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CLM Honors Legislative Champions for Children at State House Advocacy Day

June 6, 2024

On May 16th, the Children’s League of Massachusetts (CLM) gathered with more than 130 advocates, staff from direct service provider organizations, and legislators at the Massachusetts State House for Advocacy Day. Together, we amplified legislative priorities and budget investments vital for vulnerable children, youth, and families across the Commonwealth. 

During the speaking program, CLM presented awards to three legislative champions from across the state who have persistently advocated to dismantle systemic barriers. Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Senator Robyn Kennedy were honored as House and Senate Champions for Children, and Representative Kay Khan received an All-Time Champion for Children Award recognizing her three decades of leadership on children’s issues from Beacon Hill and in the community. All three spoke of previous legislative wins but also called attention to the work that remains to be accomplished. 

Collectively, CLM Members advocated to uplift critical issues impacting the child welfare system, including disproportionality and inequity in children’s services, access to and the quality of children’s mental and behavioral health services, resources for youth “aging out” of the foster care system without permanency, and fair wages for the children’s services workforce. Our Commonwealth needs to continue investing in children’s services to produce meaningful change, and we look forward to advocating for that change alongside our League and legislative champions.

“There is no work more important in the Commonwealth than advocating for the well-being and safety of our children. And there is no work more difficult than finding those solutions so that our children are well protected and have what they need to succeed. The work is only getting harder. The challenges are only greater. And that makes our work more important to do.”

Representative Tricia Farley
(2nd Berkshire)

“I will never miss the opportunity to say thank you to the providers… that every single day showed up to take care of their community [during the pandemic] and that has to go beyond words…it’s about paying our workforce a livable wage.”

Senator Robyn Kennedy (First Worcester), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities, on the need to center policymaking on the experiences of people with lived experience, as well as providers

Reflecting on her nearly 30 years of work in the Legislature, Representative Kay Khan (11th Middlesex) shared stories of partnering with advocates and fellow legislators to pass important legislation including the end to child marriage, the ban on conversion therapy, and supports for foster children. Working as a psychiatric nurse early in her career she served children whose care setting was “a last resort,” showing her first-hand the need to continually move forward with better solutions and services.

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