Advocates for Children of New York, Inc.

Protecting every child's right to learn

New York, NY   |  www.advocatesforchildren.org

Mission

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC)'s mission is to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low-income backgrounds. AFC achieves this through four integrated strategies: free advice and legal representation for families of students; free trainings and workshops for parents, communities, and educators and other professionals, to equip them to advocate on behalf of students; policy advocacy to effect change in the education system and improve education outcomes; and impact litigation to protect the right to quality education and compel needed reform.

Ruling year info

1972

Executive Director

Ms. Kim Sweet

Main address

151 West 30th Street 5th Floor

New York, NY 10001 USA

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EIN

11-2247307

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (O01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Project Thrive (Students with Disabilities)

AFC has extensive expertise in the education-related rights of children with disabilities, and we put that expertise to work on several levels. We provide one-on-one legal representation and advocacy to help low-income families of children with disabilities get the educational services and support they need. We also offer free workshops throughout the city to bring training, information, and assistance on the education system to parents and the professionals who work with them. We address systemic problems with the education of students with disabilities through our policy work and when necessary, federal litigation. We coordinate and lead a collaborate effort called the ARISE Coalition, which brings together more than 50 different organizations and individuals to press for policy change to benefit children with disabilities in the New York City schools.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with disabilities

AFC's Project Achieve advocates for the educational needs of children in or at risk of placement in foster care while building capacity in the agencies that serve them. Project staff operates satellite offices in child welfare agencies where they provide on-site assistance and training to caseworkers, birth parents, and foster parents to prepare them to address education-related issues affecting their children. Project staff also conducts policy advocacy on the city and state levels to improve educational outcomes for students in foster care.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

AFC's bilingual project staff advocates on behalf of individual parents and their children, trains parents and community-based organizations serving immigrant families on education-related rights, monitors access to interpreters and translated materials in the city's schools, and collaborates with other groups to support communities seeking to improve outcomes for English Language Learners.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Immigrants and migrants

AFC’s School Justice Project provides case advocacy and legal representation to address the educational needs of youth facing school suspension or court involvement. Through relationships built with social services agencies, community-based organizations, and community courts, project staff are able to reach the students who often fall through the cracks. The project also provides trainings and technical assistance to parents, young people, and the professionals who work with them. Finally, project staff advocate for systemic reform with respect to school discipline and school climate, as well as the education of court-involved youth.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

AFC operates the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS). This program focuses on building the capacity of school districts throughout the state to improve educational opportunities for homeless children and youth.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Homeless people

AFC’s Early Childhood Education Project provides individual case assistance, community education, and policy advocacy to improve access to early childhood education for low-income children, ages 0–5, so that children can enter kindergarten prepared to succeed

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Advocates for Children of New York works to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low-income backgrounds who are at greatest risk for failure or discrimination in school because of their poverty, disability, race, ethnicity, immigrant or English Language Learner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, or involvement in the foster care or juvenile justice systems. Our ultimate goal is for all children to succeed in schools and programs that meet their educational needs.

AFC's unique and flexible approach to problem-solving gets students the support they need to succeed, educates and empowers families, and drives meaningful education reform. Our success results from our four integrated strategies: (1) We provide free advice and legal representation for families of students who are struggling or experiencing discrimination in school. We help them protect their education-related rights and obtain the educational support their children need. (2) Our free trainings and workshops provide pivotal information for parents, communities, and professionals, so that they may advocate effectively on behalf of their children. (3) Based on our “on the ground" experience, we conduct policy advocacy that spurs change in the education system and improves education outcomes. (4) When real change will not happen without a court order, our impact litigation provides the most vulnerable students protection under the law, gives them the opportunity to receive a quality education, and compels education reform.

Advocates for Children has been protecting the right to education for New York City's children for nearly 50 years. We are widely recognized as a leading authority on the nation's largest school system, particularly with respect to the education of students with disabilities; parents, professionals, and other advocates often turn to AFC for guidance in interpreting the extensive statutes and regulations that apply to special education. In addition, our staff of attorneys and advocates have deep expertise in the educational rights of populations such as immigrant students and English Language Learners, students in temporary housing, and court-involved youth.

In 2018, AFC provided advice, in-depth technical assistance, or direct legal representation in 8,249 matters for families throughout New York City. Last year AFC also taught an additional 10,000 parents and professionals to advocate effectively for themselves at 291 workshops throughout the five boroughs; distributed information at 14 fairs throughout New York City to more than 1,450 people; disseminated more than 650,000 printed and electronic documents (including fact sheets, guidebooks, newsletters, and email alerts); and answered over 3,500 calls on our Education Helpline. Our policy advocacy also saw significant wins, including $750 million in the city’s capital budget to make a third of the schools in every district fully accessible to students, parents, and educators with physical disabilities over the next five years.
While we are proud of our accomplishments, there is an unending demand for our services. We are always striving to provide assistance to as many families as possible and to use our limited resources efficiently and effectively.

Financials

Advocates for Children of New York, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Advocates for Children of New York, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 8/13/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Eric Grossman

Morgan Stanley

Jamie Levitt

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Harriet Chan King

Paul Becker

Jessica Davis

Lodge Hill Capital, LLC

Matt Berke

Morgan Stanley

Robin French

Brian Friedman

Goldman Sachs

Kimberley Harris

NBCUniversal

Caroline Heller

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Maura Monaghan

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Jon Oram

Proskauer Rose LLP

Jonathan Polkes

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Raul Yanes

Morgan Stanley

Veronica Wissel

Davis Polk

Lucy Fato

AIG

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/13/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability