The Children’s League of Massachusetts hosted its 3rd annual Day of Advocacy,“Opening Doors and Joining Voices” on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. With hundreds of CLM members, children’s services providers and advocates, we rallied for the League’s legislative and budgetary priorities and honored two champions of child advocacy in Massachusetts.
CLM was pleased to present the Children’s Choice Legislator of the Year Award to Senate President Therese Murray. The Senate President has been an outstanding champion for many issues related to children and their families. It is thanks to her leadership in the Senate that CHINS Reform was successfully passed at the end of formal session in 2012. Senate President Murray has also spearheaded other kids-related legislation, including bullying-prevention.
CLM also presented the Children’s Choice Lifetime Achievement Award to its outgoing Executive Director, Barbara Talkov. After 17 years of service to the League, and many additional years of advocacy prior to her tenure at CLM, Barbara has decided to move on to new adventures. Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante presented Barbara with citations for her work, and thanked her for her service on behalf of children, youth and families in the Commonwealth.
Slashing the Safety Net – a CLM Coalition Impact Report was released at Advocacy Day. Restore Funding for Kids! Task Force Co-Chair, Henry East-Trou and CLM Executive Director Barbara Talkov, promoted the report, which is the result of a year-long process to better understand the ways in which cuts to the state budget between FY08 and FY13 have impacted the lives of children and their families in Massachusetts.
Line Item 4000-0051 – Amend Language and Support Governor’s Appropriation
FACES Champion, Senator Karen Spilka (D) – Ashland, led the League’s advocacy for the establishment of a new line-item (4000-0051) to fulfill Governor Patrick’s intent to allocate $1.53 million, appropriated to implement Ch. 240 of the Acts of 2012. These monies will establish Family Resource Centers, mandated to provide families with access to services in their home communities.
View the CLM – FY14 Budget Priority Fact Sheet for more detailed information.
S.27/H.85 – An Act Relative to Children in the Care, Protection and Custody of the Commonwealth
CLM Associate Director, Erin G. Bradley, youth from The Home for Little Wanderers YARN Program, and House Sponsor, Nick Collins Sr. (D) – Boston, each spoke about the intended impacts of the legislation, including workforce development opportunities for aging-out youth, providing educational stability supports, and giving youth a stronger voice in their custody placement.
S.31 – An Act Relative to Children Who Are the Subject of an Abuse and Neglect Investigation
This bill speaks to the heart of stopping the creation of another trauma on the victim. Currently, children who are the subject of an abuse and neglect case will be assigned to a probation officer requiring them to report to a court officer. These children are often removed from their homes under traumatic circumstances and need the support of trained, trauma-informed social workers not probation officers. This bill will end the automatic assignment of probation officers to these victims.
For more information about these bills, view the Legislative Priority Fact Sheet.
To learn about CLM Advocacy Day 2012 – Opening Doors and Joining Voices, Click Here