NYFC collaborates with an array of key stakeholders in the child welfare community including community partners, educational institutions, ACS, and over 100 citywide provider agencies to pilot innovative programs designed to help children, young adults, and their families involved in the NYC Child Welfare System. These initiatives include:
- Improving adoption permanency outcomes
- Subgranting to smaller organizations in the child welfare sphere
- Curricula to better support LGBTQ+ youth
- Addressing trauma through the arts
NYFC assumes two roles for Innovative Programs:
As Program Managers, we design, administer, and oversee all aspects of a program.
As Grant Managers, we partner with ACS to oversee the backend operations of their projects.
In June 2018, NYFC launched an intensive, multi-year pilot program in New York City known as LifeSet, designed by Youth Villages, a leading national non-profit organization based in Memphis, Tennessee.
The overarching goal of the program is to improve outcomes across the board for youth transitioning out of foster care by providing a comprehensive array of services and tightly regulated supports to transition-age youth in foster care, which include daily living and basic life skills, employment and education coaching, financial literacy, social supports that help establish strong adult relationships, and more.
This program is designed to be highly customizable, allowing the specialists to tailor the services offered to meet the exact needs of the youth. The program will serve approximately 300 youth, ages 17 to 22, over three years. Four local NYC foster care agencies – Children’s Aid, SCO Family Services, Good Shepherd Services, and The NY Foundling – were competitively selected to recruit, enroll, and serve the program’s participants.
In an effort to support the ecosystem of child welfare organizations in New York, NYFC has made subgrants to eight smaller organizations who are carrying out direct service, policy change, or research work. Subgrants support organizations doing innovative work in one or more of the following nine concept areas: Housing, Transition Age Youth, Education and Career, Mental Health, Expectant Parents, C-Sec (youth who are victims of sex trafficking), Caregivers, Youth Voice, and Equity.
The majority of the subgrantee organizations are BIPOC-led and/or led by those with lived experience in foster care, and all are based in New York City. In addition to funding, selected organizations participate in a learning community through a teach-and-learn approach, cross-pollinating innovative ideas and supporting each other. Through this project, NYFC provides smaller organizations with targeted support- both financial and technical-to grow their service offerings and in doing so enrich the quality of public services across NYC for youth and families.
In collaboration with Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children, NYFC recently launched the Post-Permanency Support Program (PPSP). This program will offer New York City families the best chance for success in preserving and stabilizing placements once children have been adopted or placed in kinship guardianship. The New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) is a key partner in this work.
For up to five years, the PPSP will provide 80-100 families annually with a range of services, including adoption/ guardianship-competent programming, trauma-informed care, peer-to-peer support groups, mentorship opportunities, a variety of workshops, and more.
NYFC has selected three qualified providers to carry out the program—MercyFirst, New Alternatives for Children (NAC), and the Council on Adoptable Children (COAC)—placing high emphasis on evidence-based practices that can be incubated and scaled up if proven successful. In doing so NYFC aims to strengthen the ecosystem of post-permanency support in NYC.
With funding from GraduateNYC’s College Completion and Innovation Fund, NYFC has launched the Cohort Connection program. This program is designed to address the problem of low graduation and persistence rates among youth aging out foster care who are attending college by adapting the highly effective one-on-one approach of our Nick’s Scholars program to group-focused support.
Combining group-based work with the programmatic elements of Nick’s Scholars, Cohort Connection aims to dramatically expand access to graduation-related support services for youth in foster care while maintaining outstanding effectiveness. The program will run from 2022 through 2024, and if proven successful, will ideally serve as a model for the broader child welfare field.
To Parents With Intellectual Or Developmental Disabilities
With funding from The Mother Cabrini Foundation, NYFC and ACS partnered to provide vital support services to parents with intellectual or developmental disabilities involved with the NYC child welfare system.
In this pilot, NYFC and ACS’ Developmental Disabilities Unit partner with Sinergia to provide service coordination for these parents, including those with court involvement who are working towards reunification.
Sinergia offers group classes, one-on-one sessions, and coaching to help with individual parenting goals identified for each parent, such as nutrition and meal planning, and establishment of a household routine. The supports and resources provided include a parent assessment, parenting classes, individual counseling, home visit coaching, help with individual parenting goals, and 1:1 home and community support.
LGBTQ Foster Care
Population Count And Youth Climate Survey
With support from The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Redlich Horwitz, NYFC and ACS commissioned a study to better understand the needs and experiences of young people in foster care who identify as LGBTQAI+ and gender diverse.
The study, titled “Experiences and Well-Being of Sexual and Gender Diverse Youth in Foster Care in New York City,” is based on feedback from the multitude of young people interviewed combined with analysis of administrative data and serves to provide new guidance for the child welfare field and inform strategies to improve outcomes of LGBTQAI+ youth in care. Columbia University designed the study, analyzed the data, and produced the report, and Westat conducted the survey.
To explore the survey, click here.