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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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  • Students with Disabilities

    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.

  • Early Childhood

    Izzie's Story

    "Because of AFC’s efforts my family and I do see the light at the end of the tunnel where our child will continue to progress so nicely and have a happy and healthy upbringing. Without AFC, none of this would have been possible."

  • Students in Temporary Housing

    Mark's Story

    Mark was 10 years old when his family was evicted from their home. When they were placed in temporary housing, it was in a shelter far away from their home, and from the school Mark and his sister Alicia attended

    School bus drives down NYC street. (Photo by Guilherme Rossi via Pexels)

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.