Monday, November 29, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: November 29, 2010

Federal Policy Update

SENATE PASSES EXTENSION OF THE TANF BLOCK GRANT
Capitol-Senate
Right before heading out of town for Thanksgiving, the Senate took care of some important unfinished business, passing by unanimous consent a bill that included a one year extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, through September 30, 2011. The House is expected to approve this bill after it returns to session. The extension includes two new reporting requirements for states.

Unfortunately, this extension does not include the TANF Emergency Fund, which assisted states that increased spending on subsidized jobs, basic assistance and short-term benefits during fiscal years 2009 and 2010. There is hope that Congress will add funding for the TANF Emergency Fund during the "lame duck" session.

Please contact your Senators and thank them for taking action on such an important bill. Also, contact your Representative and urge him or her to move this bill forward as well.

ON NOVEMBER 30 TELL CONGRESS: DON'T CUT OUR SOCIAL SECURITY!

Join Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and other national organizations on Tuesday, November 30 in a nationwide call-in day to Congress denouncing cuts to Social Security.
Dial 1-866-529-7630 and follow the simple instructions below. Make sure you call both of your Senators!
  • Enter your zip code to be connected to your Senator's office.
  • Tell them your name and that you are a constituent from (insert city) that opposes any cuts to Social Security.
The members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform are set to release their recommendations next week for lowering the federal deficit, on the heels of its co-chair's draft proposal which includes deep cuts to Social Security – increasing the retirement age to 69, cutting benefits for middle-class workers and reducing annual Cost of Living Adjustments.
Please take the time to participate in this important effort on Tuesday, November 30. Dial 1-866-529-7630 and tell your Senator that Social Security must be strengthened for future generations.

State Policy Update

BUDGET UPDATE: PENSION REFORM BILL PASSES AND IS SIGNED

This week, the House approved H.B. 2497, a bill that takes steps to reform the pension system for both state government and public school employees. The Governor then signed the bill into law.

H.B. 2497 will spread payments into the two pension systems over additional years, boost the retirement age for future employees, and give them the option of either contributing more to the plan or having their benefits trimmed. The purpose of the bill is to delay the spike in pension costs that would contribute to an increase in the state deficit.


CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE ACT IS NOW LAW!

The Governor has signed the Children in Foster Care Act and it is now law.

The Children in Foster Care Act address obstacles in current foster care and adoption legislation that can keep children and families from enjoying the full benefit of their rights. This now law will ensure that foster children, parents, and caseworkers are presented with a comprehensive and easy-to-understand document outlining the rights and freedoms afforded to foster children under state laws and regulations. The Act mandates that the document will be explained by caseworkers to foster children when they are placed with a foster family. The majority of children in foster care are not aware of their rights, and therefore do not know when their rights are violated.

Please click here to take a moment to thank your legislators for passing this important legislation.

Information/Events

WANT TO ENSURE ALL WORKERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO EARN PAID SICK DAYS – BUT NOT SURE HOW?


Join the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces for a Letter Writing Party.

In addition to networking, free coffee, and an opportunity to learn more about earned sick time, we will be asking each person to put pen to paper and let their members of City Council know why earning paid sick days is important.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 7th - 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia PA


Come for the entire event or just stop in to send a letter. Free coffee and a light breakfast will be provided.

Even if you have paid sick days it is likely that people you come into contact with every day do not. Did you know that 41% of workers in Philadelphia are forced to choose between going to work sick, or sending a child to school sick, or losing their pay or possibly their job? The majority of workers without paid sick days are those preparing and serving our food and caring for our children.

For more information about the event please email policy@pathwayspa.org. To learn more about the need for earned sick time visit http://earnedsicktime.blogspot.com.



WHAT’S NEXT FOR PENNSYLVANIA: A PUBLIC FORUM ON THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF WOMEN AND FAMILIES

Hosted by Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern PA and WHYY

Please join Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania and WHYY for a critical dialogue with your elected officials on women’s health care needs as the health care reform law is implemented in Pennsylvania.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 from 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Networking: 5:30 - 6:00 PM
Program: 6:00 - 8:00 PM

WHERE: WHYY’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons, 150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA

* Light refreshments will be served*


All state legislators, including newly elected legislators, from Southeastern Pennsylvania as well as the Governor-Elect have been invited to speak and answer questions from the audience. You will have the chance to hear directly from those making important decisions about what to expect in the coming years as this important law is implemented.

Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania, of which PathWays PA is a member, is a coalition formed to ensure that women’s concerns were addressed during the health care reform process. We now advocate for health care reform implementation policies that support the full range of comprehensive reproductive health care services for women. While women gained many wonderful benefits under the new health care reform law, they also lost and have the potential to loose even more benefits, especially reproductive health care rights.

Come out and let legislators know what is important to YOU as they move forward in implementing health care reform!

For questions or additional information, please contact Kate Scully at kscully@pathways.com.


THE CHALLENGE OF FEEDING OUR DIVERSE COMMUNITIES IN DELAWARE COUNTY

  • Join those concerned about hunger related issues in our community.
  • Learn about how food insecurity contributes to health disparities across the lifespan.
  • Explore how cultural and ethnic differences may affect food security.
  • Network with others addressing hunger to find solutions to your client’s greatest needs.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 – 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
WHERE: Widener University Chester, PA

Approved by the following for 6 hours of continuing education credit:
  • State Board of Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Professional Counselors
Special PathWays PA Information/Events


PATHWAYS PA’S ADOPT-A-FAMILY PROGRAM

With the holidays right around the corner, it is time for PathWays PA's Adopt-a-Family. The Adopt-a-Family program offers the families who receive PathWays PA services many of the joys of the holiday season they may otherwise be without.

Thanks to the generous contributions of local donors, special memories of holidays past have been created for the families we serve. Thousands of client families have benefited from this program through the years!

This year, client families will again be partnered with donors based on their size and the ages of their children. After being paired up with a client family, a wish list will be sent to the donors with the receiving family's genders, ages, clothing sizes and their holiday wishes. The donor family chooses to purchase any or all of the items on the clients' list, or substitute items that they feel the client may enjoy. Non-perishable food baskets are also welcomed.

This program is a source of happiness, joy and satisfaction for all involved, and with your help it will once again be a huge success!

Download donor form here.

Questions? Please call Pam Przybylski @ 610-543-5022 x234.


NEW CLASS TIMES: PATHWAYS PA OFFERS LANGUAGE/CIVICS COURSES

PathWays PA is offering a course meant for those interested in learning and improving their English while also covering:
  • United States History
  • Work Skills
  • Citizenship Process
  • Employment
  • Math
  • Reading

WHEN: Mondays & Wednesdays - 9:30 - 12:00 OR Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 - 7:30
WHERE: Darby Borough Hall, 821 Summit Street, Darby PA

For more information about the class, please contact Kelly Binder at 610-543-5022 X 227 or kbinder@pathwayspa.org.

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