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Legislative Positions

State Legislative & Regulatory Issues

Overview

Voices’ legislative and regulatory agenda supports a Georgia where children are:

  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Educated
  • Employable
  • Connected to family and community

State Positions 

    • Improvement of systems, practices and funding involving foster children and children suffering from or at risk of abuse and neglect
    • Expansion and support for Juvenile Justice Reform, including:
      • Implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act
      • Developmentally appropriate policies in regard to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction (such as raising the age of jurisdiction and revising automatic transfer policies)
      • Appropriate and trauma-responsive practices for court-involved and incarcerated children
      • Improved transition of children into the community from the state’s care 
      • Systems and practices that improve school climate and student discipline
    • Adequate funding for all effective and necessary child-serving government systems, including juvenile justice, child welfare, health, education and childcare, among others
    • Improved laws, policies and practices affecting sexually abused and exploited youth
    • Increasing and improving all children’s access to healthcare and healthy living, including:
    • Benefits to children under the federal Affordable Care Act
    • Best child-relevant practices in the redesign, funding and expansion of Medicaid
    • Access to quality pediatric (and caregiver) healthcare across the state, including policies regarding school-based health, mental/behavioral health, dental care and services for children with disabilities or who are in the state’s care
    • Policies addressing Georgia’s childhood obesity epidemic
    • Policies ensuring safety precautions for children
    • Policies which encourage early and/or effective interventions for children with disabilities and chronic conditions
    • Expanded and improved GA’s Pre-K program and childcare services
    • Policies and budgets that increase childcare affordability for working families
    • Interagency communications and collaborative systems that support children and youth
    • Adoption and promotion of standards for afterschool programs and academic credits for appropriate afterschool learning achievements with academic credits.
    • Raise awareness of afterschool programs potential for serving court-involved children and youth
    • Increase (support) systems which inform youth of options for their futures and support youth decision-making
    • Support programs and systems which allow youth to succeed with interpersonal skills and relationships, as well as advance through school or to return to educational coursework that leads expeditiously to work and career transitions.
    • Strategic and accessible supports for low-income families (such as food, childcare and educational assistance, as well as other community-based supports)
    • Adequate education and oversight initiatives for those caring for or engaged with children of all ages, including professional development, the impacts of and responses to childhood trauma, parent education on child development and needs, and Strengthening Families protective factors).

Federal Positions

  • Reauthorization of and improvements to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
  • Adequate Federal funding for Pediatric Residency programs in Georgia
  • Coordination of expanded federal investments in children from birth to five to improve school readiness and child development

Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network

State Positions 

  • Increase provider access to the Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards and the Quality Rated School Age program
  • Expand curricular and funding resources and professional learning opportunities for afterschool programs
  • Strengthen nutrition, physical activity, and health programs in afterschool programs
  • Increased awareness of community leaders about the value and impacts of afterschool programs
  • Reduce barriers for afterschool providers to access government funding opportunities
  • Strengthen interagency communications and collaborative systems that support children, youth, and youth serving organizations
  • Increased commitment to afterschool within Georgia’s Child Care Development Fund plan

Federal Positions 

  • Sustained funding for federal programs supporting afterschool in Georgia, including the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program, the Child Care Development Fund, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
  • Increased and renewed support for effective college-ready and life-ready programs
  • Strengthen afterschool and summer nutrition programs

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