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Who We Serve

Students Involved in the Child Welfare System

Students Involved in the Child Welfare System

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC)’s Project Achieve works to ensure children in or at risk of placement in foster care receive a quality education. We consult with child welfare professionals to secure needed education supports and services for students and provide education advocacy to students having trouble in school. Project Achieve has two innovative programs that support youth in foster care. Our original model brings AFC staff onsite to select partner agencies (external link) where we build agency capacity to identify and meet the educational needs of the children they serve. Our Education Collaborative brings agencies from across New York City together for monthly meetings where we share timely education information, resources, and best practices. 

Community Education 

Project Achieve develops materials and presents workshops on the education rights of students impacted by the child welfare system. We offer free workshops to foster care and preventive agencies, court-based personnel, educators, parents, foster parents, and youth. To request a workshop, email ProjectAchieve@afcnyc.org. Foster care agency staff can also register for our regular Fair Futures trainings at www.fairfuturesny.org/training.

Guides & Resources

Note: All publications are in PDF format and will open in a new window. To view PDF files, download the following free software: Get Adobe® Reader®.

Designation of Person in Parental Relation for Purposes of Educational Decisions

Policy Work

Project Achieve uses our on-the-ground experience to advance the educational needs of students impacted by the child welfare system, especially students in foster care. We participate in working groups, testify at public hearings, and publish reports that address important issues related to families involved with the child welfare system. Learn more about our FY 22 policy initiatives [PDF].  

Note: The following manuals and reports are in PDF format and will open in a new window. To view PDF files, download the following free software: Get Adobe® Reader®.

thumbnail image of first page of reportBuilding on Potential: Next Steps to Improve Educational Outcomes for Students in Foster Care
This 2023 report provides an overview of the current — and dire — state of education for students in foster care in New York City, analyzing City data obtained through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, and makes recommendations for how the City can better support students in foster care now that the DOE's new foster care team is up and running.

first page of policy briefBuilding a Network of Support: The Case for a DOE Office for Students in Foster Care
This 2021 report by Advocates for Children and The Legal Aid Society highlights the urgent need for the Department of Education (DOE) to launch a small office focused solely on the needs of the approximately 6,000 students in foster care in New York City. 

report coverEmpowering Parents So Children Succeed: A Toolkit to Support Parent Involvement in Education when their Children are in Foster Care 
This 2017 toolkit by Advocates for Children and SCO Family of Services includes best practices and resources to help foster care agencies engage and empower parents to take an active role in their children’s education. 

Meeting the Educational Needs of Students in the Child Welfare System: Lessons Learned from the Field
This 2012 report examines the long-term impact on children and families served at agencies over five years of working with Project Achieve, our program model that places AFC staff on site at partner foster care and preventive services agencies in New York City.

Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care 
This article examines the impact of changing schools on students in foster care, discusses current laws, and describes strategies from around the country to address school mobility. It was first presented at the Practicing Law Institute’s 10th Annual School Law Institute and published in Volume 26 of the Touro Law Review.

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