The creation of a Department for Children, Youth and Families is a
In our weekly Learn, Love, Lead! email series, we show what we can do together to protect and support Washington's children from new federal threats. Each week, we provide a resource you can learn from and share, or an action you can take to be the leader kids are counting on.
Whether you and your family are targeted by rising hate or a particular policy, or you want to act in solidarity with children and families in your community, we are here to support your actions to protect kids’ well-being and happiness today, and help them grow into their enormous potential.
I. Short-Term Opportunities: Now through November 2017
The creation of a consolidated Department of Children, Youth and Families is an historic opportunity to improve outcomes for all children, especially those who face barriers to their healthy development and learning.
We support the proposal for a Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), with the following priorities:
The proposal to consolidate programs and services into a Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) in Washington State is a once in a generation opportunity to structure government for positive outcomes for children, youth, and families.
While there are many important aspects of this endeavor, the Children’s Alliance has identified four key areas for the focus of our advocacy. We recognize there are many issues involved and we will also play a supportive role on other issues that are deeply felt by our community.
These are our four priorities:
The Children’s Alliance creates our annual Legislative Agenda with the aid of a racial equity policy analysis, so that our efforts address disparities facing children and families in communities of color.
Quality preschool helps kids to reach their full potential for success in school and in life. Expand access to the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) by increasing enrollment of currently eligible children and increasing funding to support and retain high quality, diverse teachers.
Our 2012 legislative agenda calls on lawmakers to:
- Protect Apple Health for Kids and State Food Assistance;
- Reject further budget cuts that hurt low-income families and children of color;
- Improve health with a licensed dental practitioner;
- Close the opportunity gap with early learning;
- Raise revenue to protect our future.
Download and print our 2012 legislative agenda.
On Dec. 2, 2011, Children's Alliance gathered hundreds across the state on Capitol steps to issue a statement to lawmakers signed by Washington's kids.
Read our Proclamation by the Children of Washington State: For Us, By Us, For Our Future.
The State of Washington’s Children 2012 is a broad review of how Washington’s 1.5 million kids are faring in tough times. The report is issued by KIDS COUNT in Washington, a new partnership between Children’s Alliance and the Washington State Budget & Policy Center.
The 2011 legislative session had far-reaching consequences for the public systems and services we all rely on. Lawmakers made decisions that dimmed the prospect of a brighter future for our children. Yet thanks to smart and persistent advocacy by the Children’s Alliance and our partners, some vital services for kids were protected.
Together with families and allies across the state, we preserved health care, child care and anti-hunger programs that continue to make a difference in the well being of Washington’s children.
To learn more about our work this session, watch this short slideshow on what we accomplished:
Today the Department of Social and Health Services stops the payment of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to more than 5,000 families raising approximately 10,000 children across the state.
“Today is a sad day for the state of Washington,” says Children’s Alliance Deputy Director Jon Gould. “The recession has already pushed 40,000 of Washington’s children into poverty. Now, one of the public structures that helps families survive hard times is being dismantled when it is needed most.”
Senate and House lawmakers have rightly proposed budgets that raise substantial new revenue to protect some of the vital services that are helping children and families weather this punishing recession. But more revenue is needed to prevent devastating cuts to safety-net programs that, if enacted, would hurt families and pose serious threats to our state’s economic recovery.
The Spokesman Review published an article about dramatic cuts being proposed to the successful Apple Health for Kids program. Children's Alliance Deputy Director Jon Gould was quoted:
The Children's Alliance 2009 Legislative Agenda lays out our top priorities in this tough legislative session.
Washington State’s foster care system is currently subject to improvements mandated by the settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed in 1998. Under the direction of an outside panel (the Braam Oversight Panel) created in 2004, the state must meet agreed-upon benchmarks for improving placement stability, mental health services, foster parent training and information, safety and appropriateness of foster care placements, sibling separation and services to adolescents. Click on the attached fact sheet for more information about foster care in Washington.
Court awards settlement to kids in foster care - requires system reforms.
State supreme court decision holds state accountable for promises made to kids in foster care.
Critical investments in foster care included in the House budget are absent from the Senate's version.