July 12, 2016

Detroit Youth Ask the Questions at State House Candidate Forum in Detroit

Michigan’s Children launched its election advocacy work for the 2016 campaign season with a youth-led candidate forum on July 7 in tandem with The Children’s Center in Detroit.  The Center serves thousands of families annually with mental health supports.  Youth with experiences in the foster care system, poverty and trauma boldly provided insights and questions for candidates in contested Democratic primary races in the City’s 2nd, 5th and 6th House Districts.  It was Michigan’s Children’s first candidate forum of the season through its election advocacy arm, the non-partisan Sandbox Party. Through the Sandbox Party, we work to prioritize kids and families in the elections by engaging the electorate, and offering information on the issues that matter most to children and families.

Read a story about the forum, a staff blog and news release.

Raising the Issues that Matter to
Michigan Families

‘’Raising the issues that matter to Michigan families’’ is our slogan this election season as we identify and prioritize necessary means to improving outcomes for our children and families.  Read our Sandbox Party brief Using This Election Season to Build Better Support for Families – the first in a series.  In addition to providing an overview of how public policies can help children and parents simultaneously thrive, it also offers suggested questions that voters can pose to candidates, and recommendations on what candidates can do if elected into office.  

Use FY2017 Budget Basics Report to Inform Election Decisions

The fiscal year 2017 budget has been signed by Governor Snyder but what's really in it for kids and families? Read our new Budget Basics Report for solid facts on the issues the state is prioritizing and how children and families are impacted. Then get inspired to talk to your legislators this summer – either to thank them or encourage them to do better next time – and to candidates vying for State Representative on what you hope they will do if elected.

Peers Partner Program Gives Hope to Youth Facing Mental Health Troubles

Michigan’s Children this month profiles a story about Krissy Dristy, the statewide coordinator of a new program pairing young adults with experience navigating the mental health system with youth currently in treatment. Her personal story illustrates the importance of advocating for one’s own health, while her work builds a foundation for stronger advocacy for policies that would strengthen mental health supports for children and families. Read her profile.

Congress Takes Up ‘Family First’ Bill to Ensure Safe Homes for Children

Michigan's Children and its national partners are pleased that the U.S. House passed the ‬Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016 (HR 5456) last month. The legislation is expected to be taken up by the Senate next. A major component allows states to use federal funds to provide services that would help children remain safely in their homes rather than enter foster care, and would provide programs to support families caring for the children of relatives. These are both essential components to supporting families and minimizing trauma children experience for optimal outcomes.  Please thank your U.S. Representative for voting for this important legislation.

Advocacy tips to help you stand up and speak out for Michigan children. 
Contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to support the Family First Prevention Services Act, which allows states to use federal dollars for prevention services like substance abuse treatment, parenting skills and mental health services to prevent children from entering foster care.

On Social Media

Visit #youthled2k16 on Twitter to see the conversation that took place at the Youth-Led Candidate Forum at the Children's Center.

In the News

"Nearly half the families of Michigan’s child care workers rely on public assistance, report says"

"Finding quality, affordable day care a challenge"

Speaking for Kids is Michigan's Children's twice-a-month e-bulletin that offers public policy and budget information relating to children, youth and families in our state. 

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