Gladys Carrión was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services by Mayor Bill de Blasio, effective January 6, 2014. Commissioner Carrión will focus on prioritizing preventive services to protect vulnerable children and help families avoid crisis.
Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Carrión served for seven years as Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), a $4 billion agency charged with overseeing New York State’s child welfare services, including foster care, adoption and juvenile delinquency.
As OCFS Commissioner, Carrión is credited with overhauling an abusive state juvenile detention system marred by an 89 percent recidivism rate. Under her leadership, OCFS shut down more than a dozen of the most egregious juvenile centers, rerouting youthful offenders into less costly and more effective therapeutic programs located closer to home.
Carrión spearheaded far-reaching reforms in the child welfare system, supporting families accused of child neglect with services and interventions tailored to their needs – rather than employing traditional law enforcement approaches. Under her leadership, OCFS implemented a landmark nondiscrimination policy to protect transgender youth in juvenile detention centers, which was heralded as “a model for similar kinds of agencies all over the country” by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Gladys Carrión’s long career on behalf of low-income youth and families in New York began at Bronx Legal Services, where she represented families in the nation’s poorest congressional district in cases ranging from family law to social welfare. She later served as executive director of the Inwood House, one of the oldest youth serving organizations in the City, which provided home, schooling, and parenting classes to approximately 150 pregnant girls a year who came through the foster system. Carrión’s non-profit sector experience also includes the United Way; Carrión directed the organization’s Community Action strategy, which allocated resources within high poverty areas and collaborated with community-based organizations.
As Commissioner of New York City’s Community Development Agency under Mayor David Dinkins, Carrión led antipoverty efforts by restructuring the Community Action Programs to increase the number of communities and residents eligible to receive aid.
Carrión is a graduate of Fordham University and New York University School of Law.