Your voice matters. You can help us protect children by fighting for legislative and budget issues that directly impact the well-being of kids in Massachusetts. Speaking out is simple. Just sign up to receive alerts on important legislation and we will send you the information you need to take action by writing or calling lawmakers on behalf of vulnerable, voiceless children. Hearing from concerned constituents like you is important to lawmakers and can have a significant impact on their opinion. We hope to count on your voice in our advocacy efforts going forward!
What We’re Fighting For
MSPCC is a leader in advocacy efforts to promote the well-being and safety of children and to support and strengthen families in Massachusetts. We fight for laws that will protect children from physical and sexual abuse. We speak out for better mental health care for children, including early screening and support in school. We stand up for foster children, asking legislators to provide college tuition reimbursement for children who have aged out of foster care. We advocate for the funding of vital programs that give families the support they need to build a brighter future.
- An Act relative to safe and supportive schools - Requires all schools to develop action plans for creating safe and supportive environments by 2016. It also offers technical assistance to schools to ensure comprehensive programs.
- An Act to expand juvenile jurisdiction, increase public safety and protect children from harm - Raises the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 17 to 18, putting 17-year-olds in the custody of the Department of Youth Services, rather than into an adult prison or jail (except those charged with first or second degree murder).
- An Act relative to juvenile life sentences for first degree murder – The law, which was signed by the Governor in July, eliminates the imposition of life sentences without the possibility of parole on juveniles convicted of murder. The bill instead grants parole eligibility at no less than 20 years or more than 30 years. It also establishes a commission to study and determine the usefulness and practicality of creating a developmental evaluation process for all cases of first degree murder committed by a juvenile.
Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Highlights
- The Healthy Families Home Visiting Program received an increase of nearly $4 million over current spending to expand services. MSPCC is a provider of Healthy Families Services in Holyoke, Worcester and Lawrence. The program provides home visiting services for first-time parents under the age of 21.
- DCF Services received a $29.4 million boost to address the serious erosion of resources which has occurred in the last five years. Resources are targeted to increase the daily rate of support for foster children, support the development of family resource centers in each county, establish a runaway unit pilot program, hire 250 case workers to bring the caseload to safe levels and improve case tracking.
- State College Tuition and Fees for DCF involved youth was fully funded for both the spring and fall semester, providing a path to a college degree for youth who age out of DCF care or are adopted from foster care.
- Department of Mental Health Child and Adolescent Services were increased by $2.3 million, maintaining five day per week operations of the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) and mandating commercial insurance companies to contribute to the cost of providing MCPAP services to their members.