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About AFC

Our Mission

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC)’s mission is to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low-income backgrounds.

Our Model

AFC simultaneously works side by side with students and their families, providing the one-on-one guidance and advocacy they need, while pressing for systemic reforms that benefit all students.

Our unique and flexible approach to problem-solving gets students the support they need to succeed, educates and empowers families, and drives meaningful education reform.


Free advice and legal representation

We help families of students who are struggling or experiencing discrimination in school to protect their education-related rights and obtain the educational support their children need.

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Free trainings and workshops

Our know-your-rights trainings for parents, communities, educators, and other professionals equip them to better advocate on behalf of students.

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Policy advocacy

Based on our 50 years of on the ground experience, we conduct policy advocacy that spurs change in the education system and improves education outcomes.

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Impact litigation

When real change will not happen without a court order, our impact litigation provides the most marginalized students protection under the law, gives them the opportunity to receive a quality education, and compels education reform.

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  • Zio's Story

    When Zio, who is classified as autistic, came to AFC, he was 12 years old and had attended four different schools in six years, none of which had provided him with an appropriate education.

  • Ruben's Story

    Thanks to AFC’s help and guidance, as well as Ruben’s efforts, the young man for whom educational success was deemed “unattainable” will be able to be an active contributing member of the work force! 

  • Emanuel's Story

    "Thank you so much for the help you have given to my son. Now, my son has started to develop and has advanced so much in a school that is better for him. I don’t have the words to express my gratitude for your support."

Learn more about the student populations we serve

Our staff of attorneys, advocates, and education specialists have successfully helped hundreds of thousands of families by providing free legal and advocacy services, including representation at school-related hearings and appeals, and teaching families what they need to know to stand up for their children’s educational rights.