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BronxWorks Protective Services Provide Vital Support for Adults and Families

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In 2021, BronxWorks added an Adult Protective Services (APS) Program funded through the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA). The objective of the program is to provide protective services to vulnerable adults and put structures in place to assist them to live independently. According to the Independent Budget Office (IBO) of New York City, a growing number of NYC residents are in need of adult protective services. Between 2014 to 2018, the average number of APS cases grew over 37%, largely due to demographic shifts affecting the entire city. In 2020, a major crisis struck New York City and the entire globe in the form of COVID-19, and while data is still being collected from the ongoing pandemic, the crisis has pushed a continued expansion of services to meet the growing and novel needs of the city’s vulnerable populations.

APS accepts referrals through NYC HRA. Eligible clients must be 18 years or older, have a physical or mental impairment, are unable to manage activities of daily living or protect themselves from neglect or hazardous conditions, and have no one willing or able to assist them responsibly. Upon receiving a referral, APS will conduct a home visit and intake, assessing the client’s needs, developing a service plan, and assigning the client to a Case Manager. APS will provide ongoing case management services, advocacy, financial management assistance, and connection to resources to stabilize a client’s situation and provide a framework for independence.

BronxWorks APS Team has a total of 17 Case Managers and is able to accept over 500 cases annually. If you or anyone you know suspects a case of adult neglect or abuse, please call APS Central Intake Unit at 212.630.1853, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call 311.

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The BronxWorks Family Enrichment Program (FEP) is a long standing foster care prevention program contracted through the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). The purpose of the program is to provide abuse and neglect prevention services to families of the South Bronx, with the primary goal of keeping children safe and assisting parents to meet their children’s needs. The BronxWorks FEP team is made up of 15 staff, including eight Case Planners, two Family Conference Workers, and leadership and administrative support. The team provides services to over 155 families and over 380 children every year.

A large part of the program is empowering parents to take control of their lives in a positive way that will affect their children,” says Loretta Edwards, Program Director. “What could look like neglect can be due to other core problems stemming from poverty and lack of resources, including time or money. “

BronxWorks FEP accepts referrals from ACS, internal BronxWorks programs, from other community-based services providers and prevention programs, as well as walk-in clients. Upon accepting a referral, the FEP team will conduct an intake and assessment to determine the family and children’s primary needs. The family will be assigned to a dedicated Case Manager for ongoing engagement, including home visits, family counseling, parental support resources, advocacy, education resources, emergency services and crisis intervention such as eviction prevention, as well as connections to other community-based services.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FEP program continued to provide both in-person and virtual services to families. Home visits never stopped, with each case requiring one in-person home visit, followed by a second virtual visit, and additional home visits as needed. The COVID-19 crisis meant that vigilance in areas of abuse and neglect, particularly in educational neglect stemming from new remote learning models, was and remains more important than ever.

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