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Child Welfare and Safety

Voices for Utah Children is committed to the long-term goal of reducing the number of children entering foster care, and also to ensuring that our current system of care protects children and adequately meets the needs of families in the child welfare system.

We are working to ensure that promising prevention efforts are adequately funded and broadly replicated.

safety

Too many children in child welfare are not living in families
Salt Lake City – About 56,000 children under the care of our nation’s child welfare systems are not placed in families, including about 400 Utah children. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest KIDS COUNT® policy report, Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success discusses how policymakers, judges and private providers can find and support families to help raise more of these children.  Family placements are superior to group placement because: Research shows...
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Children are the losers in Legislature’s earmarking trend
This op-ed, written by Matthew Weinstein of Voices for Utah Children, was originally published in the Salt Lake Tribune on October 10, 2014.   Utah's state budget has been undermined in the last decade by an increase in earmarks — from $42 million in Fiscal Year 2005 to over half a billion dollars in the FY 2015 budget approved by the Utah Legislature earlier this year. These earmarks have risen by almost 1,200 percent and now make up nearly one-fifth of Utah's...
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How Did the 2015 Utah Legislative Session Impact Kids?
Policies affect children—but children don’t vote. At Voices for Utah Children, we have spent the 2015 legislative session raising our voices on behalf of children, informing policymakers that government can and should act to keep kids safe and help them succeed. This session, we are pleased to report that Utah lawmakers passed several bills that will help keep children safe, support healthy early childhood development, improve educational opportunity, and preserve family security by prohibiting employment discrimination. But of course, the news...
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What in the world is an unfunded earmark, and what does it have to do with you?
Utah’s state budget  has been undermined due to a nearly 1200% increase in General Fund earmarks during the past decade. Earmarking ties policymakers’ hands so they can’t adapt the budget to the evolving needs of the state’s ever-growing and ever-changing economy and population. And these are "unfunded" earmarks, meaning that they do not come with a new funding source, even though they go to meet newly identified investment needs, primarily in transportation. Because they are unfunded, these earmarks divert resources...
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