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DHS News November 2011  

pdf.gif November 2011 DHS Newsletter

Family Visitation Room Project receives large donation, makes strides in awareness

The DHS Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) Family Visitation Room Project received a large furniture donation from Point Park University earlier this year to help replenish furniture in CYF visitation rooms. In addition, the Project has made great progress in increasing awareness of the need for family visitation rooms to be welcoming and for the Project’s efforts to garner future donations and volunteer support. 

What are family visitation rooms?
The Family Visitation Room Project helps ensure that family visitation rooms, which are used in all of the CYF regional offices for supervised visits between children and their parents, are cleaned and painted, often with bright murals, and that the toys and other materials in the rooms have been sorted and organized. In addition, the Visitation Room Project collects donations of furniture, books, play equipment and activity boxes to help make the rooms more inviting, since they are heavily used and often booked well into the evening.

Point Park Children’s School donation
In the spring, Point Park University announced that it would be closing its Children’s School program this past summer. CYF Advisory Board members involved with the Visitation Room Project saw this as an opportunity to acquire much-needed furniture for the family visitation rooms.

As fall approached, staff at the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) and Linda Ehrlich, CYF advisory board member and co-coordinator of the Family Visitation Room Project, along with CYF advisory board member Kathleen DeWalt, organized a group of volunteers that included DHS staff to collect chairs, tables, shelving and other furniture from the school to put in the family visitation rooms.

Visitation Room Project awareness and outreach
The Family Visitation Room Project has also made great strides in generating greater awareness about the Project to help support future donations and volunteer efforts. Project representatives initiated outreach to families and at community events and gave a presentation at a University of Pittsburgh Department of Applied Developmental Psychology student meeting to recruit students who may want to earn credit by working with the Project.

About the Family Visitation Room Project
The Family Visitation Room Project is made possible through a partnership between the CYF Advisory Board, CYF, the DHS Office of Community Relations (OCR), PAEYC, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Applied Developmental Psychology.

If you would like to donate or volunteer, please contact the CYF Family Visitation Room Project through the PAEYC at visit.rooms@pghaeyc.org or 412-421-3889.

For more information about the Family Visitation Room Project or to make a cash donation, please visit the DHS website at: www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/fvr-project.aspx.  

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