Legislative Advocacy for Children

One of the most effective ways to make our communities better for children, now and in the future, is legislative advocacy. Quite simply, this means supporting laws and policies that are good for children—such as those that help prevent injuries or improve access to health care—and opposing ones that are not.

An Expert Resource on Health Care Issues Affecting Children

Connecticut Children’s is often called upon by policy makers to act as an expert resource on health care issues that affect children. Too often, kids do not have a voice in the decisions that affect them and their families. Connecticut Children’s advocacy efforts are aimed at ensuring that children’s concerns are always heard when public policies are made.

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Advocacy In Action

Each year, the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) sponsors a Family Advocacy Day down in Washington, D.C. where children’s hospitals from across the country gather with patient families to meet with members of Congress and advocate on behalf of children’s hospitals and the families they serve. 

Previously, Connecticut Children’s offered several virtual opportunities for team members and other stakeholders to learn more about advocacy, how the decisions our government makes affects children’s health, and how to use your voice and get involved. Below, find recordings from each of our sessions. We had some phenomenal speakers, and we hope you check out the recordings linked below!

Connecticut Children’s advocacy efforts are aimed at ensuring that kids and families remain at the center of the public policymaking process. Our advocacy work connects Connecticut Children’s pediatric experts with elected officials and agency leaders working in Washington, D.C., and state legislatures and with local officials all across the region. The promotion of children’s optimal healthy development requires our constant focus, collaboration with key partners, and innovative solutions.

Our 2024 Child Health Agenda was developed to provide policymakers with a roadmap to pursue regulatory and legislative changes to help strengthen and empower families as well as protect and enhance the physical and emotional well-being of all children.

Increasing Access to Adequate and Affordable Care

All children, regardless of their race, gender, where they live, how much their caregivers earn, or the source of their health insurance coverage should have equitable access to the right care, at the right time, in the right setting.

  • Innovative Payment Models: Pursue the implementation of reimbursement mechanisms that incentivize keeping children healthy by encouraging innovative payment models in Medicaid and private insurance.
  • Care Close to Home: Keep kids healthy in their communities by helping families access care that is convenient and close to home. Strategies include supporting care coordination, improving homecare access, reducing barriers for health systems seeking to offer care in more communities, and through innovations and technologies like telehealth services.
  • Kids With Medical Complexity: Support the needs of children with complex medical conditions, through the provision of more integrated and coordinated care, and increased access to comprehensive pediatric home care.
  • Pediatric Workforce: Strengthen the pediatric workforce pipeline to ensure that all kids have access to pediatric experts by incentivizing people to pursue careers in healthcare, promoting greater diversity in the healthcare workforce, and at the federal level, supporting the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program by pursuing parity with Medicare GME payments.

Improving the Behavioral Health of Children and Their Families

Advance innovative policies and practices that support early intervention and a comprehensive and integrative behavioral health system so that kids and families can access services where and when they need them.

  • Sustainable Core Funding: Pursue a funding model that covers the actual costs of care which will help encourage more clinicians to enter into the field, provide supports for primary care practices to hire and effectively utilize embedded behavioral health professionals, and ensure adequate access to services across the acuity spectrum.
  • Foster Parity between Medical and Behavioral Health Benefits: Promote and enforce measures which ensure comparability of benefits for behavioral health and medical services, cut down on administrative burdens for providers and families, and reduce out of pocket costs which limit access to behavioral health services.
  • Focus on Children with Special Needs: Support the needs of children with Intellectual Disabilities by promoting greater integration and coordination between behavioral health and developmental disabilities to ensure that their behavioral health needs are fully integrated into all levels of care.
  • Data and Sustainability: Ensure that recent state efforts to support children’s behavioral health are making an impact by measuring and reporting outcomes data and pursuing sustainable funding solutions.

Advancing Initiatives Which Support Whole-Child Wellness

Strengthen families’ resilience by supporting policies which empower them and help address the many social factors that impact a child’s health and development (often referred to as the social influencers of health).

  • Prevent Injury and Violence: Promote education, research, and public policies that reduce unintentional injury and violence among children and families. This includes: gun violence and firearm safety, suicide prevention, family violence prevention, hospital-based violence intervention as well as rules and regulations that support motor vehicle and pedestrian safety. 
  • Innovative Whole-Child Approaches to Care: Implement public and private sector payor approaches that support collaboration and coordination across all levels of the health system, allowing providers to care for the whole-child through the provision of efficient, cost-effective, and high-quality care.
  • More Integrated Care: Create a more comprehensive, integrated healthcare delivery approach which allows for early detection, referral, and linkage to any appropriate programs and services a family might need. In particular, support and reimbursement for care coordination services, which help families navigate the pediatric health care ‘ecosystem.”
  • Strengthen Families: Invest in initiatives which support families and communities like affordable child care, a child tax credit, and programs that support healthy homes and clean and safe streets.

Promoting Innovative Strategies to Advance Child Health Outcomes

Support the advancements of cures and treatments to childhood diseases and conditions as well as research into the most efficacious ways of delivering care to kids and families.

  • Pediatric Research: Fund and develop an ecosystem which supports pediatric rare disease research, clinical trials, and partnerships between industry, academia, and patients.
  • State-Level Coordination and Leadership: Develop a centralized State leadership structure with the authority to implement and oversee a comprehensive and strategic vision for children’s health.

Stay Informed and Take Action

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Find Your Legislators

As a Connecticut resident, it is important to remember that your elected officials work for you. If there is an issue that matters to you, you can write, email, or call your state legislator to make sure your voice is heard. Contacting your elected officials really does make a difference!

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Contact the Government Relations Team

Have questions about the legislative process, our public policy priorities, or another government relations issue? Reach out to a member of our Government Relations team.