Website   Initiatives   Advocacy   News   Contact   Members   Locations
June 2015 Newsletter
Stay Connected

Engaging Public Officials at Your Y
Public officials make decisions that  influence things that happen inside our Ys and things that affect  the individuals and families we serve. 
Youth Protection News
EEC's New Billing System

The Department of Early Education and Care's (EEC) new Child Care Financial Assistance (CCFA) is active on JULY 1, 2015 .All users must complete training! 

 

Engaging Public Officials at Your YEngage

Why do we need to do this?
Public officials make decisions that influence things that happen inside our Ys and things that affect the individuals and families we serve. It's great for them to hear  from lobbyists who sit in an office in DC, but really,  you know  best about what your community needs.

Public officials WANT and NEED to hear from their constituents. If they don't hear from you, they won't have all the information they need to make the best decisions. Reaching out to the official and their staff regularly ensures that you are in control of your  own story, rather than letting other people tell it for you.

A Congressional Management Foundation survey recently asked congressional staff the best way for members of Congress to gain an understanding of constituent views-"attending events in the district/state" was the top answer, with 98% of congressional staff noting its importance. These events paint a picture for the public official-bringing home for them the very real way in which Ys impact the community day in and day out.

There are several opportunities throughout the year to engage public officials at the local, state and federal levels either at your Y, in your community or in their offices. 

View a toolkit that focuses on showcasing the Y's impact through public official visits to your Y.  Click here to view toolkit 
EEC's New Child Care Financial Assistance SystemCCFA 

The EEC is planning to launch the Child Care Financial Assistance (CCFA) system on JULY 1, 2015, which will replace EEC's two separate billing systems (eCCIMS and CCIMS) with a single system for processing both vouchers and contracted slots for subsidized child care. 

 

All users of the new CCFA must complete training before CCFA goes live on July 1, 2015! During the month of June, EEC will provide training sessions across the state that cover all five CCFA modules (Intake, Authorization, Placement, Attendance, and Billing) in one day. Webinars on these modules will also be offered to supplement in-person trainings. 

Please  click here to view in-person and webinar training schedule.


 

For questions about the upcoming switch to the CCFA, please contact the CCFA support team at CCFA_feedback@massmail.state.ma.us

 

Youth Protection NewsYouth

Letter from Ed Hurley, CEO of Hockomock Area YMCA and Chair of Alliance Youth Protection Committeeletter 

 

Recently, at a Youth Protection Committee meeting, Laureen Browning of South Shore YMCA shared how the Praesidium training had made a difference in the lives of one of the children in their program. A staff member listened to what a little girl was telling him and through that process a child is no longer being harmed by her father. The teacher directly credits the training he received from Praesidium.

 

As Ys across the Commonwealth have agreed to take advantage of the free resources being offered by Praesidium through YUSA, the Youth Protection Committee thought it would be important to take a moment and check where all Ys are in this process so that we can all have stories like Laureen's.

 

Making our Ys and our communities safe for kids has never been more important. The resources from Praesidium - available free of charge - are incredible. Many of our Ys also are finding the Stewards of Children online training, available free to Ys through the Darkness to Light Foundation, incredibly helpful in creating a culture of awareness and safety for adults.

 

A primary focus of the Child Safety Committee is to help Ys in MA make connections to the resources needed to accomplish this important initiative. To that end you will find in this newsletter links to the following:

  • YUSA resources for training and best practices
  • List of local resources in Massachusetts
  • Template for a Youth protection brochure to adapt and customize for your Y
  • Sample Program audit forms for child safety to customize for your Y

As we work together with Praesidium, remember that the CEOs from pilot Ys and their staff colleagues are also available to any of your staff. The Hockomock Y, Jeanette Robichaud at the Athol Y, and Stacie Peugh at the Cape Cod Y are all ready to help with any questions you may have regarding how to implement and work with the process. Praesidium is also an invaluable resource for you.

 

We are developing a short survey to evaluate practices that each Y in our state has in place related to youth safety. We want to learn from one another because as we know we are always better and stronger when we work together!

 

We would like to hear from you regarding what you are learning through this critical process. Based on the results, we will develop recommended next steps for Ys once they have completed their Praesidium self-assessment.  Working together we must determine our next steps and best practices in our effort to enhance a culture of vigilance and safety where children thrive and predators have no access.

 

Thank you for all you are doing.

 

 


 

 

In addition, the Hockomock Area YMCA has shared some documents that Ys can use as resources!


Nationwide Background Check check

 

After some initial concerns with being able to implement the process, the FBI now supports nationwide access by youth serving organizations to the national fingerprint registry and the associated data bases for criminal conviction, most specifically, sexual offenders. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the Government Relations Office of YMCA of the USA and many Ys across the country, legislation is now making its way through Congress that would allow all states economical access to these data bases. Stay tuned for more information regarding how you can specifically advocate for this necessary step in protecting those we serve. 

Task Force to Protect Massachusetts Children Against Sexual Abusetask

 

The legislation creating this task force was adopted at the close of the Patrick Administration. The Execute Director of the Alliance, Peter R. Doliber, was appointed by the Governor to sit on the task force. The group is comprised of State Commissioners, State Representatives, and key personnel from multiple youth protection and youth serving organizations in the Commonwealth. The task force is in the process of developing a recommendation, including legislation, for policies, procedures, and practices for youth serving organizations to protect youth and employees. 

Child Abuse Prevention Webinar: Screening and Selecting Staffabuse

 

A robust screening and selection process is the first line of defense in protecting youth from sexual abuse. Learn more about Child Abuse Prevention best practices for screening and selecting Y staff by joining a webinar on July 8 led by Anne Calvo, Y-USA's Senior Director of Child Abuse Prevention, and Britt Darwin-Looney, Praesidium's Vice President of Youth Development. Topics covered will be: 
  • How sending a "zero tolerance" message can discourage high-risk applicants
  • Tips for critically reviewing applications from potential employees
  • The basics of criminal background checks
  • Strategies for productive reference checks
  • Behaviorally based interview questions that may reveal applicant characteristics that indicate an increased risk to abuse
  • And much more!

Community Resourcesresources

 

The Alliance has put together a page with community resources for dealing with child abuse prevention. Community resources include county advocacy centers, state agencies, and state/national organizations offering training, treatment and prevention resources and tools.

To view Community Resource Page, click here.


 

Additionally, Y-USA has a page on Exchange for Child Abuse Prevention resources and tools. Click here to access Y-USA's Child Abuse Prevention Page.

MHC's Report: Local Approaches to the Opioid Overdose Epidemic
How Massachusetts Communities are Responding to the Opioid Crisis
 
YMCAs across the state that participated in The Massachusetts Project in partnership with The Herren Project, and other community based substance abuse prevention leaders from every corner of the sate were interviewed and the results include recommendations for policy makers and health officials, as well as successes, challenges and advice for communities working to address the overdose crisis. This report will serve as a tool to aid in stemming the tide of substance abuse. 


Sincerely,

Your Alliance 
Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs | | daniel.padilla@maymca.com
| http://www.maymca.com  |
14 Beacon St
Suite 803
Boston, MA 02180