NYC’S Incoming Child Welfare Commissioner Must Immediately Address Longstanding Foster Care Failings

‘Clearly There is a Missing Ingredient When It Comes to Keeping the City’s Children Safe’

(New York, NY) — Yesterday mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named Gladys Carrión as his child welfare commissioner for New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). In response, Marcia Robinson Lowry, executive director of Children’s Rights, released the following statement:

“As Gladys Carrión takes the helm of our city’s troubled child welfare system, she faces a daunting task: significantly lowering the rate of maltreatment in foster care. Over the past five years New York state consistently has been in the bottom five of reporting states nationwide when it comes to the rate of maltreatment in care. New York City, according to its own records, recently has fared even worse than the state at large.

“In fact, the city has a notoriously poor record for several key measures. Thirty-six percent of New York City’s foster children had lived in state care for more than three years in FY ’11; nationally the figure was 18 percent. During the same time period, the median length of stay for foster youth was 23 months, as opposed to 13 months nationally.

“There have been a variety of attempts at reform, but they haven’t made a dent in this poor performance. Clearly there is a missing ingredient when it comes to keeping the city’s children safe and finding them permanent, loving families. As there was only limited improvement in maltreatment when Ms. Carrión was at the state’s helm, one needs to ask, ‘Is this a good recipe for reform?’ For the sake of our children, we certainly hope so.”