Monday, September 22, 2014

State officials, national experts gathering on Wednesday for forum on employability

HARTFORD—The Connecticut Departments of Labor and Social Services are joining with the Commission on Children to hold “Improving Pathways to Employment: A Best Practices Forum,” on Wednesday, September 24, from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 1-D of the Legislative Office Building, at 300 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.

TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, was launched by the federal government in 1997 as a centerpiece of welfare reform. The forum will explore how Connecticut currently uses the program to help needy families acquire the tools they need to land jobs in today’s competitive economy and whether other state programs may offer best practices that could be adopted for Connecticut.

The forum will also provide an opportunity for Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer and Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby to outline preliminary recommendations of Connecticut’s TANF Redesign Work Group. Anne Foley, undersecretary for the state Office of Policy & Management (OPM) and chair of the state’s Child Poverty and Prevention Council, will deliver opening remarks. Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman will moderate the event.

Six national and state experts have been invited to provide presentations on the ways TANF can connect people to jobs and employment opportunities. Presenters include:
  • State Representative Toni Walker of New Haven, who co-chairs the legislature’s Appropriations Committee (“The TANF Block Grant: Implications for Low-Income Families”);
  • LaDonna Pavetti, vice president for family income support policy at the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (“The TANF Landscape in the U.S.: Lessons Learned”);
  • Brian Campbell, special assistant for the District of Columbia’s Department of Human Services (“Closing Obstacles, Opening Opportunity to Employment”);
  • William Durden, policy associate for the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (“The I-BEST Model”);
  • Rochelle Finzel, group director for the National Conference of State Legislatures (“Building Career Pathways”); and
  • Charisse Hutton, director of Support Enforcement Services for Connecticut’s Judicial Branch (“Don’t Forget the Fathers: TANF & Child Support.”)
For more about the forum, including an agenda, speaker biographies and handouts, visit the Commission on Children website, at

Immediately following the forum, at the same location, DSS will hold a public-comment session on Connecticut’s proposed plan for allocating its TANF block grants for federal fiscal years 2015-2017. The state receives about $267 million in TANF funding annually from the federal government and is therefore required to submit an allocation plan every three years. For details, visit the DSS website at

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Check out our August newsletter!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kellogg awards grant to expand PLTI nationally

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded a $500,000, two-year grant to the Commission on Children for a national expansion of its ground-breaking Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI). The funding will also allow expansion of the program to a two-generation strategy, so that it includes the children of participating parents. Read more about it in this news release.

WTIC-AM morning host Ray Dunaway interviewed Commission Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman about the grant. You can listen to it here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What We're Reading

Here's this week's issue of "What We're Reading," our round-up of the past week's news concerning Connecticut children.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 PLTI sites and contact information

The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) sites for 2014 are Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, Meriden, Middlesex County, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury, West Central Connecticut, and West Hartford. You'll find contact information for each here. Learn more about PLTI here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Photos of reception for 'Illuminate! Bringing My Culture to Light'

Over on our blog for the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), you'll find a gallery of photos taken at the state Capitol on Thursday night, at a reception for "Illuminate! Bringing My Culture to Light," an exhibit of children's artwork from around the world. Danbury PLTI grad Miguel Barreto engineered the exhibit in his capacity as director of operations for Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization based in Norwalk. The exhibit can be seen throughout December in the concourse that connects the Capitol to the Legislative Office Building.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Obesity resource added

The Obesity section of our website now includes a link to Salud America! A resource of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children, Salud America! promotes policies and environmental changes that can help reverse the Latino childhood obesity epidemic.

Friday, August 9, 2013

This week's 'What We're Reading' newsletter

You'll find it here.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Request for proposals (RFP) issued for organizations interested in conducting parent leadership training

The State Education Resource Center (SERC) and the Connecticut Parent Information and Resource Center (CT PIRC) "are seeking submission of written proposals, on a competitive basis, from qualified organizations to conduct parent leadership training using one or more parent leadership training model curricula, such as The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), Parents Supporting Educational Excellence (Parents SEE), People Empowering People (PEP) and Voices for Families. The ultimate goal is to train parents, grandparents, foster parents, and others to become skilled advocates and strong voices for children at the local, state, or national level. Applicants must meet all requirements of the parent leadership training curriculum prior to submission."

Proposals are due September 16, 2013, no later than 2:30 p.m.

Learn more about PLTI and Parents SEE here.

Monday, April 1, 2013

2012 grad launches Facebook page for parent leaders

Congratulations to 2012 PLTI graduate Kelly Nealy of West Haven on the launch of her Facebook page, The Parent Leader. Kelly hopes to encourage parental involvement by sharing information on "education, healthcare, government, communities, volunteer opportunities, and events related to children and communities in the New Haven County area" as well as on the state level. Be sure to "like" her!

Kelly has also written a poem inspired by her PLTI experience:

To all who think your voice won't be heard
I will tell you it won't if you don't say a word
There's no mountain too small or too big you can't climb
Nothing is ever a waste of your time
Our children are our future and we need to fight
For anything and everything we feel is right
With each little step you are willing to take
You help make the world a better place
Every voice makes a difference so let others hear
Your concerns, your worries, your story, your fears
Reach for the stars even the ones you can't see
Be The Parent Leader you know you can be.