These Cuts Won’t Heal

This blog is written from Washington, DC today where I am attending the National Conference of the Child Welfare League of America. The conference is an opportunity to hear inspirational speakers, attend workshops on various practice issues, become familiar with any number of legislative issues and spend time meeting with legislators and their staff to advocate for the children, youth and families we serve.
On Tuesday afternoon I went along with more than a dozen colleagues from California to fan out through the congressional offices to greet our legislators and advocate for the needs of those we serve. This, of course, is an especially challenging time as the Federal government wrestles with growing deficits.
For my part, it is difficult to argue for more funding in such a challenging economic environment. That being said, the challenge is to advocate nevertheless for funding that is necessary to provide essential services that makes a difference for very vulnerable children and their families. Funding that is targeted to serve the most vulnerable, which is proven to demonstrate improvement, reduce recidivism and create stability for both the child and family, must be made available even at a time of financial constraint. Attempts to balance the Federal budget on the backs of the poor and vulnerable are unacceptable. Somehow in the quagmire of government the interests of the needy surely can be addressed without a wholesale elimination of these essential entitlements.
This is the message that we share with our legislators as we advocate in a particular way this year against $60 million in cuts proposed by the House of Representatives. These cuts would only worsen the capacity of California to address its most vulnerable children. To learn more about these efforts, check out CWLA campaign, These Cuts Wont Heal, at www.CWLA.org.
Although, at times, these efforts seem significantly removed from the everyday responsibilities to care for the children and families entrusted to us, it is important that we communicate with our elected officials the impact that their actions will have on the well being of those we serve and their constituents as well.
Please join me in encouraging our legislators to consider the impact their actions will have on the children and families we serve. Cuts to education, social services and health care may indeed balance the budget, but it will only exacerbate the struggle the most vulnerable wage to improve their lives. For some, the struggle is one of life and death.

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