The Division of Administration ensures that ACS has the internal resources and support necessary to function efficiently and effectively. The specific services provided by Administration include Management Information Systems, Procurement, Facilities, Personnel, and Administrative Services. The division works collaboratively to ensure that the agency receives services in the areas of personnel management (including payroll, benefits, timekeeping, employee relations, career building, transfers, etc.), building maintenance, safety, health, and security, transportation, purchasing of goods and services, office supplies and equipment, graphic services, records management, and computer and telephone services.
Early Care and Education
The ACS Division of Child Care and Head Start (ECE) is dedicated to ensuring that New York City’s low income young children have positive early experiences. ACS is committed to putting children and their developmental needs first in early childhood services and to supporting children within the real context and need of their families and communities. Early care and education funded through ACS is provided to eligible children through contracted Head Start and Child Care programs and through vouchers. ECE provides program oversight, contract and fiscal monitoring, and training and technical assistance.
The Division of Child Protection (DCP) protects children in New York City from abuse and neglect. In fulfilling this mission, preventive and protective services are provided to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of all children. The Division of Child Protection encompasses Child Protective and Placement Services. When children cannot remain safely at home, the Office Placement Administration (OPA) provides a safe environment, evaluates, medically clears and obtains the most appropriate placement available for children. Child Protective Services includes the Child Protective Borough Offices, Family Preservation and Family Assessment Programs, Emergency Children’s Services (ECS), and the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The Borough Offices, OSI and ECS investigate reports of child abuse and neglect received from the New York State Central Register. The Office of Special Investigations investigates reports that involve foster parents, child care providers and ACS staff.
Family Court Legal Services
The Division of Family Court Legal Services (FCLS) is responsible for representing Children's Services in child neglect and abuse cases, permanency hearings, and other child welfare proceedings in the New York City Family Courts. FCLS attorneys work collaboratively with caseworkers and other child welfare stakeholders to further the agency's mission on behalf of children and families. Attorneys provide legal assistance for the agency and foster care provider agencies and provide training for attorneys and caseworkers on Family Court practice. There are 5 Family Court Units located in or near each borough's Family Court. The division's Juvenile Justice Initiative links children and families involved in juvenile delinquency proceedings with intensive evidence-based therapeutic interventions aimed at diverting children from institutional placement and assisting children with the transition from placement to home community. The division also includes the Legal Training Unit, Legal Compliance Unit, Title IV-E Management Unit, and Court Document Dissemination Unit.
Family Permanency Services
The Division of Family Permanency Services (FPS) provides oversight and technical assistance to contracted provider agencies ensuring high quality services for children in out of home care in New York City. The Division’s mission is to ensure that its network of providers assist parents who are determined to retain or regain custody of their children and find safe, caring, committed, and permanent families for children who cannot be returned to their parents. FPS is comprised of the Office of Family Team Conferencing, Office of Adoption Services, Family Permanency Shared Response Team, Parent Recruitment and Retention, Office of Agency Contract Care Management, and the Office of Youth Development.
Family Support Services
Family Support Services (FSS) provides preventive services, parenting education and homemaking services to families throughout New York City, through a network of community-based non profit organizations. These services are designed to strengthen and stabilize families, prevent the need for out of home care, expedite permanency and prevent the replacement of children into foster care. The Division provides case management services to pregnant and parenting teens; works with foster care agencies to improve the quality of family visits with children in care; and builds partnerships between early childhood education and child welfare programs in order to strengthen families with young children. The division also provides clinical support to all child welfare programs to address the needs of children and families through direct services and individual case consultation in the areas of health, mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence. In addition, Family Support services works closely with other ACS divisions and community based programs to promote culturally competent child welfare services and ensure language access for all New York City children and families. Also part of FSS, the Office of Community Partnerships and Advocacy staffs and oversees the Community Partnership Program (CPP) grant, supports ACS divisions and partners with various city agencies and community-based organizations that further the Agency’s safety and permanency goals. The Office also includes the Parents and Children’s Rights Unit (Ombudsman), Independent Review, Parents as Partners, the Parent Advisory Work Group and Immigrant Services.
The Financial Services Division includes four departments: Budget Analysis and Management; Payment Services; Claiming, Revenue and Compliance; and the Office of Audit Services. Together, these four departments are responsible for conducting the financial activities of the agency and ensuring that all financial processes are carried out in full accordance with City, State and Federal guidelines. Individually, Budget Analysis and Management, administers the agency's $2.8 billion expense budget. Payment Services processes $2.3 billion annually in payments for contracted services and administrative expenditures. Claiming, Revenue and Compliance submits claims for $1.8 billion annually in revenue from the Federal and State governments. The Office of Audit Services responds to audits of ACS by oversight agencies and conducts audits of all ACS activities and services.
The Office of the General Counsel provides legal representation and advice to the Commissioner and all of the divisions of ACS. The Office of the General Counsel also works closely with Corporation Counsel to defend ACS in class action lawsuits and coordinates with legal and program area staff to ensure compliance with court orders, consent decrees and other legal mandates. OGC provides legal and policy advice to all areas of the agency and oversees the Accountability Review Panel, the Business Law Unit, the Legal Counsel Unit, Fair Hearings/Compliance, Administrative Litigation and Employment Law Unit. Labor Relations is also part of General Counsel and manages labor-related issues.
Policy Planning and Measurement
The Division of Policy and Planning and Measurement (PPM) plans and helps implement programs and initiatives to strengthen the child welfare system; tracks success or barriers in carrying out those initiatives; develops policy and procedures; and engages in a variety of management analysis, evaluative and systems development efforts. PPM also includes the following: Office of Policy Development and Program Planning; Office of Strategic Resource Management and Reporting; Office of Quality Improvement; the Systems Support Office, the Satterwhite Training Academy and the Agency Program Assistance Unit.
The Office of Policy Development and Program Planning coordinates program expansion and new program development efforts; oversees contract management for service providers during the developmental phase of new programs; develops ACS policies and procedures; creates and issues Requests for Proposals and other solicitations; and develops policy around health, mental health, and domestic violence and substance abuse issues. The Office of Strategic Resource Management and Reporting oversees management analysis for ACS and external stakeholders; oversees the Title IV-E federal foster care reimbursement function; and provides analytic support to all divisions within ACS. The Office of Quality Improvement supports the advancement of quality frontline case practice in ACS’s child protective investigations by conducting analyses of case records, child protection staff, and providing technical assistance. The Systems Support Office opens all ACS service cases in New York State child welfare data systems used by ACS divisions and provider agencies, provides systems training and resolves system case management questions and concerns.
The Satterwhite Training Academy is responsible for all ACS child protective service training; the Office of Quality Improvement, which is responsible for quality oversight of ACS investigative staff, and the Agency Program Assistance unit, performs oversight and monitoring of all foster care and preventive private agencies with whom ACS contracts.
Youth and Family Justice
The Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ) is the newest Division within Children’s Services. In January 2010, Mayor Bloomberg appointed Commissioner Mattingly as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). DJJ has now been fully integrated into the Administration for Children’s Services as the Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ). DYFJ provides secure and non-secure detention for alleged Juvenile Delinquents and Secure Detention for alleged Juvenile Offenders whose cases are pending, along with post-adjudicated juveniles awaiting transfer to state facilities. While in detention, residents receive an array of services, such as education, health services, recreation, and case management. DYFJ also oversees the Juvenile Justice Initiative, which links children and families involved in juvenile delinquency proceedings with intensive, evidence-based therapeutic interventions aimed at diverting children from institutional placement; as well as assisting children with the transition from placement to their home community. Also within DYFJ is the Family Assessment Program, which is New York City’s designated PINS (Persons In Need of Supervision) diversion service. This program’s mission is to divert the filing of new PINS cases in the New York City Family Courts, whenever possible. This court-based effort involves ACS working closely with PINS adolescents and their families to provide a continuum of services within their community.
The Commissioner’s Office handles Commissioner Richter’s scheduling, records keeping, policy analysis, cross-divisional projects, and works directly with City Hall. Within the Commissioner’s Office are the Office of Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and the Education Unit. The Office of Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs is responsible for the external and internal communications as well as intergovernmental relations for the agency. It responds to inquiries from reporters and the public regarding all aspects of the child welfare, child care and juvenile justice systems in New York City and produces public awareness campaigns. In addition, the staff coordinates all legislative activities on behalf of the agency at the City, State, and Federal levels, and works with elected officials on children’s services’ policy issues, programs and constituent matters.
The Office of Equal Employment Opportunity oversees ACS programs to ensure compliance with applicable Federal, State and City antidiscrimination policies. The Education Unit assists eligible children between the ages of 0-21 to obtain early intervention or special education services. The Unit also proved consultation and advocacy services, as well as training to Children’s Services staff, partner agencies, parents and foster parents that will enhance their ability to identify children who require early intervention or special education services and their ability to successfully advocate for the provision of appropriate services. The Unit also interfaces with the New York State Early Intervention Program and the Department of Education to develop strategies that will improve access to services by children in our care. The Unit works to identify resources available as well as any gaps in Children’s Services’ capacity to address the full spectrum of educational problems among children receiving ACS services.