New York City Continues to Pursue Reforms for Foster Youth
In a report soon to be released by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), the child welfare agency says it has “significantly improved New York City’s foster care system,” with dramatic reductions in the time youth are spending in care.
“We are continuing and expanding the strategies that have proven effective – including our major initiatives that are reducing length of stay in foster care, recruiting high-quality foster homes and improving the experience youth have in foster care, and implementing new strategies and expanded services,” writes the Mayor Bill de Blasio-appointed ACS Commissioner David Hansell, in the report.
According to the report, a third-year update to a 2016 strategy document, the number of youth in care reached an all-time low of 8,300 at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, down from 9,900 three years ago and 16,000 a decade ago. The number of children in care for two years or longer has dropped by 22 percent since the 2017 fiscal year.
Overall, the report points out, youth are spending about 50 fewer days in care, a finding that first appeared in an independent evaluation released this summer by the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall. Meanwhile, the number of foster homes newly certified by ACS this year marks a 50 percent increase from 2017, reversing a six-year decline.
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