Here is how New York City is doing on child welfare reform

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Communities for Crisis Intervention Team Training has some ideas to improve ThriveNYC. The beleaguered mental health initiative led by New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray has faced criticism in recent weeks for a lack of demonstrable accomplishments despite the hundreds of millions of dollars of city funding it has received. However, much of that criticism is misplaced, according to a March 21 statement from CCITNYC.

“Uninformed critics have used events outside the scope of the program’s initiatives as further evidence that the program isn’t working,” reads the press release. “ThriveNYC was never designed to tackle mental health issues in prisons or police shootings of unarmed individuals. And opening more beds in psychiatric facilities is unquestionably not a viable, effective or humane solution to meeting the mental health needs of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.”

Among the biggest issues of contention is how ThriveNYC can better work with the 911 system – a key issue for CCITNYC, which was founded in 2012 in response to several high-profile incidents between police and mentally ill people.

Here are ways that ThriveNYC could supplement the emergency response system such dangerous interactions in the future, taken verbatim from the press release:

  • Reduce the number of mental health-related 911 calls by creating alternative avenues for assistance during crisis situations.
  • Better document and track the mental health-related 911 calls that do come in to analyze why those calls were made and how they could have been prevented.
  • Replace officer-only responses with co-response teams or teams that are composed of highly trained crisis counselors.
  • Develop more “pre-crisis” supports in highly stressed communities that are the source of the highest number of calls.
  • Engage in a community-wide planning effort that includes people who have direct experience with crisis situations and who can best define what helps and what doesn’t.


The Rockefeller Foundation continues to send its nonprofit agents near and far. Felicity Tan, associate director for Asia at the New York City-based foundation, popped up on social media to share a bit of what she is up to in China. Along for the philanthropic and culinary adventures is Mike Muldoon, associate director for innovative finance:


The biggest New York City human services contract of the day goes to Safe Horizon. The Manhattan-based nonprofit has received a $9.59 million contract from the Administration for Children’s Services to fund a demonstration project on domestic violence prevention, according to the City Record. Albany-based Northeast Parent and Child Society has received a $45,699.15 contract for special needs foster care.


The New York City Interagency Foster Care Task Force has released its one-year progress report. A group of government officials, nonprofit leaders and parent and youth advocates issued 16 recommendations in March 2018 on how to improve the foster care system.

Members of the task force include: David Hansell, commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services; Steven Banks, commissioner, Department of Social Services; Jennifer March, executive director, Citizens’ Committee for Children; Joyce McMillan, a parent advocate and longtime critic of ACS; and Jeremy Kohomban, CEO of The Children’s Village.

A second report is due in 2020. Here is this year’s report: