On September 15, two JCCA staff were among the awardees at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services LGBTQ and Ally Awards Ceremony. JCCA Vice President of Foster Home Services Cy Orfield and Milieu Trainer and Youth Crisis Specialist Dwight Thomas received awards for “Outstanding Provider Staff.” They were recognized for their commendable leadership, contributions and achievements of key stakeholders committed to improving services for LGBTQ children, young people, and adults involved with ACS. The LGBTQ and Ally Awards, now in their fourth year, were created by JCCA CEO Ronald E. Richter when he was commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services.
A longtime employee of JCCA, Cy has been the JCCA agency LGBTQ point person from the beginning, kick-starting the shift in culture within our agency. In that role, he has guided JCCA employees to understand the ACS LGBTQ Policy in order to better serve our youth and families. Cy has trained new social workers and administrators in creating a more affirming agency culture for all. He has constructed and implemented a formal way for the agency point people to manage and report all LGBTQ-related critical incidents. He has also successfully managed to spread his compassion and determination for our LGBTQ clients throughout the agency.
Dwight Thomas is the LGBTQ point person on the Westchester campus for Pleasantville Cottage School, Gateways and Pleasantville START. He has made it a point to be involved with any incident that has been reported by doing the necessary work with the staff and youth to create a more affirming culture and implementing the interventions that both JCCA and ACS have deemed appropriate. He has also worked with Recreation Coordinators to gain their assistance in creating and providing more affirming activities on and off campus.
When asked about his reaction to receiving the award, Cy responded, “It’s very gratifying. We’ve worked really hard to make JCCA an affirming environment for our youth, families, foster families and staff. We’ve gotten a lot accomplished, but there is much more to be done.”
When asked about his reaction to receiving the award, Cy responds, “It’s very gratifying. We’ve worked really hard to make JCCA an affirming environment for our youth, families, foster families and staff. We’ve gotten a lot accomplished, but there is much more to be done.”
Asked the same question, Dwight says, “I’m overjoyed to have been nominated and won the award. It is an acknowledgement of the commitment and dedication that we have to the children and families we serve here. Our team of staff members, who are clearly concerned with the well-being of our LGBTQ young people, have worked diligently to create a safe and affirming environment for our clients.”