Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York

Support, Information and Advocacy since 1975

aka AFFCNY   |   New Paltz, NY   |  www.affcny.org

Mission

MISSION

The Coalition, which was founded in 1975 as the New York State Citizens Coalition for Children, unites foster, adoptive and kinship care families, giving them a voice and providing support, information and advocacy. By fostering communication and collaboration between families, agencies and concerned citizens, we seek to ensure the stability, well-being and permanency of all children touched by the child welfare system.

VISION

No foster, adoptive or kinship care family in New York State will feel alone or unsupported and that all such families will have the tools, support and community they need to nurture their children and be role models for others.

Ruling year info

1975

Executive Director

Mr. Pat O'Brien

Main address

108 Main Street Suite 5

New Paltz, NY 12561 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

New York State Citizens Coalition for Children

EIN

51-0194916

NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

Adoption (P31)

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Incorporated in 1975 as the New York State Citizens Coalition for Children, the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York was originally created to address problems in the state’s child welfare system. These problems resulted in protracted foster care stays in what was intended to be a temporary system. In reality, those stays became the way of life for thousands of New York’s children. They also resulted in problems for parents who had adopted their children privately and were unable to access needed support services. The Coalition’s activities to address these problems over history have been focused on: Education and support for foster and adoptive parents and family members raising relative’s children (kinship care), as well as professionals who serve these families and children. Parent Group Development and Support Services. Administrative and Legislative Advocacy. Access to post adoption and post placement support services throughout the state.

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?

24/7 Statewide HelpLine

Our HelpLine is the only statewide, free service designed specifically to assist foster parents, adoptive parents, relative caregivers and those wanting to foster or become parents.

Population(s) Served
Families
Parents

For over three decades, the Coalition’s annual statewide conference has provided an opportunity for foster, adoptive and relative care parents to join with professionals to be inspired, network and learn about the latest in the field.

Aimed at parents and professionals alike, the conference brings leaders in the child welfare field to New York and offers a variety of topical workshops designed to deepen the knowledge of attendees, make connections to other parents and professionals and give attendees tools they can bring home and share in their community. Nationally-known plenary speakers and workshop presenters share their knowledge and expertise to help participants gain perspective, increase skills, and learn to appreciate the positives.

Population(s) Served
Families
Parents

The Coalition supports and coordinates volunteer and agency-led parent support groups for foster/kinship care/adoptive parents throughout the state. We partner with other groups, large or small, to bring trainings and events to the vast reaches of the state. For parents, there is no better support than connecting with others who have walked in your shoes.

Population(s) Served
Families
Parents

The Coalition offers several opportunities for families, parent support groups, agencies and professionals to build their skills. From our Annual New York State Foster Care and Adoption Conference to workshops, trainings, events and our award winning videos. We will design workshop or training events tailored to your individual needs.

Population(s) Served
Families
Parents

We offer an online online directory of foster care and adoption services that lists adoption agencies, foster care program, therapists and more by county. Our goal is to provide New York’s foster/kinship care/adoptive families with the information they need to make informed decisions. We strive to give them the resources they need to help them and their children. With an ever growing collection of resources and information, we offer support to families from those just beginning the process to those years into the process.

Population(s) Served
Families
Parents

The mission of the Adoption/Foster Care Therapist Network of New York (AFCTN) is to create a robust referral network of attachment, adoption, and foster care specialized clinicians. We seek to further the training of mental health and related service professionals so that every foster care and adoptive family can receive the services that they need to support a successful adoption.

Population(s) Served
Families
Parents

The Adoption and Guardianship Assistance Program for Everyone (AGAPE) is the Coalition’s free support, information and educational program open to all adoptive families and relative caregivers who have custody or guardianship of children. Serving Nassau and Suffolk, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Schuyler, Tompkins, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster Counties.

Population(s) Served
Families
Parents

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.

The Coalition occupies a very unique space within the New York state Child Welfare ecosystem. We are not a child placing agency, nor are we are government entity nor are we a parent run organization. Instead we are the bridge that connects all and can facilitate communication and collaboration between all players.

Our Goals are to:
Educate and support foster/kinship care/adoptive parents and the professionals who serve them by utilizing information-sharing, services, peer support and referral.
Improve services available to children and families.
Increase citizen involvement in local service planning and delivery.
Educate leaders and stakeholders about the realities, challenges and rewards of foster/kinship care/adoptive parenting.
Advocate for greater support of foster/kinship care/adoptive families by federal, state and local agencies.

Within our sphere of understanding, we have the ability to identify an issue though our HelpLine calls, or interactions with the families we serve. We can than poll and survey other families through the state or are to further examine the problem and find possible solutions. If no solution is available, we work with other organizations to developed the service or training including working with state legislators if policy change is required. An example of this would be the Coalition's long standing advocacy for post adoption support services:

More than a decade ago, a vision of statewide post-adoption support services for families and young people came into being at the Coalition. We made the case with legislators. We talked with leadership at the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. When we learned there was no viable data on what services would best support families, we partnered with Cornell University to conduct a statewide survey of adoptive parents. In the winter of 2009/2010, a survey was developed to help determine the post-adoption services needs of families in New York. The final report, Parents and Professionals Identify Post Adoption Service Needs in New York State, included information on current programs in NYS, research on post-adoption service needs of families, the survey results, and recommendations for future services. This survey remains the only one of its kind in New York. A direct result of the survey was the state’s implementation of Regional Permanency Resource Centers. In 2016, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) launched the Regional Permanency Resource Center initiative. The Coalition was one of twelve organizations chosen to initiate regional post-adoption and post-guardianship support programs. It was then that our Adoptive and Guardianship Assistance Program for Everyone (AGAPE) came into being.

Since then, AGAPE has grown to serve nineteen counties, one-third of all counties outside of New York City and every county in the state now has post adoption support programs.

For the families who desperately need support, and for the children and youth who need and deserve the stability of loving, permanent families, we opened up additional offices in Long Island and Ithaca. The Coalition’s staff grew from one employee under an Executive Director to over twenty-five in order to meet the needs of the program. We continue to grow to meet the needs of the families though the state with expnading progmas, locations and staffing.

Completed Projects at a Glance:


30 years of NYS foster Care and Adoption Conferences
Caregivers Support Project: Supporting Families Parenting Children with Developmental Disabilities (2007-2009)
The Coalition’s AdoptUsKids Recruitment Response Team (2004-2009)
LINK Families: Linking Information Networks for Kids (2001-2005)
CoalitioNet: Networking for Adoption (1997-2001) pdf
Meeting Children’s Needs in Transracial and Transcultural Adoptive and Foster Families(1997-1998)
Adoptive Parent Groups: Leadership for Children and Families (1993-1995)
Adoptive Families for Minority Children: Parent Group Recruitment and Support (1991-1992)
Parents as Partners: Serving Special Needs Adoption (1990-1991)
Parent Groups “CAN” – Activities included hosting the first annual New York statewide adoption training conference for adoptive and foster parents, caseworkers, administrators, mental health professionals, and advocates. (1989-1990)
Developed and implemented the first statewide adoption exchange and model curriculum for training adoption caseworkers in conducting group home studies using adoptive parent casework partners. (1982)

Financials

Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York

Board of directors
as of 10/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Sarah Gerstenzang

Frank Ligtvoet

freelance writer

Sarah Gerstenzang

Therapy Private Practice

Jenifer Davis

Spotify

Lyenda Simpson-Delp

BlackRock Financial Management

Susanna Furfaro

Retired Pulmonogist

Rebekah Kondrat

Loose Threads L.L.C

Marie Mattie

Saint Ignatius Loyola Church

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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/14/2021,

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
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data