At Texans Care for Children, we bring Texans together year-round to discuss solutions to the challenges children face and how to help more kids grow up healthy, safe, and thriving.
Together, these Texans--parents, community leaders, advocates, youth, and public officials--share an interest in improving outcomes for kids. They meet in monthly forums to identify solutions that can help make a difference for children and our state. Our recommendations for 2013 result from that process.
In 2013, Texas should:
Invest in Children There are several promising ways we can make sure we're investing in the future, our kids.
Secure Early Opportunities for Texans Our children need safe, caring environments early in life and the chance to get a good start on learning. Children in poverty need a basic safety net, so they don't fall behind. Babies and toddlers with special needs should get the interventions that help them succeed.
Promote Child and Maternal Health From addressing a growing childhood obesity epidemic to paying attention to mothers' health, Texas can help give kids a healthy start in life. These solutions would reduce hunger, improve the environment where kids grow up and play, and tend to the health needs of babies and their mothers.
Ensure Kids Have the Health Care They Need From implementing the Affordable Care Act to keeping CHIP and Medicaid strong to making sure children with mental illness get the same treatment kids who are hurt or physically sick get, Texas can help more children see a doctor when they need to.
Support Children's Mental Wellbeing Children's social and emotional health gets nurtured at home, in school, and in communities when we promote wellbeing for all kids and address mental illnesses the right way.
Prioritize Child Protection Children who have been victims of child abuse and neglect need support in school, from family, and from those who could learn from their experiences with Texas Child Protective Services.
Advance Youth Success Kids belong in the classroom learning, but too many are being expelled, suspended, and ticketed for routine misbehavior. Texas can do more to prevent delinquency, address the "school-to-prison pipeline," and make our juvenile justice system a safe place for rehabilitation.