On Tuesday, January 26, The Children’s Aid Society president and CEO Phoebe Boyer spent the day in Albany to advocate for New York’s children and families. Phoebe was joined by colleagues from Children’s Aid in conversations with Assemblymembers Guillermo Linares, Andrew Hevesi, and Donna Lupardo, as well as staff members from the offices of Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senator John Flanagan.
Phoebe thanked the elected officials, and particularly the Governor Cuomo, for including $1.5 million in funding for the Foster Youth Success Alliance in the executive budget. This was a huge win for college-aged young people in foster care, as well as for Children’s Aid and the FYSA coalition working on their behalf.
In addition, Phoebe advocated for school-based health centers (SBHCs), one of the most effective strategies for delivering high-quality, comprehensive, and culturally competent medical, dental, and mental health care to students, particularly hard-to-reach teens. With the upcoming Medicaid redesign, SBHCs are in grave danger of complete shutdown as each center would need to renegotiate its reimbursement rates with every new managed care provider – a nearly impossible task to complete before the July 1 deadline. Phoebe asked for an one-year extension of the deadline to complete the important work necessary to ensure seamless delivery of health care services.
Phoebe also thanked officials for continuing to fund community schools across the state, while also expressing concern about the lack of funding devoted to capacity building – a key piece of ensuring the success of the community school strategy.
Each official was receptive to Children’s Aid’s concerns and eager to learn more. Children’s Aid will continue to work with each official’s office to provide guidance and continue to advocate for the children and families in New York City and across the state.