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NYC ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN’S SERVICES AND NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP AIMED AT INCREASING THE NUMBER OF BRONX & QUEENS FAMILIES RECEIVING FAMILY SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS

May 30, 2024 / SCO News

As Part of a New Pilot Initiative, NYC Health + Hospitals Staff at Lincoln Hospital, Gotham Health Morrisania & Elmhurst Hospital Will be Trained on How to Best Identify and Connect Families In-Need to Family Support Services

The NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and NYC Health + Hospitals today announced a new pilot initiative aimed at connecting more families in need with family support services, while also reducing unnecessary reports made to the State’s child abuse hotline simply because a family needs help. The Pathways to Prevention initiative is just one of the ways in which New York City is working to make sure families have direct access to the resources and services they need. The pilot was designed with the help of the Public Policy Lab and jointly supported by Casey Family Programs and Youth and Families Forward Fund.

As part of the pilot, social workers, physicians and other staff at Lincoln Hospital (Pediatric clinic, OBGYN, CASA clinic), Gotham Health Morrisania (Pediatric outpatient) and Elmhurst Hospital (Pediatric clinic, OBGYN, Adolescent clinic) will be trained on how to best identify and connect patients to beneficial family support services. Staff will be able to facilitate such connections through the findhelp.org social services directory or by contacting one of the participating ACS prevention providers directly. The pilot will be rolled out with the following ACS community-based prevention partners: JCCA, Children’s Aid, Cardinal McCloskey, Good Shepherd Services, SCO Family of Services and The New York Foundling.

“This pilot program with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Administration for Children’s Services is another avenue to extend the supportive network for families. It is one of many tools we are using as our frontline response across our health and human services system, because we know sustained proactive support is what gives every family and child the best chance to thrive,” said Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services.

“New York City is leading the way in making sure families have streamlined access to the resources, services and support they need and this partnership with Health + Hospitals is central to that work,” said ACS Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. “In the first three months of this year, we received more than twice as many referrals to prevention and family support services from community sources than in the first three months of 2023. This means schools, shelters and families themselves are learning how to access supportive family services without any need for a child protective investigation. With this new partnership, we expect that number to grow. I want to thank Health + Hospitals for its commitment and collaboration.”

“The Pathways to Prevention program is a testament to NYC Health + Hospitals’ commitment to the holistic wellbeing of every family we serve,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “By partnering with ACS and community-based organizations to proactively connect families to crucial support services, we’re ensuring that our patients have access to the resources they need to thrive both inside and outside our hospital walls.”

“Families come to our hospitals and clinics because they want to be healthy, and access to family support programs is essential to that,” said Aaron Miller, MD, MPA, Assistant Vice President of Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment at NYC Health + Hospitals. “We are proud to have strong relationships with partners in government and community-based organizations so that we can truly meet families where they are and support them in their journey toward their healthiest life.”

“This pilot is the result of hundreds of hours of interviews and co-design workshops with families, hospital staff, and staff at ACS’ community-based prevention partners,” said the Public Policy Lab’s Design Strategy Director, John Buckley. “We are thankful for the leadership shown by our New York City agency partners who recognize the importance of multiagency collaboration when supporting families and the front-line staff who serve them. This model of cross-agency collaboration combined with human-centered design has proven potential to transform how New Yorkers interact with and benefit from public services.”

“The New York Foundling has always strived to meet families where they are with the services that they want. This initiative does just that. For many of the young people, families, and communities we interact with every day, these approaches are far more effective than government intervention or supervision. We look forward to working with ACS and Health + Hospitals on this program to more seamlessly connect New Yorkers reaching out for support,” said Melanie Hartzog, President and CEO of The New York Foundling.

“Since 1946, Cardinal McCloskey has provided comprehensive community-based services to protect, empower, and promote independence for children and families and have worked tirelessly to keep families together. As a result, we are honored and privileged to be working with ACS and NYC Health and Hospitals as they continue to play such a pivotal role in moving this vision forward,” said Beth Finnerty, President & CEO of Cardinal McCloskey Community Services.

“Community-based organizations play a critical role in ensuring that families across New York City are supported with resources vital to their health and well-being,” said Michelle Yanche, CEO of Good Shepherd Services. “The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and NYC Health + Hospitals pilot initiative represents the City’s commitment to empowering community-based organizations to meet the most fundamental needs of families across our city. Good Shepherd Services is proud to support this important initiative and looks forward to our continued partnership with ACS and NYC Health + Hospitals.”

“New York City continues to set the national standard of care for children and families. Through this partnership with Health + Hospitals, JCCA will expand its continuum of care to reach families where they are and when they need it most. Too many families in need of support don’t know how to get it. By investing in a proactive approach to community health that empowers healthcare and other social services to make referrals, the city has created a vital pathway for trusted providers to reach families and support their health and stability,” said CEO of JCCA, Ronald Richter.

“Strong futures begin with strong families,” said Suzette Gordon, President and CEO of SCO Family of Services. “We are honored to partner with ACS, NYC Health + Hospitals and our peer agencies on this innovative project that will strengthen family relationships, prevent crisis, and enhance family well-being.”

Today’s announcement builds on the ongoing work that ACS is doing to better connect families to services upfront. For instance, last year, ACS announced it was collaborating with NYC Public Schools – the largest source of report citywide – to provide revised training and materials so that mandated reporters, like teachers and guidance counselors, better understand when a report is and is not necessary and how they can support a family without a call to the State’s child abuse hotline. ACS and NYC Public Schools have jointly trained over 8,600 school staff in more than 90 interactive sessions since early 2023. ACS has also been training staff from Department of Homeless Services shelters, private hospitals, and DYCD after-school providers.

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