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Press Release
November 12, 2004

New Yorkers For Children, Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc., Baby Buggy and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services Announce Collaborative Effort to Better Protect Children

The nonprofit community has responded to the announcement made by New York City Administration for Children’s Services’ (ACS) last week and has offered their support to ACS in keeping children safe.

Commissioner John B. Mattingly reported that a preliminary review of child deaths this year that were known to ACS showed that 58 child fatalities had been reported in the first nine months of 2004, up from 37 during the same period in 2003. 15 of those deaths were caused when adults shared a bed with their infant and rolled over in their sleep, unknowingly suffocating the infant. Commissioner Mattingly stressed that these deaths can be prevented by educating the public about the dangers of sharing a bed with an infant and by ensuring that all families have the resources to provide safe sleeping equipment for their children.

“Through the Child Safe initiative, ACS will educate all parents in New York City about the dangers of having an infant share a bed with their parents,” Commissioner Mattingly said. “Through community partnerships, our public awareness campaigns, coordination with City agencies, and now, collaborations with our not-for-profit partners, we are stressing this important message to the public.”

New Yorkers For Children (NYFC), ACS’s long-time nonprofit partner, will immediately make a grant available to ACS for cribs, bassinets and other equipment for children and families. These resources will be distributed to families receiving services from ACS, where it has been determined that the child is at risk of harm and the family is unable to provide these resources.

NYFC will partner with Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S.), a national charity of leading retailers, manufacturers, and licensors of children's products to provide this equipment. New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, who is also president of the board of NYFC, offered his support to Commissioner Mattingly and ACS’s Child Safe initiative, stating, “New Yorkers For Children, and our not-for-profit partners, want to do all that we can to support ACS in their efforts to keep children safe.”

In addition, Baby Buggy, a nonprofit organization that focuses its efforts on New York City and has been assisting the ACS Family Preservation Program since March 2003, has agreed to increase their already significant prevention efforts by securing additional infant equipment and products for families in need served by this intensive home-based preventive services program. By drawing upon Baby Buggy’s existing collaborations with the ACS staff who work directly with families and with the community sponsors who make Baby Buggy’s efforts possible, founder Jessica Seinfeld says, “Since 2001 Baby Buggy has been committed to the children of this city and we look forward to deepening this commitment by helping to address this critical issue.”

Child Safe is a four-part initiative calling for community outreach, immediate review and reports of findings for recent child fatalities, strengthening coordination between City agencies and a major public awareness campaign to advise parents on how to better protect their children. The plan was developed following a preliminary review of child deaths known to ACS this year and recognizing a need for ACS to involve the New York City community in its efforts to protect the City’s children.

“As commissioner of Children’s Services and as a member of the New York City community,” said Commissioner Mattingly, “I am grateful to New Yorkers For Children, Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc., and Baby Buggy for joining with us in this important effort to keep children safe.”

New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) was founded in 1996 as the nonprofit partner to Children’s Services. Over the past eight years, NYFC has supported numerous projects initiated by ACS.

Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S.) is a national charity of leading retailers, manufacturers and licensors of children's products committed to helping children in need.

Baby Buggy is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to collecting and redistributing infant gear, clothing and products to families in need in New York City.

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 through the city’s foster care and preventive programs.


Contact:
ACS Press Office
Phone: 212-341-0999
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