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Blog posts -- Legislation & policies

Trauma Screenings Advisory Group (AB 340) Hosts First Meeting

On Friday, April 20, 2018, the AB 340 Workgroup, otherwise known as the Trauma Screenings Advisory Group, met for the first time to discuss the legislative charge to update, amend, or develop, if appropriate, tools and protocols for screening children for trauma as defined, within the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit in Medi-Cal. Both Children Now and Center for Youth Wellness were appointed members of the Trauma Screenings Advisory Workgroup, and we...

Facing unprepared kindergartners, a rural school district restores preschool for all [edsource.org]

In 2016, heading into her 15th year as a kindergarten teacher, Kristy Caesar knew what to expect from a room full of 5-year-olds. But what greeted her on that first day of school last year was an eye opener — she had 21 kindergartners and only four had attended preschool. Eighteen students couldn’t recognize a single phonetic letter sound, such as the sound “A” makes. “It was so challenging; they were months behind,” said Caesar, who teaches at Kennedy Elementary School in Lindsay, in...

2018 CALIFORNIA CHILDREN’ S REPORT CARD - Children Now

A review of kids’ well-being & roadmap for the future. The 2018 California Children’s Report Card grades the state on its ability to support better outcomes for kids, from birth to age 26, through early childhood to higher education systems. This year's grades range from an A on Health Insurance to a D in several areas including Academic Outcomes, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, and Youth Justice. Overall, the state’s grades show a disappointing lack of investment and progress in...

Overview of State Level Efforts to Address Childhood Adversity and Highlights from Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin Webinar Recording and Resources Uploaded!

California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity (4CA) and ACEs Connection Network hosted the first webinar of a three-part learning series called, " State Policy Approaches to Addressing Childhood Adversity on January 10th. We had over 190 participants! The recorded webinar, presentation slides and resources are now available on our 4cakids.org website. Please share this resource with your colleagues. We are in the process of planning the second webinar that will discuss state legislation...

Key Childhood Trauma Bills Become Law in California

On October 15th, Governor Jerry Brown wrapped up the first year of a two-year legislative session by signing some bills and vetoing others. Three of those signed bills had been supported by 150 individuals from all around the state on Policymaker Education Day in July, as part of the California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity ( 4CA ): AB 340 (Arambula): Creates a statewide advisory body to review how trauma is detected in children as early as possible. Specifically, it brings...

Ideas for engaging with your state legislators in the home district

Whether or not you participated in the July 11 4CA Policymaker Education Day in Sacramento, there are many ways to build a mutually constructive relationship with your legislators by communicating regularly throughout the year. Ways to build those relationships include meeting face-to-face in the district, attending forums, town halls, or district office hours as well as making phone calls, and sending emails and letters (to the legislators and to local paper). Make the commitment now to...

Save the Date: July 11, 4CA Policymaker Education Day in Sacramento

Save the Date: Tuesday, July 11 4CA Policymaker Education Day on Childhood Adversity, Sacramento The California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity (4CA) invites you to Sacramento for Policymaker Education Day. Our lawmakers need to hear from you about how adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma affect your community and what they can do to help. Join with allies from across California to engage your elected officials on this important issue. Who: 4CA Policymaker Education Day...

Stress is making our children ill; here is what we can do about it [SFChronicle.com]

I will take my oath of office today and have the honor of representing Silicon Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives. My political campaign succeeded because of the help of hundreds of students. Their ambition and drive will allow them to flourish, but I am concerned about their well-being. These students were volunteering because of a genuine passion for giving back to the community. But a few also told me that the campaign work was a release, or as one student put it “a respite from...

Proposition 47: A failure to learn history’s lesson (sacbee.com)

In their laudable effort to reverse mass incarceration, California policymakers have been too slow to provide felons with necessary care and treatment upon their release. That’s among the conclusions to be gleaned from an important reporting project by newspapers in Palm Springs, Ventura, Salinas and Redding analyzing Proposition 47, the 2014 initiative that cut penalties for drug possession and property theft, and reduced many crimes to misdemeanors. “Thousands of addicts and mentally ill...

Congressional Briefing Addresses Public Policy to Improve Response to ACEs

In the final weeks of the 114 th Congress, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) welcomed her colleague Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) as a new host in the third and final briefing on addressing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The December 1 briefing focused on public policies to improve coordination, prevention and response to childhood trauma. In addition to joining forces to raise awareness of the impact of ACEs, Senators Heitkamp and Durbin are drafting legislation based on a framework they...

California considers prohibiting immigration enforcement at public schools and hospitals (latimes.com)

California would create "safe zones" prohibiting immigration enforcement on public schools, hospital and courthouse grounds under a new bill by state Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) that is sure to clash with the tough enforcement plans of President-elect Donald Trump . By also proposing to bar state and local law enforcement from enforcing immigration laws, De León is doubling down on the issue at a time when Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from “sanctuary...

Legislation to Help Calif. Children Suffering from Trauma and Toxic Stress introduced by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty [CaliforniaNewsWire.com]

Shortly after being sworn in to his second term in the California State Assembly, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) this week introduced Assembly Bill 11 (AB 11), which will create a child care early intervention partnership to help California infants and young children suffering from toxic stress. Toxic stress most commonly impacts infants and young children in households where a relative is suffering from physical, emotional or sexual abuse, mental illness, substance abuse,...

Supporters Gear Up for New California Law That Eliminates Direct File [JJIE.org]

A new California law that gives all juveniles the right to a hearing before they can be transferred to adult court will require training and vigilance across the state to put in place, supporters say. Among the many boxes to check off: Many defenders, prosecutors and judges have to learn how to apply the law’s intricacies. The juvenile system as a whole has to prepare to offer services to teenagers who likely would have ended up in adult prison. And the legal community will have to grapple...

Governor signs historic bill giving farmworkers equality on Overtime (ocregister.com)

SACRAMENTO – Farmworkers in the nation’s largest agricultural state will be entitled to the same overtime pay as most other hourly workers under a law that California Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday he had signed. The new law, which will be phased in beginning in 2019, is the first of its kind in the nation to end the 80-year-old practice of applying separate labor rules to agricultural laborers. California employers currently must pay time-and-a half to farmworkers after 10 hours in a day or...

Will Other States Follow California and End Youth Solitary Confinement? [JJIE.org]

California takes a historic step forward this month as it moves to enact restrictions on the use of solitary confinement in state and local facilities for youth — curbing a manifest violation of human rights and protecting its youth from the trauma of isolated confinement. With the passage of Senate Bill 1143 , California will join the federal prison system and several other U.S. states in limiting solitary confinement for youth under 18. [For more of this story, written by Maureen Washburn,...

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