Office of Children and Family Services

News Article
Thursday, October 17, 2013

FLEXIBLE FUNDING TO BE USED TO HELP CHILDREN REDUCE LENGTH OF STAY IN FOSTER CARE


Federal waiver granted to Office of Children and Family Services, Administration for Children’s Services to allow for program funding

Five-year program set to help generate better outcomes for New York’s youth in foster care
 

RENSSELAER, NY, October 17, 2013 – The federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently announced its approval of New York State’s proposal for a demonstration project that allows for flexible use of Title IV-E funds under the Social Security Act. The five-year project is a joint effort between the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) that will generate new approaches to help reduce the length of foster care placements and improve outcomes for children.

The project is statewide, and will allow other counties to participate if they choose. The flexible funding granted to New York State allows ACS to roll out a city-wide model of foster care services known as ChildSuccessNYC, a package of evidence-based and evidence-informed initiatives. Under these services, families will be able to take advantage of services like Parenting Through Change, Keeping Foster and Kin Parents Trained and Supported, Family Finding, and Youth Development Skills Coaching. Also included under ChildSuccessNYC is the use of a standardized functional assessment and trauma-screening tool for all New York City children and youth in care.

New York State currently has the one of the lowest annual rates of children’s foster care entry in the nation. A major goal of this program is to keep increasing permanency for all infants, children, and youth by increasing the likelihood of permanent exit, reducing time in foster placements, and promoting a successful transition to adulthood for older youth. Other important goals include increasing positive outcomes and improving the well-being of New York’s foster children, preventing child abuse and neglect, and decreasing the re-entry of youth in foster care.

“The granting of this waiver is the result of many months of hard work, and the development of this program is a true collaborative effort between OCFS and ACS,” said OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrión. “This program will bring hope of brighter futures and permanent homes to children in ACS’s care. I am proud that our efforts culminated in such a positive outlook for children and youth in New York’s foster care system.”

"The decision by the federal Administration for Children and Families to grant this waiver will further aid our efforts to expand ChildSuccessNYC as New York City’s foster care model,” said ACS Commissioner Ronald E. Richter. “Together with OCFS, we will continue to work to implement this program that links evidence-based components to better engage parents, support foster parents, encourage important family connections, support adolescents with skills-building, and ultimately provide the best chance for our young people and families to realize future success.”

Facts about New York’s children and youth in foster care:

  • The number of children in foster care in New York State has decreased from 53,902 children in 1995 to 20,539 as of December 31, 2012.
  • In New York City, there are fewer than 12,600 children and teens living in foster care.
  • Currently, more than 700 teenagers are looking for adoptive families, including teens who are LGBTQ, pregnant or parenting, or have special needs.

OCFS and ACS expect to be able to implement the waiver and begin enhancing the foster care services on January 1, 2014.

OCFS serves New York by promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, families, and communities. For more information, visit ocfs.ny.gov, “like” the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Facebook page, or follow @NYSOCFS on Twitter. For more information about foster care and adoption in areas outside New York City, please call 1-800-345-KIDS.

The mission of the ACS is to ensure the safety and well-being of New York City children. The agency protects children from abuse and neglect, helps families in need through preventative services and counseling, and supports youth development and permanency for teens and adolescents. Individuals interested in learning more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent may call 311, visit www.nyc.gov and search NYCFoster, or text “reason” to 877-877.

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