For more information about The Home's advocacy efforts, please contact:
Director of Communications and Advocacy
Through advocacy The Home educates and engages political leaders and policymakers on key child welfare issues.
We strive to:
- Educate and engage child welfare professionals, political leaders and other stakeholders around key issues that have an impact on the welfare of children.
- Influence state policy to have greater emphasis on the positive development of children, their families and communities.
- Establish The Home as a statewide leader to increase coordination of policy efforts on behalf of the children we serve.
On January 27, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker released his budget proposal for FY2017. The Home actively participates in the budget process and tracks those items that fund the services we provide and that affect the children and families we serve. You can track those items here.
Upon the budget's release, Joan Wallace-Benjamin, The Home’s President and CEO issued the following statement: "Even in a year marked by fiscal restraint, Governor Baker has proven his dedication to the children and families of Massachusetts through the priorities he has set in this budget. Overall, his decision to fully fund pay increases for human service providers shows that he understands the importance of the workforce dedicated to caring for our most vulnerable residents. Also, the additional funding given to the Department of Children and Families will help ease the burden on our social workers and supervisors so that they can better serve our children. I applaud his forward thinking on all of these items, and look forward to working with the Legislature as the budget process moves forward."
The Massachusetts Task Force on Youth Aging Out of Department of Child and Family Services (DCF) Care engages public, private and nonprofit representatives to ensure that youth aging out of foster care have lifelong connections with one or more adults, are fully prepared for education, work, and life, and are contributing members of their communities. The Task Force has had the active and sustained involvement of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, DCF, and representatives of the Massachusetts Departments of Mental Health, Housing and Community Development, Elementary and Secondary Education, Youth Services, and Transitional Assistance, along with more than 40 other providers.
In 2008, the Task Force released a report, Preparing Our Kids for Education, Work, and Life (PDF), that described the obstacles of youth aging out of DCF care at age 18 in transitioning into adulthood. The report summarizes the first ever study of transitioning youth in Massachusetts and provides a set of recommendations to create policy, practice, and resource conditions for youth to achieve these outcomes.
Since then, the Task Force has played a leading role in advocating for policy changes that would provide aging out youth with substantial support in their transitions, including but not limited to:
- MassHealth coverage until age 21
- Tuition and fee waivers at state colleges and universities
- Juvenile court protection and advocacy until age 22
- Continued state services until age 21
- New emphasis on transitional and permanency planning
On June 11, 2013 there was a Forum on Housing for Vulnerable Young Adults. The forum was co-sponsored by the Task Force on Youth Aging Out and the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. It was constructed to bring together leaders in successfully established housing for vulnerable young adults to share ideas and start lines of communication. Presentations were put together by The Children’s Study Home, Gándara Center, Dial/Self, The Home for Little Wanderers, and Caritas Communities. It was successful with over 100 representatives from the practice attended the forum.
Members of the agenda-setting Executive Committee are:
- The Home for Little Wanderers, Co-Chair
- Cambridge Family & Children's Service, Co-Chair
- Youth Villages
- Dare Family Services
The Aging Out Task Force Youth Advisory Board comprises of young adults who have been in the foster care system, providing them with the opportunity to have their voices heard in the process of creating legislation to improve that system.