Blog

November 13 2013

A New, and Improved, Direction for Foster Care in NYC

Bill Baccaglini, President and CEO of The Foundling

 

Foster care, and how it is managed in New York City, will be getting an overhaul in the next two years.

 

To me and to many professionals in the field, it represents a great step in the right direction. It’s a win for the children of NYC and the agencies like The Foundling who work to protect them.

 

The Child Success NYC (or CSNYC as it is commonly called), is a set of initiatives developed by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).  It organizes methods of training and interacting with biological parents, foster parents and youth in care with the goal of improving quality, support and consistency among foster care providers citywide.

 

The Foundling is one of the agencies that have been participating in a pilot of the CSNYC initiatives for the past year and so far we have had success with it. It has improved accountability, structure and communication, as well as dependability of our services. We’re thrilled it will be expanding to other agencies as well.

 

CSNYC engages foster parents in a more focused way than ever before. The focus is on permanency for the child right out of the gate as opposed to 6 months or more down the road into placement as it was before.

 

A recent federal waiver allows ACS more flexibility in the use of child welfare funds known as Title IV-E funds. Without this waiver, there is no way the city could bring CSNYC to scale. The funding that this provides for foster care over the next 5 years is invaluable and permits the city to use monies in more and different ways that it could before and invest in beneficial new initiatives like CSNYC.

 

Commissioner Ronald Richter of ACS should be commended for his persistence on this, as should the ability and effectiveness of the New York City, State and Federal governments to work together to make the waiver and CSNYC a reality.

 

The more focused and tested practices that CSNYC will bring to foster care in New York City will help improve lives and bring families together – and that’s something to celebrate.