NEW YORK, March 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) has received a $150,000 grant from the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation to support the education of New York City children in foster care. The grant will fund AFC's Foster Care Agency Education Collaborative, which coordinates a network of 22 foster care agencies in New York City. The Education Collaborative was launched two years ago by AFC and is funded by the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, which has given over $300,000 to this initiative.
"Students in foster care face tremendous barriers to educational success, due to factors like frequent school changes and trauma associated with their placement in care. We are very grateful to the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation for partnering with us to protect the education rights of these students, particularly during this difficult time," said Advocates for Children of New York Executive Director Kim Sweet.
More than 8,300 New York City children live in foster care. Frequent moves due to foster care placement or other crises often lead to school disruptions, causing academic difficulties for students who are already struggling. Case handlers typically receive little-to-no training from their agencies in how to navigate the education system, and parents encounter hurdles to advocating for their children while in care. Without appropriate interventions, these students are more likely to drop out, or be pushed out, of school. Youth who age out of foster care are at higher risk of becoming unemployed, homeless, or entangled in the criminal justice system.
The Education Collaborative's advocacy and services have become even more urgent as the COVID pandemic has exacerbated inequities for children and youth living in foster care.
Over the past year, the Education Collaborative has successfully helped hundreds of New York City children in foster care and their families with their education needs including obtaining critically important therapies for infants and toddlers with disabilities, securing special education services, resolving enrollment and transportation issues to allow children to attend school, and obtaining devices for remote learning.
Oren Eisner, the President of Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, stated: "Advocates for Children of New York works tirelessly to advance education opportunities for children in foster care. In the face of the unprecedented challenges of the past year, AFC stepped up and delivered remarkable achievements. Kim and her team are an inspiration, and we are grateful to them for everything they do for New York City's children."
SOURCE Advocates For Children of New York, Inc