The Administration for Children's Services (ACS) was created on January 10, 1996, by New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani to be the City's first free-standing agency charged with, in his words, "first, last, and always protecting the children of this city". ACS is committed to the following operating principles:
The Administration for Children's Services will use all available means to be certain that children do not live in danger of abuse or neglect. Any ambiguity regarding the safety of the child will be resolved in favor of removing the child from harm's way. Only when families demonstrate to the satisfaction of ACS that their homes are safe and secure, will the children be permitted to remain or be returned to the home, where the child and family can be both supported ad monitored. Children who cannot be returned safely to their homes will be provided alternative safe, loving and permanent homes. ACS will mobilize all community resources to protect and nurture children within strong and loving families.
The ACS Head Start Division, the Head Start grantee, located at 30 Main Street - 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201-1022, is requesting a total of $4 million of Federal Early Head Start funds for a 12 month period when the program is fully operational. When fully operational the program will serve 320 children and pregnant women in ten programs located in geographic areas throughout the city that have high unmet needs for services for pregnant women and children from zero to three years of age. In addition, the Agency is requesting $800,000 in onetime start-up Federal Early Head Start funding.
ACS/ Head Start has identified 20 communities in New York City that meet specific criteria defining high need for Early Head Start (EHS) services. Communities were ranked in relation to indicators of high risk including; poverty; incidence of teen pregnancy; low birth weights and infant mortality; and incidence of child abuse and neglect.
The 20 communities with highest need are:
Brooklyn: Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick, East New York/ Starrett City, Flatbush, Brownsville, East Flatbush, Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Ft. Greene, and Coney Island
The Bronx: Mott Haven/Melrose, Morrisania/Crotona, Highbridge/Concourse, Fordham/University Heights, East Tremont, Soundview, and
Manhattan: Lower East Side, Central Harlem, and East Harlem
ACS/ Head Start has had extensive experience in delivering services to children and families at risk, and in developing high quality, innovative approaches to the difficult challenges these families face. After developing creative solutions, ACS/ Head Start is committed to transferring "best practices" to its delegates throughout the City. In this spirit, ACS/ Head Start proposes issuing an RFP to identify ten agencies who are qualified to deliver EHS services. (ACSI Head Start has previously had very positive results utilizing the RFP approach to identify qualified Head Start expansion sites.) Agencies are being asked to respond to an RFP with a proposal based on one of four delivery models, each to operate 10-12 hours a day, 230 days a year over a 12-month period, and serving a minimum of 32 pregnant women and infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months of age. While all four models are designed to meet the needs of high risk infants and toddlers and their families, one, Model ID, will focus specifically on those children most at risk of child abuse and neglect and most affected by conditions such as homelessness and substance abuse.
The four delivery models are:
Model A: Parent Child Center;
Model B: Pregnant Teen/ Teenage Mothers' Program;
Model C: Head Start Satellite Home Provider Network;
Model D: Family Support/Child Protection Model
The RFP process will be inaugurated prior to and in anticipation of grant award. The ACS/ Head Start RHP response, review, and negotiation process historically takes from three to four months. ACS/ Head Start plans to award contracts to at least two programs for each of the four models (the additional two programs will be chosen on the basis of excellence of program design and may feature any one of the four models). New programs will be expected to be fully operational, serving at least 32 pregnant women and infants and toddlers, six to eight months after contract award. Therefore, with a grant award and project start-up date of February 1, 1999, for example, (which would be consistent with the current ACS funding cycle) ACS/Head Start projects a target date of February 1,2000, for beginning full services to new children in all four model programs.