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People With Disabilities

Catholic Guardian Services: Never Letting Our Guard Down

Catholic Guardian Services provides support to foster parents and children, including those with developmental disabilities or complex medical conditions // Sharon Mccutcheon

The Catholic Guardian Services (an agency in the Catholic Charities of New York family) has provided…correction…STILL provides vital services to underserved families and people with special needs of New York City. They are a frontline human services organization, so while Coronavirus has added challenges to the delivery of those services it can’t stop Catholic Guardian Services’ commitment to their people.

Many of the services of CGS are hands-on, and delivered face-to-face. The delivery of many of those services is indeed essential to the welfare of those who seek help from them. The catalog of services and programs that CGS provides is extensive, but one area of particular need is the CGS Family Center. Here, New Yorkers come seeking mental health support, something sorely lacking in New York City’s poorer neighborhoods. The Family Center opened in 2018, so it’s relatively new, but the they’ve been serving the mental health needs of New Yorkers long enough that when the Coronavirus came and mental health needs grew, the CGS Family Center adapted.

Knowing for instance that the Parkchester and Soundview neighborhoods of the Bronx would need them, The Family Center implemented telehealth and video conferencing to make sure help would be there when needed. CGS can even arrange in person safety assessments when necessary.

According to Valerie Longwood, the chief development officer at CGS, “We are serving more than 2,000 individuals and 900 families throughout New York City. Our two centers in the Bronx and the one in Central Harlem are OPEN. In-person meetings are possible with advance scheduling to keep everyone safe. We are worried about the children and families we know. Many of them live from paycheck to paycheck in the best of times. Now they are struggling to provide essentials for themselves.”

CGS’ commitment couldn’t be stronger. Even as the staff of CGS, like all of us, confronted their own personal Coronavirus hardships, the organization quickly implemented tech that would support remote working wherever possible so the work could continue.

Catholic Guardian Services provides support to foster parents and children, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities or complex medical conditions. Their social workers monitor children and counsel parents to reduce instances of abuse in this unprecedented time of social challenge. They continue to support and shelter pregnant women and new mothers, and are still on site at CGS residences making sure those in their care are safe and well.

If you need any of these services you can either email or you can call

The CGS Family Center at 718-792-9937 (extension 221), or the satellite offices:

West 134th Street in Manhattan at 212-926-1774 (extension 210)

Grand Concourse in the Bronx at 718-228-1515 (extension 209)

Westchester Avenue in the Bronx at 718-828-0300 (extension 221)

Catholic Guardian Services, like all members of the Catholic Charities of New York family of agencies, are there for you in good times and bad.