Policy and Practice

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State Resources

Maine Children’s Alliance (MCA)

Founded in 1994, the Maine Children’s Alliance is a nonpartisan, data-focused advocate for public policies that improve the lives of Maine’s children, youth and families. The Maine Children’s Alliance (MCA) is committed to improving the lives of Maine’s children, youth and families.

MCA provides nonpartisan leadership to promote and advocate for sound public policies that benefit Maine’s children. We are a respected and reliable source of data and information about the status and well-being of Maine’s children. We effect positive change by fostering coalitions, consensus and improved systems that affect the lives of children in Maine. MCA is a strong, credible voice for all Maine children.

Maine Children’s Alliance is known for being the source for data on kids in Maine. We compile and supply that data through KIDS COUNT.

Maine Children’s Alliance is part of a national KIDS COUNT network of organizations—funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF)—tracking data on the status of children across the United States.  The major goal of the Maine KIDS COUNT project is to provide policymakers and citizens with meaningful, reliable, timely data regarding the well-being of children in Maine. The principal activity of the Maine KIDS COUNT Project is the publication of the annual Maine KIDS COUNT Data Book, now in its 17th edition./2012kidscountdatabook.php.

Web: www.mekids.org

National Resources

Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF)

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. It was established in 1948 by Jim Casey, one of the founders of UPS, and his siblings, who named the Foundation in honor of their mother.

The primary mission of the Foundation is to foster public policies, human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families. In pursuit of this goal, the Foundation makes grants that help states, cities and neighborhoods fashion more innovative, cost-effective responses to these needs.

Kids Count®, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the well-being of children in the United States. By providing high-quality data and trend analysis, Kids Count seeks to enrich local, state and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children — and to raise the visibility of children’s issues through a nonpartisan, evidence-based lens.

Web: www.aecf.org

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Since 1969, CLASP has been a trusted resource, a creative architect for systems change, and one of the country’s most effective voices for low income people. The mission of CLASP is: CLASP seeks to improve the lives of low-income people. CLASP develops and advocates for federal, state and local policies to strengthen families and create pathways to education and work.

CLASP’s vision is an America where children grow up safe, healthy, nurtured, and prepared to succeed; where young people and adults have the skills and supports they need to fulfill their potential and to contribute to society and the economy; where jobs provide decent wages and family friendly policies; where poverty is rare; where there is justice for all; and where all people can participate equally and their communities can prosper.

Through careful research, analysis and effective advocacy, CLASP develops and promotes new ideas, mobilizes others, and directly assists governments and advocates to put in place successful strategies that deliver results that matter to people across America.  We are nonpartisan and situated at the intersection of local practice, national research, and state and federal policy, and striving to translate each world to each other. .

Web: www.clasp.org

Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy (CSADP)

The Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy conducts research and analysis of complex public policy issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families. Through consensus-building strategies that transcend partisan and interest-group politics, the Center develops common-sense, flexible solutions that recognize the needs and rights of individuals with disabilities and their families as well as the legitimate concerns of Federal, State, local, and private entities.

The Center also provides public education, leadership development and training, technical assistance and information dissemination to disability groups, international, national, State, local, and private sector leaders and others interested in learning about the complex details of, and the relationships among various laws and programs affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.

Web: www.disabilitypolicycenter.org

Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP)

Using data, extensive community experience and a focus on results, CSSP:

  • Promotes public policies that strengthen families and protect and lift children from poverty
  • Mobilizes a national network to promote optimal development of young children and to prevent child abuse
  • Helps child welfare and other public human services systems improve their work and achieve race equity for children and families in their care
  • Provides tools and resources so community leaders, schools and other health and human service agencies can help parents secure jobs and achieve economic stability and ensure that young children are healthy and succeed in school
  • Empowers  community residents to be effective consumers of public and private services, securing better goods and services for themselves and their neighborhoods
  • Joins with international organizations to share innovations and knowledge

Web: www.cssp.org

The Clearinghouse on International Developments in Child, Youth and Family Policies

Located at Columbia University, the Clearinghouse provides cross-national, comparative information about the policies, programs, benefits and services available in the advanced industrialized countries to address child, youth, and family needs. Coverage focuses on 23 advanced industrialized countries. Expansion to other countries and other parts of the world is planned.

Web: www.childpolicyintl.org

First Focus

A bipartisan advocacy organization, First Focus is dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. Leading the way, First Focus uses a comprehensive advocacy strategy, with its hands-on experience with federal policymaking and a commitment to seeking policy solutions.

First Focus is working to change the dialogue around children’s issues by taking a cross-cutting and broad based approach to federal policymaking. In all of their work, First Focus seeks to raise awareness regarding public policies impacting children and to ensure that related programs have the resources necessary to help children grow up in a healthy and nurturing environment.

Their continuously expanding portfolio of work reflects the multidimensional nature of children’s lives. Recognizing that the most effect policies for young people are often those that reach across policy silos, First Focus is committed to pursuing a federal policymaking approach that best meets the dynamic needs of children.

Web: www.firstfocus.net

The Future of Children

The Future of Children is a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution.  The mission of the Future of Children is to translate the best social science research about children and youth into information that is useful to policymakers, practitioners, grant-makers, advocates, the media, and students of public policy.  The project publishes two journals and policy briefs each year, and provides various short summaries of our work. Topics range widely – from income policy to family issues to education and health – with children’s policy as the unifying element. The senior editorial team is diverse, representing two institutions and multiple disciplines.

Web: www.futureofchildren.org

Mental Health America (MHA)

Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With 240 affiliates nationwide, they represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation – every day and in times of crisis.

The message of MHA is simple: Good mental health is fundamental to the health and well-being of every person and of the nation as a whole.

Their agenda is clear. MHA wants:

  •  All people to understand how to protect and improve their mental health, and know when to seek help for themselves or someone close to them.
  • Our nation’s schools, businesses, healthcare system and other settings to have the knowledge and resources they need to respond to the mental health of their constituencies and achieve their missions.
  • All Americans to have access to high quality, affordable and personalized preventative, early-identification and treatment services, when and if the need arises.
  • Persons with disabling mental illnesses to receive the support, treatment and services that they need to recover and live full lives in their communities.
  • More research and services focused on prevention, recovery and cures.

Web: nmha.org