FACT: Dental therapists will work within a narrowly defined scope of practice to provide important and needed routine and preventive care to Washingtonians who currently can’t get it.
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.
More than 385,000 children insured by Apple Health for Kids are not receiving any kind of dental care, including emergency visits. Similarly, nearly 3 in 10 children with private dental coverage in Washington did not receive any dental care on a yearly basis in 2013. In contrast, the proportion of children who visited their primary care provider in 2015 was much higher, with 89-98 percent of children aged 1-19 receiving care.
The following positions on statewide ballot measures for the 2016 general election have been taken by the Children’s Alliance.
Initiative 732: NO
While designed to fight climate change, Initiative 732 threatens children in two ways. First, its tax breaks are insufficient to counter its full costs to low-income families, who are disproportionately families of color. Second, it’s predicted to worsen the state’s budget shortfall—jeopardizing programs and services kids need to thrive.
This past session, the Children’s Alliance fought for policy solutions rooted in our commitment to improve the lives of Washington’s children and advance racial equity, so every child has the opportunity they deserve.
Advocacy doesn't end when you win legislation!
When a bill is passed, usually regulations are written to spell out how the different parts of the law will be put into practice. You don’t have to be an expert to have a say in this part of the process. You just need to know where to find information and how to be involved.
Better wages and access to paid sick leave stabilize families and help kids grow up healthy and strong. One in five children in our state live in poverty and face long-term barriers to success in school and in life. Family-friendly workplace policies move us closer to ending childhood hunger and poverty. When crafted well, such policies are also a step toward racial equity, as people of color disproportionately hold low-wage jobs without paid leave benefits.
Answers to five commonly asked questions about dental therapists—with a summary of findings on the work of dental therapists in Minnesota. Read the full paper.
For too long, oral health has gone unrecognized as integral to overall health. Too many Washingtonians do not have access to routine and preventive oral health care. Read more.
End Childhood Hunger
Here in Washington, one in five children lives in a household that doesn’t have enough to eat. Childhood food insecurity disproportionately impacts children of color, and it undermines a child’s educational progress. Fight childhood hunger, including strategies to increase family economic security such as restoring Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Invest in Early Learning