The Home's News

Legislation Can Be Life-Changing

At The Home, we have worked towards advancing children’s welfare for more than two centuries. Along with our commitment to finding a loving, lasting connection for every child, and providing direct care for youth and families, we have found that one of the greatest ways we can effect change is through advocacy, using our voice to lift up the voices of children and youth across the Northeast.

Our team sits on boards, coalitions and committees to ensure that government officials know who we are, what we do and how we do it. This work takes us to the State House in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York, and even to our nation’s capital. In April, our President & CEO Lesli Suggs, LICSW, went to Washington, D.C. to attend the Child Welfare League of America 2024 Conference, with peers throughout the country. She sat in several meetings with the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation to speak to the child tax credit, which would help lift kids out of poverty, along with other issues that would create meaningful change.

Members of The Home's staff at the 2024 Caring Force Rally

On two separate occasions in May, The Home was well represented at The Massachusetts State House, advocating for issues that impact those we serve and our workforce. On May 16, we joined The Children’s League of Massachusetts to advocate for legislation to better support children and families across the Commonwealth, and on May 22, we went back to Beacon Hill to participate in The Providers’ Council 12th Annual Caring Force Rally to advocate for more funding for the advancement of our sector. Our team was also present at the New York State Community School Advocacy Day in February. There, Director of NY Programs Richard Negron and our Community School Directors implored assemblymembers and state senators to maintain funding for community schools and to make sure they knew about our impact.

Often, The Home’s direct care staff provides testimony to inform upcoming legislation. We educate legislators with briefings on the issues facing youth aging out of foster care, bringing individuals with lived experience to the rooms where decisions are made, and serve on a mayoral task force with other nonprofit leaders to bolster supports for this population.

We build relationships, we engage, and we influence. Tobias Iselin, Co-Director of The Wediko School, has been called by state legislators for input on a special education bill, and he was also approached about serving on a statewide advisory panel, which would secure him not only a seat at the table, but a vote. Such participation leads to wins for our youth, like Massachusetts’ commitment to no longer withhold Social Security benefits intended for foster children or New York’s decision to restore budget cuts that would have leveled our Community School partnerships.

This facet of our work isn’t glamorous—budgets and bills seldom are—but it is vital. Because public policy that prioritizes children’s welfare and human services can bring permanent, positive change to our communities and to the youth and families we serve.