For two decades, Gilbert Taylor has dedicated his career to serving New York City's low-income children and families in the public and non-profit sectors. Well-known for his outstanding record of achievement, he was most recently appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to lead the City's Department of Homeless Services (DHS), assuming his post as Commissioner on Monday, January 13, 2014.
Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Taylor had worked for the Administration for Children's Services (ACS), most recently serving as the Executive Deputy Commissioner in the Division of Child Protection. The division was the largest in the agency, consisting of more than 3,500 employees tasked with investigating over 50,000 reports of child maltreatment annually. During his tenure at ACS, Commissioner Taylor had also served as the Deputy Commissioner for the agency's division of Family Court Legal Services, which involved overseeing all Family Court Litigation Units, the agency's Juvenile Justice Initiative and the Family Assessment Program (PINS Diversion).
In his years at Children's Services, Commissioner Taylor had many milestone achievements while working in both divisions, including:
- Participating in the creation and implementation of Childstat within the Division of Child Protection.
- Improving the safety and risk assessment practice within the Division of Child Protection, which directly contributed to a reduction in the number of children being placed into foster care - resulting in an all time low census of fewer than 12,000 children in care.
- Overseeing the procurement and implementation of evidence based preventive service models which are more specifically tailored to meet the needs of children and families in the system.
- Expediting Family Court case processing time frames on child protective proceedings filed in NYC Family Courts.
Commissioner Taylor has proven himself to be a strong advocate and trailblazer, contributing and leading major child welfare reforms for the City of New York during his tenure at ACS.
Announcing Commissioner Taylor's appointment, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that his years at ACS gave him "an extraordinary understanding of what children face in this City," regardless of their housing status. "He will use every tool we have to fight homelessness and preserve and protect families," the Mayor asserted.
"Being homeless is a traumatic event at any age, but especially for children," said Commissioner Taylor. "As DHS demonstrates its fundamental commitment to provide more comprehensive prevention policies and housing support, we will also put compassion first - always remembering that the families in our system are families in crisis."