Sesame Street is now addressing homelessness. Lily, a seven year old muppet, is homeless, and last week Sesame Street in Communities convened a forum, inviting experts to launch its newest initiative. Panel members included LaShawn Haye, Project Hope Alliance, Kate Barrand,Horizons for Homeless Children, Karen Hudson, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Barbara Duffield, SchoolHouse Connection, Jasmine Hayes, the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, and it was moderated by Rocio Galarza from Sesame Community.
Tuesday, December 4, the American Psychological Association (APA) and Partners for Children co-hosted the congressional briefings on Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in the House (a subsequent meeting was held on Wednesday, Dec. 5 in the Senate). The panel included Missouri’s Nathan Ross of Foster Adopt Connect.
Child Abuse and neglect affects 1 in 8 children by age 18 with 7.4 million children being referred to Child Protective Services (CPS). About 3. 2 million are investigated, and over 2500 children die of child maltreatment each year in the U.S. The U.S. is the second leading developing country in the world with deaths from child abuse, according to UNICEF. Roughly 40 percent of children reported for suspected maltreatment are re-reported to child protective services and 20 percent are re-victimized.
Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies presented Representative David Wood with the Champion of Children Award at its conference in Springfield, Missouri, November 13. Representative Wood, a Missouri House member who serves Morgan and parts of Moniteau and Miller Counties, has truly championed the causes of Missouri’s most vulnerable children during his six years in office.
The Missouri House of Representatives voted to override four Governor’s budget vetoes, including two that impact child and juvenile advocacy. The House voted to restore $100,000 that would have been used to hire two full-time employees for the Office of Child Advocate, and $487,000 that would have added nine full-time employees for juvenile advocacy units in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas.
The Senate adjourned without voting, so the Governor’s vetoes stood. Senator Brown said funding for Office of Child Advocate would be included in a supplemental spending budget in January and that Parson is “committed” to finding more permanent funding for the Time Critical Diagnosis program. Regarding juvenile advocacy, Missouri funded $3.2 million in salary increases to the public defender system this year and will monitor the department’s retention and caseload, Parson said in his veto letter.