The $10 million program comes as the city looks to provide additional support for tens of thousands of asylum seekers who’ve arrived in the five boroughs in recent months.
‘As a young woman who has been in and out of the foster care system my whole life, I’ve had to face many challenging situations alone before my Fair Futures Coach Jaime changed my life entirely.’
Andrew Hevesi and David Hansell |
‘Primary prevention—working with families further upstream to avoid child safety issues altogether—represents the future of child welfare services, but thus far the city is going it alone, with no financial support from the state or federal governments.’
Michele Cortese and Tehra Coles |
‘It’s time we recognize that the interests at stake for parents under ACS investigation are just as compelling, with consequences that can be just as grave, as in a criminal case.’
When facing the possible loss of their children, New York state parents have the right to a lawyer only when a case moves to court. Even then some counties fail to provide them. And many key decisions are made before a case ever gets to a judge.
Kate Pastor and Roberta Nin Feliz |
Some 24,000 legally exempt daycare providers in New York City are enrolled to be paid through public assistance but are unlicensed and operate under very limited oversight.
In neighborhoods that see the most child-welfare investigations, children hide their problems, families refuse to ask for help and chances to head off serious neglect or abuse are missed. ACS is trying to reduce the suspicion.
For years, child welfare officials have looked to better training and deeper resources to reduce mistakes in abuse and neglect investigations. But given the complexity of many cases, experts say, failure may always be part of the picture.
In the wake of two fatalities in early ’14, the de Blasio administration called for better reporting of abuse and neglect. But there is substantial doubt that child welfare investigations can root out real threats to kids’ safety.