The NCSL Blog


By Meghan McCann

DID YOU KNOW: Nearly 6,000 people are already registered for NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Boston! Visit our Summit webpage to view the agenda and more.

Boy jumpingNCSL’s Children and Families program covers many human services issues, including child support and family law, child welfare, early care and education, welfare and poverty.

NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Boston, Aug. 6-9, 2017

Plan to join us beginning Sunday in Boston for the annual Legislative Summit. Register and learn more about the specific Human Services sessions, including a look at state strategies to address Adverse Childhood Experiences and ways to support foster parents. We hope to see you there! Here are a few highlights:

Kick off the meeting Sunday afternoon, from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. with an update on federal legislative and regulatory policies impacting states during the “Health and Human Services Committee Opening Remarks and Federal Update.” Then, from 3:25 to 4:25 p.m., hear about “What Works in Early Education.” This session will feature Ron Haskins from the Brookings Institution discussing the research on the benefits of preschool, potential fadeout and who benefits most.

On Monday, Aug. 7, from 8:45 to 11:45 a.m. we will host a session, “Improving Children’s Chances by Combatting Early Trauma.” We will hear from esteemed national experts, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris from the California Center for Youth Wellness and Melissa Merrick from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, and their impact on future health and well-being outcomes. We will then hear from Representative Ruth Kagi (D-Wash.) and Senator Bo Watson (R-Tenn.) about how their states have implemented strategies to prevent ACEs and mitigate their effects in the long-term.

Following the ACEs session, will be a lunch program, “Booming Boomers – Preparing for an Aging Population.” There we will hear from the AARP and state legislators about a range of strategies to prepare for an aging population, including support for family caregivers and meeting the demand for home health services.

Kick off your Tuesday with a breakfast session at 7:30 a.m. highlighting the recent Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This annual breakfast is an excellent opportunity to hear about the well-being of children and discuss the issue with your colleagues!

Later Tuesday, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., we’ll discuss “The Changing Nature of Jobs: Is Our Workforce Prepared?” This session will look at ways to address the skills gap, unemployment, and underemployment, including job training and career readiness opportunities.

Finish off your Summit experience with a look at the “Future of Foster Care” on Wednesday, Aug. 9 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. With the increasing foster care caseload partly due to the opioid epidemic, states are looking at ways to better support and retain foster parents to meet the needs of children in foster care. We will hear from the Mockingbird Society and the Quality Parenting Initiative about their programs designed to support foster parents, as well as Oklahoma State Senator A.J. Griffin and her recent legislation to improve the recruitment and retention of Oklahoma’s foster parents.

We hope you will join us for one, or all, of these sessions and look forward to meeting you in Boston!

Meghan McCann is a senior policy specialist with NCSL’s Children and Families Program. She covers child support, child welfare and family law issues.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.