Monday, February 23, 2009

What Congress Needs: A Good Synergy Policy

A recurrent thought: members of the Child Welfare League of America and the Association of Maternal Child Health Programs are in DC for their national conferences. Each group has scheduled advocacy visits to Congress. Link to CWLA Advocacy Day; Link to AMCHP MCH Advocacy Fact Sheet

So, if you're a member of CWLA or AMCHP and in DC, it's a good time for synergy, and to express support for the legislation that will be before Congress this year with special benefits for the early childhood (and parenthood) years:

- the Education Begins At Home Act (home visiting and parent support),
- the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act (postpartum depression awareness, education and support) and
- the Shaken Baby Syndrome Act (SBS prevention education and support).

And, of course, the resolution calling for a White House Conference on Children.

The synergies seem obvious. The first years after birth are the "tipping point", when support and interventions can make the greatest difference for parent and child, at the lowest cost. It's a time of opportunity for parents and child.

Note: if you aren't in DC this week, the National Call In Day organized by CWLA is a good opportunity to get the message to your Congressional representatives.
Part of the 2009 CWLA National Conference, Advocacy Day (February 24) focuses on Capitol Hill and passage of legislation to authorize a White House Conference on Children and Youth (HR 618)

It starts with conference attendees hearing from two key congressional advocates, Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Danny Davis (D-IL) 
CWLA attendees will then head to Capitol Hill to talk to their Senators and Representatives.  One of their central messages will be to support legislation to reestablish the White House Conference on Children and Youth.  
Reps Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Todd Platts (R-PA) reintroduced HR 618 to authorize the conference.  Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is expected to reintroduce legislation in the Senate. 

CWLA urges all others who support the White House Conference to call Capitol Hill today.

Call the Capitol switchboard (202-224-3121)and ask to be connected with your Representative and Senators, and  urge them to support the legislation.
And blogging about it can't hurt....

PS. And given the incidence of pediatric brain injury, support for the resolution to designate March as Brain Injury Awareness Month is also a good thing.

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