Training & Technical Assistance
Learn About Holistic Interdisciplinary Advocacy and Representation
Family Court 101/Child Welfare 101
Participate in an informal discussion about the child welfare system in New York City. You will follow a family’s path from the initial investigation through the court proceedings. You will hear from a parent who has experienced the system firsthand, get answers to your questions, and learn how our model has resulted in more than $48 million in cost savings for the government.
Know Your Rights
Gain an understanding of the family court and foster care system in New York City. This session gives an overview, focusing on actions that could trigger an Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) investigation and describing a parent’s rights during an investigation and subsequent court case. Parents and others will learn how to advocate for themselves and what questions to ask during the process. Specialized Know Your Rights sessions focus on pregnant and parenting youth or fathers interested in custody and paternity proceedings.
De-escalating Encounters with the Police (for Youth and their Parents)
Participate in an honest discussion of how Black and Brown youth can protect themselves during police encounters. This workshop is driven by real-life experiences of the audience and the facilitators. The conversation will include disparate treatment towards people of color and will advise the audience members on how to navigate a world that will not always be fair or just. The workshop is designed as a trivia game, which allows participants to guess what they think the answer is to a legal question but also allows instruction about what the law really says. The main topics of the session include: the age of criminal and juvenile liability, search and seizure laws, law enforcement’s policing of social media and how to handle police encounters.
State Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment Advocacy: Amend and Seal
Learn about ACS investigations and the State Central Registry, also called the “child abuse hotline” or SCR. Anyone can call the SCR and make a report; most people can even remain anonymous when they do. Once a parent is named on the SCR, their name is listed until their youngest child is 28 years old, even if a court of law never found that they did anything wrong. Being listed on the SCR can severely hamper a parent’s ability to keep or secure employment. Get answers to all your questions, such as Who are mandated reporters? What are “red flags” for potential calls to the SCR? What does an “indicated” case mean? How can it affect employment? How can someone advocate to “amend or seal their record”? Learn how a parent can represent themselves in an SCR administrative hearing and what to expect during the hearing—who is in the room, what types of evidence you will see, and your rights during the process.
Collateral Consequences of a Child Welfare Investigation
Learn about the wide range of challenges families experience when they are involved with the child welfare system. Parents who live in poverty and risk losing their children to foster care often confront a number of interrelated issues, such as homelessness or unstable housing; interruptions in public benefits; untreated substance use disorder or mental health issues; domestic violence; criminal charges; financial insecurity; or immigration problems. These collateral issues have the potential to undermine a family’s success. Join us for an interactive discussion about the collateral consequences of a child welfare investigation or family court case, including the risk of eviction, compromised or lost employment, criminal charges, and immigration complications. We will provide tips and strategies for addressing these issues and make sure participants understand their rights and responsibilities in diverse situations.
Supporting Justice-Involved Parents in the Child Welfare System
Hear an overview of the child welfare system and family court process with a focus on supporting parents who have concurrent involvement in the justice system. Participants will learn strategies to help clients engage in mental health care and other services with the goal of improving the quality and frequency of family visits and speeding up safe and lasting reunification. We will also explore the interplay between criminal and family court proceedings and the importance of coordination between systems when their mandates conflict.