You Can Be an Advocate for Children

Effective public policy is the first step in providing support to children and families. Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina works actively with the Covenant for North Carolina’s Children and the NC Child Fatality Task Force to develop effective public policy for children and families.

NC Child Fatality Task Force – 
2001 Legislative Agenda

Recommends:

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend Medicaid funding for Intensive Home Visiting and $3.2 million to continue and expand the program in North Carolina. Click here for a Special Briefing on Intensive Home Visiting.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend $400,000 in new recurring funds for a folic acid awareness campaign plus a continuation of $350,000 in Smart Start funds for the campaign.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend $250,000 in new recurring funds to go to the ten neediest counties for access to prenatal care for non-Medicaid, low-income women.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend enactment of the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, SB 1257, which decriminalizes newborn abandonment if the infant is left alive and in the care of individuals such as personnel at a fire station, EMS, or other medical facility, among others.   Click here for Special Briefing on Child Abandonment.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend recurring funding for the Healthy Start Foundation.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend an increase in funding from $300,000 to $600,000 for the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review program and the Birth Defects Monitoring program.  Click here for a Special Briefing on Reducing Infant Mortality.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend enactment of the Safe Storage of Firearms Bill, HB 1619, that sets the same requirements for storage of guns in homes where no child resides as currently exists for homes in which children do reside. Click here for a Special Briefing on the Safe Storage of Firearms.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend increased funding for Child Medical Evaluation Program to include increased reimbursement for exams from $75.00/case to $150.00; a colposcopy diagnostic fee; additional hours and increased hourly mental health reimbursement; increased support and consultation to local providers.  The total amount recommended is $195,000 in the first year and $395,000 in subsequent years.  Click here for a Special Briefing on Child Medical Evaluations.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend $150,000 in new recurring funds to promote the use of evidenced-based clinical guidelines, as developed by the Perinatal Advisory Committee.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Recommend $100,000 in recurring funds for 10 community coalitions to address local gaps in the perinatal health care systems.

Endorsements

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Endorse extension of Medicaid eligibility to 185 percent of the poverty level for providing of family planning services.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Endorse bicycle helmet safety legislation.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Endorse the top ten recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s Child Health Plan.  Recommendations include, among others, enhanced child service coordination; mental health/substance abuse prevention/intervention plans as a part of all Smart Start program plans; requirement that private insurers cover mental health and substance abuse services in parity with other medical services; expand family-based services to every county in North Carolina; expand mandatory school curriculum to ensure that children are taught basic personal safety skills; additional funding to local Child Fatality Prevention Teams; bicycle and gun safety legislation; and review of state data and policy such as the definition of what constitutes physical abuse, child labor laws, playground safety requirements, and the alcohol tax.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Endorse expansion of the perinatal nurse educator program through the use of a Medicaid match.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Endorse opposition to the Firearms Regulation Amendment, HB 938, which would prevent any local government in North Carolina from suing gun manufacturers for losses stemming from the production, marketing, and distribution of firearms.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Endorse the enforcement of Gun Laws at Gun Shows, HB 1627, which sets the same restrictions on gun sales at gun shows that are currently required for sales at gun stores operated by a Federal Firearms Licensee.

diamond.gif (874 bytes) Endorse review of the 1994 legislative commission report recommending increased funding to train and support health care practitioners who conduct medical evaluations for children who are suspected victims of child abuse.  

"Jennifer Tolle, the executive director of Prevent Child Abuse NC, serves as the co-chair of the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, a legislative study commission which examines causes of child deaths in our state and recommends public policy changes that save children’s lives."

COVENANT WITH NC's CHILDREN
2001 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

(Approved as of January 22, 2001)

 diamond.gif (874 bytes)CHILD WELFARE & PROTECTION

With 63,675 reports of child abuse and neglect accepted last year by County Departments of Social Services and more than 21 children killed at the hands of caretakers, North Carolina has an epidemic in child abuse and neglect.  However, there has been little investment in child abuse prevention. Further, adoption is the best choice for many child victims of abuse and neglect, yet the adoption system in North Carolina needs to be strengthened to allow more families to consider adopting.

1.     Appropriate $3.2 million for the support and expansion of the Intensive Home Visitation Initiative that has been proven to decrease the incidence of child abuse and neglect, decrease dependence on public assistance, and enhance child and family development.

2.     Support strategies to increase adoption of abused and neglected children from the State's foster care system which include:

a.   Increase post-adoption services for families who adopt foster children.

b.   Expand the special needs adoption incentive fund.

c.   Extend adoption assistance past age 18.

d.   Post-adoption contract agreements that encourage ongoing contact between adopted children and their birth parents after finalization of the adoption (when mutually agreed upon).

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diamond.gif (874 bytes)EARLY CHILDHOOD

Achieving quality child care with high standards is essential to the economic well being of families and the healthy development of young children.

1.     Fully fund Smart Start in all 100 counties and expand the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project.

2.     Provide increased funding for child care subsidies that support access to high quality child care for children and families.  

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diamond.gif (874 bytes)Economic Security

For children and families to thrive in North Carolina, they must be able to access sufficient income and government supports and services to achieve economic security.  Public assistance and economic policies must enhance family well-being, respect human dignity, be fair, reward work, and allow for and improve social and economic realities while helping families meet their basic needs, including nutrition and housing.

1.     Ensure that working families have access to jobs paying a living wage and benefits and to income and program supplements to fill the gap left by low wages.  Specifically, implement a State Earned Income Tax Credit and increase the State minimum wage.

 2.    Preserve, protect and strengthen the safety net for those unable to work.   Evaluate public assistance using measurements of family success and not caseload decline.  

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diamond.gif (874 bytes)EDUCATION

Financing of the changes mandated by the NC Supreme Court’s decision in the Leandro case should not come from existing children’s programs. Further, the State must continue the effort to end the racial achievement gap and ensure that school-related punishment does not negatively impact any child's education.

1.     Accountability -- Statewide promotion standards should be fair and educationally sound, based on meaningful assessment.

2.      School financing -- Create a funding formula that provides additional funding for students who are on free or reduced lunch and performing below grade level; provide adequate funding for school systems to educate Limited English Proficient (LEP) students; provide adequate funding for children with disabilities; improve alternative education by having the money follow the child, and by ensuring that students who are suspended or expelled are given the educational assistance needed to succeed.   

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diamond.gif (874 bytes)HEALTH

100% of children in North Carolina should have access to affordable, high quality, comprehensive, and accessible health care.

1.     All eligible children must receive NC Health Choice. Expand eligibility for NC Health Choice to cover children below 350% of FPL and cover all income-eligible children, regardless of immigration status.

2.     Support the development and funding of a coordinated school health program that requires school nurses, school social workers, school counselors, a comprehensive health education curriculum, and the maintenance and expansion of school-based and school-linked health centers.

3.     The State of North Carolina must ensure that all children have access to high quality and effective mental health and substance abuse services, based on Statewide, uniform best practice standards. Accountability must be clear at both the State and local level.

4.     Health insurance companies and public programs that provide health coverage for children should be required to: 1) offer children mental health and substance abuse treatment equal to that provided for physical illnesses (mental health and substance abuse parity).  2) Provide a uniform right to an independent appeal of any decision to deny treatment through an administrative process and the court system.  

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diamond.gif (874 bytes)Juvenile Justice

The General Assembly should provide local Juvenile Crime Prevention Councils with sufficient funding to have an array of community and family-based services for children at risk of committing crimes. The Department of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention should work to improve the conditions in “youth academies” (training schools) and the treatment programs within them to reduce recidivism.

1.     Recognizing that failure to complete one's education increases the risk of delinquency, the State should direct the public school system to intensify efforts to provide alternative education and mobilize supportive services for delinquent and at-risk children who would otherwise be suspended or expelled from school. Therefore, we recommend that the State mandate educational opportunities to suspended youth whereby students and families are accorded due process of law.

2.     Under a funding mechanism that has incentives for serving children in their home and community, ensure that children are appropriately placed in community-based prevention and intervention services, rather than inappropriately placed in training schools by substantially increasing needs-based and equitably distributed funding for at-risk children and their families.  

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diamond.gif (874 bytes)SAFETY

We must enact laws to protect our children from intentional and unintentional injuries and death and provide adequate resources for the education, enforcement and prosecution of these laws.

1.     Enact stronger prevention and protection legislation that includes: booster seats for children in vehicles; safety helmets for children; and the clarification and strengthening of laws that prevent children from gaining unsupervised, unsafe access to guns.

2.      Enact legislation to provide a safe haven and a safe, permanent home for babies in imminent danger of being killed.

Jennifer Tolle, our Executive Director, serves as the co-chair of the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, a legislative study commission which examines causes of child deaths in our state and recommends public policy changes that save children’s lives.    

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Advocacy

Covenant with North Carolina's Children Website

Child Welfare & Protection

Early Childhood

Economic Security & Welfare Reform

Education

Health

Juvenile Justice

Safety

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Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina
3344 Hillsborough Street
Suite 100-D
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919.829.8009
1.800.354.KIDS
Fax:  919.832.0308
Email: info@childabusenc.org

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