The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) today released its Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) today released its ACS Foster Parent’s Guide to Education, a valuable guide specifically made for foster parents to help them in navigating the city’s public school system. The guide – funded by New Yorkers For Children – highlights the many services and resources available to them and the children in their care− from birth to high school, college, and beyond.
“New York City’s more than 5,000 foster care parents play a vital and permanent role in the lives of the children in their care,” said ACS Commissioner David Hansell (pictured above). “Quality education is nourished in the classroom, but begins in the home. Our role is to provide direction, support, and services to families so that they can ensure our kids perform to their best ability both in and outside of school.”
“We are committed to providing equity and excellence for all New York City students and families, and this guide will serve as a useful tool for foster parents and caregivers,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Only by closely collaborating across City agencies can we meet the individual needs of students, parents, guardians and educators and this new guide is an example of this essential partnership in action.”
“We are thrilled to partner with ACS and fund this important work,” said Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez, New Yorkers For Children’s Executive Director. “Foster parents play a critical role in the day-to-day educational success of the children in their care. This guide will serve as a useful resource for foster parents and will help ensure that youth in care across our city have the resources they need to accomplish their educational goals and this guide strives to help them achieve those goals.”
Education is the great equalizer, opening doors of opportunity and providing stability and focus that counter negative experiences ACS-involved youth may have had in their lives. For many children in foster care, school is a haven where they feel a sense of safety and a sense of belonging. Given what are sometimes unique challenges, children in foster care may need special attention to support their success.
The ACS Foster Parent’s Guide to Education will help foster parents and caregivers understand key developmental milestones; provide a better understanding of the Pre-K, Kindergarten, Middle School and High School admission processes throughout city schools; support the application process for colleges and post-high school programs; and expand their knowledge on alternative high school programs. The Guide will also provide information on other education-related topics for LGBTQ students, pregnant/parenting teens, and students with language barriers.
This educational guide will also help foster parents to engage and build partnerships with parents to support and improve the educational outcomes of children and help to facilitate education transition planning for when children in foster care return home.
ACS is offering this valuable guide online and in schools to help foster parents take advantage of the many services and resources available to them and the children in their care, as part of our ongoing commitment to improve the foster care experience for both our young people and caregivers.
ACS has also partnered with the City University of New York, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, the Workplace Center at Columbia University School of Social Work, Pinkerton Foundation, New Yorkers For Children and other partners to launch multiple initiatives to improve education and employment outcomes for youth in foster care. More than 400 youth in foster care are attending college, including about 100 participating in the Fostering College Success Initiative ACS Dorm Project in partnership with CUNY.
For more information about NYC ACS, please visit www.nyc.gov/acs