What is the need?
In the United States today, too many children languish in foster care and many others are at risk for entering care due to neglect or abuse. The children that remain in care the longest are most likely to leave the system without a permanent family or adult connection. These youth are more vulnerable to a host of poor outcomes, including increased rates of incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment. These negative outcomes have implications for both the children themselves and for society as a whole. Caseworkers play a critical role in maintaining the safety and wellbeing of children and in ensuring permanent family connections for their care. A child’s chances for success is greatly increased when the professionals working with and for that child are stable, consistent and well trained. Children’s Corps helps to make this possible.
How does Children’s Corps address the need?
Children’s Corps is enhancing the child welfare workforce through the specialized selection, training, and support of new frontline workers in child welfare. Our mission is to improve vulnerable children’s well-being and chances for success by building a workforce with highly-skilled and dedicated workers who have the potential to become leaders in the field.
How does Children’s Corps work?
The Children’s Corps program offers an employment opportunity for individuals who want to work with at-risk children, youth and families. Children’s Corps program partners with fifteen New York City child welfare agencies that employ the Corps members and provide them with a full salary and benefits.
Children's Corps effects change through a multi-pronged approach.
- We extensively recruit college graduates and professionals of all backgrounds to work as frontline workers for two years in New York City’s child welfare agencies. Our highly selective and competency-based admissions process is designed to bring motivated, and committed individuals into child welfare.
- We train and provide Corps members with “real world” experience and a foundation of knowledge and skills before they begin working in the field. The Summer Training Academy at Columbia University School of Social Work prepares 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 partner agencies throughout New York City and Westchester.
- We support the personal and professional development of Corps members throughout the two years with our program.
The Children's Corps program is:
- Improving caseworker retention rates:
- The Children’s Corps average retention rate after one year is 88%, compared to the New York City foster care retention rate of 60% (in 2011).
- Corps members are dedicated, persistent and strong advocates for children and families. They are focused on supporting families and finding the best permanent solutions for children and youth in foster care.
- Children’s Corps members impact the lives of over fifteen hundred of New York City’s children and families. In the coming years, as Children’s Corps continues to expand, Corps members will touch the lives of thousands of children and families throughout New York City and beyond.
- 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 pursue graduate degrees in these tracks while others continue to 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 and also presents significant and complex challenges. In considering your application to Children’s Corps, please read carefully through the information on the 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.
Is your organization interested in becoming a partner?
Please find out more about how on our Information for Partners page.