I hope you and your family had a wonderful Independence Day and are enjoying your summer so far. It has been a pleasure to see many of you out and about in our community in recent weeks.
Child Welfare Fellows Program
Ensuring the welfare and safety of children has been one of my highest priorities in the legislature, and I was recently selected to participate in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Child Welfare Fellows Program. This program consists of 25 state legislators from across the country and is designed to support legislators who are experienced or emerging leaders on child welfare issues.
It is a tremendous honor to be chosen to participate in the NCSL’s Child Welfare Fellows Program. The issues surrounding child welfare are among the most pressing that we face as legislators, both in Minnesota and around the country. The program will bring together leaders from across the nation to share ideas for legislative solutions, and I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to tackle these issues and better protect the welfare and safety of our children.
I attended the first in-person meeting last week and had the opportunity to meet other Child Welfare Fellows and learn more about new federal legislation, the foster care system and other child welfare issues. Overall, the program will focus on several relevant topics, including child welfare structure and financing; data on child maltreatment, foster care and adoption; child welfare workforce challenges; prevention and early intervention; family preservation and reunification; trauma-informed services; supporting foster parents and older youth transitioning to adulthood; new opportunities through the recently enacted federal Family First Prevention Services Act; and Native American and African-American children in care.
Although the governor’s vetoes unfortunately reduced the number of new laws that were enacted this year, a number of new laws that passed during the 2018 session took effect on July 1. Click here for more information on some of these new laws. In addition, a handful of other new laws are set to take effect on August 1. For information on these new laws, click here.
Finally, I’d like to take a second to genuinely thank you for your calls, emails, letters, and visits during the legislative session and summer. In order to best represent our district in the legislature, it is important that I hear our community’s varying views on the issues that come before me. Although we’re out of session for the biennium, I hope you will continue to contact my office.
After today, I will be unable to send out email updates because of the 60-day, post-session rule. I can still be reached at my office phone or email, and can assist you in any way you need. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call!
Have a great summer,