May 3, 2016

Capitol Corner:  Lawmakers Need to Finish the job on Juvenile Justice, Foster Care

Two sets of bills aimed at better outcomes for children and teens have been moving through the state Legislature but need your support to reach the finish line.  Matt Gillard describes why the “Raise the Age” package approved by the House last week deserves public support and favorable action by the Senate.  He also recommends House and Senate action over a set of bills that passed through committee in the House and would move toward better practices for children in foster care.  Read more and why action now is important in Capitol Corner.

Federal Budget Proposals Leave Michigan Children and Families Vulnerable

The disinvestment of state resources in programs for struggling children and families has left Michigan even more reliant on federal funding to help.  This is not a formula for success in light of recent federal action.  Three times in the past month Congressional committees have voted in favor of bills that would be harmful for to children, specifically those abused and neglected, and from low-income families.
Learn more about these actions in Washington, D.C. and why they matter back in Michigan in our newest Budget Basics report, A Precarious Imbalance:  Federal Budget Proposals Leave Michigan Families Particularly Vulnerable.

Michigan's Children Brings Policy Expertise to Organizations Across the State

To increase awareness and understanding of the challenges that families face in Michigan and build momentum for positive changes, Michigan’s Children routinely presents on issues of public policy and advocacy at conferences across the state.  Recently, we've discussed topics including: afterschool and learning, early childhood, Early On, alternative education, parent advocacy and children’s mental health engagement.  

Michele Corey represented Michigan’s Children at the National Afterschool Network Conference in Detroit last month and represents Michigan on the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest Board of Directors with Superintendent Brian Whiston, which held a recent meeting in Chicago.  She also helped build engagement for youth, families and practitioners through conferences of the Michigan Alternative Education Organization and the Association for Children’s Mental Health.

President & CEO Matt Gillard continued Michigan’s Children’s advocacy for child care before the Starfish Early Communities Conference in Wayne County recently.  This past week he addressed the Michigan Division for Early Childhood 2016 Conference in Mt. Pleasant where the topic was the social-emotional foundations for early childhood literacy.  Matt also served as the keynote speaker on the topic of effective education advocacy before the 14th Annual Power of Parenting conference in Alpena.

Advocacy tips to help you stand up and speak out for Michigan children. 
With the summer campaign season fast approaching, there isn’t much time left to move bills under consideration before the state Legislature. Check out our Act Now page and talk with your lawmakers.

 Direct Quote

"Policymakers: Child care is more than babysitting. It's an early learning opportunity."

-- Matt Gillard at
Starfish Early Communities Conference

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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Invest in Michigan’s Children and know that your dollars make good things happen for kids and families. By working to reform public policy, this organization improves the odds for all children, and supports the work of those who provide services that help individual children overcome the odds. 
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