Dear CHAMPS-NY Partners, 

We hope you are staying safe and taking all the necessary precautions during this troubling time. We wanted to reach out to you because as you may know, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the State budget and seems like things are changing by the minute. To ensure our issues continue to be a priority for legislators and on the radar of the Governor, we are passing along a sample email to your representatives and social media content for you to share on your platforms. Lookup your elected representatives here: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/.

Organizations in this Coalition have substantial online followings, so your participation on social media is vital to ensuring we reach as many people as possible.

See the sample email and tweets below.

SAMPLE EMAIL 

Hello Assemblymember/Senator X.,

Now more than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic we need to be strengthening our institutions to be able to deal with the long-term consequences this will have on our children and youth in foster care. As you know, we have a few proposals to help counties receive the resources they need to adequately support foster kids and families.

  • In order to bring more accountability to New York’s foster system, our partners in the Legislature Senators Persaud and Salazar and Assemblymembers Wright and Jaffee introduced bills to establish the office of the foster care ombudsman. We urge the legislature to ensure that $1 million in funding for the Office be included in the final budget agreement.
  • This office will go a long way to providing essential information and serving as a liaison mediator for foster families and youth, particularly at a time when policy and expectations are rapidly changing in response to the pandemic.
  • Currently only $3 million is allocated to the Family First Transition Fund for the next two years. Instead, we propose this amount is raised to $4.5 million to provide counties with funding necessary to improve kinship placement.
We understand that each hour and day brings a new and challenging development due to this growing pandemic. We urge you to champion the aforementioned proposals in the final days of budget negotiations and call on Governor Cuomo to include them in the final budget. Your support would ensure New York’s foster youth are given the chance to succeed and enjoy the benefits of a loving family environment.

Thank you,

[Your name]

SAMPLE TWEETS
General
  • Pandemics like #COVID-19 expose the need for more resources and accountability for foster families and kids. @NYGov can start this by prioritizing the implementation of a foster care ombudsman, expanding the Family First Transition Fund and strengthening KinGAP.
Foster care ombudsman
Now more than ever foster kids need our support. The foster care ombudsman bill will answer the need for increased accountability & improved support for foster families & youth. Thank you to @SenatorPersaud @SalazarSenate @Tremaine4ny & @EllenCJaffee for introducing this into the Legislature
  • This pandemic has made one thing very clear: we must do more to support all our communities. Families & young people involved in our #fostercare system need an independent ombudsman to help navigate & resolve questions, particularly in these uncertain times.
  • Now, more than ever, as NY faces the challenges of navigating #fostercare during the #COVID-19 pandemic, NY families need a recourse for questions & concerns. @[your legislator], please support the ombudsman (S7964) in the final budget!
  • Vulnerable communities need our support. The ombudsman bill co-sponsored by @SenatorPersaud @SalazarSenate @Tremaine4ny & @EllenCJaffee will serve as a liaison & mediator to foster kids & families. We need NY to pass this & provide much needed accountability in our foster system
Family First Transition Fund
  • In times of crisis, we cannot shortchange our counties & reduce their ability to provide for our state’s children in foster care. We must renew the Family First Transition Fund to $4.5M so counties can ensure more kids in #fostercare are placed in families & with kin.
  • In order to improve placements with relatives and kin, NYS counties need more funding! This is why we’re calling on @NYGovCuomo, @AndreaSCousins and @CarlHeastie to renew the Family First Transition Fund to $4.5 million in the budget

 

 

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