Partnering for Success

Site 1: New York City

New York State and its New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) were awarded a five-year Title IV-E waiver in January 2014. The New York State Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration Project, called Strong Families NYC, features two system improvement initiatives and two evidence-based interventions that together are designed to promote greater stability, permanency and well-being among children in foster care and their families. The four components of Strong Families NYC are: caseload and supervisory ratio reductions; use of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths-New York (CANS-NY) tool; Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC); and Partnering for Success (PfS).

After participating as one of the initial pilot sites of PfS, ACS actively partnered with the National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare to adapt PfS to New York City’s unique child welfare context. ACS’s new Workforce Institute, a partnership with the School of Professional Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), has provided trainers to deliver the NYC PfS curriculum to 17 contracted regular family foster care agencies and their mental health clinician partners as part of Strong Families NYC.

ACS has been at the forefront of promising trends in the field of child welfare. In addition to its increased focus on professionalizing child protection, increasing preventive services and improving accountability, ACS has shifted to a more research-informed practice and has increased its investment in innovative models that address root causes of child maltreatment. ACS’s recent focus on data-driven decision making, evidence-informed case practice, cultural competency, trauma-informed care and the use of evidence-based models (EBMs) has been shaped by a more sophisticated use of data and research. It is within this context that ACS has launched Strong Families NYC. ACS now operates one the largest and most diverse array of evidence-based and evidence-informed preventive programs of any municipal child welfare jurisdiction. This suite of EBPs encompasses 16 service models with the capacity to serve more than 8,000 child welfare-involved families each year. PfS and its support for collaborative and evidence-based therapeutic services is a natural fit for ACS.