We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

While this year’s Colorado legislative session may be over, opportunities to advocate for policies that strengthen kids and families continue at the federal level. Raise your voice, and join Illuminate in advocating for the policies below!

Child Care and Early Learning Reconciliation Plan

Colorado and our nation prospers when our youngest children thrive, because they are our future leaders and community members. No matter where they live–the plains, mountains, rural areas or urban centers–children need high-quality experiences and loving relationships to support healthy development. Ensuring high quality child care is affordable and accessible for families is vital to ensuring a positive future for Colorado.

Conversations continue between Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), keeping hope alive that a reconciliation bill is a possibility. Reconciliation discussions include the revamped child care and early learning reconciliation plan, which largely focuses on expanding funding through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and advocates on the Hill are hopeful that it will be included as part of reconciliation.

What can we do?

We must keep pressure on the Senate to ensure the child care and early learning proposal is included in the reconciliation bill.

To advocate for inclusion of the child care and early learning proposal in the reconciliation bill, participate in Prevent Child Abuse America’s child care action alert.

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program Reauthorization

Home visiting programs are proven to positively impact maternal and child health outcomesincluding by reducing child maltreatment, improving positive parenting practices, and improving family economic self-sufficiency. 

Unfortunately, the current funding level limits their ability to reach the children and families who need them most. Only 150,000 of the 18 million current and expectant parents who could benefit from the program receive services. In Colorado in particular, while some level of home visiting services is available in all counties, according to the Child Fatality Prevention System’s 2020 Annual Legislative Report, “Not a single county in Colorado… has home visiting programs to meet the overall needs of families in the county.”

As the Colorado chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA) and a member of our state’s Home Visiting Investment Task Force, Illuminate Colorado enthusiastically supports the importance of maintaining and bolstering the infrastructure necessary to offer high-quality home visiting services to families across our state and nationwide.

What can we do?

To bring the power of home visiting to more families, we need Congress to reauthorize and increase funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. You can help us to reach members of Congress about the bipartisan MIECHV program by taking part in and sharing the PCA MIECHV action alert!

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Respect Act

When children, adults, and families impacted by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) receive appropriate diagnoses, supports, and services, secondary impacts of FASD (e.g. dropping out of school, getting into trouble with the law, alcohol and other substance use, etc.) can be prevented, and impacted individuals and families can thrive. Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is the most commonly known cause of developmental disabilities in the United States, and recent research shows that up to 1 in 20 first graders in the United States are impacted by the resulting disability of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). 

While we know the importance of diagnosis and providing appropriate services for FASD, significant and concerning gaps in FASD-related diagnostic and clinical resources are common throughout the United States. Despite the clear need for more resources, federal funding for FASD prevention and intervention has declined from $27 million as authorized in the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Act of 1998 to just over $12 million in FY2021. 

What can we do?

The “FASD Respect Act”  (S. 2238 and  H.R. 4151) authorizes $118 million for prevention, screening, identification, research, and FASD-informed services. The bill reauthorizes and strengthens existing federal FASD programs, replaces the defunct National FAS Taskforce with a National Advisory Council on FASD, and establishes a FASD Center of Excellence as the go-to entity for state, tribal and local governments and non-governmental stakeholders seeking to develop or improve best practices for prevention, diagnosis, and intervention services.

To advocate for the passage of the FASD Respect Act on behalf of an organization, sign on to the Letter of Support.

To advocate for the passage of the FASD Respect Act as an individual, reach out to Colorado’s senators and the representative for your district to schedule a meeting. Find support with scheduling and hosting a meeting with your legislator here.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

Globally, at least one in five girls and one in ten boys experience childhood sexual violence. Across Colorado, and in our own backyards, child sexual abuse is a major public health concern which must be addressed as a core element of child safety and family well-being. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the previous five years, the number of children who have been sexually abused had steadily risen in Colorado (1). From January 2014 through December 2020, more than 7,400 children in Colorado were identified as having been sexually abused (1).  In 2020 alone, a year when reports of child maltreatment were dramatically down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine and stay-at-home orders, over 1,000 children were substantiated as victims of child sexual abuse through the child welfare system in Colorado, which doesn’t account for all of the children who have not yet been identified (2).

What can we do?

Read and sign the petition started by a group of 9 survivors from the Brave Movement and G7 countries and beyond, urgently calling on leaders of the world’s richest countries to take bold and transformative action to end childhood sexual violence when they meet later this month.

We hope you’ll join Illuminate Colorado in speaking up at the federal level to ensure that:

    • Families have access to quality and affordable early learning/child care and home visiting services
    • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) prevention, screening, identification, research, and support services are appropriately funded
    • Bold and transformative action is taken by our and other nations to end childhood sexual violence

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We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

While this year’s Colorado legislative session may be over, opportunities to advocate for policies that strengthen kids and families continue at the federal level. Raise your voice, and join Illuminate in advocating for the policies below!Child Care and Early Learning...

Reflecting on the 2022 Legislative Session’s Wins for Colorado’s Kids and Families

Reflecting on the 2022 Legislative Session’s Wins for Colorado’s Kids and Families

Colorado’s 2022 legislative session wrapped up earlier this month, and Illuminate is thrilled that all of the bills that we supported and tracked due to their capacity to strengthen families by building Protective Factors that prevent child maltreatment (as well as many others that fit within our 2022 policy priorities) have passed! 

From policies that provide families with Concrete Supports in Times of Need to those that support the Social & Emotional Competence of Children, there are many wins to celebrate for our state’s children and families!

Some highlights from this session include:

Increased Prevention Investments in the State Budget

 The 2022-2023 state budget, or “Long Bill” includes increased one-time funding ($150,000) for the Colorado Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund (formerly called the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund) to invest in prevention strategies. Thank you to Rep. Herod and the whole Joint Budget Committee!

Continued Investment in Illuminating Child Care through HB22-1295

House Bill 1295, which establishes duties of the new Department of Early Childhood, includes a new sunset date for the state funding that supports Illuminating Child Care through 2028. Thank you to the bill sponsors, Reps. Sirota & Garnett and Sens. Buckner & Fenberg!

Enhanced Statewide Infrastructure as a Result of Multiple Bills

House Bill 1295, House Bill 1197, and House Bill 1278 are critical steps toward coordinated, cohesive, and effective early childhood and behavioral health systems by defining the duties of the new Department of Early Childhood, creating Colorado’s universal preschool program, and establishing the Behavioral Health Administration.

Improved Family Economic Security through HB22-1259 and HB22-1055

House Bill 1259 provides direct economic supports to families through improvements to the Colorado Works program, and House Bill 1055 creates a sales tax exemption for diapers and other essential hygiene products.

Expanded Access to Perinatal & Pediatric Health Care through HB22-1289

House Bill 1289 ensures access to health insurance coverage for all pregnant people and children in Colorado, regardless of immigration status and making other critical improvements to the perinatal service continuum across the state

Head over to the full 2022 legislative session recap for a closer look at these and many other legislative wins for children and families in Colorado!

The Work Continues

Advancing systemic improvements and policy change requires year-long collaboration. Below are just a few areas that require immediate attention to advance the 2022 Illuminating Agenda.

We will all need to:   

    • Engage in stakeholder opportunities as part of implementation of bills that passed this session, especially: 
    • Get involved in the campaign efforts to encourage Coloradans to vote ‘yes’ on the ballot question referred to voters by House Bill 22-1414 Healthy Meals for All Public School Students to provide long-term funding that will ensure that our state’s students have long-term access to school meals by limiting state income tax deductions for people earning more than $300,000 a year.
    • Continue to advocate for primary prevention in federal and state budgets by investing in proven services and professional education that support families and keep kids safe–especially for preschool, child care, evidence-based home visiting programs, family resource centers, afterschool programs, medical and behavioral health care, and child sexual abuse prevention programs
      • This includes advocating federally for increased investments in proven child maltreatment prevention programs and services through MIECHV, CBCAP, and CAPTA
    • Continue to advocate for family economic security–especially access to housing, food, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), and tax credits
    • Continue to advocate for family friendly work policies, including livable wages for Colorado families.
    • Continue to advocate for expanded support for families impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorders 
    • Continue to advocate for expanded  support for families impacted by intimate partner violence
    • Continue to advocate for equitable access to services to support healing and recovery

We are so grateful to the many community partners for their leadership and advocacy, to the legislators who sponsored and/or voted in support, and to all of YOU for making your voices heard in order to make these family-strengthening policies a reality in our state. We hope you will join us in celebrating these wins and looking ahead to the next steps in creating and implementing policies that strengthen families and create the conditions for all of Colorado’s children and families to thrive.

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Stay up to date on policy that prevents child maltreatment and the 2022 Illuminating Policy Agenda by subscribing to Illuminate Colorado’s blog.

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We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

While this year’s Colorado legislative session may be over, opportunities to advocate for policies that strengthen kids and families continue at the federal level. Raise your voice, and join Illuminate in advocating for the policies below!Child Care and Early Learning...

The Final Countdown: Make Your Voice Heard for Families During the Last Few Days of Colorado’s Legislative Session

The Final Countdown: Make Your Voice Heard for Families During the Last Few Days of Colorado’s Legislative Session

Colorado’s 2022 legislative session ends this Wednesday, May 11th, and your voice is needed now more than ever to get bills that will support our state’s kids and families over the finish line! We’ve put together a list of bills that are still moving and ways you can advocate for them in the last few days of this session. Bills move quickly at this point during the legislative session, so it’s important that you take action NOW before the advocacy opportunities below expire!

HB22-1259 Modifications To Colorado Works Program

This bill makes critical improvements to the Colorado Works program (our state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program). The TANF statute has not been meaningfully updated in roughly 15 years. At only $508 per month for a family of three, the program’s basic cash assistance (BCA) payments have not kept up with inflation or the high cost of living in Colorado and are worth far less today than they were in 1996 when the program began. This bill will increase BCA, ensure that it keeps up with the cost of living, and improve the ways TANF serves its participants so that all kids and families in Colorado can achieve economic prosperity. Learn why Illuminate supports this bill.

Take Action!

Contact your Colorado senator to urge them to support Colorado families’ economic security by voting ‘yes’ on HB22-1259.

Let’s Make Colorado Works Truly Work for Colorado Families

by Cassie Davis | Mar 3, 2022 | Advocacy

When we work together to build Protective Factors, it is possible to create a Colorado where all children and families thrive. House Bill 22-1259, a bill that would enhance our state’s efforts to invest in the well-being of Colorado families by making critical adjustments to Colorado Works . . . . 

HB22-1289 Health Benefits For Colorado Children And Pregnant Persons

This bill will increase access to health coverage for low-income children and pregnant people regardless of immigration status and make many other critical investments in perinatal services across the state. This bill will be a step forward in protecting the basic right of health care for all Coloradans and supporting all of our families during and after pregnancy. Learn why Illuminate supports this bill.

Take Action!

Contact your legislator to urge them to support the bill.

It’s Time for Us To Cover All Coloradans

by Cassie Davis | Mar 22, 2022 | Advocacy

Illuminate Colorado is proud to join a wide array of healthcare providers, community organizations and citizens across Colorado in advocating for HB22-1289 Health Benefits For Colorado Children And Pregnant Persons . . . . 

Healthy Meals for All Public School Students

Thanks to federal waivers, schools have been able to provide meals to all students and receive additional assistance to deal with supply chain challenges, staffing constraints and rising food costs during COVID-19. But those waivers will expire June 30th. There are two ways to make sure all students can continue to access meals at school. Learn why Illuminate supports these policies.

 

Take Action!

Please reach out to your legislators, share why school meals are crucial to your community, and ask them to:

Increasing Food Access in Schools Is on This Week’s Menu at the Colorado Legislature

by Cassie Davis | Mar 1, 2022 | Advocacy

Ensuring all Colorado students have access to school food at no cost increases the economic security of families, as well as students’ capacity to meaningfully engage in both the academic and social aspects of school.

HB22-1240 Mandatory Reporters

This bill would establish a Mandatory Reporter Task Force charged with analyzing best practices and recommending changes to training requirements and reporting procedures and analyzing the effectiveness of mandatory reporting and its relationship with systemic issues, including the disproportionate impact of mandatory reporting on under-resourced communities, communities of color, and persons with disabilities. Learn why Illuminate supports this bill.

Take Action!

Contact your senator to ask them to vote ‘yes’ on HB22-1240. 

Shifting Colorado Toward a Culture of Mandatory Supporting

by Illuminate Colorado | May 3, 2022 | Advocacy

With HB22-1240 Mandatory Reporters making its way through the Colorado legislature, an opportunity to transform how we approach ensuring child and family safety and well-being, including reducing disparities, is on the horizon for our state. . . .

We hope you will make your voice heard for Colorado’s kids and families during the remaining days of this legislative session! As always, you can keep track of the progress of these bills and others that impact families using Illuminate’s bill tracker.

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Stay up to date on policy that prevents child maltreatment and the 2022 Illuminating Policy Agenda by subscribing to Illuminate Colorado’s blog.

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We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

While this year’s Colorado legislative session may be over, opportunities to advocate for policies that strengthen kids and families continue at the federal level. Raise your voice, and join Illuminate in advocating for the policies below!Child Care and Early Learning...

Shifting Colorado Toward a Culture of Mandatory Supporting

Shifting Colorado Toward a Culture of Mandatory Supporting

With HB22-1240 Mandatory Reporters making its way through the Colorado legislature, an opportunity to transform how we approach ensuring child and family safety and well-being, including reducing disparities, is on the horizon for our state. 

The bill highlights the importance of ensuring that individuals who are required to report child abuse or neglect have access to the resources necessary for doing so, including information regarding obligations and protections pursuant to the law, standardized training and materials, and specialized training to address and decrease the disproportionate impact on under-resourced communities.

Due to historic and ongoing systems of racism, oppression, and explicit/implicit bias, under-resourced communities, communities of color, and persons with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by the mandatory reporting system. 

With the goal of creating a more equitable mandatory reporting system, the most recent version of HB22-1240 would establish a Task Force charged with:

    • Analyzing best practices and recommending changes to training requirements and reporting procedures.
    • Analyzing the effectiveness of mandatory reporting and its relationship with systemic issues, including the disproportionate impact of mandatory reporting on under-resourced communities, communities of color, and persons with disabilities.

Based on its findings, the Task Force may propose clarifications to the law and identify recommended changes to mandatory reporter training requirements and procedures for reporting child abuse or neglect. 

Illuminate Colorado is excited about the potential that the efforts and recommendations of the Task Force have to shift the approach to addressing concerns for a child/family’s safety and well-being to be one that is more supportive.

As Katie Facchinello, Illuminate Colorado’s director of communications, shared during her testimony on the bill, “our organization hopes that we are moving forward in Colorado to embrace the idea that while we may not all be mandatory reporters, we should ALL be mandatory supporters. The improvements in this bill are greatly needed, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also encourage everyone to embrace the opportunities before us everyday to strengthen families, offer counsel and connection to a parent or caregiver beyond reporting our concerns. Making a call to report is no doubt a critical part of a functioning child welfare system, but is not all that is needed to create a 21st century system in Colorado where all children and families thrivea Colorado where there are far fewer concerns about the well-being of a child to report.

While we may not all be mandatory reporters, we should ALL be mandatory supporters.

Katie Facchinello

Director of Communications, Illuminate Colorado

Illuminate is grateful to the Child Protection Ombudsman of Colorado for their leadership on the stakeholding process and development of a bill that we hope will be a step in the right direction toward ensuring that families have what they need and disparities within the mandatory reporting system are reduced. 

“Colorado’s mandatory reporting system is outdated, unresponsive to the times and it is not working as effectively as it should to protect our children from abuse and neglect. House Bill 22-1240 is a critical first step to addressing and assessing this system. If passed, this bill would require a diverse set of professionals and members of the community to examine the deep and complex issues that have plagued mandatory reporting for decades. These discussions will position Colorado to better support families, address disparities in how the system impacts communities of color, those with disability and our rural communities, and ultimately, determine how best to serve children when there is suspected abuse and neglect.”    

Stephanie Villafuerte

Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman

Illuminate is particularly encouraged by the amendments that were made to the bill to prioritize prevention and improve efforts to ensure that recommendations are informed by those with lived experience by increasing the number of family voice seats required to be on the task force and adding a seat for a prevention expert.

At Illuminate, we firmly believe that families are the experts on their own experiences and are the ones who hold the best solutions to the challenges that they and their communities face. Furthermore, we believe that meaningfully involving those with lived experience on the topic at hand is the only way to create real and effective systems change.

We could not be more appreciative of our partners at Elephant Circle for leading advocacy efforts regarding the importance of increasing the involvement of those with lived experience. 

“Mandatory reporting is important to many people and professionals, but most of all to families. That is why we wanted to make sure the new Mandatory Reporter Task Force includes people who have experienced reports as parents or kids. As we saw in testimony for this bill, there are a lot of people impacted by these laws and a lot of strong opinions. We wanted to make sure that members of the general public can attend Task Force meetings.”

Indra Lusero

Director, Elephant Circle

As an organization, we are constantly working to learn and grow around engaging and following the leadership of families with lived experience related to the topics of systems-change initiatives that we help to convene.  Visit the blog posts below to read more, learn alongside us, and hear directly from families about their experiences with and perspectives on engaging in systems-change efforts:

HB22-1240 Mandatory Reporters passed the House last week and is being heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee today at 2 p.m. Contact members of the committee before the hearing to ask for their support in transforming how Colorado approaches ensuring child and family safety and well-being.

Subscribe

Stay up to date on policy that prevents child maltreatment and the 2022 Illuminating Policy Agenda by subscribing to Illuminate Colorado’s blog.

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We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

While this year’s Colorado legislative session may be over, opportunities to advocate for policies that strengthen kids and families continue at the federal level. Raise your voice, and join Illuminate in advocating for the policies below!Child Care and Early Learning...

This Digital Advocacy Day, Speak Up to Prevent Child Abuse

This Digital Advocacy Day, Speak Up to Prevent Child Abuse

Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) America’s Digital Advocacy Day is today, April 27th! YOU can participate by reaching out to your members of Congress and using your voice to urge them to support children and families across Colorado and nationwide.

How can I get involved?

This Digital Advocacy Day, please join Illuminate Colorado, and our partners across the country, in contacting lawmakers to urge them to act now to reauthorize and increase funding for the bipartisan Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

As the Colorado chapter of PCA and a member of our state’s Home Visiting Investment Task Force, Illuminate Colorado enthusiastically supports the importance of maintaining and bolstering the infrastructure necessary to offer high-quality home visiting services to families across our state.

Get involved by emailing, tweeting, posting on social media, and/or calling your senators and representatives. For more resources, such as key messages, tweets, and graphics to help you communicate with your representative easily and effectively, please visit preventchildabuse.org/2022-digital-advocacy-day or see the resources below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the PCA America policy team at pcaapolicyteam@preventchildabuse.org.

Send an Email in Two Easy Clicks

Your members of Congress need to hear from you! We have the extraordinary opportunity to educate lawmakers about evidence-based home visiting programs and its positive impact on families and children.

Background Information

The MIECHV program is a federal grant to states, territories, and Tribes that supports evidence-based home visiting for families and children from the prenatal period through the time that children start kindergarten. While the program’s ability to positively impact maternal and child health outcomes–including by reducing child maltreatment, improving positive parenting practices, and improving family economic self-sufficiencyis clear, the current funding level limits its ability to reach the children and families who need it most. Only 150,000 of the 18 million current and expectant parents who could benefit from the program receive services.

In our state in particular, while some level of home visiting services is available in all counties, according to the Child Fatality Prevention System’s 2020 Annual Legislative Report, “Not a single county in Colorado… has home visiting programs to meet the overall needs of families in the county.”

To bring the power of home visiting to more families and promote improved maternal health outcomes, we need Congress to reauthorize and increase funding. Specifically, we’re requesting that Congress: 

  • Increase MIECHV funding over the next five years to reach more families and better support the workforce
  • Double the tribal set-aside within MIECHV from 3% to 6%
  • Continue to allow virtual home visiting with model fidelity as an option for service delivery

Key Messages
  • The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program is a federal grant to states, territories and Tribes that supports evidence-based home visiting for families and children from prenatal period through kindergarten entry. The law that authorizes MIECHV will expire in September 2022.
  • Home visiting programs are a prevention strategy used to support pregnant moms and new parents as they work through the challenges of raising babies and young children.
  • Home visiting programs help new and expectant parents develop the skills and confidence it takes to raise healthy families.
  • Home visiting prevents adversity and builds resilience by being there during a child’s most critical years of development (prenatal to age five).
  • Evidence-based home visiting programs, such as Healthy Families America, prevent and reduce the recurrence of child maltreatment, promote healthy child development, and enhance family well-being. Among many other positive outcomes, families who participate in HFA and other home visiting programs have shown reductions in the number of low-birthweight babies, improved school readiness for children, and increased economic self-sufficiency.
  • For nearly 30 years, HFA has worked toward a singular vision: all children receive nurturing care from their family that leads to a healthy, long, and successful life. All families can benefit from support during pregnancy and throughout early childhood owing to the enormous life transitions and rapid growth occurring during this time.
  • HFA serves nearly 70,000 families across the United States each year, with nearly 600 sites in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and five US territories. Approximately 30% of HFA families served are supported through MIECHV funding.
  • Local implementation of HFA is funded through a variety of mechanisms, including federal funds such as MIECHV, state funds (including Medicaid and TANF) and local and private funding.
Sample Tweets
  • Invest in our children’s future, reauthorize home visiting #MIECHV funding. Make #GreatChildhoods happen all year long! @PCAAmerica @HFAatPCA
  • Today, April 27th, is our third annual Digital Advocacy Day. You can help us grow online word-of-mouth and show your support for policies and programs that support all children and families with a few simple steps. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3IS3aj7 #GrowingBetterTogether
Find Your Members of Congress
What important dates should I be aware of?

Digital Advocacy Day is April 27th. Use the resources on this page to contact your elected officials and spread the word about policy changes that’s vital to the well-being of children and their families.

The law that authorizes MIECHV will expire in September 2022. The House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over MIECHV will begin to hold hearings in the spring and into the summer in preparation for the reauthorization of MIECHV.

What do I need to know about the difference between education, advocacy, and lobbying?

Advocacy or Education is public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. Lobbying is seeking to influence (a politician or public official) on an issue or a specific ask such as supporting la piece of legislation.​

There are many avenues of advocacy that nonprofits can engage in that do not constitute lobbying. ​Advocacy happens in many different ways, but at its core it’s about raising awareness, building and leveraging relationships, and educating others around the issues and policies that matter to you. There are varying degrees in which an HFA site, PCA chapter, or nonprofit organization, can engage in advocacy that do not cross into lobbying. Advocacy can include such activities as:

  • Educating and informing lawmakers
  • Helping to shape state laws and budgets
  • Making your voice(s) heard about important issues that affect our daily lives
  • Helping policymakers find solutions to problems
  • Providing critical information for adoption or rejection of introduced legislation
  • Urging the public to contact policy makers to advocate for adoption or rejection of legislation

On the other end of the spectrum are lobbying activities. Key lobbying activities include activities in direct support or opposition to a specific piece of proposed legislation. While nonprofits can engage in some lobbying, the IRS has strict rules regarding the percentage of a nonprofit’s budget that can go toward lobbying activities. It’s recommended that any agency follow the rules and guidelines as set around lobbying and advocacy when engaging with lawmakers.

Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the PCA America policy team at pcaapolicyteam@preventchildabuse.org.

To bring the power of home visiting to more families and promote improved maternal health outcomes, we need Congress to reauthorize and increase funding. The law that authorizes the MIECHV program will expire in September 2022, so we need your voice now more than ever.

 Specifically, we’re requesting that Congress: 

    • Increase MIECHV funding over the next five years to reach more families and better support the workforce
    • Double the tribal set-aside within MIECHV from 3% to 6%
    • Continue to allow virtual home visiting with model fidelity as an option for service delivery

This crucial investment in our children and families will support resources at the state and community level that reduce challenges and stressors on parents. Therefore, we have the extraordinary opportunity to educate lawmakers about evidence-based home visiting programs such as Healthy Families America, spread the word about vital policy change, and encourage action on issues that increase positive childhood experiences and prevent child abuse and neglect.

Remember – advocate for children and families where you live. Make your voice heard by contacting your elected officials today, April 27th. Together, we can prevent childhood abuse and ensure families have what they need to thrive.

In October 2018 I experienced every parents worst nightmare: my three and a half year-old son passed away. After that tragedy, I was offered a whirlwind of supportive services, counseling, classes, family and friends coming to offer support. Every single one played a part in my healing process. What I found most life-altering was my home visiting program.

Alexa Chenoweth

Subscribe

Stay up to date on policy that prevents child maltreatment and the 2022 Illuminating Policy Agenda by subscribing to Illuminate Colorado’s blog.

Related Posts

We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

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Supporting Better Beginnings Through HB22-1295

Supporting Better Beginnings Through HB22-1295

Colorado prospers when our youngest children thrive because they are our future workers, leaders and community members. No matter where they live–the plains, mountains, rural areas or urban centers–children need high-quality experiences and loving relationships to support healthy development. That’s why Illuminate Colorado supports House Bill 22-1295 Department Early Childhood And Universal Preschool Program, which unifies Colorado’s early childhood system to provide the best experience for both families and providers.

Illuminate Colorado is proud to join early childhood advocates from across the state as part of the Coalition for Better Beginnings Colorado. Guided by a deep commitment to families and providers, the Coalition for Better Beginnings Colorado aims to ensure the new Department of Early Childhood provides the easiest, most accessible system to set all children and families up for a lifetime of opportunity. Together, our diverse array of voices provide knowledge and perspective on the best practices for creating high-quality, accessible early childhood programs for all.

How would the bill strengthen Coloradans?

HB22-1295 will address the many challenges Colorado families, early childhood educators, caregivers and providers are currently facing. Specifically, House Bill 22-1295 ensures families and providers have access to:

    • One high-quality early childhood system–including critical family strengthening programs and services like home visiting and family resource centers.
    • One simple enrollment application–reducing the burden on families and providers.
    • One universal preschool program–offering preschool to all families with kids the year before kindergarten, with extended hours for those who will benefit the most.

Illuminate has engaged in the Transition Advisory Group, participated in the process to establish the Department of Early Childhood and informed the development of this unified system. In particular, we are very supportive of the integration of critical family strengthening programs that prioritize the holistic well-being of children and families. Learn more about the bill by visiting the coalition website

Together, our diverse array of voices provide knowledge and perspective on the best practices for creating high-quality, accessible early childhood programs for all.

Jade Woodard

Executive Director, Illuminate Colorado

How can I get involved?

HB22-1295 made it all the way through the House and passed the Senate Education Committee last week. The bill will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday morning. As this bill makes its way through the legislature, your voice is critical in shaping its success.  By sharing your experiences with your legislators, you can help to pass this bill that will meet the needs of kids and families. Act now to pass HB22-1295 to ensure the new Department of Early Childhood creates better beginnings for all children and families.

Subscribe

Stay up to date on policy that prevents child maltreatment and the 2022 Illuminating Policy Agenda by subscribing to Illuminate Colorado’s blog.

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We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

We Need YOU to Advocate for Families at the Federal Level

While this year’s Colorado legislative session may be over, opportunities to advocate for policies that strengthen kids and families continue at the federal level. Raise your voice, and join Illuminate in advocating for the policies below!Child Care and Early Learning...

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