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35 Cold Spring Road
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News

Health & Human Services - 3-11-2019

Cindy Caron

As Measles Returns, Connecticut Offers Little Info About Immunization Rates <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=5cf505a9fb&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT News Junkie, 3/11/2019 “When immunization rates fall below a certain percentage, vulnerable populations such as babies under six months or individuals with certain medical conditions are at risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…”

 Navigating Recovery In Southeastern Connecticut <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=a93d7da347&e=2f0d3f62c3> , WNPR, 3/11/2019 “In southeastern Connecticut, a team of Recovery Navigators is offering a hand -- and a sense of hope -- to residents with opioid drug addiction. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the work this team is doing…”

 Lamont Opposes Minimum Wage To Trainees, Supports Public Health Option <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=c36e131832&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT Post, 3/8/2019 “Gov. Ned Lamont stressed his small-business background Friday in pushing back at a proposal by labor Democrats to require payment of the minimum wage to trainees and then offering support for the concept of a public option for health insurance…”

 Connecticut Lawmakers Unveil A Public Option Health Plan <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=7b30a07a5e&e=2f0d3f62c3> , WNPR, 3/8/2019 “State lawmakers revealed details Thursday on how Connecticut could create and run its own public option health care plan, which would compete with private insurers…”

Connecticut Legislators Unveil Public Option For Health Insurance <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=d2376eb6ed&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT Mirror, 3/7/2019 “Connecticut lawmakers are joining other states that have unveiled proposals to expand government-run health coverage, with plans to extend state health benefits to small businesses and nonprofits, and to explore a public option for individuals…”

 Connecticut Nurse Midwives Fight For Equal Health Care Pay <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=f1df5e96b8&e=2f0d3f62c3> , WNPR, 3/6/2019 “Brianne Foley didn’t have time to plan for the birth of her first child. So when she and her husband were having their second child, Foley did extensive research on which ones accepted Medicaid and were within driving distance of her home in Watertown…”

 California Sues Over US Abortion Rule, 20 States Including Connecticut To Follow <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=875e18904e&e=2f0d3f62c3> , WTNH, 3/4/2019 “ California and 20 other Democratic-led states announced they were challenging the Trump administration's effort to set up obstacles for women seeking abortions, including barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers…”

Education

Proposal To Consolidate School Districts Leads To Confusion And Fear As Legislators Look For Ways To Save Money <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=1fea199c79&e=2f0d3f62c3> , Hartford Courant, 3/11/2019 “Ever since Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney’s controversial school regionalization bill referenced realigning districts “in a manner similar to the probate districts,” the brightly colored map delineating those court districts has been shared widely on social media by alarmed parents and educators…”

 Budget Cuts Are Hurting Our Children And Their Future <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=89a5429d02&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT Mirror, 3/11/2019 “Investments in our young people have long lasting implications for their future, and for our communities…”

 

Getting Serious About Closing The Education Gap <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=dd9a834419&e=2f0d3f62c3> , The Day, 3/10/2019 “In my column last week, I noted that despite the plaintiffs emerging with a legal victory in the Sheff vs. O’Neill case, filed 30 years ago this year, the large academic performance gap between public school students in our poor urban centers and their affluent suburban neighbors persists…”

 

Connecticut Bills Call For Schools To Teach African-American, Puerto Rican, Latino History <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=46d3966ac1&e=2f0d3f62c3> , WNPR, 3/7/2019 “Two bills before Connecticut lawmakers would require schools to teach African-American, as well as Puerto Rican and Latino history…”

Budget

Fluctuating Sales Tax Revenue A Target For Change In State Budget Talks <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=5578f8a1b1&e=2f0d3f62c3> , News Times, 3/11/2019 “Connecticut sales tax collections spiked in December after the state enacted new rules for taxing online purchases…”

 

Lembo Warns Of Stock Market’s Effect On Connecticut State Budget <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=adf49a655d&e=2f0d3f62c3> , The Day, 3/10/2019 “State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is warning about record-high household debt in Connecticut and the implications of a volatile stock market on state revenues…”

 

Progressive Dems Will Test Lamont’s Open-Door Approach To Next CT Budget <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=eadce997db&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT Mirror, 3/5/2019 “Gov. Ned Lamont insists he’s ready to hear any idea to end Connecticut’s cycle of budget deficits…”

 

Budget Cuts Threaten CT Courthouse Security, Juvenile Justice Programs <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=876686d733&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT Post, 3/5/2019 “Judicial Branch officials told members of the Appropriations Committee Monday that Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposed Judicial Branch budget will jeopardize courthouse security and juvenile justice programs…”

Retirees

Baseball, Taxes And Retirement Destinations <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=4587fa56d7&e=2f0d3f62c3> , Investment News, 3/11/2019 “My husband is a huge baseball fan. Me, not so much. But I always appreciate it when he forwards articles about his favorite pastime that are relevant to my passion for retirement planning…”

 

Lamont Budget Is A Step in The Right Direction For Retired Teachers <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=7db8c24bbb&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT News Junkie, 3/8/2019 “After decades of not adequately funding the Teachers’ Retirement System, Connecticut is at a crossroads. Do we continue to kick the can down the road or make substantial improvements to how we fund the state’s long-term obligations to teachers? The Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut is grateful that Gov. Ned Lamont made stable retirement funds for teachers a priority in his budget proposal…”

Miscellaneous

CT Unemployment Falls To 3.8%, Despite Anemic Jobs Growth <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=52d9829138&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT Mirror, 3/8/2019 “Connecticut gained 1,000 jobs and its unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in January, its lowest point in 17 years and two-tenths of a point below the current U.S. rate…”

 

House Democrats In Washington Approve Campaign And Election Reforms <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=cbd42e89bc&e=2f0d3f62c3> , CT News Junkie, 3/8/2019 “On a party line vote, House Democrats on Friday approved sweeping changes to campaign, ethics, and election laws that among other things would establish a public-funding mechanism for federal campaigns, restore voting rights to felons released from prison, and make it easier to register to vote…”

 

What Should Remain In Public Information In Criminal Investigations? <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=217281cd93&e=2f0d3f62c3>  CT News Junkie, 3/7/2019 “Whether the public should have access to all evidence seized in a criminal investigation was the subject of a Judiciary Committee public hearing Wednesday…”

In Case You Missed It

Democratic Majority Gives Advocates Hope For Path To $15 Minimum Wage

Cindy Caron

March 11, 2019

 What's New...

 Democratic Majority Gives Advocates Hope For Path To $15 Minimum Wage

By: Jack Kramer, CT News Junkie

March 7, 2019

 The legislature’s expanded Democratic majority had advocates in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour buzzing with excitement Thursday.

 “This has been a long time coming,” Rep. Robyn Porter, D-New Haven, a staunch advocate for raising the minimum wage said at a press conference before the start of the Labor and Public Employees Committee’s public hearing. “I’m so excited.”

 Porter is the co-sponsor of a bill that would raise the minimum wage from its current $10.10 to $15 an hour by January of 2022.

 Gov. Ned Lamont has his own bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 — but his bill would take a year longer than to get to that goal, not hitting the $15 mark until January of 2023.

 At the press conference, Porter and Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, who co-chair the committee, were joined by workers currently earning minimum wage, labor leaders and economists to make the case that Connecticut’s time has come.

 Read More... <https://graffps.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c31df12c9b95a37228b35db3&id=147883df84&e=2f0d3f62c3>

 

Latest News From The Office Of Legislative Research

Cindy Caron

On a weekly basis the Office of Legislative Research ("OLR"), the Connecticut General Assembly's nonpartisan research arm releases reports on a wide variety of topics. Any member of the Connecticut General Assembly can ask the OLR for information on any given topic to get a clear understanding of what laws we have here in Connecticut and how we compare to other states. The reports issued by the OLR can serve as a preview of potential future legislation so we frequently check OLR’s website for updates. 

Latest News From The Governor's Office

Cindy Caron

Governor Lamont Selects Andrew N. Mais To Serve As Insurance Commissioner
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is nominating Andrew N. Mais of Wilton to serve as commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department..."

Read More...

Governor Lamont Selects Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell To Serve As Commissioner Of The Department Of Public Health
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has chosen Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell to serve as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)..."

Read More...

Governor Lamont Selects Seila Mosquera-Bruno To Serve As Commissioner Of The Department Of Housing
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has chosen Seila Mosquera-Bruno of Milford to serve as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH)..."

Read More...

A Path Forward: Governor Lamont's FY 2020-2021 Budget Proposal
"Anchored by honesty, data, and stakeholder input, Governor Lamont’s pro-growth budget proposes the structural changes necessary to address the state’s crushing fixed costs, while also investing in transportation, education and workforce/economic development. It’s a budget that makes tough choices, strategic investments and ensures that we put Connecticut on a path to growth for all its citizens..."

Read More...

Lamont's Big Budget Reveal Goes As Expected

Cindy Caron

By: Paul Stern, CT Mirror
February 24, 2019

Last week was Gov. Ned Lamont’s big budget reveal, when he attempted to satisfy hundreds of competing interests with billions of dollars the government doesn’t have.

His $43 billion proposal was an attempt to thread the needle between closing a huge budget deficit and investing in progress, paying for better education and encouraging school economies, limiting borrowing and bringing tax relief to hospitals, and finding money to improve Connecticut’s transportation network while keeping his campaign promises about highway tolls.

It remains to be seen whether he will succeed –or wind up stabbing his own hand.

Lamont’s initial effort to promote a plan for highway tolls – by publishing an op-ed on the subject on a Saturday – was seen as the stumble of an inexperienced administration. Similarly, his announcement that he will seek wage or benefit concessions from state retirees while taking other cost-saving measures was met with their stern refusal to make any more sacrifices in the taxpayers’ behalf.

The jury is still out on how the public will react to his proposal to tax sugary drinks, electronic cigarettes and plastic bags. Then there are the proposals to repeal the estate tax or perhaps impose a statewide property tax on motor vehicles. And, of course, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities need more money if they are to stay out of a $57 million hole.

Read More...

Miscellaneous Items form the Capital

Cindy Caron

Proponents Bet This Is The Year For Sports Wagering, CT News Junkie, 2/25/2019
“A bill legalizing sports betting in Connecticut never made it to the finish line in 2018, but proponents are hoping for a different result this year…”

Sackler Embraced Plan To Conceal Oxycontin’s Strength, CT Mirror, 2/21/2019
“In May 1997, the year after Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin, its head of sales and marketing sought input on a key decision from Dr. Richard Sackler, a member of the billionaire family that founded and controls the company…” 

Lamont Takes Steps To Address Opioid Epidemic, CT News Junkie, 2/22/2019
“It didn’t receive much attention Wednesday, but Gov. Ned Lamont made two proposals during his budget address that he’s hoping will reduce opioid deaths…”

Retirees - Can Tax Break Promises be Kept?

Cindy Caron

Can Tax Break Promises Be Kept? The Day, 2/25/2019
“Gov. Ned Lamont's new state budget is less than a week old, but the pressure already is shifting to the General Assembly to protect the tax cuts it passed last year…”

Unions, Towns Not Happy With Budget, Journal Inquirer, 2/21/2019
“State employees and municipal officials aren’t happy with Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposals to renegotiate union contracts and force municipalities to contribute at least 25 percent of teachers retirement benefits…”

Lamont Proposes Shoring Up Teacher Pensions, WTNH, 2/20/2019
“Another piece of Governor Lamont's budget proposal is the state's severely under-funded teacher pension plan…”

Lamont Faces Months of Deliberation Over His Budget Plan

Cindy Caron

Lamont Faces Months Of Deliberation Over His Budget Plan, NBC Connecticut, 2/22/2019
“The release of Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont's first proposed two-year state budget has set the stage for months of negotiations on potentially hot-button topics, ranging from what goods and services should be taxed to whether cities and towns should pick up part of the tab for teacher pensions…”

Lamont Budget Stokes Fears Of Transportation Construction Slowdown, NBC Connecticut, 2/21/2019
“One line in the governor’s budget proposal has the entire construction industry in Connecticut on edge for fear of seeing multi-million-dollar projects put on hold…”

Lamont’s Health Budget Vs Connecticut Hospitals, CT Mirror, 2/20/2019
“After watching his predecessor, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, spar with Connecticut’s hospitals for much of the past eight years, Gov. Ned Lamont got off to a rough start with the industry himself on Wednesday…”

Lamont Tweaks Business Taxes In Connecticut Budget Plan, News Times, 2/20/2019
“Gov. Ned Lamont would leave largely intact the tax schedules businesses pay in Connecticut, making no transformative proposals in his inaugural budget proposal on Wednesday in Hartford that he will work with lawmakers in the coming months to finalize for the coming two fiscal years…”

From the Capital - Connecticut Education

Cindy Caron

Second Lawsuit Targets Connecticut Magnet School Racial Quotas, Yankee Institute, 2/25/2019
“The Connecticut Parents Union filed a lawsuit in federal court on February 20 against the state of Connecticut alleging racial quotas meant to keep the state’s magnet schools diverse are actually preventing minority students from gaining access to those schools…”

Another Effort To Boost Minority Teaching Ranks Proposed, CT Post, 2/25/2019
“Freshman Sen. Dennis Bradley, D-Bridgeport, made a local pitch Monday for a bill aimed at compelling school districts to try harder to put more teachers of color in front of an increasingly diversified student body…”

Don’t Mess With Our Kids’ Education, CT Mirror, 2/22/2019
“Connecticut was once the envy of the country for its low costs (no state income tax), its top education and best quality of life…”

Look Up How Your School Performs Under Connecticut’s Annual Statewide Assessment, Hartford Courant, 2/22/2019
“Overall school performance in schools and districts across Connecticut has improved slightly, according to an assessment released Friday that includes a dozen different school performance indicators…”

Connecticut Education Needs A New Direction From The Top, CT Mirror, 2/20/2019
“According to new research from several European economists, children of same sex parents do better in school than children of parents of different sexes…”

Governor Lamont - Health & Humans Services

Cindy Caron

Connecticut Governor Lamont Fills Top Public Health, Insurance Agency Jobs, Insurance Journal, 2/25/2019
“Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has announced his choices to lead the departments of public health and insurance…”

Youth Vaping Is Reaching Epidemic Proportions, CT Mirror, 2/25/2019
“Electronic-cigarettes are delivery systems for the highly addictive drug nicotine. They consist of battery-operated devices with a heating element (atomizer) that vaporizes liquid nicotine…”

Governor Proposes Asset Test For Medicare Savings Program, CT Post, 2/22/2019
“Before Natalie Torranto qualified for the state’s Medicare Savings Program three years ago, the former nurse used to skip her chemotherapy pills every other day…”

Public Health Insurance Still An Option For CT Lawmakers, CT Post, 2/21/2019
“Connecticut lawmakers are taking a hard look this year at government-sponsored public health insurance options…”

Audit Finds Dept. Of Public Health Was Lax On Public Drinking Water Enforcement, Hartford Courant, 2/21/2019
“An audit released Thursday found bewildering gaps in the state public health agency’s oversight of the quality of the water that 2.7 million Connecticut residents drink, including that public water systems complied with only half of violation orders issued from 2012 to 2016, and of the violations that were addressed, nearly 20 percent were long overdue…”

Connecticut Lawmakers Concerned About Services For Young Adults With Autism, Record Journal, 2/20/2019
“The General Assembly is considering several bills aimed at improving services for people with autism as they leave school and enter early adulthood…”

There’s A New Push For Public Health Insurance In Connecticut, Hartford Courant, 2/18/2019
“The ambitious co-chairs of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Rep. Sean Scanlon of Guilford and Sen. Matt Lesser of Middletown, have been quietly working for months on how to nudge Connecticut into the ranks of blue states exploring government-sponsored health insurance…”

Lamont's Budget Will Tax Services, Some Goods

Cindy Caron

By: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie
February 20, 2019

Gov. Ned Lamont’s first two-year budget proposal will include taxes on sugary beverages, plastic bags, liquor bottles, legal services, interior design, real estate, veterinarian services, accounting services, digital downloads, home renovations, winter boat storage, over-the-counter drugs, and newspaper and magazine sales.

The budget Lamont proposed to a joint session of the General Assembly at noon Wednesday includes projected revenue increases of $1.28 billion in the first year and $1.76 billion in the second year. Of those totals, revenue from “new” taxes — mostly from sales tax on items that were previously exempted — will be $253.5 million in 2020 and $651.5 million in 2021.

Lamont contends that 80 percent of the revenue changes in 2020 and over 62 percent of the revenue changes in 2021 continue current policies or undo “unrealistic tax cut promises.”

Overall spending in Lamont’s proposal will increase 1.7 percent in the first year and 3.4 percent in the second year.

Read More...

CCFSA Honors State Senator Marilyn Moore as the 2019 Family Legislator of the Year

Alyssa Goduti

CCFSA was proud to honor State Senator Marilyn Moore on 4/24/19 with the Family Legislator of the Year Award.  State Senator Moore said, “It is an honor to be named Family Legislator of the Year. CCFSA does an amazing job providing educational resources and programs to Connecticut’s diverse and growing number of families. In addition to services, CCFSA leads advocacy efforts, on behalf of their membership, about the importance of programs that serve and support the state’s most vulnerable children and families. It is a pleasure to work with CCFSA and its Member Agencies to connect people with life improving services.”  Click here to read the official press release.

CCFSA Shares 2018 Legislative Agenda

Alyssa Goduti

2018 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA 

The CT Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) is an innovative and efficient provider network offering high quality, outcome-driven human services focused on strengthening CT’s families and communities. We support policies that strengthen family service agencies and the essential services our members provide to more than 180,000 people in CT each year.  As a result of CCFSA’s rigorous standards, we represent the most highly qualified CT providers producing the strongest outcomes in the areas of child welfare, mental health, intellectual disabilities and substance use services.  CCFSA’s statewide human service delivery network strengthens communities across the state through collaboration of local service providers under one centralized administrative system for program management, fiscal oversight and data/ quality assurance.  Together we are working to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
 
State and national public policy should promote a partnership between government and nonprofit human service agencies that collectively supports the stability, self-sufficiency, health and hopeful future of children and families.  CCFSA promotes the following public policy priorities for 2018:
1. Funding should support a stable human service delivery system through reimbursement models which cover the costs of providing quality services to vulnerable children, families and individuals. 
 
Public policy, government contracts and funding should be provided to allow individuals and families to:  • Access vital services such as behavioral healthcare, case management, housing, employment, early care, education, child development, residential and day supports for people with disabilities, nutrition services, foster care, healthcare and other human services;
 
• Move from dependence to self-sufficiency;
 
• Reduce poverty and increase equity;
 
• Minimize crisis by funding prevention and early intervention services.
 
2. Government should support high quality programs and services that strengthen CT’s families and communities. • Funding should be targeted to effective statewide services that strengthen families, particularly those like CCFSA’s TANF Case Management Program, which uses a 2 Generation approach to break the cycle of poverty among the highest need families across CT;
• Resources should be prioritized to support the health and stability of families related to housing such as the Housing Mobility Counseling Program, which helps reduce generational poverty by supporting families in accessing appropriate housing for their families.

CCFSA SSBG Counseling Program should be expanded to address the behavioral health needs of all those struggling with poverty, regardless of insurance status.
• CCFSA should be utilized by policy makers as a resource and thought-leader in issues related to the complex needs of children and families across CT.  
 
3. Resource allocation and program evaluation should be based on dynamic, outcome and data-driven systems. 
 
• Funding decisions should take into account program effectiveness and should focus on return on investment in driving towards population-level results.
 
• Government should consider short-term and long-term impact on consumers and communities when making investments in programs and services.
 
4. Government should invest in models of collaboration, innovation and efficiency in the delivery of human services. 
• Government policies should encourage innovative service models utilizing best practices that allow providers to achieve desired results in cost-effective ways. Public policy should support efforts to drive towards efficiency in service delivery, administration and contracting.
 
• Government should be flexible and creative in its approach to service delivery to foster innovation.  
 
5. Policies should support collaboration between government and human service providers as a best practice for systems improvement. 
• Administrative efficiencies should be identified and supported, such as the Licensure and Certification Workgroup efforts to streamline the provider licensing process, which was a collaboration between state agencies and providers through a Lean management process to streamline and align the licensure process.  
• Recommendations of the Governor’s Cabinet on Nonprofit Health and Human Services to improve contracting, reimbursement systems, data collection and workforce development should be supported and the model of collaboration and partnership between state agencies and providers should be more broadly utilized as a best practice.
• Policies should provide flexibility in budgeting to allow contractors to make the best use of government funding, including reinvestment of savings to support long-term stability and sustainability of the system. 
• Maximize access to bonding and other funding for capital improvements, technology and other long-term needs.
 
CCFSA is a network of select non-profit organizations serving children and families designed to strengthen our members’ quality and scope of services, enhance their leadership capacity and facilitate innovative and strategic networking opportunities. We are committed to the highest quality of care, results-driven services and excellence in program execution and operation. Through our collective voice, we advocate for government policies that support our member agency network and benefit all of Connecticut’s children and families.
 

Counseling/Trauma Services for Hurricane Evacuees

Christopher Brechlin

CCFSA members are available to provide counseling, basic needs, case management and care coordination for children and families throughout CT, including those who have been displaced due to recent hurricanes. 

As described by Lt. Governor Wyman in an 11/3/17 press release, “These evacuees have endured devastation – losing loved ones, homes, businesses, and a sense of safety in their lives.  Ensuring they have the resources to rebuild is critical, as it’s the right thing to do.”  All CCFSA members provide outpatient counseling services to help individuals, children and families experiencing trauma, regardless of financial status or insurance coverage.  CCFSA’s Social Services Block Grant Counseling Services Program (funded through CT DSS) is also available as a resource to victims of the recent hurricanes now living in CT who don’t have insurance. 

Please go to the Counseling section of our website for contact information for CCFSA member agencies participating in the SSBG Counseling Program.  These agencies are able to offer free counseling services to anyone who is a citizens, at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty level and without insurance. 

2018 Family Champions

Christopher Brechlin

June 5, 2018

Since 2006, the Celebration of Family Champions has become an opportunity for The Council to recognize two individuals from each member agency who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to strengthen and support families in Connecticut. 

To celebrate these family champions we first recognize that it is a person’s individual talent, skill and dedication that changes lives forever. Each of the councils 2017 champions achieved this honor in their own personal way, by demonstrating the best of what their agency has to offer, consistently giving more, reaching further, and taking bold steps to strengthen and improve the lives of families throughout our state.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Meet the individuals who are the “best of the best” in the field of family services in Connecticut for 2018:

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County
Larry & Meg Riefberg, Volunteers
Charles Coretto, Staff Member

Catholic Charities & Family Services, Diocese of Norwich
Monsignor Leszek T. Janik, J.C.L., V.G., Board Member
Cindy Mageski, Staff Member

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Hartford
John Ruben Flores, Board Member
Christina Jimenez-Colon, Staff Member
Margarita Morales, Staff Member
Nilda Morales-Rivera, Staff Member
Nelly Castro, Staff Member
Joel Cruz, Staff Member

Family and Children’s Agency, Inc.
Trish Weber, Board Member
Lisa Habasinski, Staff Member

Family Centers, Inc.
Terri Walker, Board Member
Tania Recinos, Staff Member

InterCommunity, Inc.
Matthew M. Kurtz, Ph.D., Board Member
Alaina Crawford, BS, Staff Member

Elayne and James Schoke Jewish Family Services of F airfield County
Edith Samers, Board Member
Vanessa Butler, Staff Member

Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford
Robert Preminger, Board Member
Svetlana Berlinsky, LCSW, Staff Member

Jewish Family Services of Greater New Haven
Linda Randell, Board Member
Rachel Scolnic Dobin, Staff Member

Klingberg Family Centers
Natalie Lynne Smith, Board Member
Timothy Conaway, Staff Member

LifeBridge Community Services
Jeanne Breen, M.D., Board Member
Iraida Negron, Staff Member

Newtown Youth & Family Services
Martha Shilstone, LCSW, Staff Member
Nereida Medina, M.Ed., Staff Member

Oak Hill
Karen Neag, Volunteer
Shanna York, Staff Member

United Services, Inc.
Sheldon Mossberg, Board Member
Mary E. Allard, Staff Member

Village for Families and Children
David L. Friar, Board Member
Melissa Aiello, Staff Member





2017 Family Legislator of the Year

Alyssa Goduti


For twenty five consecutive years the Council has recognized one member of the CT General Assembly as the Family Legislator of the Year. Throughout the years members of this distinguished group have worked tirelessly on behalf of families and children in CT. Their recognition is well deserved.


The CT Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) will honor Senator Cathy Osten with their 29th Annual Family Legislator of the Year award, in recognition of her exceptional efforts to support the mission of CCFSA to strengthen Connecticut’s families. For 29 years, CCFSA has recognized exceptional public officials for consistently responding to the ever-changing needs of families in Connecticut. Senator Osten is being recognized for her exceptional advocacy, dedicated service and an unwavering commitment to the health, safety and well-being of CT’s children and families. Sen. Osten serves as the Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Vice Chair of the Housing and Labor and Public Employees Committees and is a member of the Transportation and Veteran’s Affairs Committees. She is an advocate for family service agencies and our clients, particularly those United Services and Oak Hill which provide services in her district.

In direct alignment with CCFSA’s mission, Senator Osten works to assure that families are safe, stable and strong. She is committed to supporting a high quality human services safety net, access to excellent public schools and the rights of women and seniors.

“I’m truly honored to receive this recognition from the CT Council of Family Service Agencies. Family Service Agencies do fantastic work on issues that are priorities for me: safety net services, support for the elderly, behavioral healthcare, housing and family supports,” said Senator Osten. “These vital human services help strengthen our families, our communities and our state and have been a priority in my service as a public official. I’m grateful to work so closely with CCFSA and its member agencies to connect our families to the support they deserve. I’m honored to receive this award.”

“Senator Osten is a true champion for human services and in particular for the essential safety net services provided by our network of family service agencies. Despite the challenging budget situation, she continues to fight for vital programs and policies that support children and families to find hope for brighter futures. We are grateful for Senator Osten’s efforts on behalf of CT’s Family Service Agencies and the children and families we serve,” said Alyssa Goduti, President and CEO of the CT Council of Family Service Agencies.

The Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies, Inc. is a statewide network of fifteen independent, non-profit, family service agencies that deliver services to over 180,000 families annually, with the support of nearly 5,000 dedicated employees and more than 4,000. Member Agencies are community-based, licensed by the State of CT and nationally accredited. Governed by volunteer boards of directors from their respective communities, Family Service Agencies have been effectively serving CT families for more than 100 years.

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New Partnership with Dept of Housing

Alyssa Goduti

CCFSA’s New Partnership with the Department of Housing – Housing Mobility Counseling and Search Assistance Program: CCFSA recently entered into a new partnership with the Department of Housing to provide housing mobility counseling and search assistance. Services will be managed through CCFSA and will be provided locally in the Hartford area by The Village for Families and Children, in the Stamford/Norwalk area by Family Centers and in Waterbury area by Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Hartford. This program will support tenant education, mobility counseling and housing search assistance for eligible participants in DOH’s rent subsidy programs: Section 8 Housing Choice Program and Rental Assistance Program (RAP). Services will emphasize mobility moves from areas of low opportunity to those of higher opportunity, with a priority placed on serving families with young children. This new program is a nice complement to CCFSA’s Safety Net and parenting programs and will help us further achieve our mission of strengthening CT’s families.

Three Nonprofits Receive the 2016 UNITE Award from Social Solutions Global

Alyssa Goduti

BALTIMORE — Social Solutions Global, the leading provider of outcomes and performance management software for human services, awarded three high-performing nonprofits with the 2016 UNITE Award at this year’s client event, the Superhero Summit. Friends of the Children, Connecticut Council of Family Services Agencies, and Area Resources for Community & Human Services (ARCHS) were announced as award recipients on the final day of the Summit in Baltimore. The UNITE Award recognizes clients who have excelled at making a meaningful impact on their constituents, leveraging data-driven performance management, and have demonstrated a dedication to outcomes measurement using Social Solutions’ Efforts to Outcomes (ETO®) or Apricot Software™.

Read the full release here.

“Social Solutions is thrilled to launch the UNITE Award, in appreciation for the work that all of our clients undertake in their communities,” said Rachel Arnold, CEO of Social Solutions. “The three organizations receiving this year’s award have all made incredible inroads furthering their mission through outcomes and performance measurement of their programs. We view them as true leaders in human services and are proud to call them clients and partners.”

The 2016 UNITE Award recipients:

ARCHS

ARCHS is a nonprofit organization that leverages Apricot software to help improve the lives of more than 100,000 at-risk children and their families. The organization funds and enhances education and social service programs provided at more than 350 locations throughout the St. Louis area.

Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies

Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies uses ETO software to track progress across fifteen independent, nonprofit, family service agencies that provide services to over 150,000 families annually. The organization serves as the only statewide family service network in Connecticut devoted to improving the lives of families and children.

Friends of the Children

Friends of the Children provides professional mentors for the most vulnerable youth across the United States, relying on ETO software to track and report on day-to-day program and field data. For every $1 invested in the nonprofit, more than $7.60 is returned to the community as a result of higher wages earned and less involvement with the justice system.


About Social Solutions

Social Solutions Global, the provider of Efforts to Outcomes (ETO®) and Apricot Software™, is the leader in outcomes management software for human service organizations, making data useful at all levels, from frontline staff to executive leaders. Learn more at http://www.socialsolutions.com.

2016 Federal Legislator of the Year

Alyssa Goduti

The CT Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) honored Senator Chris Murphy with the Federal Legislator of the Year award, in recognition of his exceptional efforts to support the mission of CCFSA to strengthen Connecticut’s families. Senator Murphy consistently demonstrates exceptional advocacy, dedicated service and an unwavering commitment to the health, safety and well-being of CT residents through his leadership in the Senate. Senator Murphy serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee. He is well-known for his leadership on many issues, including his introduction of bipartisan mental health reform legislation, efforts to pass comprehensive anti-gun violence legislation and his work to improve access to vital addiction treatment services to combat the opioid epidemic. 


“Whether it’s medical care, job training, or child care, Connecticut families deserve the best,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. “I’m grateful to work so closely with CCFSA and its member agencies to connect our families to the support they deserve. I’m honored to receive this award—it’s an honor to fight on your behalf every single day.” 

“Senator Murphy is a true champion for human services and in particular for the essential mental health and addiction treatment services provided by our network of family service agencies. Senator Murphy has led the fight for access to quality behavioral healthcare that prevents crisis, provides care and keep people healthy. He’s stood up for the safety of children and families by taking historic action against gun violence. The CT Council of Family Service Agencies is proud to honor Senator Murphy for his exceptional advocacy, unwavering commitment and dedicated service to the children and families of CT. CCFSA is honored to have Senator Murphy representing us and fighting for the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people we serve throughout our system,” said Alyssa Goduti, President and CEO of the CT Council of Family Service Agencies.

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