The Office of Training and Workforce Development is housed within the Division of Policy, Planning, and Measurement of the Administration for Children’s Services and includes the ACS James Satterwhite Academy, the ACS Workforce Institute and the ACS Institute for Leadership Development. Together they provide foundational and continuous learning for child welfare and juvenile justice direct service staff and supervisors.
On August 16, 1984, the New York City Board of Estimate mandated the establishment of a child protective services training academy. Its creation was driven by the urgent need to strengthen the ability of child welfare professionals to serve New York City’s most vulnerable families and children. Since it first opened in 1987 as a part of Special Services for Children (now the Administration for Children’s Services), the Academy has responded to the challenges of preparing a rapidly expanding workforce.
The Academy’s name was officially changed in March 1989 to the James Satterwhite Academy for Child Welfare Training to honor the memory of its first Executive Director. When the Administration for Children’s Services was created in 1995, the Academy was well established as a leader in providing knowledge and skills to child welfare caseworkers and supervisors to enhance practice and support the needs of New York City’s children, youth, and families.
In 2008, a taskforce was established to begin the tremendous task of reforming the New York State juvenile justice system. In December 2010, the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice was merged with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. This merger expanded the scope of the James Satterwhite Academy to include the training of direct service staff and supervisors working in juvenile justice.
For more information and to learn more about the mission of the James Satterwhite Academy, click here.
In 2015, as part of the Mayor’s Reform Plan, the Workforce Institute was established to complement the work of the James Satterwhite Academy. The Institute is a partnership between ACS and the City University of New York (School of Professional Studies and the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work). The goal was to strengthen training, supervision and coaching of direct service staff and supervisors at ACS and its many contracted provider agencies. In response to the increasingly complex nature of the work, the Workforce Institute introduced a variety of training modalities including simulation to expand on skill development. Coaching for supervisors was identified as a priority to reinforce the transfer of learning and support critical thinking.
For more information and to learn about the mission, vision and guiding principles of the Workforce Institute, click here.
On September 13, 2023, ACS launched the Institute for Leadership Development, a new, third entity under the Office of Training and Workforce Development in partnership with the City University of New York’s Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. The Institute for Leadership Development was created to establish one workforce of visionary and empathetic leaders who can navigate challenges, inspire their teams, and ignite positive change within New York City’s child welfare and juvenile justice sectors, and to support children, families, and communities to flourish. It builds on the foundation laid by the James Satterwhite Academy and Workforce Institute by providing necessary, ongoing development opportunities to leaders at ACS and its provider agencies.
For more information and to learn about the Institute for Leadership Development, click here.
Today, the three entities work together to provide training and ongoing professional development opportunities to staff at all levels so they can help children, youth, and families achieve safety, well-being, and permanency. The Office of Training and Workforce Development is considered a national leader in child welfare and juvenile justice training and professional development.