Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Survey: How can WA better support children and families?

Responses will help inform new agency

From the Blue Ribbon Commission on Children and Families
Thousands of families across the state struggle with poverty, mental health issues, substance abuse, domestic violence, homelessness, historic or cultural inequity, as well as other challenges. Children exposed to these circumstances often experience severe trauma and hardship, impacting their ability to succeed in school and beyond. Services are frequently accessed only after a crisis has occurred.

The state wants to improve services to children and families and is considering creating a new agency that would combine the Department of Early Learning and Children's Administration.

The goals of the new agency:
  • Better outcomes for more children across the state.
  • Improved child and family well-being through earlier and more comprehensive intervention strategies.
A survey has been set up. You can access it here.

Please note! When you get to the survey webpage click on the blue button at right that describes you (Consumer, Provider, Workforce or Dependency Court) to launch the survey. Responses need to be in by September 30, 2016.

You can read about the Blue Ribbon Commission for Children and Families here. All meeting materials are also posted there.

HEADS UP: The Department of Early Learning coordinates 0-3 intervention services and oversees state and federal early learning programs (ECEAP and Head Start), as well as quality ratings for child care centers and early learning providers. As such, it is a key department for families who have children with intellectual or developmental disabilities and a driver of opportunities for inclusive early learning.

Creation of a new agency that absorbs DEL would directly impact children with intellectual and developmental disability and their families.