ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN’S SERVICES ANNOUNCES KEY FINDINGS FROM RECENT SURVEY ABOUT FAMILIES’ EXPERIENCES WITH PREVENTION SERVICES
Nearly All Survey Participants Reported Being Happy With the Prevention Services They Were Receiving Through ACS Contracted Providers & That These Services Were Helping Families Achieve Their Goals
The “ACS Prevention Family Experience Survey” is Just One of the Ways in Which ACS is Listening to & Working to Better Understand the Lived Experiences of Families in NYC
Today, the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) released key findings from its annual “ACS Prevention Family Experience Survey.” Approximately 94 percent of survey participants reported being happy with the services their families were receiving through ACS contracted providers. Survey participants also felt that the services were helping them achieve their goals, and that they would recommend the services to a friend or family member.
Prevention services are designed to help families overcome challenges that ultimately help keep their children safely at home and in their communities. Through a network of community-based providers across NYC, over 16,000 families receive prevention services each year. Survey participants reported receiving services like family counseling, mental health counseling, support with their children’s education and/or daycare, domestic violence services as well as support with more concrete resources like clothing, furniture, food and access to government services (SSI, SNAP, etc.). This annual survey is just one of the ways in which ACS is listening to and working to better understand and respond to the lived experiences of families in New York City.
“When families need a helping hand, ACS will connect them to one of our community-based service providers that can help provide family counseling, mental health counseling, access to child care vouchers, access to food or clothing, and so much more. According to the just-released survey, the great majority of participating families are happy with the community-based services they’re receiving and would even recommend them to a friend or family member. ACS will continue to spread the word about how families can access these free and voluntary prevention services, and we will continue to find new ways to hear from those with lived experiences so that we can further improve our work,” said Commissioner Jess Dannhauser.
ACS’s nationally recognized continuum of prevention services have safely reduced the use of foster care. There were nearly 50,000 New York City children in foster care 25 years ago, and 17,000 just a decade ago. Today, there are fewer than 7,000 New York City children in foster care – a historic low.
In July 2020, ACS launched its redesigned prevention services system, which provides increased support to children and families in every neighborhood across New York City. The new system offers universal access to the full range of programs to all families across the City, regardless of where they live. Additionally, the new system expands therapeutic supports to families, aims to increase parent voice and choice in service delivery, and requires provider agencies to implement efforts to address racial disparities and promote racial equity in all programs.
In collaboration with provider agencies, the annual “ACS Prevention Family Experience Survey” was offered to families receiving prevention services. Thirty-three percent of families receiving prevention services during the point in time of survey administration chose to participate in the survey. The survey included questions about household demographics, the type and quality of services received, interactions with case planners, and suggestions for improvements. Findings from the survey will continue to inform further program and practice improvements.
- An overwhelmingly majority of survey participants were satisfied with the quality of services they received. For example, 93% of participants agree services are helping them achieve their goals; 94% of survey participants agree that they are happy with the prevention services their families received; 90% of survey participants agree that they would recommend services to a friend and/or family member; and 89% of survey participants agree that they would go to their prevention provider for help in the future.
- A large majority of survey participants (90 percent) said the referral to prevention services from ACS was helpful for their families. The continuum of prevention services programs aims to meet the varying needs of families. Families can expect services to be free, trauma informed, and culturally responsive while also having flexible hours to accommodate families’ schedules
- Nearly all survey participants were satisfied with the work of their case planners. Case planners are the primary staff members at the ACS-contracted prevention provider agencies with whom service recipients interact. They are crucial to the work, as they deliver services directly to parents/caregivers, children, young people, and families. Most families that participated in the survey reported that their case planner is available (97%); that they trust their case planner (96%); feel safe telling their case planner about their family (96%); feel listened to when setting goals for their family as part of their work with the case planner (97%); and feel their case planner respects their cultural practices (96%).
To read the full Prevention Family Experience Survey, please click here.
Banner Image: Mom with kids. Image Credit – Josue Michel