Wednesday, May 14, 2014

CHILDREN'S RIGHTS IN NEW YORK - GUEST BLOG


"Children's Rights in New York

The issue of children’s rights covers a broad spectrum of topics, each of which is important to address not only for the sake of these children, but for the future of stable communities. Physical and sexual abuse, discrimination and neglect are just some of the issues children frequently face. Many are struggling for a proper education, not to mention their need for food, clothing and shelter. Fortunately, there are several resources for information and help.  Among the agencies are government organizations and non-profits, which are always looking for help securing these children’s futures. Here is a list of just some of the resources available to help bolster children’s rights:

Legal

·        The Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute outlines the legal definition of children’s rights in great detail

·        The Kids Count data center offers straight up, hard numbers on issues addressing children today.

·        90% of all children involved in cases presented before the Family court in New York City are represented by The Juvenile Rights Practice. These cases range from abuse and neglect to parental rights, PINS (People In Need of Supervision) and juvenile delinquency programs. 

·        For information on child custody laws in New York, you can contact LawNY for topics ranging from custody definitions, joint custody rules and child support to paternity visitation rights. 

·        The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance offers information and services concerning paternity establishment, which can be crucial in custody and child support cases.

·        The ACLU works diligently to protect the rights of abused and overlooked children both in the United States and abroad. The organization focuses on issues including the current Boy’s Prisons system, juvenile life without parole and death sentencing, child welfare institutions, and teaching. 

Services

·        The NYC Administration for Children’s Services is a staff of social workers and family specialists who address youth concerns among foster parents and the general public in cases related to the child welfare program.

·        Similarly, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services handles similar issues on a state-wide level, offering help in many areas including adult services, child care, prevention services, case management, reporting abuse and much more.

Educational Disparity

A number of studies have shown disparity in disciplinary practices administered in the educational system, with harsher penalties being distributed to minorities – including suspension, expulsion, and even arrest. Many of the offenses are minor and non-violent infractions.
This has led to a larger number of minority students who are not getting an education, as explained in this NY Times op-ed piece. 

The Obama Administration responded to this issue in 2014 with a 35–page document released by Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric H. Holder. The document not only outlined an unfair bias aimed mainly at black and disabled students, but also outlined an alternative to the current Zero Policy approach.
The addition of police officers into the school atmosphere has led to a larger number of arrests. The administration advised using a softer approach including setting a more positive environment including guidance and addressing issues through guidance, before they become problems. Of course, additional costs and entrenched systems threaten to thwart progress in this area.

The Children’s Defense Fund is also actively investigating this issue with the Cradle to Prison Pipeline Program – which addresses the growing problem of poor and minority children and young adults caught in the penal system. 

The Advocates for Children of New York works to help end discriminatory practices against children that can lead to academic failure.  Programs target poor, disabled, minority and immigrant students, and those from non-English speaking backgrounds, as well as those involved in both the juvenile justice system and foster care.

Foundations

·        The Children’s Defense Fund is a nationally based non-profit organization that has been working for the benefit of children for more than 40 years. They have offices all across the country, including in New York. The group works diligently to lift children from poverty, abuse and neglect; as well as ensuring access to quality healthcare, quality education and creating a moral and spiritual foundation.

·        The Partnership for Children’s Rights is a non-profit, New York based law firm that focuses on helping disadvantaged children. The focus is mainly on helping with access to special education services and social security disabilities.

·        Children’s Rights is an organization based in New York City that focuses on the abuse and neglect of children caught up in the welfare system, including those that are just stuck and/or lost in the system unnecessarily. The group works to make broad improvements in the lives of abused and neglected children, with the goal of promoting every child’s right to a stable and safe home.

·        The Children’s Rights Council and CRC Kids work to promote stronger family bonds, encouraging  better child-rearing through strong support from both parents.

·        The New York Center for Children is a non-profit organization offering free services that are all child-friendly. They offer comprehensive evaluation and therapy services for the victims and family members suffering from abuse. Abuse prevention services are offered as well.
In addition to these services, extra benefits for the children include tutoring and mentoring services as well as extra-curricular activities.

·        The New York Center for Child Development is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the mental, social and academic growth for children. The group works with children from birth through age five, striving to identify and address developmental and mental health challenges.
Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from people search. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com."
 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

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