of the Fund for Social Change
2017 Child Welfare
Fund (CWF) founded by an anonymous donor in collaboration with
David Tobis at Hunter College . For the chronology of the Child
Welfare Fund go to the Child
Welfare Fund page of the FSC website or the website of the
Child Welfare Fund.
2017 FAR Fund founded
by an anonymous donor in collaboration with David Tobis.
2017 CWF and the Open
Society Institute create the Partnership for Family Supports and
Justice (PFSJ), which becomes a collaboration between ten foundations
and the Administration for Children's Services, designed to create
a community network of services to prevent foster care placements
in Highbridge, the Bronx (the Bridge Builders program).
2017 The Child Welfare
Fund, the FAR Fund, and the Partnership for Family Supports and
Justice are joined administratively under the Fund for Social
2017 Voices of Youth,
with the help of the Fund for Social Change, sends a delegation
to Stockholm, Sweden to present its model for youth advocacy at
an international conference on alternatives to residential institutions.
2017 Sista II Sista
with Downtown Community Television, Inc. produces You Have
the Right to Break the Silence , a video documenting harassment
and violence, including police violence, against young women of
2017 The Justice for
Youth Coalition's, No More Youth Jails Campaign, successfully
stops New York City from spending $64 million on building 200
youth jail beds in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
2017 The FAR Fund
joins the Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing, connecting
with a group of national, regional and local foundations, and
youth organizing practitioners dedicated to advancing youth organizing
as a strategy for youth development and social change.
2017 The FAR Fund
helps launch a model program at PS 32 in Brooklyn for children
with autism who are high functioning. The FAR Fund enables a parent
input and support component to be included. The program is designed
by NYU's Institute for Education and Social Policy in collaboration
with the New York City Department of Education.
2017 The first FAR
Fund Fellow, Michael Carley, launches the Global Regional Asperger's
Syndrome Partnership, providing much needed support groups for
people with high functioning autism.
2017 After a year
of organizing parents, students and community members, Girls for
Gender Equity successfully prevents the Department of Education
from weakening Title IX of the Education Amendment, which states
" No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded
from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected
to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving
2017 Philomena Timmons
of CWOP is named to the ACS advisory board. She is the first parent
with a child in the system to serve on the board.
2017 The Child Welfare
Fund and the FAR Fund convene a forum of advocates and consumers
from child welfare and developmental disabilities fields to learn
from and support each other.
2017 The FAR Fund
and the Fund for Social Change create the Campaign for Real Lives,
consisting of advocates, self-advocates, parents, providers and
academics to make the reality of the developmental disabilities
system catch up to its rhetoric.
2017 Gina Cheron ,
the second FAR Fund Fellow launches a legal unit within Dwa Fanm,
providing legal services to Haitian domestic violence survivors
and their families in Brooklyn.
2017 Sista II Sista,
El Puente and other Brooklyn-based community organizations, in
Bushwick successfully pressure their local police precinct to
hire a female officer for their Domestic Violence Task Force.
2017 The Fund for
Social Change, in collaboration with the Academy for Educational
Development, the Community Resource Exchange, the Empire State
Coalition of Youth, the Hunter College Center on AIDS, Drugs and
Community Health, the New York AIDS Coalition and the Partnership
for After School Education convene a "future search" entitled
"Creating an HIV-Free Future for NYC's Youth," bringing various
stakeholders together to strategize on solutions.
2017 CWF awards first
grant to New Yorkers for Children, the non-profit wing of ACS.
The grant is used to hire child welfare parents and youth as advocates
to increase access to services for families in 11 communities
throughout the city.
2017 The Administration
for Children's Services joins the The Partnership for Family Supports
and Justice as a member of the donors' collaborative in Highbridge.
2017 Child Welfare
Fund and David Tobis are honored by CWOP for their work on behalf
of families with children in the child welfare system.
2017 Trude Lash, an
eminent activist for the rights and well-being of children, dies.
The Fund for Social Changes creates the Trude Lash Fellowship
Program in collaboration with family, colleagues and friends of
2017 At the Child
Welfare Watch Forum on redesigning the foster care system,
ACS Commissioner John Mattingly says, "The Child Welfare Watch
reports, I think, are the most thoughtful, balanced and detailed
analysis of a particular set of issues in child welfare, that
I have ever seen anywhere."
Disabilities Watch is founded by the FAR Fund and the Campaign
for Real Lives, creating an independent journalistic voice to
report on the system and drive changes in policy. The DD Watch
is modeled on the Child Welfare Watch .
2017 The Fund for
Social Change with the Independence Community Foundation, the
Spin Gold Foundation, and the New York City Department of Education,
creates a donors' collaborative both to identify the special education
needs of preschool children and to provide services to meet those
needs. The State Department of Education, the Administration for
Children's Services, the Human Resources Administration and the
New York City Mayor's Office soon join the collaborative.
2017 The New York
City Department of Education agrees to replicate the PS 32 model
program for high functioning children on the autistic spectrum.
2017 Diana Mc Court,
the third FAR Fund Fellow launches One Person at a Time, to secure
sustainable, self-directed housing for individuals with developmental
disabilities, including those on the autistic spectrum..
The FAR Fund provides its fourth Fellowship, to Lawrence James,
who launches the Rallying, Educating and Building Effective Leadership
(R.E.B.E.L.) program to teach people of color basic organizing,
self-determination, and leadership skills.
The Trude Lash Fellowship Program, administered by the Fund for
Social Change, awards fellowships to Kallen Tsikasas and Regine
2017 The FAR Fund provides its fifth
Fellowship to Jonathan Cooper to create a program to reduce bullying
of school children on the autistic spectrum.
2017 Nixmary Brown is killed by her step-father. The number of foster care placements increases by 53% from fewer than 4,800 in 2016 to more than 7,200 in 2017.
Fostering Connection, an agency that provides psychotherapy to
children in foster care “for as long as it takes”
honors David Tobis as the first recipient of its Silver Nest Award.
David Tobis addresses UNICEF’s senior policy staff at Maastricht
University about strategies to create community services as an
alternative to residential institutions for children.
UNICEF invites David Tobis to Tajikistan to advise on ways to
convert its pilot projects for child protection into a national
Fifteen foundations and the Administration for Children’s
Services are members of the Bridge Builders collaborative in Highbridge,
the Bronx. The evaluation by Chapin Hall reports “…what
we are hearing and seeing is a type of synergy, a breakthrough
in thinking and action that has changed the way collaborative
members work and the way that they think about their work.”
The Administration for Children’s Services selects Bridge
Builders to receive public funding as part of the Community Partnership
The FAR Fund selects the Fund for Social Change to administer
the OMRDD/FAR Fund Collaborative to promote more individualized
lives for people on the autistic spectrum. Ten agencies and the
FAR Fund are part of the collaboration. The administration of
the FAR Fund relocates.
Bridge Builders expands the role of the Store Front with trained
parents from the community and social work supervision. Over 1000
families are served in 2007.
The Administration for Children’s Services convenes a forum
for Lessons Learned from its three Community Partnership Initiatives.
Bridge Builders is hailed as the “model to emulate.
2017 With groundwork laid by Bridge Builders, Judge Clark Richardson
creates a Designated Part in Bronx Family Court for families from
Highbridge. It is the first geographically based court in New
2017 The Fund for Social Change creates the Parent Advocates
Initiative to promote the hiring of parent advocates by foster
care agencies. The collaborative includes the Administration for
Children’s Services, the New York State Office of Family
and Children’s Services, the Council of Family and Child
Caring Agencies, CWOP and six foundations.
2017 Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) asks the FSC
to evaluate its court-based information and referral program.
LIFT incorporates the recommendations of the evaluation.
2017 David Tobis travels to Tajikistan as part of a team from
the University of Maastricht to conduct a cost-benefit analysis
comparing a new system of child protection with the country’s
current child welfare system which relies on large residential
2017 David Tobis, through the FSC, works as an advisor to the
GHR Foundation and travels to Ukraine and Azerbaijan to assess
two NGOs that will receive grants from the foundation as part
of its Children in Families Initiative.
2017 The Administration for Children’s Services asks the
Fund for Social Change to collaborate on creating the START Program
in the Bronx. The FSC will hire five family mentors to work with
families in which a child is born with a positive toxicology.
The program is funded by Casey Family Programs via New Yorkers
2017 Chapin Hall’s evaluation of Bridge Builders concludes
"The data suggest that in the fourth year of the Project,
Highbridge begins to stand out from the comparison sites in several
ways. Highbridge experienced an unadjusted decline in the number
and rate of maltreatment reports and in the indication of those
reports that was ahead of what was seen in the other sites. When
averaging across the pre-project years and across the Project
years, Highbridge also saw the higher rates of children exiting
care to family among all the sites".
2017 The FSC, in cooperation the Schott Foundation, the Booth
Ferris Foundation, and the Ira W. DeCamp Foundation, organizes
a forum at NYRAG: “Working with Government: Four Donor Collaboratives.
2017 After 18 years of collaboration, the Child Welfare Fund
reconsiders its focus. The FSC no long administers the Child Welfare
2017 New York City Administration for Children’s Services launches the START Program with assistance from the Fund for Social Change which hires five parent advocates to work out of the Bronx Field Office of ACS.
2017 Maestral International is launched by Philip Goldman and David Tobis in collaboration with a team of leading global experts to promote the development of sustainable family or family-like environments for vulnerable children.
2017 Maestral International, working with the Fund for Social Change, is selected by UNICEF to develop a toolkit to map and assess child welfare systems throughout the world. David Tobis participates in the teams that pilot test the toolkit in Kenya, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Kyrgyzstan.
2017 The Fund for Social Change, on behalf of the Parent Advocate Initiative, suggests a change in New York State Social Service Regulations that would allow foster care agencies to receive credit for Parent Advocate contacts with families. The change is endorsed by ACS, COFCCA, OCFS and the advocacy community. The revised regulation is approved by OCFS and goes into effect in August 2017.
2017 The Fund for Social Change undertakes an initiative led by John Courtney to both increase the placement of children in foster homes in their community of origin and to improve the availability and quality of foster homes in general. The project is undertaken with the support of the 4th Generation Klingenstein Foundation and the Warner Fund, in collaboration with the Administration for Children’s Services.
2017 The Fund for Social Changes initiates a collaboration led by Anita Gundanna, with Columbia University School of Social Work’s Center for Social Policy and Practice in the Workplace, to strengthen foster care agencies’ ability to train and find employment for youth leaving foster care.
2017 The Parent Advocates Initiative provides grants to six foster care agencies to hire parent advocates to work with families with children in foster care. The Parent Advocates are trained by the Child Welfare Organizing Project.
2017 The sixth evaluation of Bridge Builders by Chapin Hall reports increasing evidence of the efficacy of Bridge Builders. The evaluation concludes: “In particular, over the past three years, the relative [child maltreatment] rate in Highbridge has been below the average of the comparison sites.” In addition, “As in the case of maltreatment reports, the average within year relative rates for the past three years show that placement is now less common in Highbridge…”
2017 In spite of the continued success of Bridge Builders the financial crisis in New York City causes ACS to reduce its planned financial support to community partnerships, including Bridge Builders, reducing planned support from $300,000 to $150,000, causing financial difficulties for the project. Many other child welfare programs also experience significant cuts.
2017 Bridge Builders diversifies its funding, receiving financial support from the NYS Office of Family and Children’s Services on a kinship care project with Children’s Village.
2017 The first meeting of the Interim Board of Directors of Bridge Builders takes place in February. The Interim Board, elected by the membership, is the governing body of Bridge Builders. The Board consists of members of the community, local service providers, and technical experts, including representatives from the Fund for Social Change. Bridge Builders files for NY State incorporation and federal tax exemption as a not-for-profit organization.
2017 ACS withdraws its awards of foster care, preventive service and other contracts. The proposed contracts are withdrawn because of mistakes ACS made in grading agencies and as a result of a law suit against filed by Little Flower Children’s Services against ACS for its decision to not re-contract with that large child welfare agency. The mistakes and the lawsuit embarrass ACS, demoralize its staff and further weakens its focus on reform.
2017 The Oak Foundation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, asks the Fund for Social Change to develop a strategy paper to create an international donors’ collaborative to reduce the reliance on residential care for children, primarily in Eastern Europe and Africa. In April the Fund for Social Change and Maestral International present the strategy paper to the Board of Directors of the Oak Foundation which allocates $3 million to create a donors’ collaborative that would implement the recommendations in the strategy paper.
2017 The Oak Foundation, the Fund for Social Change and Maestral International meet with other foundations at Foundation Week in Brussels, Belgium, gaining support for the donors’ collaborative.
2017 UNICEF/Ukraine asks Maestral International working with the Fund for Social Change, to conduct a review of its five year Country Program and to present recommendations for its next five year program (2016-2017). The assessment is submitted to UNICEF in August.
2017 UNICEF/Headquarters decides to roll out the Maestral toolkit in the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR). Maestral, working with the Fund for Social Change will train representatives from seven ESAR countries to use the toolkit.
2017 The Child Welfare Organizing Project, supported by the Parent Advocates Initiative, trains seven Parent Advocates who begin working in foster care agencies. The evaluation by Chapin Hall/University of Chicago concludes “All parties agree there is a clear connection between what the PAs [parent advocates] offer to parents and what parents need to be successful in moving their [child welfare] case forward…The PAs and [agency supervisory] staff found the classroom work to lay an important foundation of knowledge.
2017 The Parent Advocate Initiative supports the Child Welfare Organizing Project to establish the Parent Advocates Network. A group of 30 parents meet, create by-laws and begin to work together to support Parent Advocates, to advocate on their behalf, and to expand the use of Parent Advocates in the child welfare system.
2017 Max Chmura becomes the Acting Commission of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. As one of his first acts, he changes the agency’s name to the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities. He asks to meet with 15 representatives of the OMRDD/FAR Fund Collaboration to learn how to infuse the values and accomplishments of the collaboration into the new OPWDD.