NON-PROFITREPORT: In 1979, Mt. Hope Family Center opened its doors to a small group of preschoolers struggling with the effects of abuse and neglect. Today the University of Rochester program continues to serve children and parents in crisis, helping more than 800 families annually. It also is one of the nation's leading research sites for the study of trauma as it affects child development and family relationships.
The center does treatment, prevention, research and training in the areas of human development, child maltreatment and mental disorders in children and families. Its programs aim to break the cycle of maltreatment.
Research at the center focuses on the maltreatment of children and on child and adult psychopathology, including prevention and treatment. In addition, research is being conducted on the development of children raised by depressive and manic-depressive parents.
Treatment programs usually serve people referred by the Preventive Unit of the Monroe County Department of Human Services.
Child-parent psychotherapy to treat child abuse reduces by 90 percent the number of children placed in foster care or with relatives. Mothers who themselves have experienced abuse, trauma, poverty, domestic violence or chronic stress often have difficulty developing a secure attachment with their children. To overcome this barrier, psychotherapists meet with parent and child weekly, helping to develop nurturing and close bonds and encouraging appreciation for the child's developmental level. They also help parents understand how their personal histories may be undermining healthy childrearing.
The Building Healthy Children program enrolls low-income mothers who had their first children prior to age 21, using evidence-based methods to treat maternal depression, teach parenting skills and create a warmer, stronger connection between parent and child. To date, 96 percent of enrolled families have avoided child protective reports and 99 percent have avoided removal of children from the home.
An after-school program helps at-risk children to build self-esteem and improve their peer relationships, using a curriculum called Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies.
Mt. Hope Family Center also offers an annual summer camp for school-age children, child therapy, psychotherapy for depressed mothers and their children, foster family treatment, and parenting classes using the Incredible Years curriculum.
Graduate students from the University of Rochester's department of clinical and social sciences in psychology participate in all of the center's clinical programs.
Mt. Hope Family Center has 71 employees, and Sheree Toth, an associate professor of psychology, is its executive director. The office is at 187 Edinburgh St., and the center's website is www.psych.rochester.edu/mhfc.
Financial record Year ending June 30, 2010
Grants $4,253,580 84
Other 829,724 16
Total revenue $5,083,304 100
Research and clinical $4,582,461 91
General and administrative 468,158 9
Total expenses $5,050,619 100
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses $32,685
Derek Vanderlinde, chairman; principal, CEOHQ Fellows
Sue Avery; president, Avery Marketing Inc.
Paul Burgett; vice president and general secretary, the University of Rochester
Catherine Cerulli; associate professor of psychiatry and director, Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization, University of Rochester Medical Center
Tony Dechario; financial consultant
Fran Pullano; president and CEO, Pullano & Co.
Francis Affronti, honorary member; justice, New York State Supreme Court
O.J. Sahler M.D., honorary member; professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, medical humanities and medical informatics, University of Rochester Medical Center
-Researched by James Leunk
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