Administration for Children's Services311Search all websites

Prevention Services

Prevention services are designed to help families keep their children safely at home. They help to promote safety, permanency, and well-being for children and their families in their own homes and communities.

Adult and child playing in the kitchen with cooking utensils

Prevention Services can help:

  • Strengthen families.
  • Reduce the likelihood of placements into foster care for children receiving prevention services.
  • Reduce the likelihood that children receiving prevention services will be the subject of subsequent abuse and neglect reports.
  • Promote permanency for the children in foster care, and reduce their risk of re-entry into foster care after they return home.

Prevention services are:

  • Free; regardless of your immigration status.
  • Voluntary
  • Available to you whether you have an open ACS investigation or not.
  • Available through community-based agencies that serve your community.

Services include

  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Exploited youth
  • Special medical needs
  • Aftercare programs
  • Home care services

Who can receive services?

  • Families with infants, school-aged children, youth and young adults.
  • Pregnant and parenting youth and adults.
  • Families with medical and special needs requiring home care.
  • Parents and youth who want to stop using drugs or alcohol.
  • Children and youth who have been sexually exploited.
  • Families with mental health and/or domestic violence concerns.

Find Prevention Services in your area:

We are happy to launch the new digital Prevention Provider Directory. View the directory to find contact information for prevention programs in each borough. Using the "filter" feature (top left toolbar), you can quickly search for prevention programs by provider agency, prevention program type, borough, NYC community district, or zip code. In the last columns, we've included maps of services available in each borough.

This link will automatically reflect updates and changes made by ACS. We recommend the link is saved as a shortcut on your desktop so it is always accessible and easy to find.

Please see the tip sheet for using the directory. Review this guide to learn key functions for navigating the directory, including filtering prevention programs by different variables.

What to Know if You Receive Prevention Services

If your family is receiving prevention services you will be invited to attend Family Team Conferences, and play an important role in any decision made about your family.

What is a Family Team Conference?

  • A family team conference is a meeting organized by ACS that brings together important people in a child’s family, such as relatives, doctors and close family friends, to discuss safety, placement stability, permanency and the overall well-being of a child.
  • It’s a time to make the best possible decisions with you and your family.
  • It’s a place to talk about achievements, concerns, and other important issues your family may have.

Who attends the Family Team Conference?

  • Family members:
    • Parents.
    • Children 10 years and older.
    • Other people you invite, such as a relative, church member, godparent, or friend.

  • Service providers:
    • The prevention agency case worker, case aide and/or supervisor.
    • Service providers who are already working with your family.
    • Other service providers not working with your family, but who may be able to help.

  • Community representatives, or parent advocates.
  • A Prevention Family Team Conference Specialist will attend some of the conferences to support the prevention agency and ensure services are meeting your family’s needs.

Why should I attend?

  • This conference is for and about you and your children. You know your family best.
  • To express your ideas and feelings. Your voice is very important and you should be heard.
  • To make sure that services are meeting your needs and the needs of your family.

What happens at the Family Team Conference?

A trained Conference Facilitator guides the conference to explore the following:

  • The purpose and ground rules for the conference.
  • The goals to achieve from the conference.
  • Your family’s strengths, needs and concerns.
  • Group ideas on how to address concerns and develop a plan.
  • Agreement on who will do what and when it will be done.

What types of Prevention Family Team Conferences will I be expected to attend?

Planning Conference:

Planning conferences are held every six months to discuss your family’s progress and review your service plan.

Elevated Risk Conference:

If your case worker believes that your children are at risk or unsafe, at any time during your case; you and other providers who are involved with your family, will be invited to participate at a conference to prevent potential harm to your children”.

Other Conferences:

Your case planner may schedule a special conference if important changes have happened in your family, or when services are coming to an end.

What if I have questions?

  • Talk with your case planner about what you can expect and who you should invite.
  • Your case planner can also help you with services concerning your attendance at a conference such as transportation, child care, or interpretation services.

For more information, please contact (212) 676-1326