New York City: Every Child and Family is Known

A Success Planning Community

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New York joined our Institute for Success Planning Community of Practice in 2022 to design a Success Planning initiative that would provide a comprehensive system of supports and opportunities for children and families living in NYC shelters. 

During the 2022-2023 school year, the Community of Practice met monthly. Participating communities, including New York City, led by Joshua Laub, Project Director of Every Child and Family is Known (ECFIK), Office of Safety and Youth Development, met monthly as well, and were provided with tools, templates, and resources, including EdRedesign’s metrics matrix, that has helped them determine the best metrics for their initiative to measure progress within their local context. The Success Planning Community of Practice work plan also provides a mechanism for them to organize and align their efforts to accomplish their intended goals, guided by their throughline or theory of change, and to monitor their progress. The focus of the NYC team’s effort was children living in shelters in NYC—a population then estimated to be 17,000 and growing.

Implementing and scaling a Success Planning initiative supported by a cross-sector partnership in a community requires buy-in from all community stakeholders and support from leaders at all levels in the community. In the Success Planning Community of Practice, we are also building the capacity of participants to navigate the complexities of cross-sector collaboration by focusing on adaptive leadership skills and providing tools and strategies to help them in their local collaboration efforts, emphasizing the importance of place-based cross-sector partnerships.  
Given interest from the inaugural cohort to continue their participation in the Success Planning Community of Practice and deepen their efforts, we invited each community in our initial cohort to reapply to continue for a second year, while we were also recruiting new communities to join our second cohort (2023-2024). The NYC team reapplied for the second year and was accepted. 

At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, New York City launched their Success Planning initiative—an ambitious effort called Every Child and Family is Known. Their aspiration is to ensure that every child and family living in a shelter will be part of an integrated and comprehensive support system that enables their educational success, nurtured and guided by a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult. A strong set of cross-sector partners, including school leaders, superintendents, community-based organizations, nonprofits, and the Mayor's Office, are spearheading this initiative, which is supported by NYC’s Children’s Cabinet.

Established in 2014, the NYC Children’s Cabinet seeks to drive coordination and efficiency across city departments; mobilize resources around the city’s priorities for children; strengthen partnerships with the non-profit and private sectors; and facilitate a holistic approach to serving children by aligning agency policies that affect children’s health, safety, and well-being. The Children’s Cabinet is composed of 24 city agencies and Mayoral offices.
Currently, NYC’s Success Planning team is piloting the ECFIK initiative in the Bronx School District and has set the bold goal of serving over 1500 homeless students in shelter through connections to 500 caring adult Navigators. The team has cultivated key partnerships to streamline information sharing, including signing a Memorandum of Understanding with city agencies during the 2022-2023 school year. They have also hosted trainings and a resource fair for caring adults as well as created professional development tools. Notably, the region has raised over $2 million dollars to help fund this initiative.