BROOKLYN - The Administration for Children's Services (ACS) says it is cutting hundreds of jobs in an effort to help Brooklyn and city foster kids find permanent homes.

ACS plans to layoff 650 employees who make up the entire division that oversees nonprofit agencies caring for foster kids. The change to the Improved Outcomes for Children program is expected to be complete by July 2008.

ACS Commissioner John Mattingly says the staff will be replaced by 500 employees, many with master's degrees. Mattingly says the workers will make personal visits to the nonprofit agencies, rather than sitting at a desk. ACS adds many employees being laid off can reapply for jobs within the agency.

The Local 371 union, which represents ACS caseworkers, is threatening to sue the commissioner over the short notice on the overhaul.