Hanif Earis Antony Benjamin is a Licensed Master of Social Work, licensed by the New York State Office of the Professions, and a member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and the National Centre for Crisis Management. Mr. Benjamin is a Clinical Therapist and Clinical Traumatologist and holds a Certification in Child Trauma (C.C.T). He is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Centre for Human Development Group of Companies Limited (TCHD), with its subsidiaries – The Centre for Human Development Limited (TCHD), TCHD – Postgraduate Training Institute, TCHD – Centre for Change, a Non-Governmental Organization, and TCHD – International Centre for Mediation and Mediation Studies (ICMMS).
Benjamin gained his Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice summa cum laude at Monroe College, and furthered his studies at Fordham University where he gained his Clinical Masters of Social Work with distinction in New York City; again receiving summa cum laude, having the highest academic standings both times. At Fordham, he continued his professional development specializing in clinical social work with children and families in addition to trauma treatment for children and adolescents. When he completed his program at Fordham, he continued his development in trauma work with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). Mr. Benjamin is currently a Doctoral Student (Ph.D. Social Work) at The University of the West Indies and holds a certification in Clinical Traumatology from the Traumatology Institute of Canada.
In his employ with Graham Windham Services for Children and Families in New York City, Mr. Benjamin first served as program director for the Attendance Improvement Dropout Prevention (AIDP). The AIDP program is a Community Based Organization (CBO) based (centered) in New York City’s public school system providing at risk youth on the verge of dropping out of middle school, with the support needed to move through middle school on to the next phase (High School). Under Mr. Benjamin’s astute leadership the AIDP, program turned into New York City’s most successful program.
Mr. Benjamin’s skills and expertise was then called upon to provide leadership within Bridges to Health (B2H) program, which deals with youth attached to the New York state Office of Children, and Family Services, Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth (DJJOY). Mr. Benjamin was able to treat with the varying levels of trauma which the youth and their families were facing, by providing intervention, referral and support where needed. He provided astute clinical supervision and development to his staff, which was charged with this very arduous task of providing services to some of the most vulnerable youths of New York City.
He became a Certified Trainer in New York State, having completed all levels of training in the Advancing Youth Development Revised Trainer of Facilitator program from Cornell University, and recently Positive Youth Development (PYD 101) Trainer of Facilitator. He also gained training and development from The Youth Development Exchange training program in “Smart Moves That Successful Youth Workers Make” and “Creating Collaborative Relationships”.
Mr. Benjamin received many accolades for his work in New York, namely the Essa Abed Award for Distinguished Contribution in the Promoting of Cultural Awareness, Social Justice, and Coalition Building. He received – The Catholic Interracial Counsel of New York (CICNY) Award from Fordham University, and Alumni of Distinction from Monroe College.
Mr. Benjamin was invited and inducted to The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, whose membership is restricted to students with integrity and high ethical standards and who is ranked scholastically in the top of their class. In 2013, he became a Member of the National Centre for Crisis Management and the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.
A proven leader with prodigious skills in clinical services, human and educational service, and training and development, with demonstrated ability to manage technical aspect of various programs, Mr. Benjamin has proved himself an essential resource to Trinidad and Tobago and the region. Through The Centre for Human Development Group of Companies Limited, he is intensively engaged in fighting the stigma of Mental Health providing skills and competence training and development in areas of Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescence, Crisis Avoidance and Management, Psychological Assessment and Diagnosis, Emotional Intelligence among others. Through TCHD Group, he also provides consultant work for EAP Providers, Family Counselling, and Behaviour Change Consultants, where he worked with High Risk families that are more susceptible to negative societal influences such as but not limited to traumatic situations of domestic violence, sexual abuse, drugs and substance abuse, and homicide. His skills are also utilized in other Caribbean Countries in the areas of Trauma Intervention and Training and Development (Dominica, Grenada, and Jamaica).
Through his subsidiary – TCHD Postgraduate Training Institute, Mr. Benjamin and his team to date has trained thousands of persons, locally and throughout the region in numerous courses aimed at professional development and personal enhancement. Namely, through his professional expertise Mr. Benjamin has facilitated courses on How to Assess Child Traumatic Stress, Anger Management, Basic Counselling, Self-Care among others. Through TCHD- Postgraduate Training institute, Mr. Benjamin endeavors to provide individuals with advanced, practical, and real world skills to build upon traditional academic qualifications, thereby enabling persons to function at a level of great skill and professional capacity within fields relating to mental health, child services, and social services.
Mr. Benjamin is also the founder of TCHD Centre for Change, a Non-Governmental Organization aimed towards providing counselling, therapeutic, public education and residential services within Trinidad and Tobago and the region. Through this agency, Mr. Benjamin has been championing the establishment of an innovative, distinctive residential home for children that provide holistic care to the needs of each resident. In addition, TCHD Centre for Change allows persons with limited financial ability to access needed therapy and counselling services as part of his overall professional vision of Strengthening Families, Building Communities, and Developing Minds.
Through his love for learning and his firm belief “To have learnt and not share, is to never have learned at all” Mr. Benjamin a senior Adjunct Lecturer and Tutor in the Department of Behavioural Sciences at COSTAATT, University of the Southern Caribbean and UWI also is a frequent guest speaker and contributor on local television and radio programmes as he is always eager to share his experiences within the field of Social Work and Mental Health. Mr. Benjamin, a motivational speaker, also hosts a weekly live, interactive radio programme “Living Life well” on Talk City 91.1 FM where he takes a critical look at social and mental health issues, utilizing his social work, clinical and trauma skills to explore practical, real world solutions. This allows Mr. Benjamin a meaningful scope in influencing the lives of the many individuals, families, and communities he passionately serves.