January 21, 2021

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Together, We Will Protect Our Children's Potential

 Advocates for Children and Youth is intentional. We are boldly engaging in social change by championing laws that address equity. Together, we will protect potential for children of every race, ethnicity, and place of birth across Maryland. We will maximize positive life experiences. We will prioritize fair, unbiased treatment. We will prepare children to reach their full academic potential. We are ready. So over the 90-day legislative session, we will share data and our positions on various bills.  Share this newsletter with other advocates and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep current on the lastest developments. Our handle is @MarylandACY.  


Ashley DeVaughnour Policy and Advocacy Consultant, Youth/ Juvenile Justice Analyst, will be testifying in favor of two bills this week. The first is HB 1--Historically Black Colleges and Universities--Funding, which requires the Maryland Higher Education Commission to establish the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Reserve Fund, which could be up to nearly $600,000, annually.

DeVaughn will also speak on HB 409--Juvenile Restoration Act, sponsored by Delegate Jazz Lewis, which prohibits courts from imposing life sentences for youth under eighteen, regardless of charge or jurisdiction. This bill also states that youth who are convicted as adults may file a motion to reduce the duration of that individual's sentence.


Our Birth to Three Policy Director, Melissa Rock, will testify on HB 368--Task Force on Oral Health in Maryland. This bill establishes the Task Force on Oral Health to study access to dental services for all State residents in order to identify areas that lack access to services and barriers to receiving services, especially for youth and families. The Task Force will be charged with making recommendations on methods to increase dental access in Maryland.


This week, our Child Welfare Director, Rachel White, will testify in support of HB 258--State Child Welfare System--Reporting, one of ACY's priority bills. By collecting disaggregated data, we will reduce racial disparities and disparate outcomes for youth of color in the child welfare system. Data points will include information on educational and health outcomes. ACY aims to use data collected as a result of this bill to advocate for targeted interventions for meaningful change. 

ACTION ALERT: To support these efforts, please send an email to your legislator here


Over the past year, Advocates for Children and Youth's Board of Directors and Staff have been working on refining our approach to advocacy. We shared our mission statement, launched our campaign, Equity for All Kids during the 2020 legislative session, and continue to be responsive and preemptive to the new challenges that the pandemic has either magnified or exposed. 

To give you further insight into our progress toward racial equity and inclusion both internally and externally, we are sharing our Strategic FrameworkTheory of Changeand Values.  With these tools in hand, we will work toward building a strong Maryland by advancing policies and programs to ensure children and families of every race, ethnicity, and place of birth achieve their full potential.

Advocates for Children and Youth
One N. Charles Street | Suite 2400 | Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Advocates for Children and Youth is funded by: Abell Foundation | The Annie E. Casey Foundation | Arnold Ventures | Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation | Clayton Baker | The Fund for Change | Fund for Families with Young Children | Greater Washington Community Foundation | Lockhart Vaughan Foundation | Meyer Foundation | OSI-Baltimore | Partnership for America's Children

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