University Settlement Launches Foster Care Prevention Program with ACS

Sep 8, 2020 |

NEW YORK, NY September 8, 2020 – University Settlement has launched a groundbreaking new effort to support families in order to prevent situations in which children require foster care, the agency announced today.

Funded by the Administration for Children's Services (ACS), the Prevention Program will use Mobility Mentoring, an evidence-based support model, as it works closely with 96 families in East New York, Crown Heights, and Lefferts Prospect Manor in stepping out of poverty and achieving personal goals.

"As New Yorkers continue to navigate a period of historic and traumatic crisis, our new team will have the opportunity to quickly fill existing gaps in care," said Princess McPherson, Director of the Prevention Program. "University Settlement's Mental Health and Wellness programs have been responding rapidly and urgently to the immediate needs of our community; we look forward to partnering with our neighbors and across the network."

Located in East New York, the program will be based in University Settlement's Children's Corner Early Childhood Education Center. University Settlement was the only agency not already working with ACS to be awarded a contract for this work for the current fiscal year.

"Providing services that acknowledge the effects of systemic racism, and which respond to and work to undo its harmful structures, is both core to University Settlement's mission and particularly essential to our staff," said Melissa Aase, Executive Director, University Settlement. "Our entire team is thrilled to be able to expand our scope of work in this way, particularly at this critical time."

"As we build this new program, we're being very intentional about the opportunity to partner with families to address systemic racism, oppression, poverty, and the resultant trauma," said Mary Adams, LCSW, Associate Executive Director for Mental Health, University Settlement. "There is no better time to be doing this work."


About University Settlement

University Settlement partners with 40,000 New Yorkers on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn every year to build on their strengths as they achieve healthy, stable, and remarkable lives. For over 130 years, we've collaborated with our neighbors to pioneer highly effective programs that fight poverty and systemic inequality. Established in 1886 as the first Settlement House in the United States, we bring the values of that movement into the 21st century by meeting New Yorkers where they live, listening deeply to all perspectives, engaging with everyone as complete individuals, and creating space for people to organize. Joining together with our neighbors to advocate for justice and equality, we help build community strength.

We work with New Yorkers of all ages. We infuse a commitment to civic engagement, equity, and communal action into each of our programs, which include early childhood education, mental health and wellness, benefits assistance and eviction prevention, adult literacy and education, healthy aging, community and recreation centers, performing and visual arts, and youth development.


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