CHILDREN AT RISK has worked to help our state’s most defenseless children by providing them with a voice in the decisions that so dramatically affect their lives. CHILDREN AT RISK has brought pressing children’s issues to the forefront, speaking out for those without the leverage to do so themselves. During the 84th Legislative Session, CHILDREN AT RISK (C@R), with the support of fantastic Board members and stakeholders from all across the state as well as close collaboration with other organizations, effectively pushed legislation that will make Texas an even better place to grow up.
- Of 12 bills drafted by C@R, 8 passed.
- Of our 16 priority bills, 10 passed.
- C@R testified 55 times on 39 bills throughout the session.
Here are the organization’s top accomplishments in 2015 by Center:
The Center to End the Trafficking and Exploitation of Children (CETEC)
- The C@R legal team made strides in the realm of public policy by working to ensure that gaps in the human trafficking statutory framework are being addressed through interim charges to the legislative committees prior to the 85th legislative session.
- The Center worked with the Texas Secretary of State to implement a Human Trafficking Prevention Business Partnership and sat on the Attorney General’s statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force.
- C@R was also member of the CEASE (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) Network, a collaboration of pioneering cities committed to innovating, testing, and sharing strategies with proven impact on deterring people from buying sex. C@R coordinated CEASE Network teams in Houston and North Texas to create and execute strategies for reducing demand of illegal commercial sex by 20%.
The Center for Child Health, Research and Policy (CCHRP)
- During the 2015 legislative session, C@R’s advocacy efforts were focused on developing a Healthy Food Financing Program that supported three main principles: the development, expansion, and renovation of grocery retail options that offer a full selection of healthy foods to underserved communities; the support of legislation and policies at the state level that incentivize the purchase of healthy foods with SNAP dollars; and the enactment of a state policy on recess that encourages age-appropriate outdoor playtime.
Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation (CSME)
- C@R published annual school rankings and updated the TexasSchoolGuide.org to inform the public about the quality of every public and charter school in the state.
- C@R’s legislative priorities focused on the expansion of full-day, high quality pre-K.
The Center for Parenting and Family Well-Being
- The CPFWB provided resources, conducted research, fostered collaboration, and advocated for policy change in order to positively impact parenting and family well-being.
- Worked on passed Texas legislation to require 75% of the state’s parent education funds go to evidence-based programs and 25% to promising practices, to require that CPS and court-mandated parenting classes be evidence-based or a promising practice, and to requires DFPS to collect data, measure the effectiveness of state funded parent education programs, and develop and implement a 5 year strategic plan on prevention and intervention initiatives.
- Worked on passed legislation to designate May as Postpartum Depression Awareness Month in Texas.