BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Children's Center inside the Buffalo City Court Building is a necessary place for families caring for court matters.
Erika Webb, Buffalo City Court Chief Clerk, says: "The center is essential for people that use our court. It provides a fun and safe place while the adults in their life are taking care of their court-related business."
It's safe and secure with trained workers.
"Many of the individuals coming into the court are already anxious because of what they are facing, and so to have to worry about child care while you are here...that's another obstacle that we try to lessen the load for them," said Webb.
Once you enter the center, it's bright and inviting with activities for children up to age 12.
The center is operated by YWCA trained professionals who can help not just the child, but the family. Chanda O'Donnell deRamirez is the director of the YWCA Children Centers.
"By providing a place that feels warm and welcoming to children and families, we send a message that we're here to help and support you," O'Donnell deRamirez says.
The Children's Center inside Buffalo City Court is named in honor of Sharon Thomas, the former Chief Clerk who died in 2015.
Research shows many children brought to court are five-years old or younger and often don't receive vital services.
"If we can let folks know that we're open and supportive, then we can truly be transformative in the community," said deRamirez.
The artwork by Rolf Hoeg inside the center is very child friendly. There is a tree with books in the middle and a ladybug, with an owl on the side.
The Children's Center gets basic funding through the New York State court system. Donations are accepted, including books, toys and clothing. Every child can leave with a book.
For more information call (716) 845-2785.