Children's Monitor Online
A Public Policy Update from the Child Welfare League of America

   
   
Vol. 21, Issue 13: 4/7/2008   
Headlines

Fly the Flag for National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Momentum Builds on House Medicaid Rules Bill

Home-Visiting Coalition Sponsors EBAH Briefings

New CWLA Radio Blog, "Speaking for America's Children"

Join CWLA's Call for a White House Conference on Children and Youth

CWLA Legislative Alerts Available to Subscribers

Key Upcoming Dates for Congress



Fly the Flag for National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Join CWLA in honoring and memorializing the thousands of children who die violently each year from abuse and neglect by flying the Children's Memorial Flag April 25.

CWLA launched this campaign in 1998 to draw attention to the problem of nearly 3 million children annually reported abused and neglected as part of a national initiative to reduce child mortality. This year, the focus of the Children's Memorial Flag Initiative will be on supporting the White House Conference on Children and Youth as an effective way to accomplish this goal.

April was first proclaimed as National Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983 to recognize the alarming rate at which children were being abused and neglected. Twenty-five years later, the numbers of children who continue to be abused and neglected are still unbearably high.

The Children's Memorial Flag was created by a 16-year old student in Alameda County, California. It is flown on the fourth Friday in April, honoring each lost child and raising public awareness about the continuing problem of violence against children. Many governors, state legislatures, mayors, and other officials have flown the flag from state capitols and city halls nationwide, and many resolutions have been passed in support of the initiative.

You can commemorate the 25th anniversary of National Child Abuse Prevention Month by flying or displaying a flag or contacting your state or local government to encourage them to fly the flag.

For additional background on National Children's Memorial Flag Day, facts and figures about child abuse and neglect, flag orders, and a list of supporters in your state, visit www.cwla.org/advocacy/memorialflag.htm.

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Momentum Builds on House Medicaid Rules Bill

On April 3, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a lengthy and informative hearing on H.R. 5613, a bill that would place a one-year moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations issued by the Bush Administration, including rules that threaten the future of rehabilitative services and case management/targeted case management CM/TCM services for children and youth involved in the child welfare and foster care systems, and several other vulnerable populations.

A bipartisan bill introduced by House Energy and Commerce Chair John Dingell (D-MI) and fellow committee member Tim Murphy (R-PA) has generated significant support from members of Congress and groups such as the National Governors' Association and CWLA. The intent behind the moratoria is to give Congress time to determine whether the rules are in line with Congressional intent and whether they are the best policy decisions for Medicaid beneficiaries.

The hearing's first panel included eight witnesses, such as Barbara Coulter Edwards, Interim Director of the National Association of State Medicaid Director; Randy Mohundro, Superintendent of DeLeon Independent School District in Texas; and pediatrician Marsha Raulerson, on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dennis Smith, Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified on the second panel in defense of the agency's actions.

The committee hopes to mark up the legislation this week. CWLA urges its members to contact their representatives and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 5613. CWLA also continues to seek additional cosponsors on rule-specific moratorium legislation, such as S. 2578/H.R. 5173, which would impose a moratorium on the CM/TCM rule, and H.R. 4355, which would impose a moratorium on the rehab services rule.

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Home-Visiting Coalition Sponsors EBAH Briefings

On April 4, Senate and House briefings were held on Capitol Hill in support of the Education Begins at Home Act (EBAH), S. 667 and H. R. 2343. CWLA and 10 other organizations comprise the Home-Visiting Coalition, and representatives from several of the organizations were panel members.

Evelis Granados from Gaithersburg, Maryland, and a participant in the Parents as Teachers home-visitation program, presented her experiences. Heather Weiss, from the Harvard Family Research Project, presented the latest research. Each briefing included comments from a chief of police: Chris Magnus, Richmond, Virginia, at the House briefing, and David Nelson, Bluff City, Tennessee, at the Senate Briefing. Debra Brush, Director of the Parent-Child Home Program, Newton/Waltham, Massachusetts, also presented remarks. Both briefings emphasized that federal support for early childhood home-visitation programs can help America's children develop to realize their full potential. The legislation will provide federal funding for a variety of home-visitation programs.

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New CWLA Radio Blog, "Speaking for America's Children"

On the Line with CWLA is a thought-provoking, interactive, live Internet radio program focusing on subjects, stories, and strategies of special interest to child welfare policymakers, providers, and practitioners. The program, devoted solely to discussions about the welfare of America's vulnerable children, features a forum where numerous points of view and voices of experience within the child welfare universe can be heard.

The live program, hosted by broadcasting veteran Tony Regusters, is a production of CWLA that will provide a platform for CWLA member organizations, their staffs, its partners, and concerned citizens in the national community to share ideas and thoughts about critical issues that affect child welfare agencies, vulnerable children and teens, and their families.

The weekly subject-oriented, solutions-driven program will broadcast Wednesdays, 2:00-2:30 pm ET and feature indepth, timely discussions with leading child welfare experts, agents, and advocates; leadership and representatives from CWLA's member agencies; and local and national political figures working to improve child welfare and give a voice to child welfare professionals, providers, and practitioners nationwide.

To listen to On the Line with CWLA, go to www.blogtalkradio.com/CWLA-Radio. The call-in number is 347/326-9411.

Upcoming Shows

April 9, Call to Action Alert: CAPTA's Coming Up for Reauthorization

On the first three Wednesdays in April, CWLA will present a series of three programs to commemorate Child Abuse and Prevention Month. This week's show, the second in this series, focuses on the Child Abuse and Prevention Act (CAPTA). First enacted in 1974, CAPTA is key federal law that addresses child protection in all 50 states. It provides federal funding to the states to support prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities. It also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs and projects.

CAPTA is up for reauthorization later this year, an action that will determine funding for child abuse prevention and treatment for the next five years. Experts will present facts about CAPTA and why full funding of child abuse prevention and treatment programs is needed to keep kids safe.

April 16, Remembering Children Lost to Abuse and Neglect

The United States leads the world in violence against children and youth younger than 15. Nearly 3 million cases of child abuse and neglect are reported each year. Of that number, 1,500 children die every year from child abuse and neglect. That's just over four fatalities every day, and 79% of the children killed are younger than 4.

Today's thoughtful discussion is devoted to the Children's Memorial Flag Day--a national day observed each year on the last Friday in April to memorialize the thousands of children who die annually from abuse and neglect. Scheduled guests include Janet Craig, Children's Home Society of West Virginia, who has spearheaded and effort to have the Children's Memorial Flag flown in all 55 counties in her state; and Cuban-American artist and activist Xavier Cortada, who unveiled an original mural to support the CWLA National Children's Memorial Flag in 2005 at the IDEA Public Charter School in Washington, DC.

April 23, Family Matters: Kinship Caregivers Nationwide Convene at the Capitol

On Wednesday, May 7, grandparents and other relatives raising the children of family members will converge at noon on the West Grassy Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, for the third annual Grand Rally. This historic gathering of kinship caregivers from across the country is a call to action for increased support services and financial resources for kinship caregiving--a parental paradigm that allows children to live with and be cared for by their kin in a safe and stable family environment that maintains their well-being.

In support of the coming Grand Rally at the Capitol, this week's program features a timely discussion to raise awareness about the tireless efforts and imperative needs of kinship caregivers--family members who care for millions of children when their parents are unable to do so.

April 30, Broken Bonds: Children with Parents in Prison
More than 2 million minor children have a parent in the criminal justice system--children who are traumatized by separation from their parents, confused by their parents' actions, and stigmatized by the shame of their parents' situation. During the past decade, the number of minors with mothers in prison has increased dramatically. Since women are usually the primary and sometimes sole caregiver for their children before incarceration, the escalating numbers of children with mothers in prison are a mounting challenge for the child welfare system.

This week's program features a moving discussion about the needs and experiences of children with incarcerated parents.

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Join CWLA's Call for a White House Conference on Children and Youth

Holding a White House Conference on Children will bring together a cross-section of policymakers, advocates, professionals (including the courts), and families and children directly affected by the child welfare system to create recommendations for policy and change. Much positive change has come from previous White House conferences for children, the last one being held in 1970. CWLA is calling on Congress and the next President to reestablish this important policymaking tradition, and the time to act is NOW.

Your support and involvement with this effort is crucial to its success. As experts in the field, we look to you for your leadership in asking Congress and others to support this important campaign for children.

Sign On in Support

CWLA is calling on members and supporters to sign on in support of a White House Conference on Children in 2010.

Pass a Board Resolution

If your organization requires you to pass a board resolution to officially support such an effort, CWLA has created a sample resolution to assist you in this effort.

Let Congress Know of Your Support

The League encourages you to send your resolutions and letters of support to your Congressional delegation. Without their support, a White House conference is not possible.

In keeping with CWLA's tradition of nonpartisanship, the letter has been sent to all presidential candidates in the two major parties. View the website, read the letter, and sign on to support the campaign.

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CWLA Legislative Alerts Available to Subscribers

CWLA's Legislative Alerts provide breaking news, advocacy information, and critically important timely details of legislative battles. In an effort to broaden CWLA's advocacy network on behalf of children, anyone can now subscribe and receive the same information. This effort compliments CWLA's weekly electronic legislative newsletter, the Children's Monitor, which is also available free to any subscriber. We encourage you to register to receive these items directly and to pass on the information to other colleagues, family, and friends.

Subscribe to Legislative Alerts.

Subscribe to Children's Monitor.

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Key Upcoming Dates for Congress

  • April 1: Start of Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • April 15: Target date to pass Congressional budget resolution
  • April 25: Children's Memorial Flag Day
  • May 15: Target date for House to begin passage of 12 appropriations bills
  • June 27: Target date for House to complete work on appropriations


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