The Voices of New Directions

Celebrating Women’s History Month – Bea Lovell


New Directions’ Normative Award for Safety is named in memory of Bea Lovell.

Safety can be the easiest and the most difficult norm to ensure. Locks, fire protection and good supervision all help establish physical safety, but emotional safety is more elusive. Bea Lovell made everyone feel safe, both physically and emotionally.

Bea could anticipate a child’s needs (and on occasion her own co-workers) even before they were aware of what it was they needed. More often than not, the need was for evidence of safety and security. Her deep compassion put even the most troubled youth at ease by listening with her whole heart. Bea knew when a child needed to stay up past bedtime to talk about a worry or concern and when a child was just gaming her to get an extra privilege.

Bea was a peacemaker who was skilled at bridging the differences between people. As the unofficial “mother of the unit,” staff would often stay after hours to talk to her about the challenges they were facing, both professionally and personally. Her cottage reflected her gentle ways and the peace and joy her presence created. Most of all, she created a safe place to learn, make mistakes, and grow.

So, You Want a Horse?



Taking care of an animal is a huge responsibility, and horses are no exception! Here is what the Equestrian Team tells kids at New Directions about the responsibility of owning a horse, when kids say they want their own.

“The first thing to consider is the cost of the horse, and horses can be pretty pricy. But even if you were to get a horse for free there are plenty of other things to keep in mind.

You’ll have to have somewhere for the horse to stay. If you can’t keep them on your own property, you will have to pay for boarding. Boarding a horse can range from $300 to $700 a month, depending on the services provided. At the lower end, you will have to feed and clean the stall of your horse and provide all the feed and hay needed. Plus, you will need sawdust for the horse’s stall too. You will need at least one bag of sawdust for a stall, and it might last a few days depending on how neat they are, or you may have to change out the sawdust everyday if they are messier. It’s roughly $2,555 for sawdust per year.

Approximate cost to board a horse $6,155 – $10,955 per year


After finding a place to stay, you need to feed your horse! The cost of feed for a horse depends on their needs. Grain for a horse can be $35 or more per 50 lb. bag and you’ll likely need two or more bags per month. If the horse needs supplements, it can cost upward of $2,000 a year. An average horse, even if they have access to a pasture in the summer, still needs roughly 250 square bales of hay a year. If they do not have access to a pasture, then they will need at least 100 more bales a year. Bales of hay can range from $4 to $10 each.

                                                                                Approximate cost to feed a horse $3,840 – $6,340 per year


Horses require medical care and attention. Veterinary care depends on the horse, but they need shots once a year that cost around $150. They should also be visited by an equine dentist twice a year, which can be $200 or more each year. Additionally, you will have to worm a horse at least twice a year and each tube ranges from $10 to $20. Plus, you will need to put aside money for a farrier. It costs roughly $60 for a trim and up to $200 for shoes. This should be happening every six weeks, so it would cost about $480 for trimming and $1,600 for shoes in total per year. All of these costs do not include the possibility of the horse getting sick or hurt. Should that happen, and it does happen, it could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to get the horse treated.

                                                    Approximate cost of general health care $2,450 – $2,470 per year


All of these costs so far are only if you’d like to have a horse. If you’d like to ride it, there are additional costs you have to consider. If the horse you get is untrained, then you will have to pay for the horse to go through training. Having a horse receive training for 30 days can cost upward of $350. If you also have never ridden a horse, you’ll also have to take riding lessons which cost around $35 to $50 an hour and you’ll likely have to take two-hour lessons three times a week to start off. Plus, you need riding gear – helmets, boots, saddles, bits, bridles, lead ropes, etc. – which can cost you around $650 as well as grooming and cleaning supplies that can cost more than $130.

                                                                                Approximate riding and grooming costs $1,340 – $1,430+


Always remember that a free horse is never really free and in the end you must consider the cost of owning and being able to care for them properly before you take the leap and get a horse.”

It certainly requires a lot of responsibility to own a horse, but our passion for our equine companions and the comfort, experience, and opportunities they provide for the kids at New Directions well outweighs the cost of owning them.


Visit our Equestrian Page to learn more about our horses and the ways they provide enriching experiences for New Directions’ youth!






For Families Experiencing Mental Health or Behavior Challenges


ERIE COUNTY – Parents and caregivers of youth who are experiencing mental health or behavior challenges can now
access free services from others who have personal experience raising a child facing similar challenges
through Family Peer Support Services, a new a service being provided in Erie County by New Directions
Youth and Family Services, in partnership with the Erie County Department of Mental Health and the NYS
Office of Mental Health.

“Our team of parent professionals support parents by providing a “peer” service, meaning the service
provider is someone who has lived experience raising a child with a mental health diagnosis,” says Sarah
Taylor, COO for Community Programs,  “and all program staff are trained and credentialed as New York
State Family Peer Advocates.”

Family Peer Support Services helps parents and caregivers learn more about their child’s diagnosis, ways
to support their child, identify their own needs, and engage in self-care. The service also provides
support and resources related to education, mental health services, hospital/ER care, social services,
and community supports.

“Many times, parents in this situation feel very isolated while trying to care for a child with mental
health or behavior challenges,” says Laura Lloyd, Program Director.

“We can help by connecting them with others in similar situations and providing strategies for engaging
with family members to build natural supports. Our goal is for parents to feel empowered to be effective
advocates for their child and themselves. It’s so important for them to know that they are not facing
these challenges alone.”

All planning is family-driven, meaning that the goals are identified by the family and are based on their
unique circumstances. Services are provided in homes, schools, and other locations that are convenient
for the families, and at times when they are available. Services are provided individually and in group
settings based on personal preference.

Anyone seeking more information on Family Peer Support Services, including questions on how to enroll
should call (716) 486-3298,  or send an email to:


About New Directions Youth and Family Services:

New Directions Youth and Family Services provides a wide range of services throughout Western New
York, including community-based prevention, health home care management, residential care, foster
care and educational services at the Henrietta G. Lewis Campus School in Lockport, NY. Find out more

New Directions is an affiliate of New View Alliance, a parent company formed in 2021 which also
provides strategic planning, advocacy and shared administrative support for finance, human resources,
information technology, corporate integrity and DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) services to
New Directions and Gateway-Longview, Inc. Find out more at

Giving Back: The 70-year tradition of Pledge Night


Pledge Night has been a tradition of Wyndham Lawn Home for Children since 1952. The original recipient of the residents’ charity was the Isabelle Home for Babies orphanages in Pusan, Korea (now Busan, South Korea). The home provided food, clothing, and shelter for 50 children ranging in age from newborns to 5 years-old who were orphaned or abandoned during the Korean War. The money was collected a penny at a time from Wyndham Lawn children during Sunday school, “with the purpose of giving it to someone who needed help even more than they did.” The $83.24 donation was collected over a period of two years and was personally delivered to the orphanage by General James Van Fleet, a Lockport resident who was serving with the military in Korea at the time.

Since then, young people at Wyndham Lawn have continued the tradition of gathering every year at the holidays and deciding on a cause they would like to raise awareness for. At one point, Pledge Night evolved into a bit of a competition between living units, where representatives would come together with a pitch for their charity and spend time with each other discussing and sharing their opinions, ultimately deciding on one organization to advocate for. The representatives would then work as a group to create a presentation to share with the rest of campus, educating their peers on why their choice needed their generous donation.

In more recent years, the process remains much the same, with less of an aspect of competition. Youth from each cottage are invited to a planning meeting hosted by adventure recreation staff that is aimed at explaining the history of the event and ways in which youth can get involved. Youth from each cottage volunteer to represent their peers, and are tasked with selecting a charity that is significant to them as a cottage. Representatives work with their cottage mates to do some preliminary research into their charity of choice, and develop a short pitch as to why theirs should be the charity selected for Pledge Night. After a few weeks, the representatives from each cottage are invited up to the conference room in the school for a special evening of pizza and wings, and to pitch their charity to the group. Administrators, supervisors, and cottage staff are encouraged to join the process and ask the youth questions following their pitch. Once the pitches are completed, the youth are responsible for deciding as a group on a single charity to pursue for Pledge Night. The cottage whose charity is selected then takes a few weeks to prepare a more formal presentation that is debuted at the campus holiday dinner in late December. Everyone on campus gathers in the school cafeteria for a family style holiday meal prepared by the kitchen staff. Before the meal, the youth representatives deliver their presentation, sharing with their audience why they should “pledge” a donation to their charity during the holiday season. After gathering all donations, youth are invited to deliver the donation to their charity and make a meaningful connection with the people they worked hard to support.

Organizations that have benefited from Wyndham Lawn Pledge Night collections over the years have included:

1952-1961: Isabelle Home for Babies – Pusan, Korea

1974: Goodwill Industries

1975: First Presbyterian Church’s Hamilton House

1980: Salvation Army

1983: American Cancer Society

1984: Ethiopian Relief Fund

1985: Meals on Wheels

1986: The Leukemia Society of America, Inc.

1987: The Buffalo Aids Counsel & Task Force

1988: The Nicaragua Cow Fund

1989: The (Buffalo) News Neediest Fund

1990: S.E.T.A (Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

1991: Make a Wish

1992: The News Neediest Fund

2019: Guide Dog Foundation

1994: Park Cancer Institute

1997: Make a Wish foundation WNY

1998: Children’s Hospital of Buffalo

1999: The Shriver family Foundation

2000: Children’s Hospital of Buffalo

2001: Red Cross

2002: David Cayton Jr.

2003: Ronald McDonald House

2004: Centerpoint Children’s Center

2005: Make a Wish Foundation

2007: Standup for Kids

2008: Hunters Hope

2009: Make a Wish

2010: Sunshine Foundation

2011: Epilepsy Foundation

2012: Roswell Park Cancer Institute for Prostate Research and Ronald McDonald House

2013: Center for Youth (Monroe County Program)

2014: PKS Kids

2015: UNICEF K.I.N.D. (Kids in Need of Desk)

2016: Autism Speaks

2017: Ditch the Label

2018: ASPCA

2020: Friends of Night People

2021: Planned Parenthood of Western New York

In 2022, we heard very thoughtful cases for One Tree Planted, Toys for Tots, The Salvation Army, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, ASPCA, and the Rainforest Trust. Our group came to settle on supporting all seven charities. They spent the following week doing research, dividing the work, and sharing information about the history of the organizations, the services they offer, and how to support them.

If you would like to support our youth in their effort to promote these organizations, we are accepting cash donations through January 31st. We will gather these donations and present them to the organizations in a check. Cash donations can be dropped off to either Lynanne Kent at the Wyndham Lawn administration building, or Kerry Bumpers in her office at the Henrietta G. Lewis School Campus School. We are also accepting bags of clothing to donate to the Salvation Army, and we will accept blankets or pet supplies for the ASPCA.

“I guarantee you’ll be blessed”

POSTED: 11.18.22 | CATEGORY:


November is National Adoption Month, and do we have a heartwarming story for you!

Meet the Drake Family. Karen and Ben Drake became certified foster parents through New Directions Youth and Family Services 8.5 years ago. Since then, they have opened their hearts and home to 21 children providing respite, foster care, and adoption.

“It’s a family affair with everyone on board,” said Karen. Karen and Ben Drake have 5 children including adopted twins, and one granddaughter. They are currently fostering a child and are in the process of adopting.

Caring, Available, and Trustworthy is how Karen describes the support the family receives from New Directions foster care team. The New Directions team visits in-home weekly and is in near-daily contact to provide support and help with the more complicated aspects of therapeutic fostering. Karen says the team is always a call or text away and readily assist, especially when documents or paperwork is needed. Karen explains that not everyone understands the process, courts, parental rights; having workers who are caring, available, and trustworthy provides her with support and assurance.

When asked what the family is most proud of, Karen gives two highlights. First, “we feel blessed to have these children in our lives. It’s a family affair with everyone on board,” said Karen. The family meets to prepare for the children coming into the home. Everyone is giving up something, whether it’s bedroom space or sharing parents’ time. Karen and Ben want to instill in their children the need to love and care for others. They hope fostering and adopting is something their children will carry on.

Second, Karen finds fulfillment in being able to maintain caring relationships with birth parents. She says it is especially rewarding to mentor, guide, and offer positive encouragement, especially under trying circumstances. It’s an extension of fostering and opportunity to treat others with compassion, and, in her experience, it has been mutually beneficial.

“Keep going!” is Karen’s advice to those contemplating foster care and adoption. “You will face natural apprehensions and fears,” she says. Karen relates that she and Ben started and stopped the certification process. However, through prayer and research, they were able to discern it was the path for which they were called. “It’s on your heart for a reason. Take one step at a time, one day at a time, and seek support from people who have walked the path,” says Karen. There are many challenges; it is important to know your family’s limits, and not every situation is right for your family. Yet, “even challenging circumstances provide ways to grow”, and summing it up Karen states, “The rewards have been tremendous.”

The question, “why foster or adopt?”, is often thought or asked. As teachers, coaches, and an administrator (Ben), the Drakes have a heart for children, saw a need, and opportunity to put their Christian faith into practice. Karen says, “Loving someone else keeps us grounded. If you follow your heart, I guarantee you’ll be blessed”.

Tips to Identify and Prevent Bullying

POSTED: 10.12.22 | CATEGORY:


Bullying used to be something that happened mainly in school. It was like a whisper in an ear followed by a sad look on the face of one kid and a look of satisfaction on the face of the other. And while that still exists, social media has changed everything. Kids can no longer escape bullying by retreating to the safety of their homes anymore and noticing the signs of bullying has become harder for parents, teachers, and caregivers!


Helping identify the signs of bullying:

When trying to identify if your child is being bullied, daily micro-observations are key. Keep an eye out if an outgoing, talkative child suddenly becomes quiet, sad, or withdrawn. And take notice if there is a change in behavior, grades, or if they have started to have angry outbursts. These are all signs that something is going on, and that something could be bullying.


Getting kids to talk about difficult topics:

If you see changes in your child and suspect there’s something going on, invite them to talk with you about it.

It’s important for parents and caregivers to try to be casual when approaching a difficult topic with their kids. Give them something to do to help take the pressure off. Think: food and fidgets! It’s very hard for kids to sit down and have a serious, look-me-in-the-eye conversation with their parents. Having a distraction might make them more comfortable.

Phrase questions in a casual way. Start by saying something like, “let’s play a game,” or, “let’s go get some fries.” Then you can follow it up by casually asking, “hey, I’ve noticed X, what’s up with that?” or, “what’s going on, you don’t seem to be close with so-and-so lately?” Keep in mind, that when you ask your child what is going on in their life, you are inviting your child to share – not demanding that they talk to you. If your child is being bullied, they already feel powerless, and you don’t want to make them feel like you are stealing any more power away from them.

Remember, it is a privilege for your child to share hard things with you, so you do not want to overreact, yell, scream, or immediately takeover the situation. You want them to continue to share with you, and if you have a visceral reaction, they will be less inclined to share again. This is made increasingly more difficult with social media because if they don’t talk to you about it, it usually goes unseen and unheard!  Additionally, when dealing with bullying on social media it can be difficult because a parent’s or caregiver’s first inclination is to say to delete whatever app they’re being bullied on. But deleting the app is not necessarily the best solution since it would be like punishing the child being bullied while allowing the bully to continue bullying others on social media.

Do your best to listen patiently while they share. Even though you might be feeling protective and may have some suggestions on how to handle the situation, it’s important that children feel heard first. Remember, you’re only asking kids how they’re doing. You didn’t ask them what was going on so you could step in and to fix it – you only asked them to share it. Listen to what they are sharing with you first, take a breather, then work on deciding the next step. Address your child’s concerns by saying something like, “that’s not cool, it seems like there’s a lack of safety,” or, “this is the direction I want to go in and I’m curious what you think about that.” Remember to take a breath and do your best to resist the urge to immediately fix the problem for them. It’s best to get your child’s opinion on the matter. Getting a kid’s opinion is not giving up your authority as an adult, it’s simply finding out how your words and actions may affect the child, based on their experience as the one being bullied.


Taking back power:

Kids may believe they are being bullied because they’re weak, ugly, have a lisp, or some other reason, but none of these things are true. The truth is that no matter who you are, a bully will walk into a room and assess you, find out what your ‘weaknesses’ are, and they will attack. Bullies attack ‘good traits’ too – like being ‘too smart’ or ‘too nice’.  It’s important to remind children that a bully did not pick them because they’re weak, the bully just picked them, and then found a weakness. We all have weaknesses and we all have strengths, but bullies don’t acknowledge strengths, they only exploit weaknesses. By constantly picking on weaknesses, they try to take power from others. Encourage your kids to not give bullies a reaction and instead respond with something neutral and dismissive like, “whatever you say.” By doing this, kids can start taking their power back and not give the bully a victory. We realize this is much harder than it sounds!

Remind your children that this is very difficult to do, but if you only remember one thing, remember: nothing lasts forever! For example, when you’re having a really good time it doesn’t last forever, but you enjoy it while it lasts.  Likewise, when you’re really struggling, you may need someone to remind you that it won’t last forever either. The struggle that your child is facing in the moment will be only a small portion of their life, so if they can figure out a way to make it better or get through it, remind them that it’s going to change. Change is the nature of the world, so know that the struggle will not last forever.

Kids generally live in the moment, so being bullied can feel like forever for them. As a caretaker, you can help them through this time by giving them things to focus on outside of the part of their life where they are being bullied. Having and creating calendars to countdown to next big thing you’re looking forward to can help kids to recognize that time marches forward and things do change.


Empowering kids and building up their confidence:

Sometimes even parents and caregivers can unintentionally bully their kids. One example might be saying things like, “you need to do what I told you to do, because I told you to do it.” Which is okay to say sometimes, but if that is the response every time, children will feel that they seldom have any control and may try seek out control by bullying others.

If you want to have a healthy emotional relationship with your child, keep in mind that when you tell them to do something, it shouldn’t take their power away. Try to give them some choices. Choices are good opportunities to learn responsibility and can help them feel empowered. Giving your kids choices, like “do you want tacos, hamburger helper, or beef stroganoff for dinner?  I’ll let you decide tonight,” is one example of a way to introduce choices to your child. The phrase, “I’ll let you decide tonight,” is such a powerful phrase and the decision that they’d be making isn’t huge – each option that is provided uses ground beef which might be exactly what you’re trying to use up in the fridge. If you come up with acceptable options and allow them the freedom to choose, kids will feel empowered.

Additionally, children need fair amount of self-esteem. Build up their confidence by complimenting them, but realize that kids tend to be uncomfortable with compliments. With that in mind, when you compliment them, don’t leave room for kids to say thank you. State any compliments in such a way that the good things that you are saying about them are presented as a known fact. Don’t allow them to dismiss or deny it. Be sure to spend time together, so that kids know that they are important!


Helping to stop bullying behavior:

Usually, when you cannot change the child’s desire to bully someone it’s because they are gaining something from it. For that reason, whatever they believe that they are gaining from their bullying behavior is important to recognize. You need to find out what it is they’re getting from their actions and replace it with something healthy.

Try asking them about why they behave the way they do. For example, if you ask your child, “it doesn’t seem like this behavior is working well for you because you get detention every day and can’t have lunch with your friends.  Don’t you want to have lunch with your friends?” You may find out they don’t have any friends and to them it’s less painful to have detention every day during lunch than it is to sit alone. When you start to see the motivation for their behavior, changes can be made.

Sometimes, it is a little harder to figure out what their motivation is. Have you heard a child say, “I don’t know. Just because,” when you ask them why they did something? Kids often don’t know why they do things, so it’s your job as an adult to figure out their motivations. After discovering why they have taken up bullying behaviors, have a conversation, and approach the topic without coming off as judgmental. When you have a conversation without judgement, kids will be more comfortable opening up and you can get some real answers. That’s when you can start to motivate a change.

Keep in mind that every situation and every child is different, so having a conversation and finding out motivations is key!


Margaret D. Flannery, LMSW
School Social Worker
Henrietta G. Lewis Campus School

Response from New View Alliance, New Directions, and Gateway Longview


We are hearing so many responses to Saturday’s mass shooting. Tragic. Senseless. Hate-filled. Horrific. They are all true but do not really capture what has happened. The event is so much deeper than our ability to define it in simple terms. Saturday’s shooting is a continuation of the events that have become endemic in American society. Sandy Hook. Ahmaud Arbery. Greenwood. Emanuel AME Church. This message does not have room for all the examples. Saturday’s murders are local but the geography does not define our outrage– and grief. These feelings are especially true for our black and brown colleagues and friends. We recognize that you are impacted by the recent events differently, more personally, and we cannot imagine the feelings and burden you must be carrying.

However, we must do more than have heavy hearts–we must take action. We must mobilize society as a whole to eliminate the racism and hate that is endemic in our communities. As partner agencies, we vow to join together and with others who stand strong against racism, prejudice, bias, or any other belief or behavior that diminishes the inherent worth, potential, and beauty of every human being. This is the foundation of our collective mission and the reason we exist. We believe every person has a unique purpose, deserves equal opportunity and respect, and has distinct greatness.



James W. Coder, CEO |  New Directions Youth & Family Services, Inc. and CEO | New View Alliance

Carolyne DeFranco, CEO | Gateway Longview and President | New View Alliance



Resources in Response to the Buffalo Supermarket Hate Crime

The recent racially motivated hate crime at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo New York in which the perpetrator targeted a Black community and has expressed white supremacy and anti-Semitic leanings has evoked a range of emotions and concerns of safety across the United States. In response to this event, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help children, families, and communities navigate what they are seeing and hearing, acknowledge their feelings, and find ways to cope together. These resources include:

Psychological First Aid and Skills for Psychological Recovery

The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid (PFA; En Español). PFA is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events. PFA Mobile and the PFA Wallet Card (En Español) provide a quick reminder of the core actions. The PFA online training course is also available on the NCTSN Learning Center. PFA Handouts include:

From the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center

Disaster Helpline

SAMHSA has a Disaster Distress Helpline – call or text 1-800-985-5990 (for Spanish, press “2”) to be connected to a trained counselor 24/7/365.

Additional Resources

For those that are needing technical assistance or additional resources, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Melissa Brymer at

Emergency Supports Available

Erie County’s Crisis Services is available for those impacted by the tragedy in our community this weekend. Mental health counselors from BestSelf, Endeavor Health of WNY, Crisis Services, and Spectrum Health in association with the Erie County Department of Mental Health will be available at the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion Monday, May 16th from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. located at 1100 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo 14208. All are welcome.

  • The Erie County Crisis Hotline is available 24/7 by calling (716) 834-3131.

  • Crisis Services Kids Helpline (716) 834-1144 is available for youth under 18 years of age for confidential support.

  • Spectrum CARES is available for youth under age 18 to obtain emergency mental health support at (716) 882-4357.

  • Niagara County Crisis Services can be reached by calling (716) 285-3515 for emergency support.

  • OGH 24 Hour Crisis Line can be reached at 1-800-339-5209 to obtain emergency mental health support.

  • The Chautauqua County Crisis Hotline can be reached at 1-800-724-0461 or text “Talk” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline– 1-800-273-TALK(8255)

True Bethel Baptist Urgent Response is available for spiritual support and prayer (716) 903-4261

Reverend Theressa Johnson is a Spiritual Minister specializing in Grief and Healing. Rev. Johnson would like you to know she is of diverse culture, was raised in the Jefferson Avenue neighborhood, and still holds familial ties to the community. She has volunteered her services to anyone in need. You may reach her at (716) 481-2799.

Transportation Assistance

Families residing in the 14208 and 14209 areas can access Lyft and Uber using Code SHOPBUF for FREE transportation to grocery stores.

How Do I Access the Employee Assistance Program for Support?

ESI Employee Assistance Group can provide 24/7 professional counseling. All employees and their family members are eligible for counseling with professionals who hold Masters and Ph.D. degrees in clinical services who can provide in- the-moment assistance and support as well as referral to local providers. You can obtain ESI services by accessing their website at: or by calling 1-800-252-4555. Please see the attached EAP Benefit Summaries for more information.

Six Supportive Ways to Address Trauma that Shows up at Work

  1. Acknowledge what happened. …

  2. Start the conversation. …

  3. Practice Emotional Intelligence. …

  4. Share relevant resources. …

  5. Monitor staff well-being and check-in often. …

  6. Be aware of the signs and side-effects of trauma and stress. …

  7. Move forward together.

Meet Foster Mom, Kimberly!

Say Hi to Foster Mom, Kimberly! Kim has been fostering with New Directions for just over a year.
Working in the child welfare system for nearly 20 years, she always wanted a family of her own. She initially explored IVF, but when that wasn’t going to work out, it led her to the decision to foster. Kim absolutely loves children, and combined with her work experience, she thought this was the best fit for her. She also loves giving back to the community and providing children a safe and stable place, and eventually permanency.
Kim is currently fostering one child, bringing him home from the hospital when he was only two weeks old. They just celebrated his first birthday!

Kim’s favorite thing about fostering is the joy that it brings to her life. Every
day is a different, watching him grow and learn new things. Her favorite part of the day is picking him up from daycare after a long day and seeing his smiles and excitement to see her.

It’s essential to Kim to provide a safe, loving, nurturing home for children, and
 helping them learn, grow and develop, whether it’s temporary or permanent.
There have been so many meaningful moments throughout Kim’s fostering journey. One of the more recent moments she shared with us was when her foster son started to walk with the assistance of his toys. “I literally cried and was so happy and excited to see him reach another milestone.”
Thank you Kim, and all foster parents for the incredible work you do and the impact you have on the children in your care!

Celebrating Women’s History Month – Joan Payne


New Directions’ Responsibility Award is represented by the legacy of Joan Payne

Joan Payne – far left

No situation was too small to be considered important by Joan Payne. For Joan, if a child needed something, there was no question that it would be provided. In her time as a night worker she kept watch over the Keep and Hodge wings for children who couldn’t or wouldn’t sleep. Her sincere, motherly caring and her dedication to making sure the children were safe and well-rested were an irresistible force that induced sleepiness in any child.

As a cook, her mission was to ensure that the Home was well provisioned, that children were well-fed, and that tasty, attractive meals were served on time. Because of her concern and feeling of responsibility for the success of each child, she often volunteered to take a particularly energetic youngster who was having lots of living group conflicts into her kitchen to learn some culinary skills. While the child was there, cooking became less important and caring became more important.

Joan was the essence of responsibility. She was dedicated and dependable. She liked the children and cared deeply about them. She knew how to talk so kids would listen and how to listen so kids would talk. She treasured her time with the children at Wyndham Lawn and made it happier place for children and staff, all because her sense of responsibility covered anything and everything.

Laurie Hurd – Celebrating 25 Years!



For our first Staff Spotlight of February 2022, we’d like to send a big thank you to Laurie Hurd for her outstanding efforts to keep our employees safe!

Laurie has been crucial to making the agency run smoothly and safely during the pandemic. She is the Health Coordinator for New Directions. You may have spoken with her if you’ve been out of work sick recently. She does health screenings and makes sure everyone is well before returning to the workplace, which has been an important and busy job in the past few years!

Laurie graduated from Jamestown Business College with an associate degree. She began working for the agency in September of 1997. She initially worked in Health Services as the Medical Billing Representative for our youth until 2017, when she made the decision to switch over to Human Resources and work with the employee side of New Directions.

Laurie completes disability, Paid Family Leave, and Workers Compensation benefits for employees. She works with medical providers to ensure that employees are able to return to work quickly and safely. During the Covid-19 pandemic, New Directions employees are dealing with health concerns and stress. Laurie wants everyone to know that she is here to answer any of your questions or find out those answers for you while being sensitive to what you are enduring.

Laurie’s favorite aspect of her job is her co-workers. She can go to any one of them in any department and they are always willing to help out. They are a great support system and great friends. Laurie is jovial and everybody knows her loud and smile-inducing laughter around the Randolph Campus. Laurie said she lives up to her last name – “I am hurd!” In her spare time, Laurie enjoys camping, traveling, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Laurie describes herself as resilient; “life has taught me that.”

Thank you, Laurie, for keeping us safe and for caring about everyone’s well-being during these difficult times!



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