Massachusetts Advocates Release Reform Agenda

Massachusetts Advocates Release Reform Agenda

SPARC Peer Learning Network member organization Massachusetts Law Reform Institute recently released a comprehensive set of recommendations for sustained reform of the Massachusetts child welfare system following a high profile death of a child under the department’s supervision. If Not Now, When? A Call to Action for Systemic Child Welfare...
Podcast Series - Perspectives from the Field

Podcast Series – Perspectives from the Field

SPARC has launched a podcast series spotlighting leaders in the field of talking about the issues child welfare advocates care about. Listen and engage.
The Affordable Care Act and Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

The Affordable Care Act and Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

The Affordable Care Act improved health care access former foster youth. This brief by the Urban Institute’s Dina Emam and CLASP’s Olivia Golden identifies best practices states can adopt to effectively implement the ACA’s former foster youth provisions.
Bringing State Advocates Together

Bringing State Advocates Together

Child welfare advocates are uniquely positioned to influence debates that impact the safety and well-being of our kids. SPARC is designed to help state child welfare advocates make an even bigger impact. We are proud to be supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative....
More Advocacy Impact, Better Lives for Children

More Advocacy Impact, Better Lives for Children

State child welfare advocates are a powerful force for change for America’s abused and neglected children.
Latest Work

Perspectives from the Field – Foster Club

Ryan Cummings, Alexander Mcfarland, and Ashley Kuber are foster care alumni who have become national advocates for child welfare reform and participated in the Fosterclub All Star Internship, a program that prepares former foster youth to become leaders. SPARC interviewed these young people to learn what they believe is the best way to engage young...
Brief - Knowing the Numbers: Accessing and Using Child Welfare Data

Brief – Knowing the Numbers: Accessing and Using Child Welfare Data

Data can be an incredibly powerful tool for child welfare advocates, policymakers, and program administrators in their work to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families. From identifying target population characteristics and needs, to documenting program or service outcomes, to assessing a policy’s effect, using data to inform efforts to help children and families...

HHS approves Pennsylvania’s alternative to Traditional Medicaid expansion

By Shadi Houshyar This post also appears on the First Focus blog. Just yesterday, Healthy Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania’s alternative to a traditional Medicaid expansion for low-income adults, was approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While many would agree that a traditional expansion would have been better than this demonstration, Healthy Pennsylvania will provide the opportunity for many low-income...

Brief – State-Level Policy Advocacy for Children Affected by Parental Substance Use

More than 8.3 million children, or 11 percent of all children in the United States, live in homes where at least one parent or caretaker has a substance use disorder involving alcohol and other drugs. Parental substance abuse places the family at an increased risk of child abuse, neglect, and trauma. Most of these children...

Blog: Authentically Engaging Youth to Create Bonds

By Lexie Gruber, First Focus Intern Associate The second day of the National Summit on Authentic Youth Engagement got off to an invigorating start with a keynote address by Dr. Steve Perry. Perry is the founder and principal of Capitol Preparatory Magnet School, a high school that serves at-risk, inner-city youth and has managed to...