The Wisest Investment: New York City’s Preventive Service System
Child welfare preventive services are services that strengthen and support families, so that children can remain in their homes without abuse, neglect, or the need to be removed and placed into foster care. Given the increased number of child abuse and neglect reports being indicated by the City, these services are essential to keeping children safe and home with their families.
While tremendous work has been done to strengthen the preventive service system, New York City’s system needs to be able to serve more families, improve coordination between the providers and the City Administration for Children’s Services, and provide greater access to mental health and education services.
CCC conducted a three-year study, which included data analysis, surveys of preventive service providers and a focus group of parents. CCC’s study found that while the City’s preventive service system was helping many families, it could be greatly strengthened through increased access and resources. CCC’s recommendations center on 5 themes:
Increase the system’s capacity to serve all families in need;
Improve the collaboration and coordination among the City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), its preventive providers and other child welfare stakeholders;
Enhance accountability and oversight and make results of monitoring public;
Strengthen case practice;
Increase federal, state and city resources available for ACS, preventive service providers, and other community-based supports.