Our advocacy work builds upon our purpose and values by ensuring children’s voices are heard and represented in local communities and at the state level.

As such, we champion policies and programs that remove barriers and create opportunities for young people and their families.

Our legislative priorities for 2024 are as follows:

Address workforce issues and challenges, particularly with regard to the hiring of teachers, social workers and clinicians.

Why Now? To be able to meet the increasing demand for services, it is essential that CJR hire and retain a quality workforce.

Juvenile Justice reforms to address public health and safety issues and to ensure that children and young people are receiving the right services for the right amount of time.

Why Now? Current legislation restricts the Courts’ ability to address children’s and families’ needs immediately. Services need to be provided at the immediate point of contact with the police and the Courts.

Advocate for more prevention, risk reduction and early intervention services for children and families.

Why Now? Early intervention and prevention services need to be prioritized so that children and families are helped before they reach a crisis point that requires intervention by the Courts, Department of Children and Families, a hospital emergency room or a psychiatric clinic. By addressing behavioral, educational and developmental issues earlier, we can anticipate less costly interventions with better outcomes.

Advocate for allocation of Connecticut’s opioid settlement funds to treat adolescents with substance abuse issues.

Why Now? It is critical that some of the settlement dollars are designated for adolescent substance abuse prevention and treatment. Early identification and treatment have been proven to be effective in fighting this disease and achieving positive outcomes.

Increase Medicaid payments to provide greater reimbursement for services.

Why Now? Currently, Medicaid payments cover only 75% of treatment costs. This is not sustainable or conducive to providing quality services.

Advocate for Cost of Living Adjustments in State Contracts (JBCSSD, DCF, DSS).

Why Now? The cost of doing business for nonprofit organizations in the State of Connecticut has increased significantly with inflation and contracts need to be adjusted annually to cover these costs and to retain a quality workforce.