the family center


$90,000 and $90,000 for 2023-2024

The Maite Aquino Program and Judge Judith Kaye Project

The Family Center (TCF)’s Legal Wellness Institute (LWI) provides holistic civil legal services to promote health and stability for medically fragile New Yorkers. LWI’s legal services are available to individuals and families who live within the five boroughs of New York City and are coping with a life-limiting illness or disability such as breast cancer. Supported by JALBCA and Sullivan & Cromwell, The Maite Aquino Program at The Family Center provides legal services to low-income, NYC mothers, children and family members affected by breast cancer. Maite Aquino was an attorney and partner at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. She was a beloved wife and mother. In 2011, she passed away after a battle with breast cancer. Maite’s fellow partners and colleagues at Sullivan & Cromwell collaborated with JALBCA and The Family Center to create the Maite Aquino Program, which serves NYC women, children and family members affected by breast cancer.

JALBCA founded The Judge Judith Kaye Project at TFC in 2008 in honor of Judge Kaye and her legacy protecting and advocating for community members in need. The program provides comprehensive, accessible legal assistance to breast cancer patients and survivors with limited financial and social resources. The program’s clients are older women who often have fewer resources than younger women and face significant barriers to medical and mental health treatment as well as to legal services. Judge Kaye, among many roles, was a distinguished attorney, the former Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, Chair of the New York International Arbitration Center and one of the founding members of the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA). She was also a mother. She passed away in 2016 from cancer.

JALBCA’s Impact on the Family Center’s Services

JALBCA's longstanding support has been invaluable to TFC in helping to maintain the level, scope, and quality of its services to The Maite Aquino Program and Judge Judith Kaye Project’s clients in need. In 2022, TCF served over 2,300 client families and attorneys worked on over 1,000 legal cases for New Yorkers in need, many of them as part of the JALBCA-supported programs. 96% of the client families served live below the poverty line. 90% percent of them are headed by single mothers, with 10% headed by single fathers. The JALBCA funded programs serve women and their families affected by breast cancer and in order to:

  • Protect or improve income stability and access to health coverage
  • Promote child welfare and family stability and secure appropriate legal relationships
  • Promote future stability and ease the burdens on surviving families
  • Connect women, children, and families with supportive services and programs
  • Create and distribute written breast cancer-related legal education materials for breast cancer patients, survivors, families, and professionals


The Family Center’s Mission

Since its founding in 1994, TFC’s mission has been to strengthen New Yorkers confronting the intertwined challenges of poverty, illness, disability, and crisis, in order to create a more secure present and future for clients, their families, and communities. TFC has successfully employed a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on social determinants of health and family stability, with lawyers, social workers, and case managers working together to support families on multiple fronts. TCF has improved countless lives through its Family Support, Legal Wellness, Health Education and Behavioral Health services in the five boroughs of New York City.