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Please Urge the Senate to Vote Yes for Foster Care Prevention Services

S. 3065 support blueArizona has nearly 19,000 children in foster care, one of the highest rates in the country. Even when placed in good homes, foster care can be traumatic for children, and families who are at risk can benefit greatly from preventive services designed to keep kids out of the child welfare system.

We have a terrific opportunity to make improvements in our foster care system with a bill being considered in Congress, The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016 (H.R. 5466/S. 3065).  Currently, most federal child welfare services dollars can only be used for care, rather than prevention services, leaving very few resources to help families stay out of the system.  This measure provides an opportunity for Arizona and other states to use federal dollars for specific services such as substance abuse treatment, parenting skills and mental health services to help address the root causes that lead to the neglect and eventual removal of children from their homes.

The Family First Act also requires children who do need to be removed from their homes are placed with relatives or loving families. In Arizona, 2,700 children in foster care are living in group care instead of family homes.  You can help by contacting our U.S. Senators to urge them to vote yes on S. 3065. All you need to do is click on this link, fill in the details and send. If you prefer to call, use the telephone numbers to your right.

Thank you.

KidsCare is Back, Families Can Now Apply

KidsCare collateral_English FinalAfter more than six years’ hiatus, KidsCare will finally be available as a health coverage choice for working families. This is exciting news for Arizona families who have been fighting for an affordable option for medical insurance for their children.

Beginning Tuesday, July 26, families across Arizona who earn too much to qualify for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), yet cannot afford the cost of private health insurance, will be able to apply for low- or no-cost coverage through KidsCare. KidsCare is tailored specifically to the needs of Arizona children, some 30,000 of whom may be eligible, according to AHCCCS.

Enrollment will be ongoing, and families can either apply through AHCCCS or get free, professional help close to home by scheduling an appointment. They can either call 1-800-377-3536 or visit www.CoverAZ.org/connector to book a convenient time and location online.

The earliest coverage begins on September 1.

Where Do Your Legislative Candidates Stand on Issues Affecting Conditions for Kids?

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(Phoenix, AZ) – The primary election is mere weeks away, and with 174 candidates vying for 90 seats in the Arizona legislature, it can be difficult for voters to decide for whom to cast their ballots, particularly if they don’t know much about candidates’ positions.

Every election cycle, Children’s Action Alliance (CAA) composes a questionnaire focused on children’s issues, asking legislative candidates to fill in and return the survey. The unaltered results are then made available to the public. As CAA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on fighting for better conditions for Arizona kids, we do not endorse candidates for office.

The multiple choice survey is shorter and more concise than in the past to enable as many candidates as possible to submit their responses. It asks office seekers their positions on funding for education, as well as how they plan to support economic growth for Arizona families. Candidates are also given an opportunity to comment and explain their answers further and/or discuss new ideas to solve Arizona’s challenges.

“You the voters have the power to make children’s issues a priority, giving kids a top-notch education and protecting them from abuse and neglect,” said CAA president and CEO Dana Wolfe Naimark. “Every seat in the legislature – 30 in the senate and all 60 seats in the house of representatives – are up for election. The people we elect to those positions make decisions that will have a huge impact on children’s lives and the future of Arizona; those decisions can either make it easier for children to reach their dreams or stack the odds against their success.”

Thus far, all respondents (58 to date) have indicated a desire to build a strong and educated workforce by devoting resources to education and family support. Most (88%) have said they support investing in better infrastructure, including water supply and roads. Nearly all responded they want more prevention services to cut back on the number of foster care cases. Additionally, most said they want a moratorium on tax cuts and want to work on a tax system that is fairer to middle- and lower-income families.

While candidates were asked to return the five question survey by July 11th, responses are still coming in daily, and will continue to be uploaded to CAA’s website until the last week of August. Candidates who take the time to respond will have their completed surveys available in full, which voters can view online or download.

The full questionnaire is also posted online for voters to evaluate the answers and choose which candidates to support.

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Our 2016 Legislative Candidate Questionnaire

voting-pinAs we do every election year, Children’s Action Alliance has sent an issues questionnaire to all legislative candidates who have qualified for the 2016 primary ballot.

This cycle, we narrowed the survey down to five brief questions, giving candidates the opportunity to comment further on their positions on issues affecting conditions for kids.

How did your district candidates respond? You can read their full answers here. Because we are a nonprofit 501 (c)(3), we do not endorse candidates. We invite you to read the questionnaires and decide for yourself which candidates you want to represent you.

If you are unsure of which is your district, you can find out easily by entering your physical address here.

We will update the page as we continue to receive responses.

 

Report: Juvenile Justice in Arizona: The Fiscal Foundations of Effective Policy

This report was released in January of 2016 at a community event to discuss where Arizona stands on juvenile justice policies that make sense.

Issued by Children’s Action Alliance and The Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University, the report is available here. 
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