• NYC Administration for Children's Services


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    • Abstract: renovation, has enabled ACS to provide a state of the art facility to serve children and train child ... building is the citywide operations center for the Emergency Children's Services, whose staff. respond to and investigate overnight and weekend reports of abuse and ...

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NYC Administration for
Children’s Services
in Ch
orm ild
ef
fR
6
re
n’s
Years o
Services
Six
Six Years of Reform
19 2
in Children’s Services 96 200
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
1996-2002 Reform Update Commissioner William C. Bell
The new ACS Children’s Center, which opened in Manhattan in 2001 after a $67 million landmark
renovation, has enabled ACS to provide a state of the art facility to serve children and train child
protective staff. The building offers children entering the foster care system a welcoming, friend-
ly and comforting atmosphere and a range of services. The Center is also home to the Satterwhite
Training Academy, where caseworkers receive upgraded training in a modern training center. The
building is the citywide operations center for the Emergency Children’s Services, whose staff
respond to and investigate overnight and weekend reports of abuse and neglect. Designed by
McKim, Mead & White as part of the Bellevue Hospital complex, the landmark building is listed
on the National Register of Historic Places.
in Ch
orm ild
ef Six Years of Reform
fR
6 re
n’s
Years o
Services
in Children’s Services
Six
19
1996-2002 Reform Update
2
96 200
he Administration for Children’s Services is far better managed
“ than its predecessors; it has committed itself to policies,
such as neighborhood-based services, that are in line with
the best national thinking about child welfare reform; it has added substan-
tial resources in critically needed areas; it is far better able than ever before
to hold accountable private not-for-profit agencies, which provide the large
majority of foster care and related services; and it is undertaking promising
changes, such as the widespread use of family case conferences, to strength-
en front-line practice. Mayor Bloomberg’s appointment of William Bell, who
has played a central role in the system’s progress over the past six years, as
the new ACS Commissioner, encourages us, and many other observers, to
believe that these important efforts can serve as a foundation for even
greater accomplishment in the future. ” — Concluding Report of the
Special Child Welfare Advisory Panel
March 18, 2002
What They’re Saying About
Reform at ACS...
“For the first time in two decades, it is safe to say that the child welfare agency
is making major progress…Sound administration and compassionate leader-
ship have replaced the chaos that existed before ACS was separated from the
city’s vast Human Resources Administration in 1996…ACS’ reinvention means
that fewer young lives are being placed in jeopardy. Even if it’s only one little life,
that’s worth cheering.”
—Daily News editorial “Saving the Children”
December 8, 1999
“We believe that ACS has engaged over the past several years in a sustained,
intelligent effort to change a complicated and difficult system… The record of
accomplishment already compiled by ACS should be the public’s best evidence
that it can demand further change with confidence that it can be accomplished.”
—Final Report of the
Special Child Welfare Advisory Panel
December 8, 2000
“Recent reforms by the Administration for Children’s Services have helped
to reduce the median length of a child’s stay in foster care... Adoptions have
increased in the past three years. Equally significant is the drop in new admis-
sions to foster care in the past year, suggesting that caseworkers
are making better assessments about the need to remove a child from a trou-
bled family. Caseworkers are now given more training, and more families are
being offered counseling services so that children can stay home.”
—New York Times
December 7, 1999
A New Phase of Reform
he road to reforming New York City’s children’s
services system began in January 1996 with the
establishment of the Administration for
Children’s Services (ACS).
For the first time in the City’s history, all child protec-
tive, foster care, adoption, child support and child care
services were placed in one, independent agency, with
its own budget, management structure and vision for
the future.
In just six short years, ACS transformed a child welfare system that was
deeply flawed. A panel of five national child welfare experts cited “remarkable
progress” and noted that ACS had done more to transform itself into a mod-
ern, compassionate system than any other such child welfare agency in the
United States.
Now the new City administration led by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and
the new leadership team at ACS have embarked on an ambitious second
phase of reform. During this phase, ACS will continue to build a strong and
effective neighborhood based children’s services delivery system across our
City. We will continue to expand preventive services and child care initiatives
so families can get the support they need and children can remain safely at
home when appropriate. And we will also continue to support our ACS staff
with better training, supervision and career opportunities. Above all, we will
continue to protect the children of New York City.
This booklet highlights many of the remarkable accomplishments that
ACS staff and our contract agency partners have achieved over the past six
years. I am proud of them and grateful to Mayor Bloomberg for his support
and leadership.
During the past year, we have faced tremendous challenges. But New York
City’s spirit remains strong. Most important, we are united like never before in
our goal to better serve families and children in every community across our
great City.
William C. Bell, Commissioner
October 2002
1
The Road to Reform Leads
he child welfare reform effort with hundreds of representatives from
got under way when Mayor every stakeholder group in the system.
Rudolph Giuliani established They included parents, foster parents,
the Administration for Children’s contract agency staff, youth, specialists
Services (ACS) in January 1996 and from other service systems and state
named Nicholas Scoppetta as and federal agencies.
Commissioner of the City’s first inde- Out of this collaborative effort
pendent agency to serve and protect came a plan that builds upon the first
the children of New York. ACS reform blueprint. It focuses on
Remarkable progress has been four key themes:
achieved since then but much more
■ Building effective Neighborhood
remains to be done. Under the leader-
Networks throughout the City
ship of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
involving families, schools,
and Commissioner William C. Bell, the
churches, hospitals and communi-
road to reform continues and a new
ty organizations.
phase is underway in the neighbor-
hoods of our city. ■ Acting with greater urgency
ACS’s vision for future reform is out- around family engagement and
lined in A Renewed Plan of Action for permanency for children.
the Administration for Children’s ■ Implementing systems of quality
Services published in July 2001. The improvement in all ACS programs
plan was developed during a two-day and using data to measure perfor-
conference in 2001 attended by two mance and support programs.
hundred ACS staff who worked closely
ACS NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORKS SCHOOLS
2
Into Your Neighborhood
■ Providing affordable, quality ■ Adolescent Services: Improve
child care and integrating child the system’s approach to adoles-
care programs into ACS cents and expand services for
Neighborhood Networks. them.
In developing the new reform ■ Placement: Develop policies to
plan, ACS also focused on eight ini- minimize the trauma to children
tiatives which, among others, were during the foster care placement
considered to be critical in further process.
reforming the children’s services
■ Clinical Services: Ensure that
system. They are:
clinical considerations are inte-
■ Preventive Services: Continue grated into case practice.
the growth and development of
■ Contractor Performance:
effective preventive services to
Integrate administrative data
strengthen families and keep
into the quality improvement
children safe.
and planning process of contract
■ Family Court: Improve Family agency management.
Court processes to expedite per-
■ Training: Ensure a well-trained
manency for children.
children’s services staff and pro-
■ Family Team Conferencing: vide opportunities for greater
Maximize the value of conferenc- collaboration between program
ing by partnering with families, areas.
communities and contract
agencies.
23
FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS FAMILIES COMMUNITY PARTNERS
3
At ACS, we protect children
by investigating every report
of abuse and neglect . . .
Number of Abuse and Neglect Reports
and Number of Children in Reports
100,000
90,000
80,000
70,000
60,000
50,000
40,000
30,000
20,000
10,000
0
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Unfounded Reports** Indicated Reports** Children in Reports
** If there is no evidence of abuse or neglect, the report is considered
“unfounded.” If there is evidence, it is “indicated.” Approximately
one-third of the reports from the last three years were indicated.
4
and we serve families through
ACS Neighborhood Networks.
8
Riverdale
New York City 12
Williamsbridge
Community Districts 7
Fordham
5 11
12
Univ.
Pelham Pkwy. BRONX
Washington Heights
Heights 6
E. Tremont
MANHATTAN 4
Concourse Morrisania
3 10
9 9 Throgs Neck
Manhattanville Soundview
2
10 Hunts Point
Central 1
Harlem Mott Haven
7 11
E. Harlem 7
Upper 11
West Side Flushing Bayside
11 1 3 13
Astoria Jackson Hts Queens
Village
8 4
Upper Elmhurst 8
East Side 2 Fresh Meadows
5 Sunnyside
Midtown 6
Forest Hills
5 9 12
6 1 Ridgewood
Murray Woodhaven Jamaica
Williamsburg
2 Hill 4
Greenwich Bushwick 10
Village Howard Beach
3 2
Lower Fort 3
1 East Side Greene Bedford
6 Stuyvesant
Battery Park Slope
Park
8 5 14
N. Crown Heights 16 E. New York
7 Rockaways
9 Brownsville
Sunset Park
S. Crown Heights
17
E. Flatbush
14
12 Flatbush
Borough QUEENS
STATEN 10
3
Bay Ridge
Park
18
ISLAND 11
Canarsie
Bensonhurst
1 15
Sheepshead
Willowbrook
Bay
13
Coney Island
2 BROOKLYN
South Beach
As part of its goal to make all of its services neighborhood-
based, ACS has established Neighborhood Networks represent-
3
Tottenville ing all of the City’s 59 community districts. Families and children
now have a range of services available in their communities,
including child care, parenting skills training, counseling, sub-
stance abuse programs, anger management courses and edu-
cation and recreation programs.
5
We’ve lowered caseloads for
caseworkers and supervisors . . .
# OF Average Child Protective
CASES Worker/Supervisor Caseload
30
26.2
25
18.3
20
15.6
15 13.4
12.4
11.1
10
5
0
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
6
and raised salaries and
standards.
Old vs. New Salaries
for Protective Caseworkers
60,000
55,000
NEW
50,000
45,000
40,000
35,000 OLD
30,000
25,000
Start 0.5 1.5 2 2.5 4.5 6.5 8.5 10.5
Date
YEARS ON THE JOB
INCREASED STANDARDS. In 1998, New York City created the first civil
service positions specifically designed for child welfare workers. The new
positions require tougher eligibility standards, carry higher salaries, award
merit increases based on performance and require caseworkers to work
toward a Masters of Social Work (MSW) or equivalent degree in order to be
promoted to supervisory levels. ACS also established an annual $3 million
scholarship program that provides full tuition for up to 200 employees each
year to work toward an MSW degree.
7
8
2002 1 002 0002 999 1 899 1 7991 699 1 5991 499 1 3991
0
,
000 0 1
,
000 02
9 ,
05 72
507,92
4,
07 23 ,
000 03
8 56,63
365,93
49
5,14
189,14
,
000 04
484, 4
3
558,64
680,84
,
000 05
Children in Foster Care
of children in foster care . . .
We’ve lowered the number
and increased preventive
services to children.
Number of Children Receiving
Preventive Services
35,000
33,537
32,500 32,869
30,000
28,872 29,138 29,145
28,267 28,465
27,500
25,000
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002*
By referring more families to agencies that provide preventive services such
as counseling, parenting skills training and substance abuse programs, ACS
ensures that children are placed into foster care only when they cannot
remain safely at home.
*Figure as of July 2002
9
We’ve reduced the number of
children entering foster care
each year . . .
Number of Children
Entering Foster Care
15000
12000
13,215
12,536
10,646
9000 9,583
8,729 8,106
6000
3000
0
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
10
and almost doubled the
number of adoptions.
Finalized Adoptions
25,000
20,000
21,202
15,000
12,755
10,000
5,000
0
1990 - 1995 1996 - 2001
11
We’ve doubled child support
payments . . .
Child Support Collections
In millions
450
446.9
403.6
360
351.7
317.8
270 283.6
241.2
180 216.6
90
0
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
12
and we’re educating tens
of thousands in child care
programs.
Day Care Enrollment*
70,000
60,000
50,000
40,000
30,000
20,000
10,000
0
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Head Start Enrollment*
18,000
16,000
14,000
12,000
10,000
8,000
6,000
4,000
2,000
0
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
*Total number of children receiving services during the June reporting period.
13
ACS Service Directory
If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
To report child abuse or neglect, call:
New York State Central Register Child Abuse & Maltreatment Hotline
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn more about becoming
All calls are confidential. a foster or adoptive parent, call:
General Public . . . . . . 1-800-342-3720 ACS Parent Recruitment
Outside NY State . . . . 1-518-474-8740 Hotline . . . . . . . . 212-676-WISH (9474)
or 877-676-WISH*
TDD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-638-5163
To learn about child care
For information or help, call: or Head Start, call:
Prevent Child Abuse New York
ACS Agency for Child Development
Prevention Information (ACD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 718-FOR-KIDS
& Parent Hotline . . . . . 1-800-342-7472 (718-367-5437)
To request an ACS representative To inquire about Neighborhood
to speak in your neighborhood Networks in your borough, call:
about child abuse awareness and
prevention, call: Bronx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212-227-6501
Brooklyn . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-341-2913
ACS Office of Community Planning
and Development . . . . . 212-341-3060 Manhattan . . . . . . . . . . . .212-341-2910
Advocacy/Parents and Children’s Rights Queens . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-341-2909
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212-676-9421 Staten Island . . . . . . . . . .212-227-6376
Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)
150 William Street • New York, NY 10038
1-877-KIDS-NYC (1-877-543-7692) • www.nyc.gov/acs
*Toll-free number provided courtesy of Wendy’s Restaurants in the Tri-State area
Design: Sarah Sills • Photography: Kali Holloway
14
Notes
“ ver the past years, ACS has had a
series of remarkable achieve-
ments…[Some changes] go beyond what we
have seen leaders able to accomplish in
virtually any other child welfare system.

—Special Child Welfare Advisory Panel
quoted in Daily News
March 21, 2000
Protecting Children
Strengthening Families
Produced by the ACS Office of Communications
October 2002


Use: 0.0376