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Children’s Services To Clarify Parental Rights

ACS will provide parents with a written notification of their rights before entering homes.
name-calling children, BK Reader
Photo credit: Joint Base Elmendorf

The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) is expanding its work to help parents better understand their rights at the outset of a child protective investigation.

ACS said it will distribute notifications explaining that, while ACS has a legal requirement to assess the safety of the child, parents are not required to let ACS into their homes and can seek the assistance of an attorney. If ACS is not allowed to check a child’s safety as required, the notification explains that ACS may seek permission from Family Court to complete the assessment.

The announcement comes following the completion of an initial pilot program in parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx, in which child protective specialists distributed over four hundred notifications to parents who were the subject of an allegation of child abuse or neglect.

Commissioner Jess Dannhauser said that ACS will begin distributing written notifications to families in two more zones, with full implementation planned by July of 2024, according to a press release.

“ACS is committed to keeping children safe, and, at the same time, respecting families because New York City children and families deserve both,” said Dannhauser. “To this end, we are expanding the pilot to provide families with information about their rights during a child protective investigation citywide by July of this year. In doing so, we are taking an important step towards the mayor’s vision of safety, equity and justice.”