August 26, 2016

Capitol Corner:  Lawmakers Have Important Work Left for Our Kids, Families

There are limited days ahead for action on important legislation and supports for our children, youth and families when the state Legislature returns to work for the remainder of the 2016 session. The dwindling calendar days – and busy fall election season – require us to act now to collectively urge our elected leaders to get to work on child care funding, and finish the job on foster care juvenile justice legislation. Read Matt Gillard’s Capitol Corner to see what you can do to help and why now is the time.

Youth Speak Up for Sibling Visits at WSU's KidSpeak over Foster Care

Their stories were frequently painful to share, but critical for policy-makers to hear. In Detroit this month, Michigan’s Children sponsored the third annual KidSpeak forum at Wayne State University (WSU) that gave voice to youth who shared their experiences in foster care and offered suggestions for improving the child welfare system. Separation from siblings, lack of access or awareness of where to find mental health services, and the disruptions caused by changing social workers were among topics raised. Click here to learn more.

Read a Detroit News’ article about the forum, Youth Complain Foster System Hinders Sibling Ties.

 Heads Up Candidates: What You Should Know about Literacy

The creation of the Michigan Pre-K Literacy Commission by Gov. Snyder last month signals another major look at reversing the status of the state’s woeful performance in student reading and literacy assessments. In her blog, Boosting Michigan’s Literacy: No Time like the Present, Vice President for Programs Michele Corey puts the issue in context and identifies what candidates running for office this season should know about one of the state’s most pressing concerns.

 Contact Congress and Join Advocacy Drive for Young Children

Michigan’s Children has joined the efforts of our national partners to drum up support for increased appropriations for early care and education in the final federal fiscal year 2017 budget negotiations, specifically for child care, Head Start and Early Head Start.  Given our heavy reliance on federal funds, and poor state ranking for the effectiveness of our child care subsidy, ensuring these programs see additional federal investment is essential for more low-income children to access high quality services.

Please urge Congress to increase support for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start, by emailing Helen Blank at the National Women’s Law Center at

Advocacy tips to help you stand up and speak out for Michigan children. 
Urge state Lawmakers to approve legislation that supports children and families before the session ends. Visit our Act Now page.

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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