Administration for Children's Services311Search all websites

ACS Divisions

Commissioner's Office
Office of the First Deputy Commissioner
External Affairs
Child and Family Well-Being
Child Welfare Programs
Child Protection
Family Court Legal Services
Family Permanency Services
Financial Services
General Counsel
Policy, Planning & Measurement
Preventive Services
Youth and Family Justice

Commissioner's Office

The Commissioner's Office is the central management point for the daily operations of the agency and the first point of contact for external partners.

The Commissioner's Office includes:

  • The Office of Information Technology (OIT): OIT provides innovative IT solutions that effectively address the agency's business and operational requirements. As a central facilitator, OIT plays a crucial role in implementing and ensuring compliance with both city and state, IT and security policies and procedures. By doing so, it ensures the seamless integration of technology across the organization while maintaining adherence to regulatory guidelines and best practices.
  • The Office of Equal Employment Opportunity ("OEEO") is a confidential office that is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable Federal, State and City employment laws that prohibit discrimination based on actual or perceived age, alienage or citizenship status, caregiver status, color, credit history, disability, familial status, gender (or sex), height and/or weight (referred to as “body size”), marital status, military status, national origin, partnership status, predisposing genetic characteristics/genetic information, prior record of arrest or conviction, race or ethnicity, religion or creed, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, unemployment status, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as a victim of sex offenses, and status as a victim of stalking.
  • The Office of Human Resources: The Office of Human Resources holds a broad spectrum of responsibilities that contribute directly to ACS' vision of offering comprehensive, quality services that empower children and families to thrive. ACS' Office of Human Resources' primary functions include developing and implementing the agency's human resources policies and procedures, recruiting, and hiring qualified candidates for open positions, providing onboarding and training to new employees, managing employee performance and compensation, and ensuring compliance with all applicable employment, civil service, and labor laws. In addition to our primary functions, the Office of Human Resources provides a variety of other services to employees, such as career development, employee benefits, and wellness programs. The Office of Human Resources also works in partnership with ACS program areas and divisions to provide initiatives and services that nurture and develop an environment of employee empowerment, advocacy, and involvement in the organization while attracting and cultivating a diverse dynamic workforce.
  • The Office of Agency Accountability: The Office of Agency Accountability is a critical partner in managing time sensitive and cross-divisional projects and also serves as a central point of contact between agency personnel, city, state, and federal officials when external reviews and audits of the agency are conducted. This office deals with complex matters ranging from: auditing caseloads of child protective staff when there are concerns regarding potential willful misconduct, investigating employees who have submitted potentially fraudulent workers compensation claims, auditing areas of potential fiscal weakness within the agency to ensure regulatory compliance. The office is also responsible for tracking systemic recommendations that emerge from the existing quality assurance and quality improvement efforts, to report to the Commissioner on their implementation and completion. The Chief Accountability Officer (CAO) serves as the agency's Chief Diversity Officer to prioritize the MWBE program among ACS divisions and support ACS' compliance with the Mayor's Office of MWBE. In addition, the CAO evaluates and renders determinations on appeals for reasonable accommodation decisions made by the agency's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.
  • Division of Investigations: The Division of Investigations includes the Investigative Consultants, the Office of Safety First and Instant Response.
    • The Investigative Consultants program, a team of former law enforcement investigators, provides training, consultation, and support to ACS investigative staff.
    • The Office of Safety First assists mandated reporters to resolve concerns about the progress of a current child protective investigation.
    • Instant Response helps improve coordination between ACS and law enforcement in high-risk child abuse cases.

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The Office of the First Deputy Commissioner

The Office plays a significant role in implementing agency goals and carries out ACS' mission to foster a collaborative, community-based, integrated approach to child and family safety, permanency, and well-being. The First Deputy Commissioner serves as the Commissioner's senior delegate and represents the Commissioner when necessary.

The Division includes the following offices:

  • The Office Of Children And Family Health - manages health care issues throughout the agency, providing expert technical assistance to our child welfare, juvenile justice, and child care programs. The Office also develops and implements strategies to enhance the understanding of medical issues throughout our systems in order to improve case practice and outcomes. OCFH consists of the following units:
    • Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Unit
    • Pre-Placement Unit
    • Clinical Programs and Services Unit
    • Mental Health Coordination Unit
    • Health, Policy and Planning Unit
    • Developmental Disabilities Unit
    • Children with Special and Exceptional Needs Unit
  • The Office Of Public-Private Partnerships - acts as ACS' liaison to the philanthropic community. In addition, they manage private and government funding for several collaborative initiatives. This Office also serves as the agency's primary point of contact with New Yorkers For Children, ACS' non-profit partner. OPPP consists of the following units:
    • Development and Special Projects Unit
    • In-Kind Contributions and Pro-Bono Resources Unit
  • The Office of Equity Strategies is committed to promoting equity and reducing disparities based on race, ethnicity, sovereignty, gender, gender identify and expression, sexual orientation and socioeconomics. This Office was established in 2017 to build upon and broaden the advocacy efforts undertaken by the agency, with an immediate focus on implementing legislation signed by Mayor de Blasio to strengthen justice and equity in New York City.

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The Division of Administration ensures that ACS has the resources and support necessary to function efficiently and effectively.

Offices within the division include Procurement, Facilities, Personnel, Administrative Services, and Accountability and Audit.

The division's functions include personnel management as well as building maintenance, workplace safety, health, and security, transportation, purchasing of goods and services, graphic services, and records management.

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External Affairs

The Division of External Affairs is comprised of the offices of Communications; Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs; Advocacy; Immigrant Services and Language Affairs; and Marketing.

  • The Office of Communications works with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the agency speaks with one consistent voice regarding priorities and promotes and supports all agency divisions with their programs and initiatives.

  • The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Interagency Affairs is the main point of contact for elected officials within the agency, and is responsible for working with elected officials and other stakeholders to advance the agency's mission.

  • The Office of Advocacy responds to inquiries, complaints, and concerns of parents, youth, foster parents, and the general public.

  • The Office of Immigrant Services and Language Affairs carries out the mandates of New York City Local Law 73, which prohibits public employees from asking clients about their citizenship status, other than to determine eligibility for a specific service or benefit, and requires certain kinds of free language assistance for persons with limited English proficiency who receive ACS services. ISLA ensures that all non-citizen youth in care who may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or other forms of relief are appropriately referred for legal services.

  • The Office of Marketing oversees print, radio, television and video promotions, public awareness campaigns, large scale events, and marketing materials such as brochures, flyers and content for the intranet and public website.

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Child and Family Well-Being

The Division of Child and Family Well-Being (CFWB) works to ensure critical supports to families and children, and is rooted in the belief that all New Yorkers should have health resources, and educational, cultural and social opportunities that support their capacity to thrive. Using a two-generation framework and equity lens, CFWB focuses on leveraging resources, eliminating disparities and barriers, and creating critical connections to valuable information and services that will enhance whole family social capital, health and well-being, education and economic supports. Our work includes the provision of quality early care and education services, as well as public education campaigns, an equity-focused framework, and a place-based approach via the Community Partnership Programs and Family Enrichment Centers.

The Division has the following units:

  • The Child Care Operations Unit supports eligibility determination and resolving enrollment issues. Further, this unit staffs a hotline which receives almost 10,000 calls per month from families and child care providers.

  • The Programs Unit oversees the EarlyLearn contracted care system. Within the unit, there are teams that provide technical assistance, training support, and monitoring of the 147 contracted EarlyLearn NYC programs, which serve more than 38,000 children in 360+ center-based programs and via 30 Family Child Care Networks. The team manages all aspects of the EarlyLearn NYC contracts, including governance and performance evaluation. Further, the Trauma Smart Unit implements the Trauma Smart training across the EarlyLearn system towards our goal of creating a trauma informed early care and education system.

  • The Performance Unit works across the entire Division to provide vital supports. Within the Unit are: the Policy and Procedure team, which performs all tasks to ensure compliance with regulations that govern our city, state, and federal funding streams; the Data Management and Systems unit, which oversees the data collected through ACCIS (Automated Child Care Information System), the centralized database for subsidized early care and education services; and the Administrative Services team.

  • The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships manages ACS' Community Partnership Program (CPPs) and the Family Enrichment Centers (FECs). The FECs are co-designed with the communities in which they are located – East New York, Highbridge and Hunts Point. The CPPs will start new 11 contracts as of January 2019 and serve as a key connection point in order to leverage resources and make connections in order to strengthen children and families throughout NYC.

  • The Safe Sleep Unit oversees the Safe Sleep campaign across all of NYC, providing vital information to ensure that babies are put safely to sleep and reduce the risk of and the number of sleep-related injuries and deaths.

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Child Welfare Programs

Child Welfare Programs is an umbrella group which integrates and aligns the work across the Divisions of Child Protection (DCP), Family Permanency Services (FPS) and Preventive Services (DPS). Additionally, CWP oversees the following areas:

  • The Nicholas Scoppetta Children's Center is the temporary residence for children coming into care until a permanent placement is found.

  • The Office of Placements Services coordinates with foster care agencies to help ensure that children are placed in the best possible setting in foster care.

  • The Office of Education Support and Policy Planning supports the agency's education-focused policy and planning matters for all children and youth who are receiving ACS services through consultations, training, policy development and advocacy services.

  • The Developmental Disabilities Unit (DDU) is a technical assistance unit that works on behalf of the intellectually disabled (ID) and developmentally disabled (DD) child, youth, and parent during the protective, preventive, and foster care phases of their ACS involvement. The Unit's daily outreach to foster care case planners, preventive agencies and CPS workers offers case consultation, training on developmental disabilities, identify local community resources and services, as well as provide free psychological testing to children in foster care suspected of having a developmental disability. The unit's focus has expanded to include a Parent Resource Manager (PRM). The PRM will provide referrals to resources specifically for the parent with cognitive impairment which supports the reunification of the child and/or resources to maintain custodial care of the child in the community. Contact the Developmental Disability Unit at:

  • The Office of Clinical Practice, Policy and Support is responsible for the planning, development and oversight of clinical policy and practice in the areas of mental health, substance use, and domestic violence issues affecting children and families.

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Child Protection

The Division of Child Protection (DCP) investigates all allegations of child abuse and neglect that the City receives from the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. Each year the division investigates about 55,000 reported cases. The division is comprised of approximately 3,500 employees spread across the five boroughs at nineteen sites.

The Division includes the following offices:

  • Child Protective Borough Offices made up of teams of child protective specialists who investigate reported cases of abuse and neglect.

  • Emergency Children's Services provides 24-hour investigative coverage, including on evenings and weekends.

  • The Office of Special Investigations investigates reports that involve foster parents, child care providers, and ACS staff.

  • Family Preservation and Family Services Units provide case management services when a New York State Family Court Judge prescribes court ordered supervision for a family as a result of a child abuse investigation.

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Family Court Legal Services

The Division of Family Court Legal Services is responsible for representing Children's Services in child welfare proceedings in the New York City Family Courts. The division provides legal assistance for the agency and foster care provider agencies and training for attorneys and caseworkers on Family Court practice.

The following units are part of FCLS:

  • Family Court Litigation Units located in the five New York City Family Courts represents Children's Services in court proceedings.

  • The Legal Support and Training Unit provides training for attorney and child welfare staff as well as litigation support for the FCLS court units. In addition, the unit provides legal advice to other Children's Services program areas. The unit also develops policies and procedures for the division and provides input into agency policies and legislation.

  • Legal Compliance Unit assists FCLS attorneys with issues involving compliance with court orders, expediting provision of services, guidance on agency policies, federal and state regulations, immigration issues, and other issues impacting permanency and well-being of children.

  • Title IV-E Management Unit assists the Central Eligibility Unit by obtaining court orders and legal documents to support claims for Federal and State Reimbursement for foster care and adoption.

  • Court Document Dissemination Unit obtains and distributes court orders to Children's Services and provider agency staff.

  • Contract Management Unit manages the contracts for process service, expert witnesses and court transcripts.

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Family Permanency Services

The Division of Family Permanency Services ensures that high quality services are provided to children in foster care by providing partner agency staff with technical assistance and services support.

The Division includes the following offices:

  • Older Youth Services and Residential Care Monitoring unit provides technical assistance and supportive services to older youth as well as special populations who are in foster care.

  • Provider Agency Consultation and Engagement provides technical assistance and support to the network of provider agencies serving youth who are in family foster care, treatment family foster care and in specialized settings by promoting better, more informed case decision-making and service delivery outcomes.

  • Child and Youth Initiatives Unit develops and manages new initiatives and programs in the areas of employment, housing, health and education to help promote permanency for youth in care.

  • Central Operations manages all process related matters dealing with children and youth who are in foster care, as well as support to those families seeking housing, child care and access to vital records.

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Financial Services

The Division of Financial Services is responsible for planning, implementing, and monitoring the fiscal functions of the agency in accordance with City, State and Federal oversight guidelines.

DFS is comprised of five major departments:

  • Budget department is responsible for planning and monitoring the agency budget, working closely with ACS executive management to ensure that agency priorities and initiatives are adequately funded and for acting as liaison with budgetary oversight entities including the Mayor's Office of Management and Budget.

  • Claiming & Revenue Accounting is responsible for planning, implementing and verifying the receipt of all appropriate revenues for the agency from the City, State and Federal governments.

  • Finance Audit & Banking monitors the financial health of provider agencies through financial review and audits and maintains all agency bank accounts.

  • Payment Services ensures that provider agencies, vendors, and clients are reimbursed for goods and services in a timely and accurate manner.

  • Revenue Maximization ensures the accurate and timely eligibility review of child welfare cases for the agency and the maintenance of accurate case data for those cases.

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General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel-works closely with the City of New York's Corporation Counsel to defend ACS in class action lawsuits and coordinates with legal and program area staff to ensure compliance with court orders, consent decrees and other legal and regulatory mandates.

OGC includes the following units/offices:

  • Business Law Unit provides legal counsel on all business, contract, and procurement law matters.

  • Employment Law Unit handles various employment issues including training on disciplinary and other employment issues.

  • Fair Hearings & Compliance Unit represents ACS at administrative hearings before both the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and the NYS Office for Temporary and Disability Assistance, on issues concerning ACS services.

  • Legal Counsel Unit conducts legal research, drafts memoranda, reviews and provides opinions relating to laws, regulations, and policies governing ACS services, pending legislation and regulations, and assists in drafting new policies and procedures.

  • The Labor Relations Unit maintains an effective relationship with union and labor organizations representing ACS employees, and resolving local labor-management issues.

  • The Records & Compliance Unit responds to records requests and acts as the entry point for employment and foster care status verifications.

  • The Special Projects Unit provides legal advice on policy and program issues, and acts as the in-house counsel, conducting legal research, interpreting laws and regulations governing the provision of ACS services.

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Policy Planning and Measurement

The Division of Policy, Planning, and Measurement collaborates with every ACS division to bring knowledge to practice. PPM guides systems analysis, strategic improvement and policy development; monitors and improves the quality of practice at ACS and its provider agencies; trains and develops the direct service workforce; manages research and analytics; and develops new programs.

The Division includes the following offices:

  • The Office of Policy, Program Development and Monitoring is responsible for policy development, new program development, performance management and continuous quality improvement with ACS' contracted provider agencies. Its units include Provider Agency Management Systems (PAMS), Agency Program Assistance (APA), the Policy Unit, and Program Development and Contract Governance.
  • The Office of Research and Analytics produces data, reports, and analysis for the entire agency, as well as for oversight agencies, the public and elected officials. This office includes the offices of Data Analytics, the Management Outcomes and Reporting Unit, Predictive Analytics, Research and Analysis, the Scorecard Unit, Report Development and the ChildStat Data Unit.
  • The Office of Quality Improvement manages quality assurance and improvement primarily related to the Division of Child Protection (DCP), and has four units: DCP Zone Based Review, DCP Collaborative Quality Improvement (CoQI), ChildStat Case Review, and Systemic Child Fatality Review (SCFR). These units conduct qualitative reviews of case practice on open and closed investigations, to provide an in-depth view into DCP practice including on safety & risk. Findings are incorporated into collaboratively quality improvement plans developed with DCP zones, and support system-wide accountability.
  • The Office of Strategy, Innovation and Planning (SIP) manages inter-divisional strategic initiatives, capacity building, systems design and reforms. The primary functions of the team include policy and data analysis; strategy; design and innovation; project management and implementation support; participatory research and design; and continuous quality improvement and sustainability.
  • The Office of Training and Workforce Development provides foundational and continuous learning for child welfare and juvenile justice direct service staff and supervisors. Through the use of simulation, coaching and other best practices in adult learning, staff develop strengths-based skills to protect and support the children, youth and families of New York City.

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Preventive Services

The Division of Preventive Services oversees the delivery and monitoring of preventive services for children and families in their community through our contracted providers. DPS aims to reduce the gap between poor infant/child/adolescent developmental and adult outcomes by promoting child and parent well-being, strengthening the ability of parents and guardians to keep their children safe, and reducing the risk of repeat maltreatment, neglect and placements/re-placements into foster care.

The Division includes the following Offices:

  • The Office of Preventive Family Team Conferencing (OPFTC) works with providers to conduct Family Team Conferences, to engage families, community members, and service providers in critical decisions related to safety, risk, well-being and service planning.

  • The Office of Family Home Care oversees the Family Home Care program which provides crisis intervention services to ensure that children remain in their homes and communities when possible.

  • OPTA provides technical assistance to strengthen case practice and improve access to preventive services. In addition to the assessment of the quality and safety of preventive agency practices, OPTA identifies needs and provides support to contracted provider agencies to address and improve performance gaps.

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Youth and Family Justice

The Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ) provides a wide range of services and programs for youth at every stage of the juvenile justice process. Our goals are to build stronger and safer communities and advance public safety by preventing juveniles from entering the New York City's juvenile justice system, to provide therapeutic treatment and services to youth in our custodial care, and to help juveniles develop the tools to leave the justice system for good. We strive to help families and young people by providing supportive services that are responsive to the needs of individual youth and families.

The Division includes the following Offices and program areas:

  • Community-Based Alternatives provides preventive services to youth at risk of getting involved in the system through the Family Assessment Program (FAP). It also oversees alternative programs that prevent youth from being detained or placed in a residential setting.

  • Detention provides secure and non-secure detention services for justice-involved youth whose cases are pending in Family or Criminal Courts.

  • Close to Home provides residential placement services for Juvenile Delinquents in a homelike setting close to their families and communities.

  • The Office of Juvenile Justice Programs and Services provides support across the Division by ensuring that our youth receive comprehensive and consistent medical, mental health, case management, and social services throughout their involvement with the juvenile justice system, and developing and overseeing the Division's continuum of programming and services.

  • The Office of Planning, Policy and Performance is responsible for monitoring detention, placement, aftercare, and community-based service providers' performance, and to support the providers through technical assistance.