Why Children’s Corps is needed
In the United States today, too many children languish in foster care. The children that stay in care the longest are the most likely to leave the system without a permanent adult connection, making them even more vulnerable to a host of negative outcomes, such as increased rates of incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment. These outcomes have implications not only for the children themselves but for society as a whole. Caseworkers play a critical role in maintaining the wellbeing of foster children and in seeking permanent solutions for their care. Children’s chances for success are greatly increased when the professionals working with and for them are stable, consistent and well trained.
How does Children’s Corps address the need?
Inspired by the Teach for America model, Children’s Corps is enhancing the child welfare workforce through the specialized selection, training, and support of new caseworkers. Our mission is to improve children’s chances for success by building a workforce of highly skilled and dedicated workers who have the potential to become leaders in the field.
How does Children’s Corps work?
Children’s Corps plays a unique role similar to an employment agency, but specialized in child welfare. Children's Corps offers an employment alternative for individuals that want to work with at-risk children, youth and families. Children’s Corps partners with New York City child welfare agencies that employ the Corps members and provide them with a full salary and benefits. Children’s Corps offers an employment alternative for individuals that want to work with at-risk children, youth and families.
Children's Corps effects change through a multi-pronged approach.
- We recruit college graduates and professionals of all backgrounds - who are passionate about working with children and families - to work as caseworkers for two years in New York City’s child welfare agencies. Our comprehensive and competency-based recruitment and selection process is designed to bring new, bright, and committed individuals into child welfare.
- We train and provide Corps members with “real world” experience and a foundation of knowledge and skills. Our intensive, practical and innovative Summer Training Academy at Columbia University School of Social Work prepares our members to have an immediate positive impact on the children and families they will be working with.
- We place Corps members in full time/full benefit positions at our partnering agencies throughout New York City and Westchester. Our members are carefully screened and pre-trained. The agencies onboard our Corps members like all other employees.
- We provide on-going support and professional development throughout the two years with our program. Corps members participate in a monthly gathering that will enhance their professional work and encourage personal development.
Children's Corps is:
- Improving caseworker retention rates
- The Children’s Corps average retention rate after one year is 87%, compared to the New York City foster care retention rate of 60% (in 2011).
- Corps members are dedicated, strong advocates for children and families. They are focused on providing the best support to families and finding the best permanent solutions for youth in foster care.
- Children’s Corps alumni are continuing to serve children and families. Many have either been promoted to higher positions and/or are pursuing graduate education to further their professional career.
Children’s Corps members are working in vavious front-line positions at foster care and preventive agencies throughout NYC’s five boroughs and Westchester. These professionals are impacting the lives of over one thousand New York City children and families and will affect thousands more as Children's Corps continues to expand.
Children's Corps alumni continue to effect change through a variety of professional tracks including: policy, legal, clinical. social entrepreneurship, agency administration, and academia. Many alumni are pursuing graduate degrees in these tracks. Others are continuing work at their agencies, often with promotions to supervisory, administrative and/or senior caseworker positions.
Are you a good fit for Children’s Corps?
Child welfare work is extremely rewarding, but can also be complex and demanding. It takes a strong and motivated individual to succeed in the field. Children's Corps wants to recruit and retain such individuals. We are looking for fun, energetic, passionate and dedicated people to join the program. Please read through this website, check out more information on who we’re looking for, and watch the video above to find out if Children's Corps is a good fit for you.