People of faith are called by that faith

to speak for all children.

December 15,  2009

 

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"  

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

As we enter into the last days of 2009, it makes us acutely aware of the work that remains to be done on behalf of the children of Georgia.  Though it is more immediately gratifying to focus our thoughts on the accomplishments of the past year, we need only remind ourselves that our state ranks 42nd in the U.S. in overall child well-being (Annie E. Casey Foundation 2009 KidsCount Report) to return us to a more sober reality.  

 

We need only consider that 20% of children in Georgia still live in poverty (and in some counties as many as 40%); that our students are still dropping out of high school and dropping into the penal system; that more than 300,000 Georgia children are without healthcare insurance; that in a given year some 3,000 girls are prostituted and trafficked in our state; and that the state's justice code for children has not undergone a comprehensive reform in almost 40 years.   

 

Yes, it is far more uplifting (and understandably so) at the end of a long year to rejoice over the good news of the passing of SB 69 into law which expanded the definition of child abuse to include sexual exploitation; of receiving an additional 3,000 slots for pre-K and more funding for the regional assessment center for girl victims of prostitution; and of rallying people to the cause for the successful expansion of SCHIP and to the cause for a new juvenile code. 

 

Yet, in our rejoicing, we must keep the present and future tenses of the question before us:  What are we doing for children today?  What will we do for children in the coming year?

 

ICM's next general membership meeting will be held Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. at Druid Hills United Methodist Church, 1200 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta.  This meeting will be the kick-off of our legislative agenda and actions for children in 2010.

 

Contact us at info@interfaithchildrensmovement.org and let us know that you will be with us in 2010 to continue the work that we are called to do...the work that we are able to do...the work that must be done.

 

JUVENILE JUSTICE MATTERS: 

JUSTGEORGIA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

ACTION ITEM:  Next Hearing on SB 292: The Child Protection and Public Safety Act

 

As a member of the JUSTGeorgia coalition, ICM is calling on you to help us bring juvenile code reform to Georgia.  The next pre-session Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on SB 292: The Child Protection and Public Safety Act is scheduled for Thursday, December 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in Room 307 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building (CLOB).  CLOB is loated at 18 Capitol Square, Atlanta, GA 30334.

 

This hearing will focus on Article 3:  Deprivation and Article 4:  Termination of Parental Rights.  Article 3, the "Deprivation" article, applies to children who have suffered from abuse or neglect.  Article 4 governs cases involving parents who are unable to safely and adequately care for their children.


The Child Protection and Public Safety Act is a comprehensive reform of Georgia's current Juvenile Code.  Not only does it bring order and clarity to the Code, it calls for restorative justice for Georgia's children.  

 

For a Fact Sheet about the proposed reforms, go to Child Protection and Public Safety Act: Good for Georgia's Children and Families on ICM's Web site.  Also, you can find summaries (short and detailed) of the proposed legislation at www.justgeorgia.org.  The summaries give you an indication of the magnitude of change needed for Georgia's children.

 

We need your supportive presence at these hearings.  Also, contact your state legislators and let them know that you support juvenile code reform and JUSTGeorgia.  

 

We especially need for you to contact the following members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:


Preston Smith, District 52, Chair
Seth Harp, District 29, Vice Chair
Bill Hamrick, District 30, Secretary
David Adelman, District 42
Robert Brown, District 26
Bill Cowsert, District 46
John Crosby, District 13
Vincent Fort, District 39
Judson Hill, District 32
Mitch Seabaugh, District 28
John Wiles, District 37

 

Go to http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/FindLegislator.htm to find out your state legislators.

 

HELP ICM STOP CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING

From Prevent Child Abuse Georgia:  Child Sexual Abuse is considered one of the categories of childhood trauma linked to long term problems like poor health and poor qualilty of life well into adulthood.  The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study points to the importance of preventing not just the horror of sexual abuse itself, but other major health and social problems when we act before a child is harmed.   Many of us know the signs of abuse and who to call to make a report, but how many in your community know how to respond to adult behaviors that put children at risk? Before reportable trauma has happened? You can learn to arm people to take these uncomfortable situations into opportunities for prevention.

 

Promises to Keep Training of Trainers

 Circles of Safety and Building Blocks

of Healthy Sexual Development

 January 25-27, 2010

 Prevent Child Abuse Georgia

1720 Peachtree St., NW, Suite 625

Atlanta, GA 30309  

Click here to register

 

Click on the link above to get details on price, agenda, and a full description of the training or contact Anna Curtis at Prevent Child Abuse Georgia (404)870-6561 or annac@pcageorgia.org.

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CSEC System of Care Toolkit Hosted on ICM's Web Site

 

 

ICM is honored to be the interim host of the CSEC System of Care Toolkit for Georgia Care Connection.  Georgia Care Connection is the new initiative launched by the Governor's Office for Children and Families "to identify commercially sexually exploited children and link them to services without subjecting them to arrest."

SPIRITUAL WITNESS FOR CHILDREN

One of the most important things faith communities can do for children is to pray for them.

 

Every child is a child of God and deserves justice and compassion. Every child deserves our prayers. 

 

ICM encourages every faith community to become a spiritual witness for children. Hold a worship service in your church, synagogue, mosque or temple and invite others to join in praying for the well-being of all children.

ICM Mission and Goals

 

The Interfaith Children's Movement was formed in 2001 as an intentional association of individuals and communities of faith from all religious traditions. 

 

The Interfaith Children's Movement strives to be a voice for all Georgia children, but especially the poor and marginalized whose voices are often unheard.  

 

ICM works closely with Georgia's policy-oriented child advocacy organizations, such as: 

  • Voices for Georgia's Children, 

  • The Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory University, 

  • Georgia Appleseed, 

  • JUSTGeorgia, 

  • Prevent Child Abuse Georgia and 

  • A Future.Not a Past. (child prostitution prevention).  

These organizations set the agenda for our advocacy work for children.  

ICM's faith community members provide a megaphone to the legislature about what needs to be done for children.

 

JOIN ICM and the effort to improve the well-being of Georgia's children. Make a tax-deductible contribution today.

 

A New Year's Greeting

from

Interfaith Children's Movement

 

 

 Olive Branch

 (photo: Shutterstock) 

 

Thank you for your support and encouragement in 2009. 

  May your 2010 be filled with peace, joy and the love of family and friends.

 

SAVE THE DATE! 

 

ICM DAY AT THE CAPITOL 

February 11, 2010

 

"Interfaith Community Speaking with One Voice for All Children"

 

LEARN, PRAY, ACT


 

Your help is always needed.

 

Answer this call from ICM to provide comfort to girls who have suffered some of life's most tragic situations.  Make contact with the following centers for girls who have been sexually exploited and find out how you and your faith community can be of service:

 

- Angela's House @ CEASE

Living Water for Girls

Wellspring Living for Girls 

 

Let us know that you are able and willing to help.  Contact us by e-mail or by calling 770-498-2141.

A Word from the Advocates

 

Op-Ed by Pat Willis, Executive Director of Voices for Georgia's Children, in 12/15/09, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:  "Cutting investments in children will do more harm than good"

 

Op-Ed by Cindy Zeldin, Executive Director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, in 12/03/09, Savannah Morning News:  "Georgia Wins if Medicaid Expands"

 

2010 Atlanta Jewish

Film Festival



Mark Your Calendar Worthwhile Events by ICM, 

ICM Partners & Others

Full ICM Calendar

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

JUSTGeorgia Coalition Meeting

Coal Mountain Park Community Building
3560 Settingdown Rd.
Cumming, GA 30028

 

Hosted by JUSTGeorgia & Forsyth County Community Connection  

RSVP: Click Here
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December 16, 2009

9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Georgia Center for Child Advocacy hosts an open Darkness to Lightsexual abuse prevention training on the fourth Wednesday of every month at the Fulton office. The training teaches adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.  The cost is $15 per person, which includes training materials, snacks and refreshments.  The training is approved for CEUs for socialworkers, LPCs, nurses and early childhood education providers. All are welcome to attend.  Please call to register: 678-904-2880. Go to Georgia Center for Child Advocacy for more information.  

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Monday, December 21, 2009

5:30 p.m.

National Homeless Persons Candlelight Memorial Vigil

Join us in a candlelight vigil to remember those who have died homeless in our Atlanta community during 2009. Sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, such commemorative events will be held in cities across the nation.

 

Location: 424 Decatur Street

Atlanta, GA 30312

(across from Memorial King MARTA Rail Station)

RSVP: by December 18 at

678-843-8511.

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Now through January 3, 2010

Through the Lens of MundoHispánico: Georgia's Hispanic Community Exhibit on display at the Atlanta History Center,130 W. Paces Ferry Rd. , Atlanta30305. 

 

Presented in both English and Spanish, this new exhibition celebrates the 30th anniversary of MundoHispánico newspaper.

 

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Friday, January 8, 2010
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

JUSTGeorgia Coalition Meeting

 

Hosted by Georgia CASA, the
Truancy Intervention Project (TIP), and Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan

 

Location:  Word of Faith Family Worship Center
212 Riverside Parkway
Austell, GA 30168

 

RSVP: Click here

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia's  

Legislative Reception 

 

Location:  Central Presbyterian Church, 201 Washington Street

Atlanta, GA 30303

 

Join us for an evening of discussion with legislators and policymakers regarding health issues facing Georgians in the 2010 Legislative Session.

Click here to Register Online or Download the Registration Form here

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 Doing what we are called to do. 

 Doing what we are able to do.  

 Doing what must be done! 

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