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During its 30-year history, the Council has served as a broker, innovator and change agent among the state's health, education and human services agencies. The unique value of the Council is its ability to provide a comprehensive, cross-systems perspective critical for the development and implementation of strategies impacting the availability, accessibility and quality of services for children and families.
Established by Governor Carey as Chapter 757 of the Laws of 1977, the Council on Children and Families is authorized to coordinate the state health, education and human services systems as a means to provide more effective systems of care for children and families. The Council was administratively merged with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services by Chapter 62 of the Laws of 2003. The essence of the Council’s work remains true to the original intent: to be a neutral body within state government capable of negotiating solutions to interagency issues.
The Council does not have direct responsibility for the operation of programs or the provision of services. Instead, the Council orients its priorities toward the development of comprehensive and coordinated systems of care that respond to the wide needs of children and families in New York. By concentrating its efforts on structural issues, the Council facilitates the efficient and effective delivery of services to children and families. The Council works with state and local organizations in both public and private sectors to foster interagency, collaborative approaches to solving the problems and meeting the challenges facing government, service providers and the private sector.
The members of the Council include the commissioners and directors of the following 12 agencies:
Social Services Law, Article 10-C, Section 483 establishes the Council and its membership, gives authority to the Governor to appoint the Council’s chair and chief executive officer, and specifies the Council’s powers and duties. In addition, Section 483 assigns administrative responsibilities to the Council as follows: Section 483-c establishes the Coordinated Children’s Services Initiative (CCSI); Section 483-d establishes the Out-of-State Placement Committee; and Section 483-e establishes the Restraint and Crisis Intervention Technique Committee.
The Council on Children and Families is charged with acting as a neutral body to coordinate the state's health, education and human services system to ensure that all children and families in New York State have the opportunity to reach their potential.
The Council on Children and Families will coordinate efforts to achieve the collective vision of its member agencies—that all children, youth and families in New York State will be healthy and have the knowledge, skills and resources to succeed in a dynamic society.
Using the Touchstones goals and objectives, the Council facilitates the development of state and local service systems that are coordinated, strength-based, prevention-oriented, and responsive to the needs of children and families.