June 13, 2002
ACS Joins Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum in Launching Innovative Developmental Program for Foster Children
Pathways to Development Program Encourages Cultural Development for Kids
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) recently joined Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum in kicking off Pathways to Development, a program that focuses on learning opportunities for children in foster care. Pathways to Development offers free dance and music classes, along with other learning experiences that encourage children to develop interests in cultural and educational activities. ACS and Public Advocate Gotbaum launched the program at a gala held at Louise Wise Services in Harlem.
"ACS continually strives to provide children in our care with new opportunities for enrichment," said Lisa Parrish, Deputy Commissioner for Foster Care and Preventive Services, ACS. "We are thrilled that Pathways to Development has come to New York City to help foster children in Harlem gain access to top-flight music and dance instruction. ACS is proud to work together with the Office of the Public Advocate to deliver this program to the city's children."
In its inaugural year in New York City, Pathways to Development will offer approximately 80 foster children the opportunity to learn from experts from the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation and the Henry Street School of Music. Public Advocate Gotbaum initiated Pathways to Development in New York City as a project of the Office of the Public Advocate’s Fund for Public Advocacy, Inc. The program was established through a grant from the Child Welfare Fund.
“Pathways to Development provides these children with opportunities that many of them would not normally have,” said Public Advocate Gotbaum. “This type of program offers children building blocks they need to be successful later on in life.”
Pathways to Development was founded in Chicago in 1995 by Sidney Goldberg, a former caseworker in the City of Chicago’s child welfare system. Today, the program provides 1,000 foster children in Chicago with classes in performing and visual arts, science and other disciplines.
“Interest development is an essential part of normal child growth,” said Goldberg. “This program provides the means for children to identify, develop and explore interests, and it helps them build their appetite for learning, which we hope will grow into a passion.”
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services protects and ensures the safety and well being of New York City’s children and their families. Formed in 1996, the agency oversees the City’s programs of child protection, foster care, preventive services, adoptive parenting, youth development, child care and Head Start.