Monday, August 29, 2011

House Hearings on the Children's Code Rewrite

In case you missed them, EmpowerMEnt successfully represented YOUTH VOICE at the hearings on the Children's Code Rewrite by the House Judiciary Committee!!!

Thank you to Giovan, Kendra, and Michael for testifying on the need for attorney's, gaurdian ad litems, siblings staying together, and ILP services!!! Anthony, Antionette, Kim, and Adrian provided statements to be included in a legislative memo on the importance of school stability among other topics.

photo courtesy of Chandra Thomas

EmpowerMEnt's JUSTGeorgia Crew would also like to recognize Sandra Michaels of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for her dedication to ensuring youth in Georgia recieve adequate representation in juvenile court and that status offenders are not detained!!!

For more information about the hearings stay tuned for our next TEAM MEETING and check out the article Stakeholders, Foster Kids Speak Out On Georgia Juvenile Code Rewrite by Chandra Thomas of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.

Here are the statements by our amazing advocates that speak to the importance of the Children's Code Rewrite...

·       I think having school stability is a good idea because a foster child has to change school every time they get replaced. It makes some kids get back on their class work and when some kids get back on one class then all their grades start going down.                                                                                                                                                      Antionette, age 17                        

·       I believe that having stability while getting your education is VERY important. I also, was placed in many different schools causing me to have to catch up all the time. Stability is a must to get through all of your studies. Therefore, you wont be behind and will have a better chance at an higher gpa.                                         Kim, Student at Atlanta Technical College

·       I think that it is very important to have school stability. As a foster youth I was exposed to soooo many changes and one of hem was placement changes; every time I had a placement change I also had to change schools, which meat that I always had to get to know the teachers, and I was always catching up in my school work. This frustrated me to the point where I just stopped doing school work all together. At least until I was placed in my permanent placement, where I was stable and felt comfortable enough to begin to try and do better. 
                                                                                                                               Anthony, EmpowerMent Assistant Youth Project Coordinator

·       How you can you expect me to socialize with others if I have been treated like an outcast. How can you expect me to one day handle responsibilities as an adult when I have been given ones like a child. How can I love when I have not been loved.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                  Adrian, Student at Clayton State University  

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