Sparking Reform: Highlights of Our Work, 2007 to 2012
At Connecticut Voices we identify challenges facing children and families, gather and analyze data, develop policy solutions, and write reports to share our findings and recommendations. Our reports don’t just sit on a shelf. We turn ideas into action -- generating media coverage, raising awareness, building partnerships, and educating policymakers to make better choices.
Take a look at our review on our activities -- Sparking Reform: Highlights of Our Work, 2007 to 2012. It explores how our work has concretely benefited Connecticut’s children and families. A few examples:
- Keeping brothers and sisters connected. For children removed from their homes due to parental abuse or neglect, their relationships with their siblings become even more important. When youth in foster care identified improving visitation with siblings from whom they had been separated as their top priority for reform, we brought their voices to policymakers and news reporters at a Capitol forum. We led a campaign to convince legislators to enact the ideas raised at the forum into law, and now this new law will ensure that separated siblings in foster care can visit each other regularly.
- Improving investments in early education. Quality early care and education produces powerful returns for children and our state. Our annual progress reports on early education in Connecticut have made this case at the Capitol and in the press. With coalition partners, we defended against budget cuts for many years, and successfully advocated in 2012 for budget increases that has resulted in many hundreds more children getting access to early education opportunities.
- Expanding access to health coverage for Connecticut families. Connecticut Voices, with its coalition partners, advocated for many years to expand health coverage for children and families in the state's HUSKY health insurance program. In 2007, Connecticut policymakers responded, expanding income eligibility for parents and pregnant women. Research in other states showed that children are more likely to be insured when their parents also have access to insurance coverage, and the Connecticut experience bore this out: after the expansion, thousands more uninsured and underinsured children, parents, and pregnant women gained coverage through HUSKY.
- Providing a boost to working families. The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps more children escape poverty than any other single federal program. To build on the success of this credit, reward work, and help make Connecticut's state and local tax system less regressive, Connecticut Voices advocated for years for a state EITC. In 2011, this proposal became law and this year families have begun to receive the new credit.
Learn more in Sparking Reform: Highlights of Our Work, 2007 to 2012!