PLATINUM2023

CENTER FOR FAMILY REPRESENTATION

Every Family Matters

aka CFR   |   New York, NY   |  www.cfrny.org

Mission

CFR’s mission is to defend the rights of parents and youth through free, holistic interdisciplinary legal and social work representation. We fight for the integrity of families, primarily low-income Black and brown parents and youth targeted by systems of family regulation and incarceration. CFR’s model supports parents in raising their children with self-determination, reduces reliance on the foster system and youth incarceration, and addresses the underlying causes of family instability. We represent parents and youth in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens; we provide training and technical assistance to more than 500 practitioners annually from around the country; and we work to promote systemic change that dignifies and benefits youth and families.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Ms. Michele Cortese Esq.

Main address

40 Worth Street Suite 605

New York, NY 10013 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

51-0419496

NTEE code info

Family Services (P40)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

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

In NYC alone, thousands of families are separated each year by systems of foster care and youth incarceration. We address the problem by providing families in crisis with free legal assistance and social work services to enable children to stay with their parents safely. CFR works to keep children out of the foster system entirely or keep their time in care to a minimum. By minimizing time in the system, CFR helps to eliminate the detrimental long-term effects of the foster system on thousands of children and their families.

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?

Interdisciplinary Family Defense Teams

CFR's Interdisciplinary Family Defense Teams successfully combines the model of an attorney, a social worker, and a parent advocate to represent parents charged with neglect or abuse in Manhattan and Queens Family Courts. CFR was the first organization in the country to employ parent advocates who have direct past experience with losing their children to foster care and successfully re-unifying their families and who serve as mentors to clients. By combining legal and social work advocacy, we consistently keep half our clients' children out of care and significantly reduce foster care stays for children who must enter care. We save millions in tax dollars and more importantly permit children to grow up in their own families.

Population(s) Served
Families

Annually, CFR provides training and technical assistance to more than 500 professionals across the country, including judges, on our approach to advocacy for poor families facing foster care and related legal challenges. To date, we have worked with practitioners in 14 states, who hope to replicate some or all of our Interdisciplinary Cornerstone Advocacy model. CFR senior staff regularly present at national conferences and sit on advisory boards and work groups directed toward legislative and policy reform to benefit indigent families.

Population(s) Served
Families

Families at risk of foster care often face several challenges in addition to a family court case, especially in areas of public benefits and housing. An interruption in public benefits, like Medicaid, can mean a family can no longer access needed services; a job loss may mean a parent cannot pay rent; either can lead to children entering foster care. Our Housing Specialist and Housing Attorney intervene quickly to help parents obtain and sustain important public benefits and housing.

Population(s) Served
Families

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people received immigration service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients assisted with housing and public benefits

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

CFR defends the rights of parents and youth in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens.

Through our free, holistic interdisciplinary legal and social work representation, we aim to preserve the integrity of families, primarily low-income Black and brown parents and youth targeted by systems of family regulation and incarceration.

Our goals are to help parents raise their children with self-determination, to reduce reliance on the foster system and youth incarceration, and to address the underlying causes of family instability.

Our unique holistic model (consisting of an interdisciplinary family defense team with an attorney, a social worker, and a parent advocate) is being replicated nationally and has been proven to improve child safety and save the government millions in reduced foster care costs.

Our attorneys represent parents in family court to ensure that the city meets its legal obligations to families. Social work staff connects parents with needed services, such as substance use treatment, counseling, or day care. Parent advocates use their unique position as peers who overcame similar challenges to mentor our clients and provide emotional support.

If parents need assistance in venues beyond family court, as a result of challenges with immigration, housing, public benefits, or a criminal prosecution, the family defense team refers clients to attorneys and social workers in our Home for Good practice areas.

CFR's model has benefited over 12,000 families over the past two decades. More than 55% of CFR families avoid the foster system altogether. In 2022, almost 85% of our youth clients avoided pre-sentencing incarceration.

In 2022, CFR provided dozens of training sessions to nearly 3,000 professionals around the city, state and country. In 2022, we expanded the scope of our work by launching our Bronx practice, marking the third borough that CFR serves. We were also proud to hire our first father as a parent advocate.

Since 2007, we’ve reduced the cost of the foster system by more than $50 million for the city.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

CENTER FOR FAMILY REPRESENTATION
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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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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CENTER FOR FAMILY REPRESENTATION

Board of directors
as of 01/27/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

S. Penny Windle

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Jane Spinak

Columbia University School of Law

Shiva Farouki

Non-Practicing Attorney

Margaret Dale

Proskauer Rose LLP

John Newman

Retired, Sidley Austin LLP

Philip Segal

Segal & Greenberg LLP

Martin Guggenheim

New York University School of Law

Genevieve Christy

Center for Family Representation

Claire James

Kirkland and Ellis LLP

Christopher Karagheuzoff

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Martha Lorini

Burson-Marsteller

Riche McKnight

Endeavor

Howard Seife

Norton, Rose Fulbright LLP

Brian Steinwurtzel

GFP Real Estate, LLC

Laura Warner

Philanthropist

Jeffrey Kessler

Winston & Strawn LLP

Patrick Toussaint

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

S. Penny Windle

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • 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 1/25/2023

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

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data