Thanks to everyone who attended our April 22 Forum, the Economic Stimulus Impact on Children, Child Welfare, and Families! For those of you who couldn’t make it to hear our speakers - Estelle Richman, Secretary of Public Welfare, John Sciamanna, Co-Director of Government Affairs of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), and Christine Balka, Director of Child Care and Budget Policy with Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) - here are the highlights..
Secretary Richman’s compelling presentation included information on how the federal stimulus money allowed DPW to maintain programs that otherwise would have been cut, such as Pay for Performance. At the same time, she expressed concerns about replacing that funding when the stimulus money is no longer available.
John Sciamanna compared what support will be given for Child Welfare programs in Pennsylvania with other states under the federal stimulus package. He also spoke about CWLA’s goal to reestablish the White House Conference on Children and Youth, a two-year process where a Policy Committee will be formed to foster a dialogue on legislation and how communities can come together to address issues raised by the child welfare system.
Christine Balka discussed the shockingly shrinking budget for Philadelphia. It is believed the budget will have a $ 1 billion deficit over the next five years. Without more money, specifically from taxes, services and programs will be cut. Individuals and organizations need to contact their legislators to reinforce the fact that more money is necessary for important programs and the current system is working and it needs to be continued.
PathWays PA would like to thank all the presenters and the almost 100 people who attended the event.