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Micaela’s Story

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

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News & Media

AFC in the News

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

01.26.2022 | Bronx News 12 | News 12 breaks down Department of Education preschool special education data with Advocates for Children of New York's Betty Baez Melo on the disparities in access to special education for preschool students. Watch video

01.20.2022 | NY1 | “Preschool students with disabilities are not getting the special education services that they need and have the legal right to receive, and are being underserved by the city's early childhood education programs,” Betty Baez Melo, projector director for the Early Childhood Project at Advocates for Children, said. 

Advocates for Children analyzed new data on the city’s youngest students with Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs. The findings undermine the city’s promise of universal pre-kindergarten. Watch video

01.20.2022 | PIX 11 | One out of every three preschoolers with disabilities attending a city-run 3K program did not receive their mandated services during the 2019-2020 school year, according to Advocates for Children of New York.  

Those services include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and special education instruction.  

Preschool students with disabilities are being underserved by New York City public 3K and Pre-K for All programs. The report shows preschool students with disabilities are being denied their legally mandated special education programs and services. Watch video

01.20.2022 | NY Daily News | “Families who are able to navigate the preschool special education process speak proudly of the progress they see their children make after receiving services,” said Betty Baez Melo, Director of Advocates for Children’s Early Childhood Education Project. “Unfortunately, in our experience, parents of preschoolers with disabilities run into roadblocks and delays at every turn.” Read article

01.20.2022 | Chalkbeat NY | “Children are missing out on special education services at a time when you can really have the most impact on their development and education,” said Betty Baez Melo, an early childhood education expert at Advocates for Children. 

“We know more needs to be done, and will work with Advocates for Children and families to ensure all students have access to a strong start and the services they need,” said DOE spokesperson Sarah Casasnovas. Read article

01.17.2022 | PIX 11 | Advocates for Children of New York has spent five decades helping at-risk students in New York City get the education they deserve. The nonprofit has built a legacy of fighting for kids and families who otherwise might fall through the cracks. Watch video