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Theory of Change

Graduating student

TOC Graduate

Children’s Aid helps children and youth in targeted high-needs neighborhoods to succeed and thrive by providing comprehensive services that meet the needs of the whole child throughout development so they can attend and graduate college to break out of poverty.

Children’s Aid Theory of Change illustrates the relationship between the strategies and services we have implemented within high-needs neighborhoods to the immediate and long-term outcomes we aim to achieve – to help children in poverty succeed and thrive.

Results and Outcomes Client Feedback

Implement Strategies

Our strategies include multiple levels - from targeting children and families directly to supporting broad city, state, and national policy changes.

  • Focus on high-needs neighborhoods in NYC
  • Emphasize higher education as the key to escaping poverty
  • Integrate services to support whole child development
  • Build a results-oriented culture to continuously track and learn from results
  • Advocate for policies and resources on behalf of children in poverty

Provide Services

Each type of service we provide across each developmental stage, from birth into young adulthood, is geared to support children’s success in school. These multidisciplinary services keep children on track and well-prepared as they progress toward college graduation.

Early Childhood
  • Early childhood education
School Age
  • Community schools
  • Charter school
  • After-school programs
  • Summer camps
  • Parent programming
Adolescence
  • Youth development programs
  • Pregnancy prevention
Across All Ages
  • Medical/dental/mental health
  • Adoption and foster care
  • Preventive programs
  • Youth Empowerment programs
  • Food and nutrition education
  • Client/legal advocacy
  • Domestic violence programs



Measure Effects

As we provide these services, we continuously measure their immediate effectiveness in four domains: education, social emotional skills, health, and within the family and home. The four domains are tracked through indicators across the developmental stages. Tracking these indicators enable us to gain a better understanding of the needs of our community and to make ongoing improvements to our services and advocate for changes needed across the city, state, and nationally.

  • % of children who meet or exceed typical developmental milestones for cognition, knowledge, learning, lanuage and literacy
  • % of students who successfully complete kindergarten, are promoted, with GPA 3.0 or higher, at grade level in ELA and Math and improve in child-specific targeted academic interventions
  • % of students who successfully complete first year of high school, are promoted, achieve high scores on Regents, participate in accelerated learning programs, graduate college, attend college and graduate
  • % of students with high attendance rates
  • % of seniors who apply to college
  • % of children who meet or exceed typical developmental milestones for social emotional skills
  • % of students who demonstrate skills such as resiliency, cooperation, and self-management
  • % of students who have never had intercourse, smoked cigarettes, used alcohol or used marijuana
  • % of parents who read to child daily
  • % of families that achieve academic and health milestones
  • % of families who can ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children within the home and actively engage in treatment plans
  • % of children who meet or exceed typical developmental milestones for motor skills
  • % of patients maintaining dental health, successfully managing asthma, receiving intervention for substance abuse, or preventing pregnancy

Achieve Outcomes

Through consistent and effective improvements in these four domains, we expect the following intermediate outcomes:

  • Children develop appropriate cognitive skills
  • Students achieve academically
  • Students exhibit needed behaviors/values
  • Children possess appropriate social emotional skills
  • Youth avoid high-risk behaviors
  • Families promote learning
  • Children have safe and stable homes
  • Children develop appropriate motor skills
  • Children fulfill their health potential

Fullfill Mission

By achieving these intermediate outcomes, Children’s Aid can fulfill it’s long-term mission that children in poverty have the educational, social emotional, health, and family and home supports they need to attend and graduate college.

Every Step of the Way

How we connect children and youth with the tools to learn, grow, and lead.

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