Wednesday, February 08, 2017

DCAYA's Advocacy Agenda for 2017

This week, we wanted to share our advocacy agenda, going into this year's Performance Oversight and Budget hearings. We've broken down our short term goals for the next year or so by our four main issue areas.

Youth Homelessness

One main goal is to scale up the capacity of our system to serve close to twice as many youth through developmentally appropriate and culturally competent services. To this end, we will be advocating for fully funding the first year objectives in Youth Strategic Plan, an investment of $5.7 million. Not limited to beds and transitional housing, this investment also includes building support for long term prevention and intervention strategies.

Other goals related to this issue include making sure that case management, family connections, prevention and outreach enhancements all come online in a timely manner, as well as supporting efforts to develop and begin to implement a bold new rapid re-housing program for transitional age youth in the District.

Expanded Learning

This year, we are focused on informing and influencing the re-creation of the youth development system here in the District, and build support for an initial $10 million dollar investment. This crucial foundation will support community based organizations to better meet the out of school time needs of youth and their communities.

Over the next year and a half, we will continue to support and monitor the implementation of the Office of  Youth Outcomes and Grants (OYOG). We will continue supporting the development of the Commission and Office in any ways possible; while also working in conjunction with the Committee on Education's oversight to foster and enhance cross-systems collaboration & planning in provision of Out-of-School Time (OST) programs.

In this issue area, another goal is elevating the priority for Expanded Learning data sharing through ongoing facilitation between members and key agencies on the opportunities for data collection and sharing and inform programmatic and system level decision making.

Youth Workforce Development

In this issue, continue our ongoing advocacy, education and trust building to strengthen the quality, capacity and connectivity of the youth workforce development system is a priority. We will work to establish effective oversight and accountability mechanisms to maximize existing federal and local investments.

This includes advocacy on the opportunity for Summer Youth Employment Program pilots for special populations and ongoing engagement in the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Finally, we will also continue to foster collaboration between key agencies on opportunities to use existing data to enhance and target services to out-of-school youth.

Also, if you didn't see our blog from December about the Re-Engagement Center's new online tool, check out Add It to Your Toolbox:!

Disconnected Youth

And for our young people who aren't enrolled in classes or employed, we will work to identify and remove the policy or funding barriers they face, in successful reconnection to education and jobs.

We believe it is necessary to secure $3.5 million dollars in order to expand transportation subsidy support to those who have reconnected to school. Of that amount, $2 million is an ongoing expense, and the remaining $1.5 million is a one time one.

As it relates to the barriers youth seeking to reconnect to education and employment, we join advocacy efforts for the expansion of a childcare subsidy, as we acknowledge the impact of childcare, or the lack thereof, on the education and employment outcomes of some of our most at-risk youth.

We need you

We need you to check our blog weekly for the latest information and updates. We need you to help spread the word on what you've learned and reach out to ask us questions about what you'd like to know more of. We need you to join us so that all of our youth have safe homes & places to live & learn, and the proper education & training to work and thrive.

Now, more than ever, we need to invest in our youth today, for the vitality of communities in all 8 wards tomorrow. As always, let us know if you have any questions,

- Your DCAYA Team

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