Children's Aid

Every step of the way

aka CA, The Children's Aid Society   |   New York, NY   |


Children's Aid helps children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Ms. Phoebe C. Boyer

Main address

117 West 124th Street 5th Floor

New York, NY 10027 USA

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NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose (O20)

Ambulatory Health Center, Community Clinic (E32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Children's Aid serves some of New York City's most under-resourced neighborhoods: Harlem, Washington Heights, the South Bronx, and northern Staten Island. In these communities, where between 51% and 96% of residents are Black or Latinx, systemic racism — and the barriers it creates in access to quality housing, health care, employment, and education — has led to high levels of intergenerational poverty and an array of associated outcomes, including high rates of school failure, childhood trauma, and family instability. We work to mitigate the economic and social opportunity gap that children experience through our comprehensive counterattack on the obstacles that threaten achievement in school and in life. We know that with the right resources leveraged in the right way, children can achieve healthy, fulfilling lives.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education and Leadership: Early Childhood programs

Before they take their first steps to the day they walk into their kindergarten classroom, our littlest ones are ready to be healthy, lifelong learners. Children’s Aid Early Childhood programs nurture and serve approximately 1,000 children (ages 0-5) and their families during the most critical stages of childhood development. The guiding principles of our early childhood work are to help children develop a greater sense of self, a respect for others, and a deep love of learning. We also work with families to engage them as active partners in their children’s development.

Our work begins in the home with infants and young toddlers. We stimulate social-emotional learning and motor skills through weekly home visits and play groups. When children turn 2, they transition into our classroom-based preschool programs which continues until the child turns 5 and moves on to kindergarten. Our high-quality model is based on an effective research-based curriculum, low student-to-teacher ratios, and strong professional development for staff. All Children's Aid Early Childhood programs are licensed by the New York City Department of Health.

Population(s) Served

Wagon Road Camp provides a fun, inclusive summer experience set in a woodsy, natural environment for hundreds of kids from New York City and the surrounding Westchester area. Children are guaranteed some of the best summers of their childhood at Wagon Road. Horseback riding lessons, archery, and adventure ropes courses are just some of the outdoor and recreational activities available to campers. A rigorous swim program is also taught by Red Cross-certified water safety instructors. Yet, the most defining aspects of the Wagon Road summer camp experience are the friendships campers develop that stick with them well beyond childhood.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Many young people face extraordinary obstacles in pursuit of their aspirations. The Next Generation Center is designed to meet their special challenges and map out a route to success and stability. Next Generation’s mission is to identify and attract young people who are in or aging out of foster care, or who have been arrested or homeless. These experiences often make it difficult for adolescents to graduate high school or find employment.

The Next Generation staff takes a case management approach with every person who walks through the door with the intent of helping them define and achieve their goals. Next Generation Center is more a community than it is a building or a collection of programs. Especially given some of the experiences that participants have faced, they appreciate having a place to shoot a game of pool or make music. Creating this environment makes it more effective for introducing these men and women to new ideas and challenging them to meet goals.

As staff get to know participants, they are able to guide them into the right programs, which include: Next Generation Caterers, a catering company with dozens of clients that employs youth participants who have become skilled in all aspects of healthy food preparation and who participate in every facet of the business. All youth who complete the pre-catering job training program are eligible to receive their Serve Safe certification.

• High School Equivalency degree programs
• Internships and job readiness
• Visual, creative, and multimedia arts activities
• Legal counseling
• Housing assistance

Next Generation Center is the secondary home that so many young people need during their challenging adolescent years. It’s a place where plans take shape and change happens.

Population(s) Served

Healthy children and youth are better prepared for academic success. Our school-based centers offer a proactive approach to keeping kids healthy and producing better school attendance.

Serving more than 4,000 students annually, Children’s Aid’s school-based health centers provide comprehensive and continuous services at no cost to children and adolescents to help them thrive.

For many kids, Children's Aid’s school-based health centers are their first and only access to health care.

Our philosophy at Children’s Aid is to address the needs of the whole child, and school-based health centers are considered by experts to be the most effective way to provide preventive care—especially in lower-income communities.

By constantly monitoring the medical, dental, and mental health of children at the most important developmental stages of their lives, and by providing continuous care where they already are every day, Children’s Aid improves their chances of success.

With parental consent, our pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and trained health professionals work in collaboration with a family’s primary care physician to provide the high-quality health care that all children deserve and that their parents expect in a world-class city.

We also provide confidential reproductive health care to adolescents at certain locations, as appropriate.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Children’s Aid provides comprehensive sexuality education and one-on-one counseling services that equip young people with what they need to make safe, healthy decisions throughout their lives. Our sexuality education programs, which provide young people with opportunities to gain knowledge about adolescent sexuality and examine their goals, are respectful, nonjudgmental, inclusive of the needs of all sexual identities, and culturally responsive to young people from different backgrounds. Meeting them where they are our health educators work across multiple platforms to meet the needs of young people. Trained educators lead group workshops and one-on-one sessions, work with parents and caregivers to increase and improve communication with their teens, and escort young people to clinic appointments. We do all of this to ensure that young people can focus on school and building a bright future.

Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program.

Since 1984, the Children’s Aid-Carrera program has been working with young people starting at age 11 or 12 and following them through high school. This approach incorporates many of the solutions Children’s Aid provides to youth throughout their lives to help them navigate the social and economic barriers that might keep them from fulfilling their potential. Among these fundamentals are education; employment; sexuality education; and medical, dental, and mental health services.
Just Ask Me (JAM) Peer Health Education Program.

This youth development initiative trains high school youth to be ambassadors for sexual health education in their communities. After participating in high-quality training, JAM Peer Educators facilitate sexual health education workshops for their peers in local high schools. Through all of our sexuality education workshops and initiatives, we reach thousands of youth every year.

Population(s) Served

Children’s Aid offers a number of programs that help youth and adults obtain their High School Equivalency diploma. Programs are free and accessible to non-native English speakers.

NGC Education

Based at the Next Generation Center in the Bronx, the NGC Education track supports young people (ages 18-24) who are out of school and many of whom are involved with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Students meet with instructors to create an individualized study plan, focusing on the areas where they need the most reinforcement.

The teaching design is based on an interdisciplinary model that addresses the many instructional approaches students may need—small group, tutoring, lecture, ESL support, and more. Pathways to Graduation Children’s Aid is proud to partner with the NYC Department of Education to offer students (ages 18-21) free full-time or part-time classes to help them earn their high school equivalency diploma. Placements are made through Referral Centers for High School Alternatives.

Adult Education Adults (21 and older) can enroll in high school equivalency courses through the Ercilia Pepin Parent Leadership Institute at a Children’s Aid community school in Washington Heights. Classes are currently offered in English and Spanish.

Population(s) Served

Children’s Aid’s foster care program places children with supportive families in their own neighborhoods when their parents cannot offer them the stability, safety, and support they need to thrive.

The foster care program is prepared to deal with the widest range of child welfare situations—from temporary situations that allow birth families to address issues until they can be reunited, to specialized homes with highly trained foster parents for children who need constant care for chronic medical and developmental conditions, or children reacting to trauma. In those cases, dedicated foster parents are in constant partnership with the experts managing the case and treating the child. For all kids, Children’s Aid strives to keep them in familiar surroundings with loving caregivers rather than residential programs.
Keeping children in our embrace.

Children’s Aid created what would become the modern child welfare system when, more than 160 years, the founder placed New York’s orphaned or abandoned children with families who would care for them. We have adapted over the years to meet current challenges, and today 500-600 young people of all ages are in stable, supportive homes—in their own neighborhoods—through our foster care programs. Children continue to have access to all Children’s Aid counseling and medical services as well as the education, enrichment, and recreational programs that we offer to help them fulfill their promise. Meanwhile, we offer an array of services to their birth parents to address the specific problems that led to the child’s removal.

From counseling to parenting guidance, education and job readiness, or interventions to break the cycle of abuse, we help parents build strong, healthy homes so that they can reunite with their children and move forward together. In some cases, it becomes clear that the family cannot reunite without posing permanent risks to the children. Children’s Aid facilitates legal adoptions for parents-to-be who demonstrate a deep commitment to forming healthy family relationships and who understand children’s sensitivities and challenges. Finding the correct match of parents and children is the most crucial aspect of this work.

Population(s) Served

New York State has a parental responsibility to the kids in its child welfare systems, and the alliance works to make sure our leaders are helping these young people realize their full potential.

While Children’s Aid leads the alliance, it is very much a coalition of more than 100 organizations and hundreds of advocates. So far the group has had a huge impact on the well-being of foster youth by securing historic budget funding for financial and social supports designed to help more foster youth land on a college campus and stay there.

Overcoming towering challenges

Historically, the outcomes for youth who have aged out of foster care have been staggering. The Fostering Youth Success Alliance came together to change that fact here in New York State. Since its inception, the alliance has secured funding that has increased with each new budget. As part of its advocacy, the alliance has enlisted hundreds of youth from every corner of the state to make the case in Albany as well as City Hall. All of the youth advocates leave feeling empowered and with the knowledge that they have made their voices heard.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Children’s Aid provides behavioral health services in school-based and community health centers to help children cope with emotional problems so they can thrive in school and in life.

When behavioral health care is available, children and adolescents can build a solid foundation to realize their potential. We help them navigate their lives as part of our commitment to strong families and communities. Making behavioral health accessible, Children’s Aid is licensed by the State of New York, and we provide kids and families with confidential individual and family counseling or group therapy. So many factors can have a powerful impact on children's well-being: parents’ financial worries, unaddressed ADHD, fear of deportation, or the overarching stresses of poverty and acclimating to a new country. We help young people focus on their potential instead. We also provide crisis intervention and emergency assessments for children and adolescents suffering from abuse, trauma, or serious emotional disturbance.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Nonprofit Excellence Awards--The New York Community Trust 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

% of children meeting or exceeding developmental milestones

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Each of these results represents the percentage of children meeting or exceeding developmental milestones in our Early Childhood program.

% of families who received one of our family crisis interventions and then avoided foster care placements

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Each of these represents the percentage of families maintaining the safety and wellbeing of their children in the home.

% of high school graduates who were accepted to at least one college

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Children's Aid was founded in 1853 by Charles Loring Brace, who believed that all children, regardless of their circumstances, possess an innate potential for greatness. Guided by our mission to help children in poverty succeed and thrive, and an understanding that the entirety of a child's needs must be addressed to set them on the path toward a bright future, Children's Aid provides interventions along a cradle-through-college continuum. We aim to see each child we serve transcend the barriers that poverty presents and fulfill a life of infinite promise, and understand that this is accomplished by ensuring that children and youth achieve academically, possess strong emotional skills, live in safe and supportive homes, and lead healthy lives. We focus our efforts through a positive youth development philosophy across three areas we deem critical to development: LEARN (academic and social-emotional learning); GROW (health and wellness); and LEAD (family and community).

We carry out the broader goals of our focal areas (LEARN; GROW; LEAD) through four domains we deem essential to achieving well-being and success – education, social and emotional, family and home, and health. We engage children at each developmental stage, from early childhood (ages 0-5), to school age (ages 6-12), to adolescence and young adulthood (ages 13-24). At each stage, we help children cultivate a greater sense of self, a respect for others, and an enduring love for learning through our programming. Children's Aid offers more than 100 programs at 40 sites to nearly 50,000 children, youth, and families. We deliver our services through early childhood centers, community centers, community schools, and health clinics. Our multidimensional structure and strategies help children develop according to their individual need.

Children's Aid is a professional powerhouse of solutions – we are teachers and social workers, coaches, and health care professionals. With a trusted presence in the communities and a plethora of resources for referral services, our staff are well-connected and especially prepared to provide clients with comprehensive supports to ensure the delivery of high-quality programs in communities with significant needs.

Our organizational structure, guided by our leadership team, ensures we meet our high standards for operation, support the success of our youth, cover our costs, provide keen administrative oversight, and maximize the learning experience for each and every child and family. Children's Aid is strategic in maintaining our assets and reserves, and identifying new opportunities to grow operating and capital revenue.

Poverty cannot be overcome with one service or program at a single point in time. That's why we commit to supporting children, youth, and families every step of the way. Since 1853, Children's Aid has been able to help families change their lives by adapting to the ever-evolving nature of poverty and constantly seeking improvement. We are on a mission to connect young people and their families with the tools they need to learn, grow, and become leaders of their own lives. As we continue working with targeted, high-needs neighborhoods, we have found our Theory of Change most effective in assessing what we have accomplished and in looking ahead. We monitor outcomes through quarterly Executive Outcome Meetings. The purpose of these is to measure past performance and set paths forward, to understand how the needs of our children, youth, and families have continued to evolve and to improve our practices.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve


Children's Aid

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Children's Aid

Board of directors
as of 02/10/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Amy Scharf

Russell Diamond

Spectrum Group Management

Russell Horwitz

Goldman Sachs

Linda Kao

Rockdale Capital

Alan E. Katz

Greenfield Stein & Senior, LLP

Gregory E. Kerr

Critical Care Medicine

Christopher R. Lawrence

Silver Crest Acquisition Corp

Beth Leventhal

Community Volunteer

Janine Luke

Community Volunteer

Rick McNabb

Optimity Advisors, LLC

Eren Rosenfeld

Russell Reynolds Associates

Lauren Razook Roth

Community Volunteer

Amy Engel Scharf

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Andrea Wahlquist Brown

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Peter Wallace

The Blackstone Group

Vanessa Melendez

Accent Partners

Jill Olson

Community Volunteer

Thomas Reynolds

Moore Freres & Company

Jay S. Nydick

Prospect Ridge

Brad Silver

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Carllene Brooks-Oden

Community Volunteer

Raja Flores

Mount Sinai

Sebastian Guth


Ellen Jewett

Canoe Point Capital, LLC

Sandra Serrant

The Lunchbox Fund

Suzanne Waltman

Community Volunteer

Michael Goss

Conde Nast

Madeleine Schachter

Weill Cornell Medicine

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/17/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/10/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.