Dear Fellow New Yorker:
It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself to you as the new Commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in Mayor de Blasio’s Administration. As the Mayor made clear to me and the rest of the City, he cares deeply about improving services for children and families, understands the core of our mission, and is committed to the success of our agency.
ACS has a significant responsibility to protect and strengthen the lives of the children, youth, and families that we encounter in our child welfare, juvenile justice, and early care and education systems. We cannot do it alone, and I look forward to collaborating with providers, advocates, elected officials, and other City agencies to address the issues with which our families struggle, including homelessness, mental health concerns, special medical needs, substance misuse, and adequate access to education.
Building upon an existing foundation, my goal is to enhance ACS’ ability to be a “helping agency,” one which exists to make a difference in the lives of children and families. There is no greater responsibility than protecting the lives of children. I also want to deepen our work in preventive services so that families access the critical services that they need. As the number of children in foster care continues to drop, we must focus on well-being, in addition to safety and permanency, to improve outcomes for our children. Through this framework, we must ensure that our children graduate from high school, go on to college, get jobs and are able to maintain healthy relationships. ACS will continue to deepen our juvenile justice work, keeping New York City’s young people connected to family, community, and education while holding them responsible for their actions. And we will insist that our youngest residents have access to high quality early care and education, so that we do our part to deliver on Mayor de Blasio's promise of Universal Pre-Kindergarten for all children.
Throughout my career, I met regularly with the children, youth, and families served across the various systems. I intend to continue to do this at ACS so that we incorporate their voices and perspectives in our work.
I am truly excited to become ACS Commissioner, and work side-by-side with our new Mayor to make better the lives of vulnerable New Yorkers. I looked forward to serving as your Commissioner as we transform New York City to be more equitable for all.