People of faith are called by that faith

to speak for all children.

July 7,  2009

JUVENILE JUSTICE MATTERS:

A NEW JUVENILE CODE FOR GEORGIA

 

SB 292 - New Article forJuvenile Code:  Children in Need of Services (CHINS)

 

Senate Bill 292 - The Child Protection and Public Safety Act, which was introduced in the latter part of the 2009 session by Senator Bill Hamrick (R-30th), is the result of the diligence and hard work of the JUSTGeorgia coalition.  This legislation is the beginning of the overdue reform needed in Georgia' s juvenile justice system.  It proposes a Juvenile Code that

  • provides for fair and equal justice for all children; 
  • makes the law clear for judges, attorneys and parents; and 
  • provides for intervention and prevention services that help children.

In 2008, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice reported that it processed 50,594 intake cases. One of the 21st century approaches to prevention, intervention and rehabilitation in this proposed juvenile code revision is a new article Children in Need of Services (CHINS)

 

"The proposed Children In Need of Services (CHINS) article of Senate Bill 292 - The Child Protection and Public Safety Act will provide more immediate support services and intervention to at-risk children and their families, without formal court involvement. By doing so, these children can be treated in a non-punitive, non-criminalizing way. The purpose is to recognize that a child may not always be responsible for problematic behaviors. By providing appropriate service-focused interventions, a child is more likely to be deterred from future delinquency and involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems," reported Julia Neighbors, project manager for JUSTGeorgia." 

 

As a member of the JUSTGeorgia coalition, ICM will continue to travel across Georgia to encourage faith communities to become informed and educated about the proposed juvenile code legislation and the state of Georgia's children in the juvenile justice system and to help faith communities get engaged in becoming part of the solution.

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Use this link to find a summary of the key objectives of this legislation: SB 292 Key Objectives.

 

Read Senator Hamrick's editorial in the June issue of waveLength, the Voices for Georgia's Children newsletter.

 

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HELP ICM STOP CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING

 

ICM UPDATE: Public Hearing on House Bill 582 to Decriminalize Child Victims of Prostitution

Tuesday, June 16, 2009--At 9:30 a.m., a public hearing was held by the House Non-Civil Judiciary Committee on HB 582, a bill proposed to "amend Chapter 6 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to sexual offenses, so as to mandate a minimum age for the prosecution of the offenses of prostitution..." and define the minimum age as "a person who is 18 years of age or older."  Thereby, protecting and decriminalizing child victims of prostitution. 

 

Room 132 at the State Capitol was indeed overflowing as we had hoped for the beginning half of the meeting. ICM gave testimony to the necessity of treatment and services, not prosecution and incarceration, for the child victims of prostitution.

 

ICM and the child victims of prostitution still need your help. Please contact members of the House Non-Civil Judiciary Committee by e-mail or phone call and voice your support for HB 582.


------------------------------------------------------ICM'S SAFE SUMMER 2009

BE PART OF THE SOLUTION!
 

Faith Communities can be Safe Havens

-  Invite ICM to your faith community for an information and education session on child sexual exploitation and trafficking.

 

-  Work with local law enforcement to identify areas of prostitution in in your community.

 

-  Develop and implement a response program to victims of child prostitution in your community.

 

-  Provide sexual exploitation prevention education and awareness programs for members of your faith community.

 

-  Start "Safe Summer" camps for children and youth in high risk areas.

 

-------------------------------------------------------SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE

School to Prison Pipeline: ICM and the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP Host Listening Session
Monday, June 29, 2009 -- The Interfaith Children's Movement and the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP hosted approximately 15 concerned persons from various community and legal organizations for a listening session on the School to Prison Pipeline.

 

Representatives from organizations such as the Georgia Department of Education, JUSTGeorgia, Georgia Appleseed, Gwinnet STOPP, Georgia Legal Services, the Concerned Black Clergy and others, shared the projects that their organizations are working on related to the school to prison pipeline. Those gathered also discussed legal and social trends such as the criminalization of school offenses, uneven disciplinary responses from district to district and the growing autonomy of local school boards.

 

ICM sees this first listening session as the beginning of an ongoing and crucial conversation that will build bridges between the school systems and the parents and children within their districts, the legal community and concerned community-based organizations.  The information gathered at these sessions will be used to organize a school to prison pipeline symposium for parents. 

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From Georgia Appleseed - 

When My Child is Disciplined at School: A Guide for Families

"As part of its continuing focus on effective parental involvement to benefit students and schools, Georgia Appleseed is pleased to offer its new handbook, When My Child is Disciplined at School: A Guide for Families. The guidebook is intended as a tool to help parents and guardians throughout Georgia to become informed advocates for their children when dealing with school discipline policies."

 

Please avail yourselves of this information.  Share it with the parents and guardians in your faith community.  Please contact ICM if you are interested in hosting a School to Prison Pipeline information session at your faith community.  Please call 770-498-2141 or send an e-mail to info@interfaithchildrensmovement.org

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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.

 

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Inspirational Message

 

"If our children are going to have a better future, then we cannot do the things we have normally done. We've got to stretch ourselves.  It's not a choice of whether we feel like it or not...it's our duty."

Reverend Byron E. Thomas, ICM Chair

 

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Recharge! and Answer ICM's Call to Action  

 

 

What can I do for a child TODAY?

 

Contact ICM at info@interfaithchildrensmovement.org or call 770-498-2141. 

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ICM Mission and Goals

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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 organizatons, 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.

ICM'S 9TH ANNUAL

CALL TO ACTION

PRAYER BREAKFAST

"Create a Better Tomorrow for all Children Today" 

 

Mark your calendars now! This year's ICM Call to Action Prayer Breakfast will be held, Wednesday, October 28, 2009, at The Temple (1589 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309). 

 

We look forward to meeting in solidarity to pray for children and children's issues and to leave committed to fulfilling our charge to "do what we are called to do, do what we are able to do, and do what must be done."

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EXTRA! EXTRA! 

SEE ALL ABOUT IT!  "CELEBRATION OF EXCELLENCE"

 

The 2009 Celebration of Excellence, held June 10, 2009, successfully brought together more than 300 students in Georgia's foster care system who graduated from high school, vocational school, GED programs or college! Governor and Mrs. Sonny Perdue were the guests of honor and encouraged the graduates to stay on track and reach their goals. 

ICM supported the event by supplying more than 20 volunteers and by collecting more than $1,500 in gift cards, which were the result of contributions made by faith communities and individuals. You can view pictures from the event by visiting ICM's Facebook page. 

 

(ICM's Facebook was created by Beth Bostrom, to whom we wish "Godspeed" at the University of Miami.) 

 

Mark Your Calendar Worthwhile Events by ICM, 

ICM Partners & Others

Full ICM Calendar

 

Monday, July 13

The Children's Defense Fund will host its annual CDF Freedom Schools® National Day of Social Action. On this day, thousands of scholars from our CDF Freedom Schools program sites across the country (a summer and after-school enrichment program) will be stepping up and letting their voices be heard - to help solve our nation's health care crisis.

 
This day is part of the overall CDF Freedom Schools program model and aims to teach youth to engage in community service and social justice advocacy - a commitment that follows participants for the rest of their lives.


CDF Freedom Schools scholars will take part in visiting elected officials, joining together for marches and rallies and leading awareness activities in support of health coverage for all children. For more information, go to the Children's Defense Fund.

 

Tuesday, July 14
6:30 p.m.

ICM Advocacy Committee meeting at Frazier, Soloway & Poorack, P.C., 1800 Century Place, Suite 100, Atlanta.


Wednesday, July 22

11:45 a.m.

Cobb Faith Partnership's General Meeting The July meeting will be held at Turner Chapel AME Church. The church is located at 492 North Marietta Parkway, Marietta, GA. The meeting will be held in the Cathedral building located at the corner of North Marietta Parkway and Fairground Street. Call 770-422-6791 or visit their website for more information and directions: http://www.turnerchapelame.org/main.htm.

 

Thursday, July 23

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

ICM is "Growing the Movement" in Cobb County. ICM invites Cobb County faith communities and others concerned with the well-being of Georgia's children to join us at MUST Ministries for an ICM meeting at 1407 N. Cobb Parkway, Marietta, GA 30061. Please enter on the back side of MUSTMinistries building. See MUST Web site for directions. E-mail apeabody@mustministries.org with any questions. Bring a friend to the gathering to learn more about what we can do to have a positive impact in the lives of Georgia's children!


Saturday, July 25

9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

and

Sunday, July 26  

10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 

16th Annual Asian Cultural Experience (ACE) at the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097.


For more information go to: www.asianculturalexperienceinga.com

 

Week of July 27 - 31

It is time to register for the St. John's Lutheran Church Summer Day Camp.  Before care and after care are available to help parents with their work schedules. Registration is $50 per child for the week - scholarships available.  To register or for information, visit StJohnsAtlanta or contact Robby Johnson at 404-378-4243 ext 205 or rjohnson@stjohnsatlanta.org.


Sunday, August 9
1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. 

The 2009 Interfaith Disability Connection (IDC) Summit will bring together leaders and decision makers to advance accessible faith communities and houses of worship. 

 

Download registration and sponsorship forms for this amazing event by clicking here. An early-bird rate is available to all who register by July 10th. 

Tuesday, August 18

6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

ICM 2009 Annual General Meeting at Druid Hills United Methodist Church, 1200 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, GA 303

 

August 26, September 23, October 28, November 25, December 16

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Georgia Center for Child Advocacy hosts an open Darkness to Light sexual 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 social workers, 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.

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

 

 

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 Doing what we are able to do.  

 Doing what must be done! 

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