Family Visitation Playground Opens

New City, NY, – County Executive Ed Day, Commissioner of Social Services Joan Silvestri and Director of Facilities Management Robert Gruffi cut the ribbon at the newly constructed Family Visitation Playground located at the rear of Building C at the Robert L. Yeager Health Center in Pomona. This playground equipment replaces a 25-year old facility that had outlasted its useful life.

“This new playground and improved outdoor space will make a world of difference to our most vulnerable children, youth and families who are impacted by the need for foster care,” said Commissioner Silvestri.

This new playground facility will allow court ordered family visitation to take place in a safe and respectful environment where family reunification can begin. Rockland County continues to maintain one of New York State’s lowest Foster Care placement rates through investing in and partnering with families to keep children safely in their homes. When a child does need to enter foster care, frequent quality visits are one of the most critical factors toward increasing the probability the child or young adult will be reunited with their family.

The spacious and bright playground offers a full range of tactile, visual, auditory and imaginary interactive stimulation for children of all ages with equipment including: jungle gym, slides, spring riders, tubes, an accessible swing set and a half-court basketball court. The total cost of the project was $358,000 and was funded from the Facilities Capital Budget.

County Executive Day thanked the staff from the Department of Social Services and Facilities Management, “Recognizing the need for a new, modern playground and working as hard as you have to get it built will make a huge difference to the families who come here. This playground will lead to healthy and successful family visitation and unification.”

Special thank you to Barbara Gavin, Carla Ortiz and Yolanda Lopez from the Department of Social Services, and to Amy Nowak-Palmerini, Patrick Horan and Chris Buteux from Facilities Management. Work began on the Playground in July and was completed October 25, 2019.