The Kids Win team had a busy October. Below is a quick recap of the organization’s activities.

Policy Work

  • Kids Win convened another meeting of our Youth Homelessness workgroup to discuss next steps to help offer access to medical care and other basic needs for vulnerable youth.
  • The Kids Win team attended the Alliance for Early Success summit in Atlanta, Georgia. The summit offered an opportunity to learn about early childhood issues and policy strategies and connect with state and national partners involved in the work. As a new state partner of the national Alliance for Early Success, Kids Win staff are now participating in workgroups with representatives from other states around home visiting and the early childhood workforce. These workgroups offer us the opportunity to learn from what other states are doing and to share information to support our policy development and advocacy in Missouri.
  • Kids Win’s Executive Director, Brian Schmidt, attended a roundtable discussion in Kansas City hosted by the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services. The meeting, which focused on early care and education, was also attended by Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Governor Mike Parson and Senator Roy Blunt, as well as many childcare partners and stakeholders from around the state.
  • The Joint Committee on Child Abuse & Neglect met on October 21st. The committee heard testimony from Kelly Schultz and DSS Director Jennifer Tidball on the “Task Force on Child Safety” which outlined internal and external process changes that Children’s Division will begin to undertake to ensure the safety of our children.

Outreach and Engagement

  • Craig presented with Shauna Kerperin from Missouri Parents as Teachers Association (MOPATA) and Callie Peace from Kansas Parents as Teachers Association at the PAT International Conference on October 25th. The presentation focused on legislative successes and best practices in advocacy.
  • Casey attended the Maternal and Infant Health convening in St. Louis with a number of organizations and partners dedicated to improving infant and maternal health and focusing on dismantling systems that perpetuate racial inequities for the health of moms and babies.
  • Brian represented Kids Win Missouri at the 2019 St. Louis Racial Equity Summit. This was an opportunity to network and learn from the over 500 attendees and presenters about the importance of keeping racial equity at the center of our work.
  • Brian attended the Deaconess Foundation’s Just for Kids Community Conversation on People-Centered Policymaking where the foundation released the Missouri Children’s Budget.
  • Craig attended the STLCANN “Stepping Up For Kids” Awards Luncheon. Kids Win Missouri was a co-sponsor of the event to honor everyday heroes in the child welfare system.
  • Casey attended and presented at a meeting in Southeast Missouri with 17 County Health Department Administrators from the Bootheel Region. The group engaged in discussion around some of the struggles health department administrators are seeing with families getting and keeping Medicaid coverage and issues in the area that prevent children and families from accessing health care.
  • Casey participated in the “Show Me Afterschool Community Conversation” in St. Louis, hosted by the Missouri AfterSchool Network, and featuring Kids Win Board Member Wendell Kimbrough as one of the event’s panelists. The conversation brought together afterschool professionals and leaders, school administrators, policymakers, parents and youth to talk about the important role afterschool plays in keeping kids safe, helping working families, and inspiring learning.
  • Casey presented at the Lead School Nurse Collaborative meeting in Jefferson City with over 100 school nurses from around the state. The focus of the presentation was to introduce school nurses to the coalition’s work and specifically to talk about how nurses can help families as we continue to work to improve issues around Medicaid enrollment and eligibility.
  • In early 2020, Kids Win will host roundtables in communities across Missouri to gather feedback from stakeholders on early education and health issues. Stay tuned!

Kwm in the News

  • Kids Win Missouri and our Finish Line partners, the Missouri Budget Project and Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies, were in the news last week as we continue to advocate for policy solutions to improve Medicaid for Missouri children and families. Georgetown University released it’s latest report on the increase in uninsured children and through our Finish Line work, we responded with a call to the state to consider adopting policies that ensure continuous coverage for children, streamline processes and utilize technology to reduce barriers for families accessing the program, and improve staff levels and training to ensure participants can get the support and answers they need to get and keep their coverage. Read more at the links below:

Missouri rate of uninsured children tops national average, KBIA – Columbia

 

Number of uninsured kids in Missouri rises by nearly 17% since 2016, study says, KOMU 8 – Columbia

 

17 percent more Missouri children uninsured since 2017, national study says, Missourinet

On the Horizon

  • As part of our work with our Finish Line grant partners, we’ll be launching the Cover Our Kids campaign to promote the importance of access to health insurance and care for all of Missouri’s children. Be on the lookout for a new website that will give you access to resources, tools and more opportunities to engage on these issues! In the meantime, you can support our efforts by sharing campaign materials within your networks and via social media.
  • Our December Quarterly Meeting is just around the corner! Make sure you get registered and plan to join us in Jefferson City for a final meeting before the 2020 legislative session.
  • Please note that Kids Win has postponed its November Happy Hour in Kansas City. We’ll be sad to miss you then but stay tuned for future networking opportunities!

Photos from October

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