Agenda for Children Tomorrow

The Bridge Builders: Community Partnership

The Bridge Builders Project is a community-based child welfare services initiative located in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. It tests the hypothesis that family well-being and child welfare outcomes will improve if community members are trained to work together to assist their neighbors with finding targeted social services and legal representation. The primary goals of the project are to: decrease the number of children who enter foster care for the first time, the number of children who re-enter foster care, the length of time children remain in foster care, and the overall occurrence of abuse and neglect within the Highbridge community.

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Community Partnership Initiative (CPI)

ACT played an important role in the rollout of the Community Partnership Initiative (CPI), a new initiative of the current ACS administration. CPI began in the fall of 2006 and was implemented in 11 community districts. The purpose of CPI is to develop and bolster community coalitions to participate in the improvement of child welfare outcomes in their neighborhoods. ACS offered $150,000 to one coalition in each of the 11 designated community districts.

Begun as a one year program, the CPI program has been extended and will continue to be funded within the scope of the ACS Request for Proposals that was issued in May 2009.

ACT facilitated the initial working sessions in each of the 11 communities and provided intensive technical assistance to the first three communities during the strategic planning phase. ACT continues to be available to all of the CPI coalitions, consulting as needed on a variety of issues.

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Immigrant Community Partnership Initiative

Launched in July 2007, ACT assisted the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) with the implementation of the Immigrant Community Partners Initiative (ICPI), a one year pilot project. The purpose of the project was to strengthen the connection between fast growing immigrant populations to NYC child welfare services. ACT facilitated the partnership between community organizations serving new immigrant populations and Children’s Services for the following purposes: 1) to improve access and understanding of child welfare services for immigrants in need of these services, 2) to improve the quality of child welfare services for immigrant communities by increasing the understanding of front line workers of issues and cultural mores of specific immigrant communities.

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Informing More Parents Across the Community Together, (IMPACT)

Bushwick IMPACT is a neighborhood-based family resource center with a mission to empower parents to maximize their children's potential by strengthening families, enriching community life, and influencing the systems that affect them. IMPACT is located in a welcoming storefront in Bushwick and has trained community parents to staff most of its operations. IMPACT works with mothers with children under eight and since it opened its doors in November 2005, has served more than 1500 parents and children through four program areas: leadership development, child development supports, family literacy, and family supports that include information and referrals to services that meet whole family needs.

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One City/One Community and Service Integration

One City/One Community was a three-year pilot program in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn developed in response to a directive by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The program's goal was to make efficient use of the City’s limited resources by improving service delivery and coordination for clients who were being helped by more than one City agency. One City/One Community was implemented for Bedford-Stuyvesant families being served by three or more City agencies who were experiencing difficulty resolving their cases. Rather than have these families apply for help at several different agencies, the project was designed to assemble the relevant case workers and address the family’s problems en masse. ACT co-designed, implemented, managed and staffed this three-year case coordination/services integration project. Some of the recommendations that stemmed from the lessons learned from this project have been implemented through our participation with the CRADLE. Please click here for a copy of the Brandeis University Report issued on One City/ One Community.

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Youth Advisory Board

Collaborating with ACS’s Office of Youth Development, ACT is assisting with the development of a Youth Advisory Board (YAB). Our role is to organize and facilitate meetings with a small group of current and former foster youth who comprise the Steering Committee. ACT staff assists with agenda development, facilitation, outreach, preparation of documents and handouts, preparation of meeting minutes and overseeing the interview process for new members. Ultimately, ACT will assist in building the capacity of the steering committee so that they can continue to convene and operate without the support of ACT.

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