The Office of Public Policy manages and implements an advocacy-driven strategy focused on issues that affect children and families living in New York City’s most under-resourced neighborhoods. Through coalition building and legislative and budget advocacy, the Public Policy team is a key component of the comprehensive counterattack Children’s Aid leads against the obstacles that threaten the well-being of children and their families.
New York City has dramatically reduced the number of children and youth entering the foster care system over the last decade. However, the more than 8,000 children who are currently in care have a complexity of needs that require comprehensive, robust policies and adequate funding to ensure that they have the same opportunity to live safe and successful lives.
Children’s Aid works to ensure that New York’s leaders, at the city and state level, support young people in the child welfare system. We also lead the Fostering Youth Success Alliance, a statewide coalition, to advocate for the rights of youth in care so they might set higher expectations for themselves and achieve their goals.
are enrolled in college as compared to 60% of the general population
are homeless immediately after aging out of the foster care system
Children’s Aid has been a leader in the fight for accessible, affordable, and high-quality child care and early childhood education, particularly for children and families living in low-income neighborhoods. This issue gained a powerful foothold when New York City became the largest city to implement universal pre-K. Since then we have been advocating for equitable pay for the early childhood educators who provide invaluable instruction to children that prepare them for their first official year of school.
that children with low-income parents hear by age 5 as compared to wealthier peers
are able to participate in fully subsidized early childhood education programs.
Children’s Aid has been at the forefront of the community schools strategy in New York City, which integrates holistic social services into school buildings located in under-resourced neighborhoods. The model has been implemented across New York State, the U.S., and internationally. We advocate for sustained funding at the city, state, and federal levels to increase long-term academic success. We have also been long-time champions of quality after-school programming, and work to ensure that all community school partnerships are in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
is the threshold for chronic absenteeism and predicts lower levels of achievement across the board.
who do not have access to high-quality after-school programming in New York State.
Every child deserves to live a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately, one in four children in the United States cannot access essential health care, even if they have insurance. For children from low-income families with chronic health problems, accessing specialty care is yet another barrier to achieving their full potential. We advocate for access to basic health care services and coverage for all children and families in New York City. Our current health policy priorities are:
- Health care coverage (including expanding Medicaid and the authorization of Child’s Health Insurance Program)
- School-based health services
- Evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs
- High-quality reproductive health and health education services
experience a mental condition severe enough to affect daily functioning.
were found to be overweight.
Over the last 15 years, in response to the changing needs of young people and their families, Children’s Aid has built a network of coordinated services in the South Bronx. In 2016, the Bronx borough president tapped Children’s Aid to coordinate the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) in the Bronx to address the issues that prevent families from building solid foundations, such as high rates of poverty and unemployment, and develop a comprehensive plan to target funds that address those needs and problems. The work is highly collaborative, bringing together a cross section of Bronx stakeholders to identify needs and develop a long-term plan.
lack a high school diploma in several high-poverty community districts.
in certain Bronx community districts, twice the citywide average.
Every Step of the Way
A school garden in the South Bronx brings parents together.
The Thompson family are taking care of each other every step of the way.
Our Office of Public Policy reflects on a robust advocacy season.