Need Help?

Call AFC's Education Helpline
(866) 427-6033
Monday to Thursday
10 am to 4 pm 

Resource library: View AFC's guidebooks, fact sheets, and more

Micaela’s Story

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

Stay connected

Sign up for AFC's email updates and find other ways to take action.

News & Media

AFC in the News

10.23.2019 | The 74 | The number of school-age foster youth in the city varies by source; Advocates for Children of New York reported 4,500 students in a “snapshot” count in May, whereas the district recorded about 7,800 during the 2017-18 year. In most cases, foster youth are children who’ve been removed from their parents or guardians by a child welfare agency and placed into alternative care, which can range from living with a relative to staying in an emergency shelter.

The scarcity of foster-youth-specific data thus far isn’t lost on education equity groups like Advocates for Children of New York.

“It’s easy to overlook students in foster care because their numbers are relatively small, but given the many challenges they face, they require a greater level of attention and targeted support from school districts,” staff attorney Chantal Hinds said in a statement.  Read article

11.1.19 | Chalkbeat | Some advocates cheered the continued decline in suspensions, and added that more  social support is needed.

“Going forward, it is critical that the city build on these promising results by creating a solid infrastructure to institutionalize them and make the necessary additional investments in mental health services and supports, social workers, and restoratives practices to further expand on them,” said Dawn Yuster, director of the School Justice Project at Advocates for Children. Read article

10.28.19 | Patch | The "stubbornly high" total reflects a more than 70 percent increase in student homelessness over the last decade even though the school system's homeless population shrank by about 600 kids compared to the prior year, says Advocates for Children of New York, the nonprofit that runs the center.

"This problem is immense," Kim Sweet, Advocates for Children's executive director, said in a statement. "... The city won't be able to break the cycle of homelessness until we address the dismal educational outcomes for students who are homeless." Read article

12.15.19 | Raw Story | When Bloomberg took office in 2002, there were over 5,000 homeless families. By the fall of 2013, a few months before he left office, there were close to 12,500 families living in shelters.

Today, there are 34,000 children like Shamari living in city shelters. According to Advocates for Children, a non-profit advocacy group, there are another 74,000 school age children “doubling up” in temporary circumstances. In 2017, 1,164 newborns were brought “home” to a city shelter.

For four years in a row, New York City’s homeless student population has surpassed 100,000, ten percent of the total student population. (A Yankee Stadium standing room only crowd is 52,000.)

Being homeless is traumatic for anyone, but for children the impacts are long-term and formative. Two-thirds of the homeless students “are chronically absent from class” and only 57 percent graduate from high school, according to Advocates for Children. Read article

03.20.20 | NY Daily News | “Families who are homeless may have multiple children of varying ages, grade levels, and learning needs confined to a single small room,” the groups wrote. “Every day that goes by where children are not receiving educational services is an opportunity missed,” said Randi Levine, policy director for Advocates for Children. “We are very worried about children who are homeless falling further behind.” Read article

03.26.2020 | NY1 | "It's a tough place to be if you have a child with a disability, and if you feel like they're not getting the supports and services in the best of times, in some of the harder times, like we are in right now, it must be terrifying," said Maggie Moroff, Special Education Policy Coordinator, Advocates for Children.

For children with disabilities, it's not just learning that now must happen remotely because of the pandemic. The students also need supports like counseling or speech, occupational or physical therapy. For some parents, that made the school closures especially upsetting. Read article