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NYC Mayor de Blasio forms Children's Cabinet to improve children's safety

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The New York City Children's Cabinet, a new multi-agency initiative, will strengthen communication between city agencies and develop a comprehensive approach to addressing children's wellbeing, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday afternoon.

The agency was created in response to the tragic death of 4-year-old Myls Dobson in January at the hands of Kyrzie King, the 27-year-old transgender performance artist who was later indicted for beating and harming Dobson.

"We are putting in place an all-hands-on-deck approach to enhance children's overall well-being and prevent abuse, injury or death of vulnerable children and youth," de Blasio said in a statement. "We recognize that to protect our children and keep them safe, we need multi-agency, multi-sector strategies."

Operating under the notion that at-risk children are served by multiple agencies, the Children's Cabinet will be tasked with identifying individual and common areas of work that implicate children's safety and form a child safety action plan.

The cabinet's responsibilities include informing children's policies and programs by using linked administrative data from multiple agency systems and setting protocols for access to information and solving policy conflicts.

Richard Buery, deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives, will chair the cabinet. The cabinet will consist of commissioners and directors from 20 different agencies and mayoral officers. Members may choose to create subcommittees.

Casey Family Programs, a Seattle-based national operating foundation that works to improve foster care and the child welfare system, will offer guidance and support to the Children's Cabinet.

Cabinet agencies include the Administration for Children's Services, the Department of Education, the New York City Police Department, the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence and the New York City Housing Authority. The cabinet's first meeting is scheduled for the end of April.

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