For more than 100 years, Partnership with Children has supported the most vulnerable children in overcoming the stress of growing up in poverty. Today, through our school-based programs across the five boroughs, we fortify the cognitive, academic and emotional resources of 11,000 students, leveraging the latest neuroscience and adapting our work to meet the unique challenges of each school and child we serve. Our comprehensive model ensures that children have the opportunity to reach their full potential and to succeed in school, society, and life.

Partnership with Children’s multi-faceted program responds to the diverse needs of each of our partner schools. Our full-time staff work in NYC public schools to create trauma-informed, safe and supportive environments. The consistent availability of our social workers for day-to-day guidance, crisis intervention, and mentoring is critical to help students access care and feel anchored to their school. Knowing that there is always an adult there who cares about them, knows their story, and helps them make sound choices makes a profound difference in their health and their lives.

Our methods are proven, cost-effective, and replicable — and they get results, both behaviorally and academically. Partnership with Children schools report increased student attendance, on-task behavior, and achievement, and decreased rates of violence, crisis, discipline issues, and suspension. We also improve teachers’ classroom management skills and engage families in their children’s education.

Program components include:

Individual Counseling

At each school, we seek out and work with students through a customized plan for each child. Our social workers help students learn how to regulate their emotions, behave deliberately, advocate for themselves and others, and work towards personal and academic goals. Our team provides case management services as necessary so that students and families have the resources they need.

Small Group Counseling

Our small groups develop students’ essential socialization and coping capacity, build confidence, and support young people in making positive decisions. Groups can focus on critical skills to help students interact more positively with peers and teachers in the classroom and support a positive school climate, or topics such as peer mediation, leadership, or bereavement.

School-Wide and Classroom Programs

We offer support to teachers to improve classroom cohesion, establish a positive climate for students and teachers, and improve social and emotional learning strategies. School-wide interventions address the most urgent needs of each school, including but not limited to Restorative Practices; Attendance Improvement; Mentoring for Boys/Young Men of Color; and Parent Education and Engagement.

Community Schools

Building on the integrated student supports in individual counseling, groups and trauma-informed schools where children have the supports they need, Partnership with Children also integrates a Community Schools program in schools. This nationwide education strategy, through partnerships between schools and their community resources, integrates academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement. New York City is a leader in the community school model, and Partnership with Children among the most active organizations in the community schools network. Our 14 community schools benefit from the integrated student supports that are core to our mission, as well as from additional partners to offer a range of supports for the school community.

Building Healthy Brains

An impressive body of research demonstrates that the unrelenting stressors of growing up in poverty – conditions of community violence, food insecurity, housing instability, economic hardship – may cause toxic stress. Toxic stress occurs when a child faces intense and prolonged adversity, without adequate and consistent support from adults. Unless caring adults serve to buffer children, toxic stress can dramatically affect a child’s brain architecture and undermine healthy development.

Toxic stress, more prevalent among children growing up in poverty, can have damaging repercussions for learning, behavior and health well into adulthood. Recent studies reveal that even short-term dips below the poverty line during the vulnerable stages of development impede a child’s potential. Children who lack supportive home and school environments, and experience toxic stress, often struggle to focus in class, attend school regularly, excel academically, and behave constructively in school. Partnership with Children’s work aims to mitigate the negative effects of toxic stress. Learn more about the relationship between toxic stress and childhood brain development in this video from The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.