Today’s guest blogger is Christine Calpin, a member of SCAN’s Board of Directors and Chair of its Legislative & Advocacy Committee. With SCAN’s most ambitious year of advocacy ahead of us, she shares valuable updates on our policy agenda as well as ways SCAN supporters can learn more and stay involved in 2013.

blogblock_advocacyJan2013It’s nice to know these days that there are issues that Congress and the President can agree on – and those issues impact our most vulnerable children.

Earlier this month, the President signed the Uninterrupted Scholars Act which ensures that caseworkers and others involved in advocating for youth in foster care have quick access to their education records.  Children in foster care are moved from home to home, and therefore school to school much more often than other children.  Luckily, there now will be fewer obstacles during this time to be sure they don’t fall behind in school.

The President also signed the Protect our Kids Act which creates a Commission to study data on child fatalities from abuse and neglect and offer recommendations on how to reduce these fatalities.  It’s estimated that every day, 4 children in this country die from abuse or neglect.  Even more distressing, many believe this number underreports the extent of these tragedies.  I know that I join many who hope this Commission offers critical answers to how we can better protect the children in our communities.

Despite this progress, more must be done and everyone must do their part to advocate for our children.  I am honored to be part of SCAN’s efforts to ensure that every child in Northern Virginia thrives and succeeds.  Our 2013 policy agenda highlights our biggest priority – that every child has the right to grow up in a safe, permanent home.  SCAN will advocate and educate for policies at the federal, state and local levels that:

  • support and nurture parents;
  • protect and support the healthy development of children; and
  • are aligned with family-centered practices.

I sincerely hope you join us in these efforts.

Not sure how to raise your voice?  You can find your VA state delegate and senator here. Let them know these policies are your priority as well.  And, be sure to stay in touch with SCAN (subscribe to our eNews here or follow us on Facebook here) to continue to learn about important ways you can help us make a difference.

~ Christine

Christine Calpin
Chair, Legislative & Advocacy Committee
SCAN Board of Directors

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