Public Policy Committee Accomplishments
Everychild‚Äôs Public Policy Committee members are becoming known as hard working, creative partners and leaders focused on improving public policy, systems, and local practices that impact the lives of at-risk children in Los Angeles. Accomplishments in advocacy, community involvement, representation on community boards and committees, community boards and committee memberships on local or national policy boards and committees, and developing ECF policy resources include:
Topics receiving support have included:
- Opposition to prop 1D (seizure of First Five monies by the state of California government to divert from 0-5 programming).
- Funding, housing and educational support for transitioning foster youth.
- Homeless youth intervention and prevention.
Committee members prepare educational bill summaries for members and send individual letters of support on behalf of numerous bills in both the California and federal legislatures. ¬†Recent examples of legislation we have supported that has been signed into law includes:
- CA: AB 12 (2010) (offering foster youth the chance to receive state support until the age of 21).
- Federal: Fostering Connections Act (2008) (offering foster youth the chance to receive state support until the age of 21).
- Federal: The Youth PROMISE Act (Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education) This was first introduced in 2009, and is still pending.
- CA: AB 2985 (2007) (protecting foster youth from identity theft).
Educating Elected Officials about Best Practices
- Juvenile Justice Model: In 2009 two committee members participated in organizing a trip of 25 County officials and academics to the state of Missouri to observe its renowned juvenile justice model. ¬†Committee members have been following up to help Los Angeles build a new prototype facility based upon this successful system.
- Vocational Training for Juvenile Offenders: Committee member Barbara Moore is a leader in the local effort to bring a first-of-its-kind vocational training program from the Pipe Fitters and Plumbers Union to the incarcerated youth at Challenger Memorial Youth Center in Lancaster.
Meetings with Elected Officials
- Local meetings: Committee members meet on occasion ¬†with local elected officials to educate them on certain problems facing children in foster care and juvenile justice.
- The White House and Congress: Everychild President, Jacqueline Caster, visited the White House and the offices of various U.S. Congress persons for the purpose of urging the current Administration to make juvenile justice reform a priority.
Meetings with Local Public Officials
The committee undertakes leadership roles in locally based organizational policy issues. ¬†Its members facilitate and/or participate in meetings with government or organizational representatives charged with policy implementation. Issues discussed include support for transitional housing for foster youth and providing library cards and computer access to homeless youth.
Participation in Community Leadership Events
- 2007 & 2008 Baby Futures Conferences, (Everychild Public Policy Committee Chair, Denise McCain-Tharnstrom, Ph.D., JD, MPP was the featured policy speaker at the 2008 Conference).
- 2010 Loyola Law School Center for Restorative Justice Conference¬†(Everychild President, Jacqueline Caster, participated on a panel discussing the needs and goals of the restorative justice model for youth in the juvenile justice system).
Participation in Community-Based Funders and/or Citizen Groups
- Early Identification and Intervention Collaborative. ¬†(2007-2009)
- LA Homeless Funders Initiative 2009 to present (Note: ¬†Everychild member Anne Youngblood facilitated an HFI workshop focused on the unique needs of unaccompanied homeless youth).
- LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment (previously known as the Los Angeles Public Private Partnership for Infants and Toddlers from 2005-2009), member 2006 to 2011 (Everychild Public Policy Committee Chair, Denise McCain-Tharnstrom, has been a part of the executive committee since 2008, and is currently serving a two-year term as the Partnership’s chair).
Membership on Committees/Boards
Committee members have joined numerous public and private committees and boards to enhance the influence of their work, including:
- County Education Reform Taskforce
- PPC member Barbara Moore accepted an appointment as the Challenger Task Force
Community Representative in 2011
- Probation Commission Inspection Committee
- Probation Commission Library Committee
- Probation Education Committee
- Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Center Board
- Loyola Law School Center for Restorative Justice
- Campaign for Youth Justice
Facilitating Community Partnerships
In November 2010, committee members facilitated a meeting between Everychild Representatives, the Teen‚ÄôScape Center of the Los Angeles Central Public Library, Public Counsel and Los Angeles Youth Network to discuss the increasing usage of the Library as a safe place for homeless youth.
Developing ECF Policy Resources
- Issue Expertise:
Members have developed a network of issue contacts as well as committee expertise in a variety of areas and are available as policy issue resource experts for members as well as other Everychild Committees.
- Policy Workshop Hosts:
- 2011: ¬†The Committee has hosted a number of policy and advocacy workshops including:Workshop on Children in the Clouds with presenters from LA County Education Foundation (In 2010, they were involved in the drafting of SB 244: Ensuring Access to Care and Education for Vulnerable Children (0-5). Children in the clouds are children of children who are in either the probation or foster care system.
- 2011: ¬†Print Advocacy Workshop, an Everychild Member event ¬†featuring Mary Melton, Editor of LA Magazine.
- 2010: ¬†Workshop on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in LA County (September 2010). ¬† The Public Policy Committee hosted a workshop at the Rand Corporation to educate its members and other local foundations on the issue of unaccompanied homelessness youth.
- 2010: ¬†Adoption Policy Issues Workshop. ¬†Featured Adam Pertman Executive ¬†Director of the Evan B Donaldson Institute.
- 2009: ¬†Policy Issues Surrounding Children with Disabilities, featuring speaker Margaret Dunkle, the founder of the Los Angeles-based Early Identification and Intervention Collaborative.
- 2007: ¬†Zero to Three Advocacy Workshop. ¬†The workshop featured presenters Florence Nelson, Policy Director Western Regional Office Zero to Three, and Alan Lopatin, of Ledge Counsel, Inc. who provided legislative counseling for the national 0-3 office in Washington DC.