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At the Committee for Hispanic Children & Families (CHCF), we serve our community understanding that our work must be culturally-informed in order to meet people where they are. But to simply say that we are a “Hispanic” organization doesn’t begin to express the myriad of cultures and identities that encompass our communities, especially in a place like New York City.
So, for Black History Month, we wanted to highlight the work of Youseline Manfort, an Afro-Latina employee whose cultural competency brings exceptional quality to our work in this city.
Youseline, an Infant-Toddler Mental Health Consultant at CHCF, joined us in September of 2021. Over the past decade, our public schools and child care programs have seen an increased need for vital mental health services, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Youseline has strong relationships with child care providers,” Mental Health Project Manager Marilyn Monroy said. “She speaks four languages, and has deep respect for culture, so this gives her a special competence, as well as empathy and compassion.”

As part of her work at CHCF, Youseline spends her time with child care providers observing their programs, evaluating the social-emotional learning environments, and helping to train and support child care providers in promoting early childhood wellness, often in under-served communities and neighborhoods.

“I believe an infant or toddler’s mental health is as important as their physical health” Youseline said. “CHCF must do this mental health work because it matters for the growth and maturity of the brain, the body, and the social emotional development of the children. Now, and a child’s whole lifetime.”

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