On January 10, 1996, the Administration for Children‘s Services (ACS) was created as the first agency devoted solely to serving children and their families. Children’s Services’ mission is to ensure the safety and well-being of New York City children.Our goals are simple and clear as set forth in our Five Key Commitments:
- No child we come into contact with will be left to struggle alone with abuse or neglect.
- No family who needs and wants help to keep their children safe will be left without the help it needs.
- 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.
- No child in our care will leave us without a caring, committed, permanent family.
- 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.
To fulfill our mission, Children’s Services:
- Protects children by investigating an average of 55,000 reports of abuse or neglect each year;
- Helps families in need through counseling, referrals to drug rehabilitation programs and other preventive services;
- Recruits and trains foster parents and caregivers to provide safe homes for children living in foster care;
- Assures that children in foster care find safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible, either with their birth or adoptive parents;
- Supports youth development and permanency for teens and adolescents, as well as a range of programs and services to help young people prepare for adulthood;
- Provides childcare and Head Start programs for approximately 80,000 children throughout the City.
Children’s Services’ work is based on a set of Core Commitments:
- Our overriding mission at Children’s Services (ACS) is the protection of the City’s children from abuse and neglect.
- We believe we must carry out our work with the goal of ensuring that all of the children engaged in the New York City's children’s services system have strong families that support them and protect them from harm.
- Whenever it is safe, children’s birth and extended families should be strengthened and supported to provide a strong network of support for their children.
- We at Children’s Services cannot protect children and strengthen families alone. A critical partner for strengthening families and protecting children is the network of community supports available to birth families, relative caregivers, foster families and adoptive families.
- It is not enough for children involved in our system to be safe; they deserve attention to all of their needs – health, developmental, educational, etc.
- The needs of children and families should drive the support and help they receive. These services need to be family-centered, flexible and mobile.
- The special needs of very young children and teens and adolescents need particular attention from the system.
- Child Care and Head Start are integral parts of the children’s services system in New York City and will be involved in preventive services, foster care and reunification services.
- We will measure our success by the results we achieve for children, families and communities.