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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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  • Josh's Story

    Josh was an incredibly motivated and eager student who made enormous progress when he received the support and specialized instruction he needed. After less than six months, he had already jumped to a 4th/5th grade reading level.

  • Haley's Story

    With AFC’s help, Haley was able to enroll in a school that specializes in serving children with needs like hers and to receive additional physical therapy.

    Mother kneeling next to toddler son wearing leg braces. (Photo by Cultura Creative, Adobe Stock)
  • Kevin's Story

    Advocates for Children assisted Kevin’s mother in finding a more appropriate school placement for sixth grade. With our help, Kevin enrolled at a specialized non-public school for students with disabilities, where he finally received the individualized support he needed.

    Kevin in cap and gown

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.