Tag: Children’s Action Alliance

Children’s Action Alliance — The Data Is In! Babies Need Our Help

| May 17, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — The Data Is In! Babies Need Our Help

For most of us, it is hard to imagine an entire lifetime lived during a deadly pandemic. As we enter the third year of COVID, public health crisis, many Arizonans may feel like it has been forever but for the state’s infants and toddlers it literally has been a lifetime. The mental and physical well-being of babies is a powerful indicator of our overall health, and it is looking more and more like our youngest citizens are not all right.  

Last week, an initiative of ZERO TO THREE called Think Babies! released the State of Babies Yearbook, an annual report that looks at the national and state-by-state data on the well-being of America’s babies. The Yearbook includes 60 indicators across policy areas known to provide a strong start in life: GOOD HEALTH, STRONG FAMILIES, AND POSITIVE EARLY LEARNING EXPERIENCES. The 2022 Yearbook also includes specialized data collected by the University of Oregon during the pandemic to show how the crisis has affected and continues to affect families with infants and toddlers.    

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Children’s Action Alliance — ICYMI: Click Twice to Save a Life!

| May 10, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — ICYMI: Click Twice to Save a Life!

ICYMI: Arizona’s Medicaid program guarantees health coverage to birthing parents for just 60 days after pregnancy. For too many new parents in our state, the care they need to form a healthy bond simply isn’t there.  

Parents without access to quality, affordable health coverage are likely to delay or decline treatment for their medical and emotional needs. Even minor conditions can become life-threatening or fatal without intervention – a reality reflected in Arizona’s high rate of preventable mortality and morbidity for pregnant and postpartum individuals. For Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who give birth in Arizona, the risks associated with pregnancy are even greater.

We’re urging lawmakers to prioritize a full year of postpartum Medicaid coverage in the state budget.** We need your help to amplify the message.

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Children’s Action Alliance — Prioritize FFN Network, Arizona Should Take Notice

| May 3, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — Prioritize FFN Network, Arizona Should Take Notice

Family, friend and neighbor (FFN) child care providers are an essential part of the child care system throughout the United States. Many families select FFN providers based on a child’s need for individualized disability care, language and cultural needs, or availability during non-traditional working hours. It is estimated that just over 50% of Arizona’s children are in FFN child care settings. These providers proved especially important during the pandemic as they offered small group settings and remained open for business while many center-based child care programs were forced to close. Despite their value in the child care space, FFN providers have historically largely missed out on equitable supports that are available to providers in other settings.  

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Children’s Action Alliance — Mid-Session Update Part 2: Shameful bills that preserve prejudice in name of protecting children

| April 19, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — Mid-Session Update Part 2: Shameful bills that preserve prejudice in name of protecting children

Last week, we took the legislative lull between committee work and the presentation of the proposed budget to tell you about some bills that would have improved the lives of children and families in Arizona that were either not considered or died without making much headway. As the pause at the Capitol continues so does our midsession update. If last week’s update could be titled “the good”, this week can be called the “bad and the ugly.” These are misguided proposals that harm children and families, and unfortunately have either already been signed or are well on their way to becoming law. The common theme running through these bills: Preserving prejudice in the name of protecting children.  

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Children’s Action Alliance — Mid Session Update

| April 19, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — Mid Session Update

The Spring season in Arizona is already well underway. Everything is blooming, the weather is warming, delayed Spring Training has given way to Opening Day and for those who pay attention to what is happening at the Capitol, we enter a new phase of the Legislative Session. Each year the session begins on the second Monday in January and is SUPPOSED to adjourn “sine die”  (terminate for the year) no later than Saturday of the week in which the 100th day from the start of the session falls. This year, the 100th day is April 19th and that means the session should end no later than April 23rd.   

Though this is the benchmark, in recent years that has rarely happened.

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Children’s Action Alliance — AZ families could be dropped from health care (and don’t even know it)

| April 12, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — AZ families could be dropped from health care (and don’t even know it)

Tens of thousands of Arizona families could be dropped from their health insurance in the coming months – and many don’t even know it. 

Early in the pandemic, the federal government issued a Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration. This allowed the government access to funding and procedural flexibilities to help control the COVID-19 crisis. One of the many benefits was the decision to stop disenrolling people from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program – known as AHCCCS and KidsCare in Arizona. 

As cases continue to drop nationwide, it’s likely that the PHE will expire as soon as this summer, and AHCCCS and KidsCare will return to business as usual. 

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Children’s Action Alliance — Help us help Arizona families today

| April 5, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — Help us help Arizona families today

Last year: 

We sued the State of Arizona (and won) to keep kids healthy at school during the pandemic. 
We lead efforts on a referendum to block devastating tax cuts for the rich from going into effect. 
We helped Arizona join the movement to require mental health education in schools with SB1376/HB2656. 
We advocated for Arizona to use COVID funding to increase Arizona Early Intervention program provider rates.

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Children’s Action Alliance — Protect Nurse-Family Partnership Services TODAY

| March 29, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — Protect Nurse-Family Partnership Services TODAY

Due to expiring grant funds, two Arizona agencies that deliver the evidence-based Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) nurse home visiting program to low-income, first-time moms and their babies will have to discontinue services for up to 200 families in Maricopa & Pima Counties.

These services are part of the continuum of the Strong Families AZ home visiting system, which provides voluntary, in-home services and support for parents and caretakers of young children.

To prevent this loss of services, and extend Nurse-Family Partnership nurse home visiting services to other families in need in our state, we’re supporting a strike-everything amendment to HB 2658 to appropriate $6.9M over three years. HB 2658 will be heard during the final Senate Appropriations hearing on Tuesday, March 29.

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Children’s Action Alliance — 1 in 3 high school students report feeling hopeless

| March 29, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — 1 in 3 high school students report feeling hopeless

It’s no surprise that school-aged children in the United States have been headed toward a mental health crisis for several years. In Arizona, increased testing demands and class sizes, school violence, and the pressures of social media were worsening all while the state continued cutting education funding, forcing schools to reduce school counselors and other supports that are vital for children. Schools across the state faced teacher and other education workforce shortages. Shortages are far worse in rural and underserved parts of the state. The Covid pandemic has only made these problems worse. The youth mental health crisis is so severe that it is finally being recognized and recommendations on how to address it at the local and national level are becoming available to help.

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Children’s Action Alliance — CAA and FAAZ Seek Increased Supports for Youth Transitioning from Foster Care

| March 22, 2022
Children’s Action Alliance — CAA and FAAZ Seek Increased Supports for Youth Transitioning from Foster Care

Legislation to increase financial supports provided to transition-age foster youth has passed out of the Arizona State Senate and is being considered by the House of Representatives. SB 1325 (Shope) would increase the Independent Living Subsidy provided to youth ages 18 to 21 who are participating in extending foster care from $715 to $1,200 a month.  

Extended foster care allows youth who would otherwise “age-out” of foster care at 18 to voluntarily remain in care until age 21. Studies show that youth who participate in extended foster care are more likely to complete high school, enroll in college, and be consistently employed, and they are less likely to need public food assistance, experience major economic hardship, become pregnant, or be involved in the criminal justice system. 

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