LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS®
LWVMD Position: Children's Services
CHILDREN’S SERVICES: Action to support a comprehensive range of child-centered services to ensure all children a chance to grow toward stable, productive adulthood. (1995)
- Making the needs of children a high priority of government.
- Effective services for children, including:
a. collaboration across departmental and agency lines to provide seamless services for children;
b. community-based points of entry where families at risk can apply for multiple services;
c. consumer-oriented service centers sited in easily accessible neighborhood locations (such as schools) with hours convenient to families;
d. a compatible computer system with appropriate safeguards for confidentiality, connecting agencies serving children to allow more open collaboration and provide comprehensive resource listing;
e. a non-categorized contingency fund with rational limits and clear accountability available to line workers dealing with crisis situations;
f. early intervention to prevent later crisis;
g. result-oriented, long-term evaluations of program and services based on measured outcomes.
Background: These positions result from a concurrence with Montgomery County League positions. They were adopted to supplement LWVUS Social Policy positions (which provided a basis for League support of services to children and families) to enable LWVMD and Local Leagues to comment on how to make such services most effective. The concurrence was approved by Local League members, rather than by Convention, so that members could review the positions along with information about the adequacy of services to children and families in their own communities. The Calvert County League, for example, produced and distributed “A Wake-Up Call” and then took the lead in founding a non-profit organization focusing on children’s needs and services.
- Supported the Children’s Health Insurance Program to provide health care coverage to the children of the working poor.
- Supported creation of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Children and Youth.
- Supported funding and tax credits for after school programs.
- Supported mental health, behavioral, and substance abuse screening and treatment for students facing expulsion and for youth in the Juvenile Justice system.
- Supported funding for education and job training for low income working parents.
- Supported funding for early childhood centers and programs to improve the quality of child care.
- Supported funding for the integration of substance abuse and child welfare services.
- Supported empowerment of grandparents or other relatives to tend to the health and education (including out-of-county placement) of children in their care.
- Supported codification of Local Management Boards to ensure each jurisdiction has a locally driven inter-agency service delivery system for children, youth and families. (2006 – achieved)
- Commented on a bill that would allow family child care providers to establish a mechanism for union representation without taking a position. (2006 no action on bill)
- Supported a bill requiring local boards of education to determine their capacity to provide full day kindergarten and pre-kindergarten and plan for alternative sites if necessary (2006 not achieved)
- Testified in favor of increased funding for child care and family support centers (2007)