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Micaela is a dual-language learner who is on the autism spectrum and needed an appropriate school placement for kindergarten.

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AFC in the News

01.16.2021 | New York Daily News | Between 3,000 and 6,000 fewer city youngsters enrolled last year in supportive services like speech and physical therapy than in previous years after referrals from pediatricians plummeted by more than 80% at the peak of the pandemic, an analysis from Advocates for Children found. 

“Infants and toddlers cannot afford to wait for critically important Early Intervention services,” said Kim Sweet, Advocates For Children’s Executive Director. “The state and city need to take quick action to ensure young children with developmental delays and disabilities get the services they need right away.” Read article

01.16.2021 | NY1 | "We don’t know what has happened to all of the children who weren’t referred at the height of the pandemic. At some point, we would expect to see a significant increase in referrals to early intervention, and think it’s important to identify the children who were not referred and make sure they get connected to services as soon as possible,” Levine said.

Advocates for children is urging the city and state to launch an outreach program for parents and develop plans to screen more  children for developmental issues. Read article

01.15.2021 | Chalkbeat NY | “Infants and toddlers cannot afford to wait for critically important Early Intervention services, said Kim Sweet, the executive director of Advocates for Children, the advocacy group that conducted the analysis. “The State and City need to take quick action to ensure children with developmental delays and disabilities get the services they need right away.” Read article

01.15.2021 | NY Post | Advocates for Children of New York found an 82 percent drop in the number of cases that were brought to the attention of the city’s Early Intervention program between March and April 2020. 

“As a result, thousands of young children with developmental delays or disabilities missed the chance for intervention at the time it is most effective,” the agency said in a statement Friday. Read article

01.15.2021 | Politico (Pro) | “An estimated 3,000–6,000 young children in New York City were never identified as potentially having a developmental delay or disability,” the group said in a release, adding about a quarter of the 33,000 children already receiving services had them interrupted due to “lack of technology, because teletherapy proved ineffective, or because helping children under age 3 participate in remote services proved logistically impossible for some parents.” Read article

01.14.2021 | Chalkbeat New York | Ashley Grant, director of the Postsecondary Readiness Project at the nonprofit Advocates for Children, said she hopes the state education department decides to waive Regents exams this year, “to ensure that no student loses their chance to graduate due to COVID-19.” More than 1,500 parents have signed an online petition calling for such an extension. 

“This last year of Regents exemptions shows that there are other ways to show readiness for graduation, and New York is a real outlier using this exam,” Grant said. Read article

01.13.2021 | NY Daily News | More than 20 Education Department jobs dedicated to working with homeless students are sitting vacant at a time when kids without secure housing need additional support more than ever, advocates say. 

“Remote learning has been disastrous for many of the more than 110,000 students who are homeless, and the city needs to marshal every resource to assist these students,” more than 30 advocacy groups wrote in a Wednesday letter to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. Read article

01.01.2021 | Medium | Dawn Yuster and her organization, Advocates for Children of New York, are calling for a mental health continuum to be established in schools with high rates of child-in-crisis cases. This model was developed by the Mayor’s Leadership Team on School Climate in 2016, who urged the city to adopt it. Last year, the City Council and other advocacy groups recommended it for high-needs schools but there was not enough money in the budget to adopt it. 

This model includes a team of clinicians working with students and school staff to determine the appropriate level of care. It helps to coordinate with schools to respond to students in crisis while working to enhance each school’s capacity to respond to students’ mental health needs. Read article

12.10.2020 | Chalkbeat NY | “This is a plan to address some of the problems with remote learning, which is important, but it’s not a plan for education recovery,” said Kim Sweet who heads Advocates for Children, which spearheaded the class-action suit. “The city needs a systemic approach for targeting evidence-based support and resources to the students who most need it, including a system for providing the make-up services students with disabilities have a legal right to receive.” Read article

12.04.2020 | City & State | In the last school year, more than 111,000 New York City students experienced homelessness – including nearly 33,000 who lived in city shelters and roughly 73,000 who “doubled up” in temporary housing situations, according to a new report from the education nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York. And even before the pandemic, those students – 85% of whom are Black or Hispanic – faced obstacles to education. Read article