As a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice, Rose Washington developed the department’s “strength-based approach” which forever changed the way children and families are treated within the system. Washington implemented the first after-care program for at-risk children returning from out-of-home placements in the juvenile justice system, ensuring the gains they made were maintained once they returned home. Given sole credit for the “Spofford Miracle,” she transformed a large detention center into a model program for the caring of young people.
In the years since she was an Honoree, she has continued as executive director for Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth where at-risk children are encouraged and educated one at a time. Special programs to help at-risk children and families overcome the tragic effects of poverty, abuse and neglect have quadrupled due to collaboration with larger service systems. Vocational education, after-school programs, and Foster Family Advisory Groups are just a few special projects developed to benefit at-risk children, their families and their communities. In conjunction with a private family foundation, Berkshire plans to make the lessons learned available to other organizations that work with children of the world. While she was an Honoree for the World of Children, Washington believed that being in the company of distinguished, passionate and committed pioneers was a humbling, motivating and exhilarating experience. For more information, please visit www.berkshirefarm.org.