James Satterwhite Academy

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James Satterwhite Academy

First opened in 1987, the James Satterwhite Academy focuses on establishing the foundations of fundamental practice for newly hired direct service staff and supervisors. James Satterwhite, 1937-1989, was the inspired founder and first Executive Director of the ACS Training Academy that today bears his name. The James Satterwhite Academy embodies his vision through the creation and delivery of innovative training programs for New York City’s child welfare and juvenile justice professionals. Mr. Satterwhite, a social worker and educator, graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work. Prior to founding the Academy, he directed training programs for the city’s Department of Welfare, headed the Mayor’s Committee on Foster Care, and taught Social Work at Columbia University and Hunter College. His legacy continues to inspire ACS to achieve the highest of standards for the children and families of New York City.

james satterwhite portrait

Our Mission

The James Satterwhite Academy strives to be a national leader in professional development by preparing child welfare and juvenile justice staff for quality practice. The Academy supports NYC child welfare and juvenile justice staff to deepen the knowledge, skills and values needed to fulfill the ACS mission of ensuring the safety, permanency and well-being of New York City’s children and to strengthen families.

We do this through:

  • Providing training driven by child welfare and juvenile justice outcomes and the skills necessary to achieve them.
  • Developing innovative curricula and training that models best practices, teaches skills and creates a safe environment for workers to practice those skills.
  • Enhancing direct service and supervisory practice with training that integrates classroom with “real life” on-the-job application of skills.
  • Incorporating the voices of children and families to ensure that cultural sensitivity and competence are integrated into all training as a basis for strengths-based practice.
  • Assessing competencies for child welfare and juvenile justice staff and trainers, and providing technical assistance when needed.
  • Supporting professional development as an ongoing process at all levels of child welfare, juvenile justice, and Academy staff.
  • Incorporating technology into staff development through online training, eLearning, videoconferencing, desktop applications and other technological advances.
  • Supporting training with technology through online training, eLearn, videoconferencing, desktop applications and other technological advances.