CLM has many friends and partners, with whom we often work to achieve public policy victories. Our coalition work is centered around the concerns of our membership and issues that are in the best interest of the Commonwealth’s children and families. We’re very proud of these relationships and are always interested in joining forces with other, similar organizations to achieve success.
Read below to learn more about these important coalitions:
- Intensive Foster Care Network
- Transition Age Youth Coalition
- Adoption Task Force
- Family Preservation Coalition
- Family Resource Center Task Force
- The Caring Force
- Children’s Health Access Coalition
- The Children’s Mental Health Campaign
- Healthy Food, Healthy Homes, Healthy Children Coalition
- MA Kids Count Advisory Council
- MA Task Force on Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
- Professional Advisory Committee on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
- Strengthening Families Coalition
Internal Coalition Work
The IFC Taskforce is comprised of Program Directors from member organizations that provide intensive foster care services. They meet to share common experiences, discuss trends, and identify best practices and strategies for change.
Under the management of the Children’s League Education Fund, the Transition Age Youth Coalition has kicked off. The TAYC focuses on the issues facing transition age youth and the Commonwealth’s response to those issues.
The Aging Out Task Force has done tremendous work in the area of youth who are aging out of DCF care under the leadership of the Home for Little Wanderers and other supporting organizations. CLM hopes to build upon this work by beginning to think about transition age youth across the spectrum.
Who are transition age youth? Young people between the ages of 16-24 who are transitioning from state care to independent living. For example, some children who have been placed in foster care due to abuse or neglect are not placed with a permanent family by age 18. These young people are at increased risk of falling into adverse circumstances if they do not receive adequate support as they pursue self-sufficiency.
Transition age youth have often experienced a greater amount of instability and trauma in their life, and often lack as many financial and familial resources, as compared to their peers. This places them at an increased risk of facing adverse circumstances across many dimensions of life.
Economic analysis estimates that these adverse outcomes result in taxpayer and community social service costs of $300,000 per youth over a lifetime. Preventive practices can better equip youth with the preparation and resources needed to forge a healthy, safe and successful life.
- Legislation to bring coherence and direction to the state’s disparate activities related to transition age youth across the Commonwealth by researching national evidence-based practices and current state protocols and procedures in relation to this population of youth.
- Ensuring there is adequate funding to meet the needs of transition age youth across the population’s spectrum (e.g. DCF, DMH, DYS, DDS, non-state-involved youth, among other populations).
The Adoption Task Force is comprised of CLM members who either provide adoption-related services or are interested in the progress and/or process of placing children with adoptive families. Due to the increased numbers of children with a goal of adoption within DCF, this group will focus on strategies to address this, brainstorm new ideas and best practices and work on adoptive resource needs with DCF. Other areas of potential focus include:
- Particular needs of older youth and children with significant behavioral and/or developmental challenges.
- Impact of the Families First Prevention Services Act
- Passage of the Original Birth Certificates bill (to open up this option to all adoptees)
- DCF budget advocacy
- Legislation to bring improve access to permanency and adoptions
- Ensuring there is adequate funding to meet the needs of adoptions
CLM just launched our Family Preservation Coalition which is committed to providing advocacy and support for a continuum of services and focuses on strengthening the supports that stabilize families and allow children to remain safe and at home.
Coalition Goals: One area of advocacy for the coalition will be around the Family First Prevention Services Act.
The Family Resource Center Task Force is composed of FRC program staff and meet regularly in order to share best practices, improve services, improve advocacy, and educate staff of Family Resource Centers. Family Resource Centers emerged from the 2012 CHINS reform work spearheaded by CLM.
- Supporting the vision of the original legislation
- Fostering stakeholder engagement around FRCs
- Ensuring access to supports & services that enhance the success of individuals, communities, and families; resulting in significant positive outcomes that prevent utilization of juvenile justice system
- Successful advocacy resulted in five FRCs being upgraded from Micro status to Macro status, as well as DCF creating a new FRC to serve a community currently not served by an FRC
- FRC hosted a listening forum with Families & Children Requiring Assistance Advisory Board in order to outline successes and issues of FRCs around the state during their fourth year of implementation
- Budget advocacy resulted in state budget increase for FRC funding for fiscal year 2020
External Coalition Work
The mission of The Caring Force is to empower those who care about the human services sector to advance an agenda that creates an environment in Massachusetts that protects our most vulnerable neighbors and creates a stronger economy with the pay, recognition, and respect our workers deserve.
Visit The Caring Force for more information.
Created in 1995, the Children’s Health Access Coalition (CHAC) is Health Care for All’s longest-running coalition. CHAC is a group of more than 50 organizations from across the state committed to ensuring that all of Massachusetts’ children get affordable and comprehensive health services.
Coalition members are dedicated to preserving and expanding key children’s health programs such as MassHealth and the Children’s Medical Security Plan (CMSP). CHAC includes community, business, consumer, provider, and advocacy organizations who collaboratively define the Coalition’s agenda.
Visit CHAC for more information.
CMHC is a coalition of families, advocates, health care providers, educators, and consumers from across Massachusetts dedicated to comprehensive reform of the children’s mental health system.
Visit Children’s Mental Health Campaign for more information.
This is a newly created coalition bringing together advocates from the health, housing, and hunger prevention worlds to work on initiatives around childhood wellbeing.
This council brings together leaders who advocate to improve life for all children in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, MassBudget is home to KIDS COUNT, a national and state-by-state effort funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to track and improve the well-being of children across the United States.
Visit MassBudget for more information.
This coalition is comprised of more than 40 representatives of state agencies, child welfare and human service providers, and others and works to help the aging out population through advocacy, research and public education to ensure the success of youth aging out of DCF care.
Its mission is to ensure that “youth aging out of DCF care have lifelong connections with one or more adults, are fully prepared for college, work and life, and are contributing members of their communities.”
Visit The Home for Little Wanderers for more information.
The PAC advocates for high quality, easily accessible mental health services in an easy-to-navigate system and serves as an information-sharing forum for its members to promote coordinated advocacy.
The SFC advocates for policies that strengthen the ability of families involved with DCF to safely stay together, or to reunify when appropriate, with their children who have been placed in foster or group care.