The latest from Services for the UnderServed ... Breast Treatment Task Force ... ACS

Michael White, chef and owner of Altamarea Group, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, and Donna Colonna, CEO of Services for the UnderServed.
Michael White, chef and owner of Altamarea Group, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, and Donna Colonna, CEO of Services for the UnderServed.
Services for the UnderServed
Michael White, chef and owner of Altamarea Group, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, and Donna Colonna, CEO of Services for the UnderServed.

The latest from Services for the UnderServed ... Breast Treatment Task Force ... ACS

Updates from nonprofits across New York.
October 15, 2018

Janice Zaballero and Julia Smith, both of Breast Treatment Task Force, have won the 2018 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards. They received it in honor of their effort to provide cancer screening and diagnostic referrals for uninsured women in NYC, according to an Oct. 12 press release. Breast Treatment Task Force will receive a $25,000 grant and lots of accolades at a NYC luncheon schedule for Oct. 17. Read more about the awards here.

 

Services for the UnderServed celebrated its 40th anniversary on Oct. 9 at Gotham Hall in Manhattan. The event raised more than $220,000 to help support ongoing programming that offers housing, employments, and rehabilitation services to people dealing with poverty, homelessness and disabilities. Chef and board member Andrew Zimmern was honored at the event, which also included musical performances and local specialties from throughout New York City. Read more here.

 

There’s a new executive director at Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk. Tracey Edwards rose in a 37-year career from being a telephone operator in 1979 to Verizon’s regional president for Long Island and upstate New York. She also served as a councilwoman from 2013-17 in Huntington and is the Long Island regional director of the NAACP. City & State ranked her as one of the 50 most influential and powerful people in Long Island in 2018.

 

A new report from the New York City Department of Investigations alleges that the city Administration for Children’s Services needs to do more to safeguard the safety of children in the foster care system. Here are three big takeaways, taken verbatim from the report:

  • ACS failed to timely require that providers with low safety scores improve their safety performance. As a result, ACS often failed to impose consequences based on providers’ low safety scores on internal ACS evaluations.
  • ACS similarly failed to adequately address high rates of maltreatment of children in foster care.
  • ACS also failed to require providers that had documented safety issues to focus on improving safety during ACS’ systemic quality improvement process.

Here’s the report:

 

ACS spokeswoman Chanel Caraway had this to say via email in response to the report:

“We are raising safety standards across the board. We plan to rebid our entire foster care system with stringent new standards and there will be providers that may not make the cut.  Between now and then, any provider that’s not meeting our standards and fails to show significant improvement will face tough measures up to and including termination of contract. Last year, we launched a $6 million program to enhance safety for children who are transitioning home from foster care to their families. We have just launched another program to boost safety at home visitations with biological parents, where the overwhelming majority of incidents occur. This is what’s best for kids.”

Allison Sesso, executive director of the Human Services Council, also gave her take via email:

“Less than 24 hours after DOI Commissioner Peters admitted to ethical misconduct, he’s released a faulty report long on bluster but short on substance. There’s no substantive revelations in this report. It simply mischaracterizes existing information that nonprofits and city agencies are well aware of – and are working in good faith to address.

The analysis by DOI is too simplistic, leading to conclusions that are inaccurate. For example, their claim that providers fail to meet federal standards doesn’t make sense as the federal standards are obsolete. ACS has a number of mechanisms by which nonprofits are monitored and takes decisive action when the bar is not met.

“The truth is, underperforming agencies are both monitored more closely and provided with correctional assistance. This approach has proven to work with nonprofits improving their performance. High standards of caring for children in the foster care system are critical and providers given this responsibility must absolutely be held accountable for the provision of  quality services.”

Zach Williams
Zach Williams
is a staff reporter at New York Nonprofit Media and sister publication City & State.
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