission is to serve those in need, to aid those who desire help, and to guide those who seek better lives. Through supportive interventions, we provide help, create hope and preserve dignity. For more information, visit: http://www.catholicguardian.org/


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