Policy Priorities

The Redlich Horwitz Foundation works in partnership with children’s advocacy organizations, service providers, and government officials to align policies and regulation with child welfare priorities to strengthen permanency and well-being outcomes.  With the recent passage of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, the legal and regulatory landscape of child welfare is undergoing rapid changes, and its impact is expected to be felt throughout New York State and its counties. To meet these new requirements, RHF prioritizes work that builds a strong policy and regulatory environment to increase family-based care, expedite permanency, and support programs that ensure children and families thrive.

Our approach to policy reform is to support: research & data, grassroots voice, knowledge-sharing, and coalition-building.

 

CHAMPS NY - Children Need Amazing Parents

A new effort led by the Schuyler Center for Advocacy and Analysis (SCAA) and Families Together in New York State and in partnership with the national CHAMPS Campaign, CHAMPS NY is a statewide coalition working to spur policy reform that prioritizes kin-first, family-based placements for children in foster care in NY.

Modeled on effective reform efforts in Onondaga, Westchester and Dutchess counties that reduce an overreliance on congregate care, CHAMPS-NY has advocated for the state to create the Family First Transition Fund. A public-private partnership between OCFS and private funders led by the Redlich Horwitz Foundation, the Fund would provide technical assistance and funding to counties across the state to support children in family-based care and strengthen their foster and kinship families. The resulting savings would be reinvested to sustain system changes that prioritize family-based care and help prevent more children from entering foster care.  


In addition to the Schuyler Center and Families Together, the CHAMPS NY steering committee includes Jeremy Kohomban of Children’s Village, Bill Gettman of Northern Rivers, Karen Richmond of Children’s Home of Jefferson County, and Richard Heyl de Ortiz of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of NY.

 

Fostering Youth Success Alliance (FYSA)

The Fostering Youth Success Alliance, a coalition of 75 community-based organizations across the state,  seeks to reduce the barriers that youth in foster care face in accessing higher education. FYSA advocates for financial aid and on-campus academic and social supports through the Foster Youth College Success Initiative. Since its inception in 2013 and with robust organizing in 2018, FYSA has garnered $15 million to support up to 900 students at 70 public and private colleges across the state.  

The Redlich Horwitz Foundation is the proud founding donor and partner to the Fostering Youth Success Alliance.

 

Fair Futures

The Redlich Horwitz Foundation is proud to be a member of the Fair Futures coalition. Supported by over 80 organizations, this initiative is devoted to expanding resources for long-term coaching and enriching academic supports for New York City’s foster youth. The coalition is advocating for $50 million in city funding to support foster care youth aged 14 to 26 with an educational tutor and coach. If funding is secured, New York will become first in the nation to provide these supports to youth from middle school through age 26.

 

KinGAP Financing Reform

The Redlich Horwitz Foundation has maintained a strong commitment to increasing permanency through Kin Guardianship (KinGAP) and supportive services in NY State. The Citizens’ Committee for Children (CCC) is working in coalition with other advocates across the state to achieve improvements to KinGAP financing so that KinGAP subsidy payments are structured in a manner akin to adoption subsidies, outside of the capped Foster Care Block Grant. The current structure caps the counties’ ability to pay and limits the use of this important permanency option for children.

 

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