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NYC Administration for Children's Services: The City's child welfare agency, dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families
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Youth and Family Justice

Detention Services

Case Management in Secure Detention

Case managers ensure that each resident receives support and needed services throughout his or her stay in detention. Through case management, staff provides individualized attention to youth. Case Managers counsel youth, maintain contact with their families and their lawyer, monitor the court process and are responsible for ensuring that each youth's particular medical, mental health, educational and social service needs are addressed.

Case Workers are present and available in all dormitories and group homes to help youth adjust to detention, and to deal with individual problems. A multi-disciplinary team of staff provide a range of services within the facility. Case Managers ensure that these services are coordinated and are tailored to meet each youth's needs.

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Chapel Services

The Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ) full-time chaplain provides voluntary spiritual counseling and religious direction to youth in detention. Residents can attend services on weekdays, weekends and holidays. DYFJ’s Chapel Program brings clergy of different religions and denominations to the institution on a rotating basis.

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Education Services

The NYC Department of Education (DOE) operates Passages Academy, a full time educational program that tailors its curriculum to the needs of youth in detention. A fully-staffed school is located within each of the Division of Youth and Family Justice Secure Detention facilities. Additionally, DOE operates four schools for youth in Non-Secure Detention.

Students are assigned classes according to academic levels. Program instruction includes class work in an all major subjects, such as math, science and history. Passages Academy also provides instruction in computers, art, music, physical and health education. The Academy emphasizes project work and hands-on activities for the students. Monthly projects include science fairs, poetry readings and essay contests. A comprehensive special education program, including a resource room, speech and language services and psychological counseling, is provided to students with special needs. Teachers, guidance counselors and other school staff form a team, and also help residents transition back to the regular school system, upon release from detention.

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Health, Mental Health and Dental Services

Around-the-clock health and mental health services are provided to juveniles detention facilities. All youth receive an initial health screening upon admission. A comprehensive health assessment, including a complete health history, physical examination, laboratory tests and mental health assessment, is conducted within 72 hours after a youth arrives in detention. Each resident also receives a dental exam. DYFJ’s Mental Health Unit includes a psychiatrist and mental health professionals, who are available to conduct mental health evaluations, and to provide counseling and other mental health services as needed.

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Juvenile Justice Oversight Board

The Juvenile Justice Oversight Board provides oversight for ACS detention and placement facilities, including our directly operated secure detention centers, as well as non-secure and limited-secure residential settings operated by our non-profit partners. The Board assesses whether ACS officials and contractors are adequately responding to the needs and protecting the rights of youth residing in these facilities, and bring to ACS’ attention any problems or concerns that the Board identifies.

Read more about the Juvenile Justice Oversight Board

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Recreation Services

Residents participate in a wide range of daily recreational activities conducted in outdoor yards, gymnasiums and multi-purpose rooms. Music, art and general recreation programs allow residents to spend time quietly and creatively. Special activities such as teen workshops, motivational speakers and sports tournaments are planned on a regular basis. Themed-month activities, such as Black History, Hispanic Heritage, Career, Health and Women's History, occur on an ongoing basis.

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