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News & Press: Updates for Members

When Will Session End and Child Welfare Funding Action Request!

Monday, October 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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Legislators returned to work after a short recess last week. The Senate announced they would work on a series of mini-budgets and wrap up by the end of the month with or without a budget. The House announced they were also trying to wrap work up in the next month.

 

One mini-budget the House worked on last week was HB 1001 which provides funding for “Raise the Age” implementation that is set to go live December 1, 2019. This legislation passed a few years ago and is aimed at treating 16- and 17-year-olds as youth in the juvenile justice instead of as adults. We anticipate the Senate to take up the legislation this week.

Budget 

We also anticipate the Senate to take up a vote on the Governor's veto of the state budget in the coming weeks. If they are successful, the budget bill will become law. This budget does not prioritize Medicaid Expansion. NASW North Carolina supports the Governor's veto of the legislature's budget. It didn't include Medicaid Expansion, public school funding priorities, funding to evidence-based human service programs, and it funded anti-abortion clinics. Additionally, it would also relocate the Department of Health and Human Services and 2,000 state employees from Dorothea Dix Campus in Raleigh to Granville County, an hour away. Click here to view NASW-NC's response after the budget passed to view more on what was not included.

Medicaid Expansion 

We anticipate the House to vote soon on House Bill 655, The Healthcare for Working Families Act. The Working Families Act is intended to provide coverage for certain individuals who are ineligible for Medicaid and unable to afford health insurance. Though this Act does have work requirements and requires premium payments, we are hopeful that we can start by helping a few, and then expand the reach and advocate for full Medicaid expansion. We ask that you reach out to your Legislators to support this bill.

 

Social Work Licensure 

NASW-NC is still advocating to advance our social work licensure legislation. This bill is still in the Conference Committee process and we are advocating that this committee agree on the bill as soon as possible.

 

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

NASW is engaging networks to call our members of Congress and advocate for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Keep reading for sample scripts, emails, and social media posts! There are three days of action:

  • TODAY: Monday 10/7: Call/Email All Congressional Offices (special focus on 1-3pm ET)
  • TOMORROW: Tuesday 10/8: Call/Email Appropriators (special focus on 9-12 ET)
  • NEXT Tuesday 10/15: Social Media Twitterstorm (2-3 ET)


Why
? House and Senate Appropriators are working now to finalize funding levels for FY2020. During these negotiations, it is critical that we let them know the importance of funding for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Hearing from constituents can make a difference but we need strong engagement.

 

CAPTA is the only federal program exclusively dedicated to the prevention, assessment, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It is also the only legislation that addresses universal primary prevention capacity-building at a local level, supporting services essential to healthy and thriving communities in every state.

 

Currently, CAPTA is funded at less than HALF of its authorized level. The House of Representatives took a bold step by increasing funding levels, but the Senate appropriations bill would keep funding levels flat.

 

The expansive mission and directives in CAPTA are severely underfunded and have led to uneven implementation and protections for children. Now is the time to increase funding for this important program.

 

How:

  • Call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask them to connect you directly with your Senator or House Representative (they can only connect you to one office at a time).
  • You can also use the links below to find your Representatives and their email and phone contact information:

Senate: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact

House: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find

 

Talking points for phone calls:

  • My name is [name] and I work at [organization] in [city/state]. I’m calling about a program that is critical to protecting children – the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. I urge Senator/Representative [Senator/Rep’s name] to increase funding for this important program.
  • Support the House funding levels for CAPTA. The House of Representatives took a bold step to increase funding for this important law – to $90 million for CAPTA State Grants and $75 million for CB-CAP. It is important that this funding be maintained in the final Appropriations bill being negotiated by the House and Senate to keep more children safe from harm.
  • CAPTA is foundational to our child protection system and strengthening vulnerable families and children. More funding is needed provide the resources states need to help develop, implement, and evaluate strategies that prevent child maltreatment, reduce entry into the public child welfare system, and enhance the overall well-being of children and families.
  • Thank you.

 

Script for emails:

Dear (Senator/Representative),

My name is (NAME) and I work at (ORGANIZATION) in (CITY/STATE). I’m writing about a program that is critical to protecting children – the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. CAPTA is foundational to our child protection system, and includes important provisions that help keep children safe from abuse and neglect, treat the effects of abuse when it happens, and strengthen families and communities.  

 

Unfortunately, Congress does not provide CAPTA with enough funding for states to implement the protections and community-driven services in CAPTA that would prevent as well as treat child abuse and neglect. The opioid crisis has caused the number of children in foster care to rise for five consecutive years, and parental substance abuse that leads to the removal of a child is rising faster than any other reason for removal. Congress is expected to pass key reforms to CAPTA this year as part of a reauthorization effort. But the reforms that Congress envisions simply will not be realized without robust funding increases.

 

I’m writing to ask that as the House and Senate continue negotiations to the Labor-HHS-Education budget in the coming months, you retain the House CAPTA funding of $90 million for CAPTA State Grants and $75 million for CB-CAP in FY2020.  Please help keep children safe from harm.


Tuesday, October 8

Between 9am-12pm ET, please reach out to key House and Senate appropriators and mobilize your networks to do the same.

Why? House and Senate Appropriators are working now to finalize funding levels for FY2020. During these negotiations, it is critical that we let them know the importance of funding for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).

 

CAPTA is the only federal program exclusively dedicated to the prevention, assessment, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It is also the only legislation that addresses universal primary prevention capacity-building at a local level, supporting services essential to healthy and thriving communities in every state.

 

Currently, CAPTA is funded at less than HALF of its authorized level. The House of Representatives took a bold step by increasing funding levels, but the Senate appropriations bill would keep funding levels current.

 

The expansive mission and directives in CAPTA are severely underfunded and have led to uneven implementation and protections. Now is the time to increase funding for this important program.

 

You can find a list of key members of the Labor-H Appropriations Committee here:

 

Talking points for phone calls:

  • My name is [name] and I work at [organization] in [city/state]. I’m calling about a program that is critical to protecting children – the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. I urge Senator/Representative [Senator/Rep’s name] to increase funding for this important program.
  • The House of Representatives took a bold step to increase funding for this important law – to $90 million for CAPTA State Grants and $75 million for CB-CAP. It is important that this funding be maintained in the final Appropriations bill being negotiated by the House and Senate.
  • CAPTA is foundational to our child protection system and strengthening vulnerable families and children. More funding is needed provide the resources states need to help develop, implement, and evaluate strategies that prevent child maltreatment, reduce entry into the public child welfare system, and enhance the overall well-being of children and families.
  • Thank you.

 

Script for emails:

Dear (Senator/Representative),

My name is (NAME) and I work at (ORGANIZATION) in (CITY/STATE). I’m writing about a program that is critical to protecting children – the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. CAPTA is foundational to our child protection system, and includes important provisions that help keep children safe from abuse and neglect, treat the effects of abuse when it happens, and strengthen families and communities.  

 

Unfortunately, Congress does not provide CAPTA with enough funding for states to implement the protections and community-driven services in CAPTA that would prevent as well as treat child abuse and neglect. The opioid crisis has caused the number of children in foster care to rise for five consecutive years, and parental substance abuse that leads to the removal of a child is rising faster than any other reason for removal. Congress is expected to pass key reforms to CAPTA this year as part of a reauthorization effort. But the reforms that Congress envisions simply will not be realized without robust funding increases.

 

I’m writing to ask that as the House and Senate Continue negotiations to the Labor-HHS-Education budget in the coming months that you retain the House funding for CAPTA of $90 million for CAPTA State Grants and $75 million for CB-CAP in FY2020.


Tuesday 10/15

On this final #CAPTA Day of Action – take 5 minutes to show your support on social media and encourage others to take action for CAPTA and CAPTA reauthorization. In addition to raising awareness throughout your network, Twitter is a great way to contact your representatives— contact information for members of the Senate HELP Committee can be found at: https://twitter.com/PCAAmerica/lists/senate-help-committee/members. Be sure to tag your Representative and include these hashtags when posting/tweeting: #CAPTA #PreventChildAbuse #StrengthenFamilies #HealthyChildhoods 

 

Sample tweets:

 

Congress must act NOW to support families & children across America—increase funding for #CAPTA today! #PreventChildAbuse #StrengthenFamilies #HealthyChildhoods

 

#CAPTA helps fund programs that #PreventChildAbuse and #StrengthenFamilies in all 50 states. Invest in [YOUR STATE]'s future. The House increased funding for #CAPTA and now it is the Senate turn to retain the House funding level & reauthorize #CAPTA today!

 

Sample Facebook post:

 

I support the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (#CAPTA), which keeps children safe, improves child health and development, and helps to #StrengthenFamilies and empower communities across the country. Call your senator today and ask him/her to retain the House funding for #CAPTA to ensure #HealthyChildhoods and #PreventChildAbuse…follow the link to learn how: https://preventchildabuse.org/latestactivity/capta-action-alert-senate-help-committee/ @PCAAmerica 


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