Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Release #108-01

Contact: Sunny Mindel/Matthew Higgins
(212) 788-2958
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Jack Deacy/Jennifer Falk
(212) 341-0999 (ACS)


603 Caseworkers and Supervisors Rewarded for Outstanding Job Performance

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Administration for Children's Services (ACS) Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today announced that 603 Child Protective and Child Welfare Specialist caseworkers and supervisors have been awarded 7% merit-based pay increases for outstanding job performance. The increases range from $2,416 to $3,742 for each recipient. The $1.75 million merit pay program is a component of the new Civil Service titles that ACS created in November 1998 as part of the agency's commitment to upgrade the professionalism and performance of its front-line staff.

"Every day, these exceptional caseworkers and supervisors work with and on behalf of children and families, performing some of the most challenging and sensitive tasks in City government," Mayor Giuliani said. "Recognizing and rewarding exemplary job performance with merit pay gives ACS the ability to support, retain and motivate its best workers to build upon remarkable reforms in the City's children's services system. We trust that these merit-based increases will lead the ACS staff to even higher levels of performance and commitment to the children and families of New York City."

Commissioner Scoppetta said, "I offer my congratulations to these outstanding ACS caseworkers and supervisors. The merit pay program is an important aspect of our continuing effort to create the most qualified and professional frontline workforce and reward outstanding job performance. The attention we have given to upgrading frontline practice is beginning to show dramatic results. For example, the foster care population has been reduced from almost 43,000 in 1997 to 30,600 currently. We believe that higher educational standards and expanded training for caseworkers and supervisors have led to better assessments, better use of preventive services, and a record 20,000 adoptions. All of these factors have contributed to the dramatic decline in the foster care population and improved frontline practice."

The breakdown of merit increases in each title and category:

Child Protective Specialist: $36,495 $2,555 $39,050
Child Welfare Specialist $34,513 $2,416 $36,929
CPS Supervisor Level I $41,841 $2,929 $44,770
CWS Supervisor Level I $41,841 $2,929 $44,770
CPS Supervisor Level II $53,454 $3,742 $57,196
CWS Supervisor Level II $50,369 $3,526 $53,895

Under the program, almost 20% of the approximately 3,100 eligible employees are receiving 7 percent merit increases. In order to have been considered for the merit increases, caseworkers in both titles must have served for 18 months in their respective titles. Supervisors in both titles were automatically eligible because their ACS service had exceeded 18 months.

The merit pay increases were based on a review of each employee's performance evaluations, a computerized accounting of each caseworker's activities, and a manager's nomination indicating how the employee had exceeded expected performance according to specific criteria. The criteria were initially developed during the creation of the new title series and were, in some cases, modified based on recent child welfare legislation and recommendations from the Special Child Welfare Advisory Panel that has been advising ACS for the past two years as part of the Marisol settlement. Up to 25% of ACS employees in these titles are eligible for merit increases each year, although no employee may receive a merit increase for two consecutive years.

The new Civil Service positions - the first ever created solely for child welfare staff - carry substantially higher salaries and performance based merit increases. In addition, newly hired caseworkers are required to meet higher educational standards. Caseworkers in both titles must also earn at least 30 credits towards a Masters of Social Work (MSW), or an equivalent degree, before being promoted to Supervisor. In order to support this initiative, ACS awards over $3 million annually in Masters of Social Work scholarships that enable 200 ACS employees each year to pursue their MSW tuition-free.

In addition to the merit increase program, ACS has:

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