Foster Care Prevention Services

photo_fostercareHarlem has had some of the highest foster-care placement rates in the state. Foster Care Prevention programs work to stabilize and strengthen families so that their children are not placed in foster care.

We operate five programs under contract from the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. These programs offer a variety of services, such as substance abuse referrals, entitlement assistance, legal consultations, and emergency food aid. The programs also work with other HCZ programs to strengthen the safety net for our children and families.

HCZ’s programs have had very few placements. This is due to our commitment to intensive home visits, direct service referrals, and thorough follow-up of client services.  This commitment has led to some of the highest ratings from the New York City Administration for Children Services. For that reason, the city has increased our capacity from 355 to 410 direct-care families.

Like all of our programs, HCZ's Foster-Care Prevention programs are provided free of charge, which is made possible by the support of people like yourself. Please consider making a donation today.

 HCZ Preventive Programs


The Family Development Program serves 120 families and specializes in access to mental-health professionals who collaborate with caseworkers to support therapeutic interventions. The ultimate goal of this preventive service program is to provide comprehensive community based services to families in crisis to prevent children from being placed in foster care. In particular, it supplies in-home case management, advocacy and referrals to families to help them transform their lives, while building communities into healthy and safe places for children to grow and learn.



The Family Support Center serves 90 families, and specializes in providing crisis-intervention services, referrals, advocacy, groups on parenting, and anger management. It was created in response to the community's need for counseling services for children and families in Central  Harlem. The goal of this program is to prevent foster care placement by improving the family's ability to communicate effectively and manage the problems that are associated with inner city living. The staff, which provide counseling and moral support, help families to learn effective forms of self expression and to build their problem solving skills.



Project CLASS (Clean Living and Staying Sober) serves as many as 50 families.  It specializes in providing referrals to drug- and alcohol-abuse programs, as well as creating, implementing and monitoring drug- treatment service plans. The program recently added the Babies Initiative, which is offered to 20 families with children ages five and under who are at immediate risk of being put in foster care. This intensive program works to get family members whatever services they need in order to stabilize.


Truancy Prevention serves 90 families with at-risk children. The program conducts groups on domestic violence, parenting (the Parenting Journey) and a group for teen-agers. Truancy Prevention is contracted by ACS to provide support and services to these families to help transform their lives and communities into safe and healthy places where their children can reach their full potential. It also provides families with support from a caseworker who makes regular visits to their homes. In addition, the program provides casework counseling, advocacy and referrals as needed.

Watch a video about Truancy Prevention below:


                                                                    Sign-up for Newsletter