The Commission's next meeting will be on Wednesday, April 17, 10:00 a.m. to noon, at Indiana Government Center South, Conference Room C, 302 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.
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Please join us in celebrating the “Day of the Child” at the Indiana Statehouse on February 19th
The Commission on Improving the Status of Children is pleased to be supporting a set of coordinated events occurring at the Indiana Statehouse on President’s Day, Monday, February 19th in celebration of it being proclaimed “Day of the Child” by the office of Governor Holcomb.
Starting at 9:00am MCCOY (Marion County Commission on Youth) will welcome over 250 youth and advocates from around the state for the annual Youth Day at the Statehouse. Young Hoosiers will have the opportunity to see the Indiana General Assembly in action and share their voices at this engaging event. MCCOY's Youth Day at the Statehouse will include opportunities to attend an Advocacy Resource Fair to speak with various youth advocacy organizations, observe committee hearings, witness House and Senate voting, share thoughts with legislators, and much more.
From 10:30am - 11:30am in the Indiana House of Representatives chamber, the annual State of the Child kickoff event will be hosted by the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI). State, federal, local leaders and youth service providers will gather to learn how Indiana children are doing across the categories of family & community, health, economic well-being, and education. This event kicks off IYI’s statewide State of the Child campaign, which includes more than a dozen in-person and virtual events this February through April to share the 2024 Indiana KIDS COUNT® Data Book. For more information, visit IYI's event schedule. To watch live, visit the House Chamber Livestream.
At the February meeting of the Children’s Commission, members were provided with an update on legislative actions and engagement during the first half of the legislative session. The Commission also heard a presentation from Monica Roose of the Indiana Birth Parent Advisory Board, with recorded contributions from two of its members, discussing the need to ensure parent voices are considered. Review meeting materials and watch video of the meeting video on the February 2024 Commission Meeting Page.
Legislative Session 2024
The Children's Commission tracks legislation affecting children and child-serving professionals and systems. Here is a list of Commission related bills as of 2/16/2024. Check back here throughout session to view progress, and for more information on chamber and committee activities, visit www.iga.in.gov.
At its December meeting, the Children’s Commission finalized its legislative affairs and engagement plan. This listed the legislative topics relevant to the Commission’s strategic plan, additional issues suggested by members, and the activities to increase assistance to lawmakers. The Commission’s coordinator and youth representatives recapped the 2023 Youth/Family Engagement Summit, sharing attendance statistics, highlights, and future plans. View recordings of all sessions at the Summit portal. Next, Dr. Weaver and Kate Schedel presented the importance of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Last, the Commission’s Task Force chairs recapped their work from 2023 and discussed future goals and projects. For more information, visit the meeting page.
2023 Youth/Family Engagement Summit: Unmuting Your Authenticity
The Children's Commission hosted a two-day, virtual summit on December 1st and 2nd. The summit had a goal of increasing and amplifying the voices of those with lived experience. Day one of the event focused on how professionals can build and encourage engagement, while day two focused on informing youth, parents, family and community members on how they can use their voices to help make positive change for Hoosier youth. To view all session recordings, visit the Summit portal.
At its October meeting, the Commission approved a set of legislative affairs guiding principles and agreed on the need for future approval of a legislative engagement agenda. Dejuna Rodriguez presented an update on the 2023 Family and Youth Engagement Summit titled “Unmuting Your Authenticity,” which is being planned by herself and Stephaney Knight. Early registration for the December 1st and 2nd Summit is open now. Finally, the Commission heard a presentation from Judge Kimberly Dowling on behalf of the Child Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) subcommittee. For more information, visit the meeting page.
At its August meeting, the Children’s Commission voted to approve the Youth Justice Oversight Committee’s (YJOC) recommendation report. Combining the work of subgroups including Behavioral Health, Data, Diversion, Grants Process, Juvenile Probation Standards, Screening and Assessment, and Transitional Services, while consulting a Youth and Family Advisory group, the presentation also mentioned that the Commission will maintain a relationship in its implementation and staffing. More information on the YJOC report can be found here. Senator Stacey Donato, Chair, and Mark Fairchild, Executive Director, outlined the need for a process and current practice regarding legislative affairs. Mark was tasked with drafting a process to be presented at a future meeting. The Commission’s Youth and Family Engagement Summit, themed “Unmuting Your Authenticity,” is tentatively scheduled for December 1st and 2nd. For more information, visit the meeting page.
At its June meeting, the Children's Commission heard a data presentation from the Indiana Youth Institute, an authentic engagement presentation from Stephaney Knight, and an overview of the recent legislative session and the Commission's budget. Also, two new Youth Representatives were announced and a Coordinator for the Commission was hired. For more information, visit the meeting page.
At its April meeting, the Children’s Commission heard presentations from Dr. Jack Turman regarding housing security and infant mortality risk, Lorraine Cromwell on support for kinship caregivers with The Villages, Justice Steven David on the status of the Youth Justice Oversight Committee, and Julia Stevens on the At-risk Youth and Families Project with the Indiana Public Defenders Council. The meeting also included a brief legislative update. For more information, visit the meeting page.
Commission Appoints New Executive Director
At its February meeting, the Children's Commission appointed Mark Fairchild as the next executive director for the Commission. He brings a wealth of expertise in several areas of child wellbeing and public policy and will begin in the role on March 6, 2023. Read the press release.
Commission Adopts New Strategic Plan
At its February meeting, the Children's Commission adopted a new strategic plan to guide its work over the next three years. The plan continues to focus in four key areas: child health and safety, mental health and substance abuse, educational outcomes, and juvenile justice and cross-system youth.
Information Sharing Guide and App Updated and Re-Released
The Data Sharing and Mapping Committee of the Commission has completed an update to all content of the Information Sharing Guide, which can be accessed for the desktop, as well as iOS and Android devices. The new update includes foster parents as record requesters, distinguishes among health, mental health, and addictions records, and provides information on when a child may receive their own records.