Children's Services Releases Update to its Safeguarding Our Children Plan
Many Accomplishments and Many Challenges Ahead
The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) today released the latest update to the agency’s March 2006 child safety strategic plan, “Safeguarding Our Children.” The strategic plan, which has been underway for the past 18 months, is a full-scale design to improve and strengthen all aspects of the agency’s child welfare programs and policies. The focus of these efforts comprises nearly two dozen new initiatives and program enhancements such as the ChildStat performance accountability system, hiring new child protective staff to reduce caseloads; and reinforcement of key investigatory practice during child protective investigations.
“This update to our Safety Plan is clear evidence that our focus on improving safety for children has been unwavering,” said ACS Commissioner John B. Mattingly. “These measures have been infused into the day-to-day work of the agency’s divisions, and ACS is proud of the results achieved to date. While there is much more work to do to become the model child welfare agency the City needs and expects, ACS is a different agency from the one operating just eighteen months ago.”
This September 2007 Safety Reforms Update, which is available online at www.nyc.gov/acs, is a detailed accounting of Children’s Services’ progress in three major areas outlined in the safety plan: reinforcing the agency’s focus on child safety throughout all its divisions’ programs and policies; sharpening investigatory skills and decision-making during child protective investigations; improving oversight and performance of contract agency staff.
Highlights in the Plan update include:
- Reviewing more than one hundred cases through the ChildStat process, an in-depth accountability and learning tool on child protective practices;
- The progress to date on Improved Outcomes for Children, the redesign of Children’s Services oversight of contract agencies which provide foster care and preventive services; and
- A description of steps taken to hone investigatory skills and bolster sound decision-making on the frontlines.
In addition, Children’s Services hired close to 800 child protective staff in Fiscal Year 2007; obtained approval to hire 100 additional investigative consultants; and achieved a monthly average child protective caseload of under 10 in August 2007.
“Children’s Services staff have put forth great efforts to ensure that the children and families of New York City are protected and served to the best of our ability,” said Commissioner Mattingly.
ACS Press Office: (212) 341-0999