what if…

All women and girls had the opportunity to thrive leading to a vibrant, inclusive WNY community? Find out how you can be part of the solution.

Who is sophia?

A young girl (Birth – 9 YO)

Sophia was born 6 weeks early due to complications with her mother’s pregnancy, she was in the NICU at the hospital for two months before she was stable enough to come home.  Sophia’s parents both work steady jobs; however, their income is just enough to make ends meet every month. When Sophia was in the hospital, her mother, Jen, made the difficult decision to forego her 8 weeks of NYS disability coverage in order to go back to work to save money so she could take some time off when Sophia came home.  Jen worked full time while also spending as much time at the hospital with Sophia as possible. When Sophia finally came home, Jen took time off from work, unpaid, in order to care for her fragile infant.  Taking this time off caused tension for Jen at work and left her in a situation where she felt her job was at risk. In addition, Jen and her husband struggled financially to make up for the income gap during that time.  Jen and her husband did not have access to Paid Family Leave which would have allowed both of them to take time off after the birth of their child.

The WNY Women’s Foundation worked with statewide partners to advocate for passage of the longest and most comprehensive paid family leave program in the nation. Thanks to the Advocacy work of the WNY Women’s Foundation, on January 1, 2018, the NYS Paid Family Leave program was passed.  This program will provide New Yorkers with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.