In the best of all possible worlds, all children would be raised in families that are capable of giving them whatever they need to succeed. But for many reasons, when families confront an acute or ongoing crisis, the City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) is called in to assess whether children should be placed into foster care.
To avoid that tragic outcome, HCZ operates four foster-care preventive programs: the Family Support Center, the Family Development Program, Truancy Prevention and Project CLASS. Depending on the challenges facing each family, these four programs provide appropriate supports and services, whether anger-management groups or referrals to substance-abuse treatment providers. In each case, the ultimate goal is to get our families the services they need to become more stable and to prevent the terrible step of foster care placement.
Our dedicated staff also assist families with any number of acute needs, from housing to clothing to after-school programs for their children. In addition, they conduct regular home visits—often far more than are required by the City—in order to build stronger relationships and gain the trust of our families so that we can better support them. Overall, our Preventive Programs work with more than 500 families, most of whom are referred by ACS, but some of whom are referred by other HCZ programs or walk in to our storefront offices.