Take Action to Help Keep New York City's Children Safe

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Please help! Critical preventive services strengthen and support families, but the City is planning to eliminate 25%, or 3,000 slots, currently serving families. What is going to happen to the families already engaged in these services? How will new families, identified to be in need, have access to preventive services to stabilize themselves? Community-based abuse and neglect prevention services are critical to keep children safe from harm and avert the need for more costly foster care. Today in New York City, over 30,000 children from almost 14,000 families are receiving preventive services.

We need to make child abuse and neglect prevention a priority in New York City. To ensure that all families receive the help they need so children can remain safely at home and out of foster care, the City needs to invest $11 million to maintain the 3,000 slots. These city funds are guaranteed to receive $20 million in state matching funds.

While the City's uniformed agencies (Police, Fire, Corrections and Sanitation) have been held to lower budget cutting standards, the City's emergency responder for children, ACS, has not. In just the past two years, ACS has had to cut almost $300 million from its budget. Now, ACS wants to eliminate 3,000 preventive service slots currently serving families - this will jeopardize the safety of NYC's children.

Preventive services are community-based services that strengthen and support families. They are also cost-effective, cost a fraction of the price of foster care, and receive an uncapped 63.7% match from New York State.

New York City's communities need these services - joblessness and homelessness rates have soared; child abuse and neglect reporting remain high; and the rate of child abuse/neglect indication remains over 40%. Cutting preventive service slots will leave children at risk of abuse or neglect and increase the number of children in foster care. Please do not wait for a terrible tragedy to befall one of New York City's children before ensuring that ACS has the resources to keep children safe and families together. Take steps NOW to ensure that ACS has the $11 million in city funds needed to restore the 3,000 preventive service slots.

Please click here to send a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Council General Welfare Chair Annabel Palma, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio urging them to make child abuse and neglect prevention a priority in NYC.