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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

03.12.2022 | SI Advance | “I think the transition back to school just generally has been difficult for a lot of students, and then all the uncertainty with [school] closures and omicron. It’s just been challenging for a lot of students who we work with,” Rohini Singh, a staff attorney in the School Justice Project for Advocates for Children of New York, recently told the Advance/SILive.com when asked about data that shows an increase in Interventions and arrests among Staten Island students during the last quarter of 2021 compared to the same time in 2019 — before the coronavirus impacted schools. 

Singh explained that there needs to be a “real acknowledgement” of the trauma students and staff went through during the pandemic. Read article

03.02.2022 | City & State | In an emailed statement responding to Banks’ speech, Advocates for Children of New York – an advocacy group focused on students most at risk of discrimination and experiencing poor educational outcomes – said that this is one way remote learning options could be useful. “Virtual learning means that individual students don’t need to be limited by the training and expertise of the staff who happen to work in their school,” the group’s statement read. “For example, a teacher with training in evidence-based reading intervention at one school could be matched with students at multiple schools who need support learning to read.” Read article

03.01.2022 | Chalkbeat NY | Students with disabilities “not only have to meet those screening thresholds that their more typical peers have to meet, but then there needs to be the perfect overlay of physical accessibility,” said Maggie Moroff, who works on special education issues for Advocates for Children. “We know often that families make choices: ‘All right, this is the perfect school for my child except she can’t get into the library, or she’s going to eat lunch in the faculty lounge.’” Read article

02.25.2022 | SI Live | Singh explained that Advocates for Children of New York has been pushing for investment in restorative practices, social-emotional support, mental health, targeted mental health support and more. Those investments would mean that when a student is experiencing a behavioral challenge, instead of being met with a suspension, he or she would be met with the intervention needed — whether it’s referrals to a mental health center or clinic, or to the social worker in a school, or a trusted adult to help de-escalate a situation. 

“Even though a program that has been announced or has been launched, it takes some time for folks on the ground and for principals to buy into programs to really take advantage of them, for things to get up and running. And so I think it might be some time before we see results from the data, but we hope that the city continues to proactively provide social-emotional and mental health supports for students and move away from disciplinary practices,” Singh added. Read article

02.20.2022 | NY Daily News | “It’s really frustrating because the office of special education has put this out there as an opportunity for kids with disabilities … but if the providers aren’t ready and able then not a lot can happen, and the providers can’t be ready and able if the [Education Department] isn’t paying them or taking too long to pay them,” said Maggie Moroff, the special education policy director at Advocates for Children. Read article

02.18.2022 | Chalkbeat NY | Cutting vacant positions drew concern from advocacy organization Advocates for Children, which has petitioned the education department to hire more staffers to support homeless students, children in foster care, and those learning English as a new language. 

“We’ve seen the impact of past hiring freezes on the students we serve—it’s taken longer for students who are homeless to get a school placement, for students with disabilities to get a bus route, and for parents to get help navigating through roadblocks their children encounter,” said Randi Levine, policy director for Advocates for Children. Read article

02.12.2022 | Univision | Lulú Gomez nos trae un reporte de una organizacion luchando por niños y familias necesitadas los ultimos 50 años, Advocates for Children of New York. Watch video

02.07.2022 | The CITY | On Friday, a dozen organizations sent a letter to Adams and his recently appointed Department of Social Services Commissioner, Gary Jenkins, urging them to continue the COVID-era application process, which allows families to stay in shelters even after their applications are rejected if they are trying once again.

The groups, which include shelter providers Win and CAMBA, advocacy groups Coalition for the Homeless, Vocal-NY, Advocates for Children and Barrier-Free Living, as well as the Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services and New York Legal Assistance group, wrote that the old system, in place for decades, took a heavy toll on families in crisis. Read article

02.02.2022 | Youth Today | Data from the National Center for Homeless Education suggest that 19% of homeless students have some form of disability; that compares to 14% of housed students. And estimated 30% of those living In New York City shelters have a disability, according to Advocates for Children of New York. Read article

01.29.2022 | Times Union | Next year, students with disabilities will have a right to compensatory services to make up for programs and services that they missed during the pandemic, according to Randi Levine, policy director of Advocates for Children New York. 

 "These services are not optional. Students with disabilities have a legal right to receive the services recommended for them. These are services they need to make educational progress," Levine said. Read article