Best Practices for the Trial Discharge Process
The Administration of Children’s Services (ACS) is a New York City government agency that ensures children’s safety and well-being, as well as family stability. Among other responsibilities, it ensures child welfare by overseeing services that support families in taking care of their children, as well as providing foster families when services are not sufficient. ACS also investigates cases of neglect and abuse. ACS engaged a Capstone team to determine best practices in trial discharge, which refers to reunifying children with their families on a trial basis to ensure families can take care of their children. Success means parents regain complete custody of their children. A Capstone team interviewed personnel and researched services in other jurisdictions that focus on this trial discharge period to identify promising models that ACS can incorporate into its services. The team also interviewed ACS staff, and produced a final report including recommended best practices for ACS’s trial discharge process.