March 28, 2004
NYC Administration for Children's Services Commissioner William C. Bell Receives National Recognition for Excellence in Public Child Welfare
Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner William C. Bell was honored today in Washington , DC , by the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators (NAPCWA), an affiliate of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). Commissioner Bell received the 2003 Betsy R. Rosenbaum Award for Excellence in Public Child Welfare Administration.
Commissioner Bell was chosen by a committee of his peers in the public child welfare field for his achievements as a national leader for public child welfare promoting model policies, programs and practices which enhance child welfare agencies and improve outcomes for children and their families.
“In times like these, it is important to honor the heroes of our field who are making a difference in the lives of children,” said Jerry W. Friedman, Executive Director of APHSA, which alternates annually between honoring a state and local administrator with the award.
With 27 years of human services experience, Bell was appointed ACS Commissioner by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in December 2001. Prior to this position, he was Deputy Commissioner for ACS’s Division of Child Protection. Under his leadership, ACS has continued to build on the reform efforts which began eight years ago and has become known as one of the nation’s most effective child welfare agencies.
In the past two years, New York City has achieved a record level decline in its foster care census. Currently under 21,800, New York City’s foster care population is the lowest it has been since 1987. The number of children entering care also continues to decline. Approximately 6,500 children entered foster care in 2003 -- 49 percent fewer than in 1997. These achievements can be attributed to ACS’s efforts to improve frontline practice, keep families together through preventive services, find more adoptive homes and offer support for families within their own communities.
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services protects and ensures the safety and well being of New York City’s children and strengthens families. Formed in 1996, the agency oversees the City’s programs of child protection, foster care, preventive services, adoption, child care and Head Start.