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The Village Blog
Hear our views and news about our work with others to improve the quality of life for children and families in the state. Our blog features Village leaders and other experts. Join the conversation by sharing and commenting on the posts.
For children who struggle with behaviors and emotions, structure, consistency and relationships equal safety. Summer can threaten the routine. And when the routine is threatened, oftentimes the behaviors and emotional struggles increase. Violence in neighborhoods may make it hard to play outside, and the cost of programs can be too much for many families. So, then what? There is hope for summer 2016! There are a ton of fun, free activities and some simple interventions that can help everyone have a successful summer.
The truth is slavery still exists in our current society, but it manifests itself in many forms. Human trafficking is Modern Day Slavery. As you are reading this article someone is being enslaved. A child is being forced into a life of sexual exploitation, and children and adults are forced to work in sweatshops, homes, local businesses, factories and agriculture. Right here in Connecticut.
Children come to The Village experiencing a range of emotional or behavioral challenges. The reasons vary, but the stability of the family is often a contributing factor. When parents are struggling
As father, grandfather, Hartford resident, and leader of an organization whose promise is “So every child believes in tomorrow,” I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few weeks about what we say to those children when they see and hear what’s been happening in Hartford neighborhoods and in a South Carolina church. I’m reminded of a quote from the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, "There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep 'em all away from you. That's never possible." How do we help children – and parents – make sense of the violence in their communities and in sacred places? How do we help them to feel safe? How can we keep them on a path of healthy growth and development during crises and tumultuous times?
The recent news that over 1,200 children were suspended from kindergarten and first grade from CT schools last year was appalling. Worse is that number increased nearly 20 percent from two years ago. Success in the early grades paves the way for long-term academic success. But, when children fail early in life, it puts them at an extraordinary disadvantage – for their entire life. They just can't catch up, without significant – and costly – help. The problem – and the solutions – begin before kindergarten. With the right supports, vulnerable children can succeed. We need to act now to make sure that happens.
I understand the need to keep our State’s fiscal house in order, but does it have to be at the expense of our most vulnerable children? Yesterday’s announcement by the Governor’s office to cut $48 million from the State budget to ensure we don’t end the year with a deficit was not a surprise. What was dismaying was that the largest cuts – a total of $8.8 million – are to the Department of Children and Families, including programs at both ends of the spectrum, from prevention to crisis.