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NYC Administration for Children's Services: The City's child welfare agency, dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families

About ACS
ACS Divisions and Executive Team

Download ACS Organizational Chart (in PDF)

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 Information Technology, Procurement, Facilities, Personnel, Administrative Services, and Accountability and Audit. 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  
ACS's Division of Early Care and Education (ECE) administers the largest publicly-funded childcare system in the country, serving over 100,000 children. ACS recognizes that early childhood programs play a critical role in supporting young children’s development, learning, and preparation for both school and life success. Through our contracted system EarlyLearn NYC, a unique, groundbreaking education model that merges child care, Head Start, and Universal Pre-K into a single, seamless system, ECE provides quality early education services to eligible children ages 6 weeks to 4 years old in center and family child care settings. In addition, eligible families with children ages 6 weeks to 13 years old can be issued vouchers to purchase childcare from providers in the City.

Child Protection 
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Division of Child Protection (DCP) is charged with investigating all allegations of child abuse and maltreatment that the City receives from the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. Each year the division investigates about 60,000 reported cases. The division is comprised of approximately 3,500 employees spread across the five boroughs at nineteen sites. The Division of Child Protection encompasses Child Protective and Placement Services. Child Protective Services includes the Child Protective Borough Offices, Family Preservation and Family Services Unit, Emergency Children’s Services (ECS), and the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The investigatory side of DCP is largely based out of borough offices. These offices are made up of teams of child protective specialists who investigate reported cases of abuse and neglect. There are two other subdivisions within DCP that serve investigatory functions. Emergency Children’s Services (ECS) provides 24-hour investigative coverage, including on evenings and weekends. The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) investigates reports that involve foster parents, child care providers, and ACS staff. When children cannot remain safely at home, the Office of Placement Services (OPS) provides a safe environment, evaluates, medically clears, and obtains the most appropriate and least restrictive out-home-home placement available for children. DCP also administers case management services through its Family Services Unit (FSU) and Family Preservation Program (FPP). FSU is involved when a New York State Family Court Judge orders court ordered supervision for a family. The FSU worker monitors and assists the family with services while the family is under supervision. FPP is an intensive case management program designed to assist families who present an elevated level of risk, but who may be able to achieve safety and stability through immediate support. DCP also links families to Preventive Services in their communities to prevent children from entering foster care. These services are designed so that children can remain safely in their homes. Services offered may include: counseling; parenting skills training; and substance abuse treatment.

Five Key Commitments

  1. No child we come into contact with will be left to struggle alone with abuse or neglect.
  2. No family who needs and wants help to keep their children safe will be left without the help it needs.
  3. Every child we come into contact with will get the help (s)he needs to be healthy and achieve his/her full educational and developmental potential.
  4. No child in our care will leave us without a caring, committed, permanent family.
  5. Every team member at Children’s Services and each of our partner agencies can expect guidance, respect, and emotional support to achieve our goals. Every child, family, community member, and foster parent we come into contact with will be treated with the same concern and respect.

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, juvenile delinquency proceedings 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, youth 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 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) ensures that high quality services are provided to children in foster care by supporting provider agency staff with technical assistance and services support. FPS staff offers guidance to provider agencies on child welfare policies and procedures to improve service delivery and achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for children in foster care. The Division includes the following offices: Older Youth Services and Residential Care Monitoring, Provider Agency Consultation and Engagement, Central Operations, and Child and Youth Initiatives. 

Family Support Services 
The Division of Family Support Services provides Preventive Services and support to families throughout New York City, through a network of community-based, non-profit organizations and family home care services. 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. In addition, the division provides policy guidance to Children’s Services’ staff and preventive provider agencies working with children and youth with a variety of educational, medical, mental health and developmental challenges.

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, education 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 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 of Education Support and Policy Planning assists and supports administrative and casework staff on all educational matters for children between the ages of birth to 21 who are accessing services through the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).

Financial Services 
The ACS Division of Financial Services (DFS) is responsible for managing and administering the financial functions of the agency. The Division is responsible for planning and monitoring the agency budget; submitting monthly claims for State and Federal revenues; processing and reconciling payments to provider agencies and vendors; maintaining and reconciling agency bank accounts; and for monitoring the financial health of provider agencies by reviewing financial statements and audits. DFS works closely with provider agencies and maintains a strong customer service orientation to ensure that providers are supported and best able to sustain their financial health and integrity. The Division also works collaboratively with oversight agencies including the City’s Office of Management and Budget and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, to ensure that all financial activities are carried out in full accordance with City, State and Federal guidelines.

General Counsel 
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 and regulatory mandates. OGC provides legal and policy advice to all areas of the agency and oversees 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) oversees an array of services and programs that involve youth at every stage of the juvenile justice process. DYFJ works to promote public safety and improve the lives of youth, families, and communities by providing services that are child-centered and family-focused, including therapeutic treatment, safe and secure custodial care, responsive health care, effective re-entry services, and promotion of educational achievement. Each year, the Division provides secure and non-secure detention services to approximately 3,800 juvenile delinquents and juvenile offenders whose cases are pending adjudication, as well as post-adjudicated juveniles awaiting transfer to state facilities or city placement residences. While in detention, residents receive an array of services, such as education, health services, recreation, and case management. On March 30, 2012, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the Close to Home legislation as part of the 2012-2013 New York State Budget. Close to Home is a juvenile justice reform that allows New York City youth who are found to have committed a delinquent act to receive services in or close to the communities where they live. This 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; 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. The 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.

Communications and Community Affairs
The Division of Communications and Community Affairs brings together under one umbrella the Offices of Communications, Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs, Public and Private Partnerships, and Advocacy. All involve interacting with staff, clients, and important external individuals, agencies and organizations that influence what ACS does or may wish to do. The Office of Communications works with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the agency speaks with one, consistent voice regarding the priorities of ACS and also promotes and supports all ACS divisions with their programs and initiatives.

The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs is responsible for working with elected officials and other stakeholders to advance the mission of ACS on behalf of children and families in New York City. The Office is the main contact for elected offices and responds to all inquiries from elected offices on ACS-related constituent issues and policies. The Office also facilitates changes in legislation, policies, and practices that are essential to meeting the needs of children and families. View Public Testimony

The ACS Office of Public-Private Partnerships (OPPP) serves as Children’s Services primary liaison with the philanthropic community and develops and strengthens partnerships with key leaders in the business, government and nonprofit sectors. The OPPP coordinates the development and submission of comprehensive proposals to support the agency’s priorities related to improving and reforming child welfare, early care and education, and juvenile justice. The OPPP also responds to requests for letters of support and inquiries from organizations seeking to partner with ACS on federal and state RFPs. Guidelines to request Letters of Support For all inquiries: or call 212-341-2958.

The Office of Advocacy responds to concerns of parents, youth, foster parents and the general public about child welfare cases. The mission is to support safety, permanence and the well-being of all children and families involved with the child welfare system. The Office works to provide impartial resolutions to conflicts between clients and voluntary agencies or ACS offices and provide information to the public about child welfare policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that parents, foster parents and youth are aware of their rights and responsibilities and obtain their due process. For more information.

Commissioner’s Office 
The Commissioner’s Office is the central management point for the daily operations of the agency and the first point of contact for external partners.

It works with the leadership of all divisions to set priorities, advance key initiatives, and respond to concerns of stakeholders. The Office is staffed by the Chief of Staff, Senior Advisors for Investigations and Child Welfare Practice, and administrative support. Also included in the Commissioner’s Office are the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, the Investigative Consultants program, and the Office of Safety First.

Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
The Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a confidential office that is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable Federal, State and City employment laws and policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, genetic predisposition, carrier status, marital and partnership status, unemployment status, prior record of arrest or conviction, military and veteran status, and status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses.

The Office of EEO seeks to prevent and address unlawful employment discrimination and retaliation in the terms and conditions of employment, by investigating discrimination complaints, processing requests for reasonable accommodations, and providing EEO training and guidance. The Office of EEO also assists in developing agency-wide best practices relating to diversity strategies and initiatives in hiring, promotion and staff development. The Office of EEO analyzes data and statistics to assist with the development of strategic goals and the implementation of the NYC Administration for Children’s Services EEO Plan. Lastly, the Office of EEO prepares quarterly and annual reports for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS).

Employees or applicants for employment should consult with the Office of EEO if they believe they are being discriminated against by a manager, supervisor, co-worker, independent vendor or contractor of the agency. Employees and applicants should also contact the Office of EEO if they need a reasonable accommodation.

Investigative Consultants
The Investigative Consultants are a team of former law enforcement investigators who have been deployed into each of the borough offices and at ECS to work with child protective specialists (CPS) on their investigations. They provide consultation and support on cases which involve allegations of child abuse or neglect and expert assistance on cases which have resulted in serious injury or death of a child. Investigative consultants often accompany CPS on home visits which are anticipated to be unusually difficult and conduct interviews with children, family members, neighbors, school officials and other community members when necessary. Additionally, investigative consultants conduct training for child protective services staff related to the techniques and strategies necessary for performing sensitive investigations as well techniques to enhance worker safety.

The Office of Safety First
The Office of Safety First provides assistance to mandated reporters, including staff from schools, foster care and preventive service providers and early care and education programs that have concerns about the progress of a current or closed child protective investigation. The Office of Safety First addresses ongoing safety concerns while facilitating partnerships between Child Protective Services and mandated reporters. In addition to addressing safety concerns, the Office of Safety First assists mandated reporters liaise with the assigned Child Protective Specialist. Safety Liaisons work in collaboration with the mandated reporter and the Child Protective Specialist to evaluate the progress of the investigation and to address additional safety factors that may be present. They work in association with all interested parties until the concerns are remedied.