ACS (NYC's CPS agency)
ACS Official Homepage
Articles of Interest on ACS
Parents in Action Recommended System Changes
ACS, the Administration for Children's Services is the New York City Child Protective
Services (CPS) agency. ACS was created in January 10, 1996 by then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
ACS's Mission is to ensure the safety and well-being of all the Children of New York. One can
read the full Mission Statement at their website at
ACS first Commissioner was Nicholas Scopetta, the present Fire Commissioner under Mayor Bloomberg.
He was a defender of the status quo and did not do anything good for the Children of New York.
The abusive policies of ACS were rampant during his shift. After him came Commissioner William
Bell. He came from the ranks of ACS, having worked for ACS for 19 years. He started a series of
small but significant changes. After him came on Board Commissioner John Mattingly. He has been
a source of steady significant positive changes inside ACS. We have to give him credit for his
vision and thus fully support his initiatives.
Commissioner Mattingly has mandated ACS to obey the law, specifically to obey the Second District
Court of Appeals Tenenbaum Decision, to only take Children away from their Parents with a
Court Order, except in life and limb emergency situations. This is significant since Commissioner
Scopetta not only openly disregarded this Court Decison but even encouraged ACS workers to do
so, as in evidence presented in Federal Court in the Nicholson v. Scopetta case and as he
testified under oath in the same case. Why no-one has prosecuted him for this crime and rather
he has been rewarded by naming him Commissioner of the Fire Department is a mystery to me.
Commissioner Mattingly is shrinking the Child Protective Services Division and putting those funds
into the Preventive Services Division, something that was long overdue.
Commissioner Mattingly is supporting the Neighborhood Networks to reach out to the Community and
avoid having to place Children in Foster Care.
Commissioner Mattingly has ordered an Investigation by the Vera Institute of Justice on ACS
involvement in Clinical Trials with Foster Care Children. Something that Commissioner
Scopetta would have never done.
We have already seen many positive changes in the present ACS under Commissioner Mattingly,
but one of
the groups inside ACS that skillfully resists changes is the Division of Legal Services (DLS)
of ACS. As attorneys that they are, they have mastered the art of lying and deception and look
for technicalities to forever delay cases and keep Children away from their Parents under
any possible excuse. Their position is to Win the Case at any cost, not to Win the Child.
They follow the Letter of ACS regulations but never the Spirit of the regulations
and totally ignore Commissioner Mattingly vision of a Humane Child Welfare System. Given the
fact that less Children are entering Foster Care, perhaps these attorneys feel threatened by
the shrinking pool of cases, and want to prolong each case as much as possible, with legal trickery,
to justify their jobs. Perhaps an easy solution would be to fire half of them so those left
would not be threatened by the shrinking pool of cases and thus do their Job of Protecting
We Give Full Credit to the present ACS Commissioner John Mattingly for the changes that he
has already implemented and the ones he envisions. The small changes that former ACS
Commissioner William Bell started, have become significant changes with present Commissioner
Mattingly. In that sense we can only support him, although we recognize that there is only so
much one can do to humanize a system based on false premises. Commissioner Mattingly honest
efforts to Humanize the CPS System, will work only to a certain point. It is the Nature of this
System, like that of the Wolf to be a Carnivore and a Predator and well intentioned efforts
to change its Nature will eventually hit the reality that the Nature of this System (by design)
is that of the Wolf. It is not that the Wolf is "bad". The nature of the Wolf is to prey and
devour those who are weak. In the long run we need to design a very different Child Welfare
System, based on realities, not in irrational ideas, even if they are not politically correct.
One of the fundamental points of any Sane Child Welfare System is the fact that Parents are
the Best Protectors of their Children. If this was not the case, we would have disappeared
as a species millions of years ago. No amount of money or even best intentions can sustitute
those forces of nature that make Parents sacrifice everything, even their lives for their
Children. To think that a bureacrat would care more about a Child that is not his/her own
than their Parents is to believe that pigs fly or either the product of a very sick mind.
The case of the ACS attorneys, so-called Law Guardians, and so-called Family Court Judges
is really pathetic since all of them are Lawyers. Lawyers by their very profession master
the art of lying and deception. Now, to believe that they could care about strangers'
Children more than their Natural Protectors, their Parents, demands a leap of faith beyond
normal mental processes. They seem to have eventually believed their own lies.
The Best Interest of the Child is for that Child to Be with his/her Parents
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