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Blog Category: State Advocacy

2018 Legislative Session: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline (Updated 02/15/2018)

The commonwealth ranks among the top five states in the nation for referring students to law enforcement for school discipline issues. During the 2015‒2016 school year, Virginia schools issued over…

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2018 Legislative Session: Advocating for Kids in Foster Care (Updated 02/15/2018)

In 2017, Voices successfully advocated for continued funding of Fostering Futures, despite a $16 million budget shortfall. In addition, we helped pass legislation that improved mutual family home assessments, provided…

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Support a Statewide Alternative Transportation System for Children and Adults in Mental Health Crisis

In Virginia, children and adults experiencing a mental health crisis are often transported to a mental health facility by law enforcement. During transport, children are frequently handcuffed and sometimes shackled…

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VCU Social Work Students Speak Up for Kids During 2018 Lobby Day

Nearly 100 students from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work spoke up for kids’ issues during the Social Work Advocacy Day on Feb. 7, 2018. Voices helped kick off…

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Progress Report: Substance Affected Infants

During the 2017 General Assembly, legislators heard for the first time about the impact of the opioid epidemic on families. The term substance-exposed infant, or substance-affected infant, was introduced to…

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Working to improve health insurance access in Virginia

Update 2/16/18: The debate around whether to expand Medicaid in Virginia continues to be a primary focus of the 2018 General Assembly session. As we’ve discussed, one vehicle to expand…

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Review of Early Learning Budget Amendments

It is often said about early care and education that when brain researchers, economists, and the business community agree, it is time to act. During this 2018 General Assembly Session,…

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Kinship Care Advocacy Day

Carl Price recalled lying in bed at age 14 thinking he was going to die. “Dying from the cancer was my way out, my exit strategy,” he said. He thought…

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Building a Stronger Mental Health System for Virginia’s Kids: 2018 Budget Amendments

The 2018 General Assembly session is well underway, and Voices is once again at the forefront, advocating for a stronger children’s mental health system in Virginia. Our mental health priorities…

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Progress Report: Trauma-informed Policies and Practice

The 2018 General Assembly will consider several items related to improving trauma-informed policies and practices. These proposals come after a year where Voices has studied state-level approaches to trauma-informed policy,…

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