With the goal of having the Indiana state government enact and implement family-friendly policies, Family Service Council of Indiana (FSCI) is preparing to host a family impact seminar and family summit/policy forum in recognition of National Family Week.
“Celebrating National Family Week is a very natural fit because it offers a wonderful outlet to link our year-round public policy and advocacy work to the observance,” said Mark St. John, CEO, Family Service Council of Indiana.
On Nov. 19, in conjunction with its members and the Consortium of Family Organizations, FSCI will present a family impact seminar on educational issues for an estimated 15-25 state legislators. The focus of the seminar is to influence the policy decisions made during the 2008 legislative session, prevent children from dropping out of school and discuss precautionary solutions to various school issues.
Following the family impact seminar, FSCI is planning to document and release the 2007 State of Families in Indiana report during National Family Week. The report will highlight key statistics and information regarding Indiana families and their legislative priorities for the 2008 legislative session.
“Through the 2007 State of Families in Indiana report and our collective 2008 public policy recommendations, we hope to influence key policy decisions in the upcoming year,” St. John explains. “Recommendations will be made in the areas of economic viability of families and communities, education and training, family violence, physical and behavioral health, adult and juvenile justice, and affordable housing.”
To further drive its family-strengthening efforts, the council will hold individual meetings with representatives of the governor’s office and key legislative leadership to discuss their 2008 legislative priorities. Each member of the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana Senate will also receive a copy of the report.
Preparations have also begun for the family summit/policy forum event scheduled for Jan. 2008, that seeks to engage families and key policy makers in dialogue regarding changes in practice approaches to make the Indiana Department of Child Services more family-focused. The event will be built around caseworker “best practices” that can result in the delivery of services in a fashion that emphasize stabilization of families and the protection of vulnerable children. FSCI will develop a follow-up plan to address the issues identified during the forum.
To culimate their year-round public policy and advocacy efforts, the council will conduct a post-legislative session analysis of the family-friendly aspects of legislation introduced and enacted during the sessions of the Indiana General Assembly.