History, Mission and Theory of Change


Partnership with Children provides critical mental health services for students and engages families in the school community. We support schools in low-income communities across all five boroughs of New York City

Founded in 1908, Partnership with Children works to help children overcome the chronic stress of growing up in poverty so they are positioned to succeed. Originally called Big Sisters, our organization was established to provide support and mentoring for girls referred by the family court system. In the early 1990s, we made the strategic decision to place full-time social workers into schools in the city’s most under-served communities. Over the past twenty-five years, we have refined our model of expanded mental health services and systems-building for schools to address the unique set of mental and behavioral health challenges faced by children growing up in poverty.

In every school, our staff collaborates with school leadership to customize a plan to address the needs of each community. We provide student counseling, family supports, staff training and community development in schools so that students can learn and thrive. Partnership with Children has demonstrated significant positive results: increasing student attendance and on-task behavior, improving teachers’ classroom management skills, engaging families in their children’s education, and partnering with schools to develop vibrant community schools.

Our Mission

Partnership with Children works to strengthen the emotional, social, and cognitive skills of vulnerable children in New York City to help them succeed in school, society, and life.

Theory of Change

Partnership with Children supports the well-being of New York City public school students. Our staff builds a foundation for lifelong social and emotional wellness through a unique combination of student and school-level supports. These supports are especially important when schools and neighborhoods have a high percentage of poverty. As a result, students are successful, families are involved, teachers are more effective, and schools are supportive.
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