FTNYS Digital Advocacy Center Archive
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This is an archive on topics, issues, and initiatives that were previously on the Digital Advocacy Center. Although they do not necessarily need immediate action or advocacy, it is important information that we wanted to make available.

Family Court Reunification Proceedings Must Resume Despite COVID-19 Closures

As advocates for children and families impacted by the child welfare system in New York, we write to express concern about current Family Court practice across the state delaying important hearings that follow child removals and could reunite families. We are worried that this policy, developed as part of the Court system’s COVID-19 crisis response, threatens the well-being of children and families by extending periods of family separation where it is not necessary during a time of extreme community vulnerability and anxiety. These procedural opportunities for children to return home are “essential matters” that must not be unnecessarily delayed as part of the State’s pandemic response.

The reunification of families and young people must continue to be a priority. See our letter to the New York Office of Court Administration.

Multiple Pathways to a Diploma Beyond Regents Exams

 In light of COVID-19, we thank the Board of Regents and State Department of Education for canceling June Exams and suspending the Regents exam graduation requirements. Please email the attached letter to Regent.Rosa@nysed.gov and express your support for this recent decision.

As members of the Multiple Pathways to a Diploma Coalition, we maintain that the state must continue to reexamine the role that high-stakes testing plays in earning a high school diploma in the long-term. However, last week we signed onto a letter calling for the State to temporarily suspend those requirements. We are pleased to report that it appears that they have mostly adopted this stance. See that guidance here and a detailed FAQ explaining who is eligible for exemption. Please note that we are still digesting these details.