Dr. Eric Rosser: Advocating For Children

By Jennifer L. Warren

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dr. Eric Rosser has been an advocate for children his entire life.
Those dedicated efforts were recently recognized when the City of Poughkeepsie School District Superintendent was named last month as a member of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. It’s a position and honor Dr. Rosser does not take lightly, intending to make the very most of the opportunity.

“My life work has been to support all children- not just in school but in all realms of their life,” said Dr. Rosser. “This appointment gives me the opportunity to speak about education, and my hope is my contributions will help inform policy, support, and services for youth, and it will be of great help to those in the judicial system.”

Rosser will now join a 37 member Commission, possessing jobs from a wide spectrum of professions (including judges, lawyers, physicians, advocates, legislators, and state and local officials) and chaired by former presiding judge of the Appellate Division Third Department, Karen Peters. At the forefront, the Committee’s objective will be to improve the lives and chances of children who appear in court for various reasons. Through meetings, research, pilot projects and a host of created written materials and tools, members will seek to reform specific policies and reforms. The ongoing work, which the Committee has done since 2006, has an emphasis on older youth, seeking their direct participation in their proceedings as well as diligently reviewing juvenile issues and the quality of education for those in out-of-home-care.

It’s familiar territory to Rosser, who has a proven track record for his work in the early 2000s in Buffalo, when he learned courts were making decisions that would have a detrimental impact on youths receiving quality educational opportunities. In response, Rosser, along with others, created a model-one many nearby Western, New York Counties would also implement, to address these deficiencies. Rosser’s Buffalo experience also includes contributing to family court policy and practice reform, aiding youth in more effectively transitioning through the juvenile system. For Rosser, no matter what role he is involved with, one priceless denominator permeates everything: supporting children in any and every way possible.

“In some ways this position with the Commission is tied into my role as an educator, and in some ways, it’s different,” reflected Rosser about the new appointment. “I’m just really pleased and honored to have the opportunity to help add a voice for children who are part of the judicial system as well as be a part of a great group of people who are supporting youth development.”

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