Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $3.4 million in grants have been awarded to 18 organizations across the state to fund unique public/private partnerships between private and non-profit organizations to support early childhood to youth-aged programs in local communities in need. The awards, administered by the state Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), represent a wide range of creative and evidence-informed practices and programs throughout the State. Through these awards, New York is investing in services which are culturally and linguistically competent, cost efficient, and contribute toward alleviating family well-being barriers identified for the respective communities.
“Too many children and families enter the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and stay too long when less costly and less intrusive services may prevent placements and improve long term outcomes,” said OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrión. “This funding will provide early intervention and prevention programs aimed at the educational, mental health, and physical well-being of children and youth and provide support to vulnerable families.”
The public/private partnerships are designed to increase services for at-risk children and youth to prevent involvement with the child welfare or juvenile justice systems and/or to expedite their return home. Proposals were sought from applicants within the ten Economic Development Regions of the State.
For a list of the awardees, go to http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/bcm/rfp/PPP%20list%202013.pdf.
To reach the highest-need families, priority was given to programs developed for children and youth in targeted neighborhoods which were selected based on rates of child abuse, foster care and detention admissions. Funding is being provided to specialized programs and services which target at-risk children in early learning or child care programs, as well as elementary, middle or high-school-aged youth. Awardees are required to leverage private matching funds to support the State funds being made available through this competitive Request for Proposals (RFP).
These funds are specifically designed to reach at-risk children and youth. Research is showing that:
· Children under three are the most likely to be victimized and are the fastest growing group entering out-of-home care;
· Poverty is a significant factor influencing early learning skills, behaviors and health of children entering school;
· Experiences beginning prenatally, through the early childhood years, impact lifelong social, emotional and behavioral outcomes;
· When teachers and administrators in high need neighborhoods receive professional development training, schools become calmer and more productive learning environments with improved educational outcomes;
· Teachers and administrators working with at-risk children often have experienced trauma in their own lives, so learning how to recognize and address this trauma can improve educational outcomes for students.
The public/private partnerships are the result of a competitive Request for Proposals which produced 36 submissions. The funding has been awarded to 18 organizations throughout the state based on their ability to provide programs that:
· Promote positive parenting and parent-child bonding;
· Support optimal child health and development;
· Prevent child abuse/maltreatment;
· Improve the quality of early learning and development programs; or
· Improve educational outcomes for elementary, middle, and high-school aged children.
The Office of Children and Family Services’ (OCFS) mission is to serve New York's public by promoting the safety, permanency and well-being of our children, families and communities. OCFS effectuates results by setting and enforcing policies, and building partnerships at the federal, state, county and community levels which impact practice. OCFS funding investments assist communities to create and/or enhance the provision of quality services in the areas of child welfare, child care, juvenile justice, adult protective, and services for the blind and visually handicapped.