Professional Development Program

The Administration for Children’s Services is committed to providing professional development support to all interested ACS employees. We demonstrate our commitment to education by supporting staff who are interested in pursuing their undergraduate or graduate level studies at accredited colleges and universities while maintaining their employment.

The Professional Development Program (PDP) provides all levels of support to ACS employees who are considering or actively pursuing undergraduate or graduate level studies.

PDP educational support services available to eligible employees include:

  • Individual and group coaching and support throughout your educational journey;
  • Assistance with applying to colleges and universities;
  • Negotiation of agency approved release time for graduate level students to attend classes;
  • Assistance with Field Placement/Internships for employees pursuing their MSW degree;
  • Capstone support and advisement.

PDP administers the ACS Scholarship Program comprised of the Dr. James R. Dumpson Scholarship for graduate level studies and the Nicholas Scoppetta Scholarship for undergraduate level studies. We also support the continued professional development of licensed social workers at ACS and provider agencies.

Eligible graduate programs include: Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Public Policy, Master of Urban Policy Analysis and Management; or an approved equivalent.

For additional information, please contact the Professional Development Team:

Nancy Espinet, Deputy Director of the Professional Development Program: [email protected]

Aisha Dixon, Deputy Director of CE and Scholarship Programs: [email protected]

Celeste Pouncy, Deputy Director: [email protected] 

Norma Urigüen, Director of the Professional Development Program: [email protected]

Orlando Hawkins, CUNY Program Associate: [email protected]


“While engaging in PDP, I gained insight on the significance of being a team player as well as a team leader. I was able to enhance my professional communication, and organizational and problem solving skills.”
—PDP Participant

“PDP enhanced my dedication to support, advocate for, and respect the families of New York City.”
—PDP Participant

“My time working with PDP has been a journey of success and professional growth. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience, which has strengthened my career.”
—PDP Participant

“When I was awarded the Dr. James R. Dumpson Scholarship, new professional opportunities opened up for me. I was able to advance to positions of greater responsibility, from Child Protective Specialist, to Child Protective Supervisor, to my current position as a Quality Assurance Supervisor.”
—PDP Participant

“My PDP experience was supportive and enriching. Support is crucial to the daily work ACS performs.”
—PDP Participant

“PDP enhanced my knowledge of the social work community. I really admired how PDP exposed me to other professionals with common goals.”
—PDP Participant

“My journey as a PDP student was intensive, yet rewarding. The MDTs, Seminars and Capstone Project Presentations pushed my learning to another level, and the collaborative mentoring and coaching helped me develop into a proficient professional!”
—PDP Participant