There are thousands and thousands of vulnerable and at risk children nationwide who are in need of government policy changes and new programs to help increase their quality of life. These children are placed in foster care either involuntary, by order of a court, or voluntarily, because their parents are willing to have them cared for temporarily outside their home.

These children are placed in foster care because they have been, or are at risk of being, abused or neglected, or because a court has determined that the child needs special supervision. They could also be separated from their family because of a serious medical, emotional, or financial problem.

New York:  the Most Populous State and Strained System

1. Everyone is working together

New York is working hard to make life better for vulnerable kids on all levels. The state legislature has been keeping the issue alive in legislation and private organizations like NY Foundling are building support networks outside of the state capitol. The number of children in foster care in New York State has decreased by tens of thousands from the 1990s to the 2000s. This is a significant reversal of trends from the increase of the 1980s and early 1990s. Policy changes and new programs have made great strides to bring families together across the state.

2. Stepping up investigations

New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services is one entity doing its part to help New York’s kids. The agency protects children by investigating an average of 55,000 reports of abuse or neglect each year, assists families in need through counseling, referrals to drug rehabilitation programs and other preventive services, recruits and trains foster parents and caregivers to provide safe homes, and supports youth development and permanency for young people. They also provide a diverse range of other programs and services.

3. More people are advocating for these kids

The group VOICE is also actively trying to make life better for New York children. For a decade they have actively participated in public hearings, community coalitions, and involvement with New York state government. Among the things they advocate for are fair and consistent childcare regulations and enforcement, overall quality of care for children, and expanding access to affordable early learning and care for all children and families.

The Advocates for Children of New York are another hard working group that strive to make life better for children. They believe that every child deserves a quality education regardless of challenges they may face. They offer a wide range of resources such as referrals, workshops, and trainings to help children get the education they deserve. They work tirelessly on behalf of children, with their staff also being members of the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education and the Department of Youth and Family Justice Advisory Board.

As is evident by these groups, there is much to be done for New York’s children, but many people are giving their best efforts to see that they have a brighter future.