In this time of great economic upheaval, and certainly in the aftermath of Newton Connecticut, an important question to ask oneself is how are we protecting our children? These most vulnerable citizens in our society are generally helpless to deal with these big questions on their own. There is a debate emerging about whose role it is to protect children and what role the state, if any, has to play in this issue. The city of New York, answers resoundingly by its actions that it wants to take an active position on this issue. In this article we briefly address how the city ensures every kid is in a safe home.
NYC Administration for Children’s Services
The city’s main line of defense for children is the Administration for Children’s Services or ACS. The ACS is a governmental agency that works to make sure kids are healthy and safe. They do this by ensuring kids are in safe homes. Their main goal is to use preventative services to achieve this aim, but if preventative services fail that take a more active approach in one of three ways.
- Order by Family Court
An order by a family court occurs when ACS believes that a child is in a potentially or actually dangerous situation. They present this evidence in family court and a judge weighs the evidence as to whether the child in question should remain in the home or be placed in the care of ACS.
- Parents’ Request
Sometimes it happens that a parent comes forward voluntarily, recognizing that they don’t have the capacity or resources to give proper care to their biological child or children. At this point, the parent(s) can put in a request to have the child adopted out. ACS does its best to keep the child with the biological parent(s), but sometimes being placed with a foster parent through an agency like http://www.nyfoundling.org is in the best interest of the child.
- Emergency Placement
Emergency placement is by far the least desirable option for a child. This is such a negative option because in order for emergency placement to be enacted, the child’s life or health must be in “imminent danger.” Clearly, if a child’s life is in imminent danger there’s a good chance that child won’t have a lot of hope to live a “normal” life. The child, if a sibling, might get separated from his/her brothers and sisters or bounced around from foster family to foster family. Young children need stability and emergency placement is justifiably regarded as a last resort.
Given these tumultuous times, it’s good to know that there are people and agencies out there keeping kids safe, healthy and in good homes.