People of faith are called by that faith
to speak for all children.
February 15, 2010
ICM CALL TO ACTION: SB 304 - CONTACT SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
SB 304, sponsored by Senator Renee Unterman, recommends a minimum age of 16 before a child is charged and prosecuted for prostitution, thus recognizing that children are the victims in the sex trade industry. The bill also recommends that children be placed immediately into treatment rather than into a juvenile detention center.
As you are aware, SB 304 has many vocal opponents. Some of whom have used distortion of the facts and political maneuvering to sway support away from the bill. Therefore, additional language has been proposed to strengthen SB 304 so that sexually exploited children may receive the help they desperately need.
According to We Urge You, the substitute language "does not open the prostitution criminal code section. Rather, it defines an alternative way to connect child victims of commercial sexual exploitation with much-needed restorative services through juvenile court, and recognizes the child's status as a victim of sexual exploitation. This new language will ensure child victims are admitted into the statewide system of care, while preserving the child's eligibility for victim compensation funds."
What does this mean? The new language proposes that child victims of prostitution, who are arrested/detained by the police, are to be processed through the juvenile justice system as "unruly." However, SB 304 recommends that the disposition from the juvenile court judge is to send the child into treatment through Georgia's new CSEC system of care (Georgia Care Connection) rather than commit the child to the department of juvenile justice. A diagram of the proposed process is provided at ICM's Web site.
SB 304 is still sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It needs to be brought up for a vote so that it can proceed through the legislative process this session. Please contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to bring SB 304 up for a vote. Click on the links below to access their contact information.
Senate Judiciary Committee Members
Smith, Preston W. (R-SS 52)Chairman
Harp, Seth (R-SS 29)Vice Chairman
Hamrick, Bill (R-SS 30)Secretary
Adelman, David (D-SS 42)Member
Brown, Robert (D-SS 26)Member
Cowsert, Bill (R-SS 46)Member
Crosby, John (R-SS 13)Member
Fort, Vincent (D-SS 39)Member
Hill, Judson (R-SS 32)Member
Seabaugh, Mitch (R-SS 28)Ex-Officio
Wiles, John J. (R-SS 37)Member
ICM CALL TO ACTION: HB 1085 - CONTACT HOUSE CHILDREN AND YOUTH COMMITTEE TODAY
This legislation is in alignment with SB 292 (Juvenile Code Reform). Please support HB 1085.
The Fostering Connections Bill (HB 1085) will be heard by the House Children and Youth Committee, Tuesday (2/16/10). The hearing will be held from 2:00- 3:00 p.m in Room 403 of the State Capitol. Please contact members of the House Children and Youth Committee ASAP and ask them to support HB 1085.
Background: The federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (H.R. 6893/P.L. 110-351) was designed to help hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children find a safe, loving and permanent home by increasing opportunities for adoption and relative guardianship. It also focuses on improving critical education and health care services for children in foster care and better preparing older youth for adulthood.
Mandatory Provisions of Federal Law
· Enhancing Support of Relative Caregivers
· Promoting Sibling Co-Placement and Visitation
· Improving Education and Health Care Access
· Improves Planning for Youth Transition to Adulthood
· Strengthening Adoption
Reasons for Pursuing HB 1085 in Georgia General Assembly
· This legislation would assure Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) compliance with the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (outlined above).
· This proposal would include:
o addition of an element to the case planning process to ensure that reasonable effort are made to assure placement of siblings together or to allow them ample visitation if they cannot be placed together;
o addition of case planning requirement regarding attention to the health and educational needs of foster children; and
o add a requirement that a written transitional living plan for every child be completed no later than 90 days prior to their 18th birthday or their eventual exit from care.
Consequences for Failure to Comply
US Department of Health and Human Services could withhold funding in excess of $80 million of Title IV-E funding annually.
House Children and Youth Committee
(Click on names below to access contact information.)
Judy Manning Chairman
Charlice Byrd Vice Chairman
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,
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.
Send this publication as a Web link
JOIN ICM and the effort to improve the well-being of Georgia's children. Make a tax-deductible contribution today.
Doing what we are called to do.
Doing what we are able to do.
Doing what must be done!