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Education Department awards grants to fund information centers for parents of children with disabilities

The U.S. Education Department announced today that they have awarded 16 states $9.8 million in grants to operate 25 Parent Training and Information (PTI) Centers for parents of students with disabilities. The centers works with parents to help them ensure that their children have access to entitled services.

In a statement to the press, Arne Duncan said: “Parent Centers are critical in helping to empower parents and families who have children with disabilities. These centers help parents understand the services to which their children are entitled and deserve under the law. They also are powerful resources in communities across the country.”

With the addition of these grants, the Education Department now funds 101 parent information centers. Centers in Washington include Open Doors for Multi Cultural Centers, Specialized Training of Military Parents (STOMP), and Washington PAVE.

Find the full list of award grantees here.

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News from the Feds: Home visitation on the move

The Feds are hard at work and our Washington delegation is showing serious leadership for children.

Earlier this week  Chairman Jim McDermott, joined by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), today introduced the Early Support for Families Act. This act will implement the home visitation initiative proposed by President Obama as part of his FY2010 budget request. It will establish and expand quality programs providing voluntary home visiting to assist families with young children and families expecting children, especially in high-need communities.

Now, The Early Support for Families Act is in the Senate Finance committee, which is expected to take action this week. Washington’s Senator Cantwell is on the Finance Committee and has a key opportunity to include home visitation in the health care reform legislation.  Unless you’ve been on a remote African safari, you know that the health care train is leaving the station SOON (before the August  recess).

Here is an action alert our friends at Fight Crime, Invest in Kids sent out this week. Don’t forget to thank Sen. Cantwell for all of her previous work supporting children and families – especially SCHIP expansion (State Children’s Health Insurance Program).

Please call Senator Cantwell Today :

Include  Home Visiting in Health Care Reform

Senator Cantwell and other members of the Finance Committee are expected to outline their plan for Health Care Reform this week.  The President’s proposed home visiting initiative is a proven crime-fighting approach that should be included in the health care reform legislation.  There is strong support from the Administration and members of both parties in Congress to see home visiting included in health care reform. These funds would support investments in kids that reduce crime and prevent child abuse and neglect. For this to happen, Senator Cantwell needs to hear from you!

Please call Senator Cantwell today at 202-224-3441. 

Your Message:

Ø  “Please include in health care reform the President’s proposed mandatory funding initiative for the establishment and expansion of evidence-based home visitation programs in states.”

Ø  “High-quality home visiting programs cut child abuse and neglect in half, and help parents and kids get off to a good start.”

Ø  “These investments cut later delinquency by 60%, lower criminal justice system and other expenditures down the road, and strengthen families.  Health reform must include this initiative.”

Please let me know if you have any questions and what response you receive from Senator Cantwell or her staff.  And feel free to forward this message to others!

Thanks!

Laura Wells

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Washington
3706 NE 42nd Street, Suite 200
Seattle, WA  98105

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