Gladys Carrion

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Hon. Gladys Carrión, Esq.
Gladys Carrion.jpg
Commissioner, New York City Administration for Children's Services
In office
January 2013 – February 3, 2017
Preceded by Ronald Richter
Succeeded by David Hansell
Personal details
Born The Bronx, New York
Nationality Puerto Rican
Spouse(s) Hector Soto
Residence The Bronx, New York
Alma mater New York University School of Law
Fordham University
Profession Attorney and Advocate for Child Well-Being

Gladys Carrión, Esq. is the former reform-minded[1] commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children's Services and a nationally recognized advocate for improving child well-being.[2] As an attorney and leader in government, non-profit organizations, and philanthropic foundations, she has built a reputation for pushing the boundaries to develop and implement policies and programs to improve outcomes for poor children and families. She is particularly well known for going up against special interests to transform New York State's juvenile justice, child welfare, and child care systems to improve child well-being in the state's 62 counties.

New York City Administration for Children's Services[edit]

Carrión is among the first officials that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio named to lead his administration. Calling her a "change agent and reformer," he appointed Carrión commissioner of the city's child welfare agency, the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) in December, 2013.[3] “She’s devoted her whole life to our children and she understands from her own life story what it’s like for children to come up in humble circumstances and struggle, and understands how much it is our obligation to protect them all,” said de Blasio.[4]

ACS has a $2.8 billion annual budget and 6,500 employees who supervise children in foster care, provides child abuse prevention services and administers juvenile justice. When she was named ACS commissioner, Carrión said her focus would be on improving preventive services to protect vulnerable children: “We need to focus on tightening the system so that no child falls through the cracks."

Her first month on the job, Mayor de Blasio asked Carrión to investigate the death and abuse of a four-year-old whose file ACS had closed six months earlier.[5]

On December 12, 2016, Carrión announced that she is stepping down.[6]

New York State Office for Children and Family Services[edit]

Until her appointment by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Carrión served as New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo's commissioner for the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). She was appointed by Governor Eliot Spitzer in January, 2007. OCFS provides oversight of child well-being in local counties. This includes child abuse prevention, a 24-hour child abuse hotline, child abuse investigations, and protective services; foster care and adoption; and child care. OCFS also manages New York's juvenile justice system and supervises county-based juvenile justice programs. In addition, OCFS supervises the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) and New York State's response to the needs of Native Americans. OCFS has an annual budget of nearly four billion dollars.

Juvenile justice[edit]

Commissioner Carrión earned the most recognition [1] for her initiative to transform the juvenile justice system she inherited, from a "custody and control"[1] model with a reputation for using excessive force on children;[7] no oversight and few resources;[8] and an 89 percent recidivism rate,[9] to an evidence-based, trauma-informed, community-centered therapeutic model.[10] This transformation has significantly improved child well-being—while at the same time improving public safety in local counties.[2] The New York State Bar Association in June, 2009, honored Carrión with the Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare for this initiative.[11] More recently, the National Juvenile Justice Network and Texas Public Policy Foundation [2] singled out New York State for the implementation of Commissioner Carrión's initiatives.

Empty Beds, Wasted Dollars[edit]

In an unprecedented move more common to corporate communications, Carrión supported an innovative strategic communications and advocacy plan Empty Beds, Wasted Dollars to generate and maintain critical leverage for the continuing transformation of juvenile justice despite the formidable opposition of upstate legislators and the state employee unions which represented the workers in the juvenile jails she closed. The Empty Beds, Wasted Dollars campaign generated more than 300 newspaper, magazine, television, radio and online story and op-ed placements and 30 editorials in fewer than three years.[12] Her success transforming the state's juvenile justice system provided Carrión with the political capital needed to also transform child care and child welfare to improve the overall improvement of child well-being across New York State.

Close to home[edit]

After closing most of the state's juvenile jails, Carrion and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo changed New York State law so that they would stay closed and the troubled children who used to be sent away would now stay close to home where they would get treatment for the mental health and alcohol and substance abuse problems and developmental delays from which 90 percent suffer.

Family assessment response[edit]

Under her leadership, OCFS developed a framework for child well-being in New York State's 62 counties that builds on the pillars of safety and permanency to improve outcomes for children and families. This includes implementing a Family Assessment Response (FAR) in child protection cases that do not include allegations of child abuse. Instead of exercising a traditional law enforcement approach, FAR now supports families involved in child neglect allegations with services and interventions to address their needs.[13]

Child care[edit]

Carrión also established an OCFS Division for Child Care Services[14] for the first time, and charged it with moving beyond simply regulating child care, to implementing policies and program to improve child care to enhance children's capacity to succeed in school and later in life.[15]

Bridges to Health (B2H)[edit]

Additionally, she implemented Bridges to Health (B2H), a Federal Medicaid-waiver program to provide comprehensive family and community support services to medically-fragile children in foster care and their families.[16]

LGBTQ rights[edit]

For the first time, New York State promulgated policies expanding the umbrella of constitutional and civil rights protections to LGBTQ youth when Carrión wrote and institutionalized agency policy protecting youth in state care.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Carrión was born and raised in the South Bronx.[17] After graduating from Fordham University, she earned a law degree from the New York University School of Law. Upon graduation, Carrión took a job as an attorney at the Bronx Legal Services Corporation, launching what would turn out to be a long and distinguished career as an advocate for poor and working families.

At Bronx Legal Services, she represented residents on issues ranging from housing, welfare, education, to family law. Carrión quickly rose to become managing attorney in the South Bronx, the poorest U.S. Congressional district in the nation.

While at Bronx Legal Services, New York City Mayor Edward Koch named Carrión to the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY), the largest urban university system in the United States. He also named her as chair of the New York City Schools Chancellor's Task Force on Latino Educational Opportunities.

Upon his election, New York City Mayor David Dinkins pulled her from the South Bronx to lead the then much-maligned Community Development Agency (CDA). CDA was responsible for the allocation of nearly half-a-billion dollars in federal funds that were supposed to address the human services needs of the city's most vulnerable children and families living in the city's poorest neighborhoods. During Carrión's tenure, she conducted the agency's first neighborhood poverty assessment identifying communities of need. She also for the first-time created a transparent process for directing the allocation of federal funds and established a system of accountability to ensure the quality performance of more than 300 funded community-based organizations.

Following her government service, Carrión served as executive director at Family Dynamics, where she developed policies and programs to strengthen families and to help them avoid having their children placed in foster care by the New York City Administration for Children's Services.

After a period as a community development program officer at the Ford Foundation, Carrión was named executive director of Inwood House, one of the oldest programs in the city working to lift children and families out of poverty.

She also served as New York Foundation Board of Directors Chairperson, on the Legal Services of New York Executive Committee, and the Child Welfare Watch Advisory Board.

Before Governor Eliot Spitzer named her commissioner for the Office of Children and Family Services, Carrión was senior vice president for community investment at United Way of New York City.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Editorial - Why Did Darryl Die?". New York Times. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  2. ^ a b c "Comeback-States-Report" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Baker, Al (2013-12-22). "State Official Appointed by de Blasio as Leader of Child Welfare Agency". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Baker, Al (2013-12-22). "State Official Appointed by de Blasio as Leader of Child Welfare Agency". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ McKinley Jr, James C. (2014-01-10). "Before His Death, Boy Faced Weeks of Abuse, Officials Say". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/12/nyregion/new-york-citys-child-welfare-commissioner-gladys-carrion-resigns.html
  7. ^ Feldman, Cassi (2007-03-04). "State Facilities' Use of Force Is Scrutinized After a Death". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  8. ^ "Report Faults Operations at Gossett Youth Detention Center.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  9. ^ "http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/226577.pdf
  10. ^ "Gladys Carrion on Transforming Juvenile Justice". YouTube. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  11. ^ "Commissioner Gladys Carrión, Esq. Receives the Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare". New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  12. ^ [ccf.ny.gov/files/1813/8074/4718/EmptyBeds.pdf "Empty Beds, Wasted Dollars"] Check |url= value (help) (PDF). 
  13. ^ "Family-Assessment-Response". 
  14. ^ "OCFS-Child-Care-Services". 
  15. ^ "qualitystars". 
  16. ^ "Bridges-to-Health". 
  17. ^ "Gladys Carrion". Times Union. 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2009-07-21. [dead link]

External links[edit]