It’s #ChildrensWeek2018! All week long we are encouraging folks to advocate on behalf of children while the federal government works on its budget for next year. A great way to ensure that all children have the great childhoods they deserve is to ensure that the programs and services that help children thrive are funded! This is where you come in.
We need your help to write to your Senators and encourage them to support essential federal funding streams. These acts and programs provide money to services that improve access to quality, affordable childcare, support early childhood mental health, and provide essential social services that help reduce dependency, promote self-sufficiency and protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The timing of this issue is critical so please contact your Senators by June 15!
On this page you will find three things to help your advocacy efforts:
- Information and links that will help you find contact information for your Senators,
- A brief description of the funding streams we are advocating for, and
- A sample message you can use when writing to your Senators.
Contacting Your Senators during #ChildrensWeek2018
The best way to find contact information for your Senators is by using the contact form on the Senate.gov website. On this page you can choose your state and then find the corresponding phone number and web addresses for your Senators (see the screenshot below).
Most senators have a contact form on their website that you can use to write your message (or paste the sample message) and send without having to leave the page. If not, their email address can be found on their contact page.
Brief Description of Funding Streams
These funding streams support programs Prevent Child Abuse America has identified as essential to reducing child abuse and neglect, promoting healthy child development, and improving parental education and increasing job prospects for all families:
- Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA): CAPTA is the only federal legislation that is dedicated to child abuse prevention specifically. States use funds from CAPTA in many ways that support the prevention, assessment and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Currently, CAPTA is funded at less than half of its authorization level. We are asking Congress to fully fund CAPTA in order to strengthen the network of support in states focused on prevention, investigation and treatment activities for families.
- Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG): This block grant is the primary source of funding that expands working families’ access to quality, affordable childcare. Providing funding at $5.8 billion for the CCDBG will create new and expanded opportunities for states to implement low-cost child care and to improve the quality of those services for all families.
- 21st Century Cures Act: The act provides funding for infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention and treatment programs. In addition to providing continued funding to support these critical programs, additional funding of $5 million will allow states to better screen for and treat maternal depression and help ensure families get off to a good start.
- The Centers for Disease Control: The CDC is a major source of information and resources for programs addressing child abuse and neglect prevention. Their Essentials for Childhood Framework supports states to improve collective impact efforts, helping bring together government entities, local non-profits and community organizations to work together to address child abuse and neglect. Since each state is unique, this flexibility is important for developing long-term solutions. Continued funding for this framework will help states improve their long-term prevention efforts.
- Social Services Block Grant (SSBG): States utilize this block grant to provide essential social services that help reduce dependency, promote self-sufficiency and protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation. We are asking Congress to maintain funding for this critical grant at $1.7 billion.
Looking for more information on funding streams that support child abuse and neglect prevention efforts? Check out our 2018 Public Policy Agenda.
The following scripted message can be used in letters to and conversations with your Senator. When writing to your senator, be sure to identify yourself as a constituent to ensure that your message is read. You are welcome to use this message in whole or to edit it and create your own!
Dear Senator NAME,
I am writing to ask that INSERT SENATOR NAME support important appropriations funding for the following key programs in Fiscal Year 2019. As an advocate for healthy families and thriving children, I urge you to consider funding these important programs to help ensure we reduce child abuse and neglect, promote healthy child development, improve parental education and increase job prospects for all families:
- CAPTA should be fully funded $200 million which will help strengthen the network of support in states focused on prevention, investigation and treatment activities for families.
- CCDBG expands working families’ access to quality, affordable childcare. Providing funding at $5.8 billion will create new and expanded opportunities for states to fully implement the 2014 reauthorization of the CCDBG Act.
- 21st Century Cures Act provides funding for infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention and treatment programs. We believe that:
- $5 million is needed to provide grants so states can develop, maintain or enhance infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention, and treatment programs.
- An additional $5 million is needed to provide grants so states can establish, improve, or maintain programs to train professionals to screen, assess and treat maternal depression in women who are pregnant or who have given birth within the preceding 12 months.
- CDC Essentials Childhood Framework supports the implementation of statewide comprehensive strategies and approaches designed to reduce adverse childhood experiences, morbidity, mortality, and related health disparities associated with childhood abuse and neglect.
- SSBG provides $1.7 billion ensures states have funding for essential social services that help reduce dependency, promote self-sufficiency and protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Research is clear: evidenced-based prevention programs reduce the likelihood of costly ailments to the individual and to society, including mental illness, criminal justice, child welfare, substance abuse and addiction, and the perpetuation of abuse and neglect. Prevention services strengthen families and give families the tools they need to succeed and thrive. Please help the children and families in your district by supporting these important appropriations today.
Thank you for your advocacy efforts on behalf of children and families! If you have any questions or need any help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.