The Georgia Child Advocacy Leadership Lab (GA-CALL) is a community of organizations contributing directly to policy development through investments in research and evaluation, advocacy and lobbying.
In lieu of our annual Legislative Preview GA-CALL panel discussion during which state lawmakers discuss child-relevant challenges and legislation that is expected to be examined during the upcoming legislative session, for the 2021 Legislative Session, we introduced the video series “What’s In it for Kids? Important Conversations with Georgia’s Lawmakers”. Due to the ever-changing nature of legislative session, some of the content discussed in the series either progressed, changed, or failed to advance during session.
Hunger Virtual Town Hall
January 6, 2021
Voices for Georgia’s Children partnered with the Georgia Food Bank Association to engage state agencies featuring Q&A on lessons learned and next steps to addressing food access for families across the state. More than 430,000 households with children in Georgia do not know where their next meal will come from—an approximate 8% increase in food insecurity from March 2020.
- Gary Black – Commissioner, Georgia Department of Agriculture
- Richard Woods—School Superintendent, Georgia Department of Education
- Tom Rawlings – Director, Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services
- Rian Ringsrud— Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
- Danah Craft– Executive Director, Georgia Food Bank Association
School-Based Mental Health Virtual Town Hall GA-CALL
July 21, 2020
Our children are experiencing new and, in some cases, severe challenges related to the pandemic and school will look different in the fall – which means children’s access to mental health services could be more important than ever. On July 21, Voices kicked off our GA-CALL Virtual Town Hall Series! We partnered with The Carter Center and Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice for our inaugural event featuring a Q&A on practical recommendations from skilled, working providers on what state agencies, providers, and schools can do to establish or improve school-based mental health services for kids – and how these services can look outside of the traditional in-school setting.
Building on Voices’ report, Supporting Children’s Mental Health in Georgia’s Schools, three providers from different regions of Georgia offered first-hand accounts of how they have grown their programs and adapted to current challenges.
- David Crooke, LPC – CEO, CarePartners of Georgia
- Chad Jones – Director of Community Services, View Point Health
- Nicole Patten, LCSW – Youth and Young Adult Services Coordinator, Aspire Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
- Cheryl Benefield – Program Manager for Safe and Supportive Schools, Georgia Department of Education
- Layla Fitzgerald, MS – Program Manager, Office of Children, Young Adults, and Families, DBHDD
- Ashley Harris, MS – Director of Whole Child Supports and Strategic Partnerships, Georgia Department of Education
- Susan McLaren, MPH – Assistant Project Director, Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health at Georgia State University.
- Lashawnda Woods-Roberts – Equal Justice Works Fellow, Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
State Agency Town Hall GA-CALL
April 3, 2020
Government at all levels are developing and retooling policy at breakneck speeds to protect our country, our economy, and, most of all, our health during the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. Voices has developed a toolbox to help translate and communicate information about how to navigate our changed environment, how to find what assistance is available, and how to identify and ask for what we need.
Voices developed a comprehensive dashboard that shows where the state is and is not in terms of COVID-19 response.
In our virtual GA-CALL, hear directly from state agency leadership from Georgia’s child-serving agencies. Each video below features answers on questions ranging from child care and juvenile justice, to education and child welfare.
Dr. Erica Fener Sitkoff and Polly McKinney welcome you to our virtual GA-CALL
January 13, 2020
Pre-Legislative Session GA-CALL
To Educate: Because we deserve to know the details about the challenges children have and what can be done.
To Convene: Because we are stronger together.
To Influence: Because changing the laws, investments and priorities of Georgia will make the lives of our children better and the future of our state stronger.