Children’s Aid Society Applauds New Bloomberg Initiative to Aid Minority Youth, Calls for Continued City Focus on Poverty Prevention Programs

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NEW YORK, NY- The Children’s Aid Society today announced its support for Mayor Bloomberg’s new efforts to aid minority youth, urging city officials to continue to play an active role in supporting at-risk populations.

“I applaud the Mayor’s effort and clear personal commitment to this issue.  A high-profile and coordinated effort between public agencies and private sources is absolutely essential in addressing the multiple threats that young African American and Latino males face,” said Children’s Aid President and CEO Richard Buery. “While this initiative is a critical first step in equalizing opportunity for young people of color, it doesn’t restore the deep budget cuts in education, health, and other human services that disproportionately impact them.”

Buery attended the Mayor’s announcement of the new initiative, which shares goals with several comprehensive Children’s Aid programs that rely on continued support from the public and private sources: Lasting Investments in Neighborhood Connections (LINC) and the African American Male Initiative (AAMI).

LINC is a juvenile justice reentry program that works with The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to increase social and emotional competencies and increase the employability of youth returning from juvenile justice facilities through a life coaching model and weekly group meetings. In 2010, LINC trained 150 youth to enter the workforce who would not have otherwise been trained, and LINC youth maintained a recidivism rate far below those not enrolled in the program.

AAMI works to improve the outcomes for the vulnerable population of African American males, who continue to fall behind their peers at almost every stage of their development. The initiative and its program Steps to Success seek to intervene against the negative academic, social, emotional, behavioral, and health outcomes that African American boys face—to lead them toward success in critical areas including academic achievement, classroom behavior, peer relationships and improved self-image. In the 2010-2011 academic year, 100% of AAMI program participants – 40 boys – progressed in school, while overall school absenteeism decreased by 20% among participants.

“Tackling pervasive issues like poverty is a major undertaking that requires collaboration between the public and private sectors. The combined efforts of government agencies, corporations, nonprofits and individuals will help achieve greater success in this initiative,” said Robert Wolf, Chairman UBS Americas and Children’s Aid Board Trustee. “We all have a role to play in moving our society forward and we all applaud Mayor Bloomberg's leadership in this much needed effort."

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The Children’s Aid Societyis an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the children of New York City.  Our mission is to help children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods. Founded in 1853, it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving New York’s neediest children. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. For additional information, please call Anthony Ramos at (212) 949-4938/ (917) 204-8214, email anthonyr@childrensaidsociety.orgor visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.