Standing Up Against Budget Cuts
Every day, we stand by our clients in court and fight for their rights. We also advocate for them at City Hall, Albany, the White House, and in the halls of power by sharing their experiences and using the power of the law.
The State budget released by Governor Andrew Cuomo proposes the most drastic cuts to child welfare in New York City in decades and includes cuts to everything from child protection services, preventive programs that keep families together, and services that help our clients prepare to leave foster care on their own.
The Governor’s proposal to cap the State’s funding just to New York City would cut a total $129 million dollars, on top of other cuts that directly impact our clients. Funding that:
- Helps children stay safely at home with their parents through preventive services like family therapy, treatment for substance misuse and domestic violence intervention—preventing the need for foster care.
- Prepares older youth in foster care to transition to adulthood
- Supports youth in care to attend and succeed in college
- Prevents youth in foster care and runway & homeless youth from being sex trafficked
The budget threatens over 20 years of progress, including the dramatic reduction of children in foster care from over 50,000 to fewer than 9,000 today. Without these preventive services, we fear that fewer families will get the help they need and more children will be placed in foster care. Older youth in foster care will also fall through the cracks.
We’re telling Albany to put kids first—no matter their New York State zip code—and a pass a budget that reflects New York State values.
We’ve joined a coalition of child welfare advocates to urge the Governor to stop these cuts. Specifically, Lawyers For Children has submitted testimony to the New York State Legislature and a letter directly to Governor Cuomo explaining:
- The potential impact of these cuts based on the experiences of our clients, including how preventive services helps stop the intergenerational cycle of child welfare involvement.
- The challenges the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) faces especially as Governor’s Cuomo own agency, the New York State Office of Family & Children Services (OCFS), appointed a monitor which found the City had “critical resource challenges.”
- Just three months ago, an independent monitor ordered by the Governor’s Office of Children & Families Services found that the City’s Administration for Children’s Services was hampered by “critical resource challenges”.
- How preventive services not only reduces child abuse and improves outcomes, but also saves money over time.
Read our testimony to the State Legislature and letter to Governor Cuomo.
Take a couple minutes and tell Albany to keep NYC’s children safe and families supported with our partner, Citizen’s Committee for Children.