2018 Legislative Priorities
While the 2018 Legislature will have multiple priorities and great demands on the state budget, Children’s Campaign Fund (CCF) asks members of the Washington state legislature to work together to ensure that the health and well-being of children is our state’s top priority. Last year, a bipartisan coalition of legislators did just that by creating the new Department of Children, Youth & Families. We trust that legislators will build on last year’s achievement by supporting successful implementation of the new department and addressing the persistent and emerging challenges faced by Washington’s children and families.
CCF is a dedicated, all volunteer board of directors who advocates for legislation that protects and promotes the whole child. We are a resource for families, community allies, and voters who care about how Washington will improve the health, safety, welfare, and education of every child.
A coalition has formed to ensure that our state’s children and youth, particularly the most vulnerable, have the tools and support they need for educational and life success. The Advocates for Children, Youth, and Families Coalition is supporting policy priorities in four areas. Click here to learn more.
- System Reforms such as adding a second network support administrator and extending the Family Assessment Response law to 120 days.
- Supporting Families, Foster Parents, and Caregivers such as maintaining or expanding evidence-based home visiting and increasing out-of-home care options.
- Preventing Youth Homelessness including expansion of the Youth Village Independent Living program and improved educational and diversion programs for youth in the juvenile justice system.
- Offering and Supporting Early Learning and Child Care such as increasing child care subsidy rates and providing greater access to higher education opportunities for providers.
In order to succeed in school, our students, particularly the most vulnerable, need wrap-around supports. Several important policy and budget priorities to knock down the range of barriers to academic success include:
- Passing Breakfast After the Bell to allow more students to be fed and ready to learn each and every school day
- Allowing more students to access high-quality and engaging Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs) by funding these programs and supporting the Expanded Learning Opportunities Quality Initiative.
- Ensuring any changes to McCleary allow school districts the incentive and flexibility to meet some of the learning, health, and mental health challenges facing students in Washington including increasing mental health supports and working with community-based organizations to meet these needs.
True opportunity necessitates that every child has access to social benefits and opportunities for achievement regardless of their zip code, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or family income by:
- Using racial equity analysis to design policies that meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.
- Advocating for Washington state’s most vulnerable children, who face barriers to opportunity that can be physical, developmental, economic, cultural or regional.
- Investing in programs and policies like high-quality Expanded Learning Opportunities and Early Learning and Breakfast After the Bell to offer equal opportunity and reduce barriers to success.