The latest episode of the Ahlquist Agenda focuses on a first of its kind program in Illinois, AKIN: Achieving Permanency through Kinship Placement Investing in Co-parenting with Natural Parents. The AKIN program partners parent mentors with lived experience and families navigating the child welfare system. Statewide Program Manager for Family Support Services Ashley Ackerman and Parent Partner Myles Camp-Lockett join host Eric Mayo to talk about why lived experience matters in child welfare and the positive impacts the program is having on families, children, and youth.
You can learn more about AKIN on our blog:
Learn more about building relationships between parents and caregivers and the importance of lived experience in programming
In recognition of Diaper Need Awareness Week, we're revisiting why diaper need is an important issue for Illinois families. We're joined by State Representative Lakesia Collins of the 9th District to talk about how diaper need impacts her district and why she is introducing legislation to make diapers more affordable for families next session in Springfield.
Representative Collins Diaper Distribution takes place on September 26th from 3 – 5 PM at 3318 West Ogden Avenue in Chicago. More details can be found at this link.
Senator Villa is hosting a diaper drive from September 30th – October 2nd at the Jewel Osco in St. Charles (652 Kirk Road). More details can be found here.
For a full list of all the events surrounding Diaper Need Awareness Week, click here.
To tell your legislator to prioritize eliminating diaper need in Illinois in 2023, click here.
Our first episode on diaper need, Hidden Crisis: Let’s Talk About Diapers can be listened to here.
Many of the facts presented in this podcast come from a 2019 study of the economic impacts of the Diaper Bank of Connecticut, which can be viewed here.
CNN’s report on diaper price increases can be viewed at this link. The Wall Street Journal report on earlier price increases can be viewed here.
In this episode, we recap our annual Breaking Barriers event and further explore the connections between neglect and poverty. The episode features our two guests from the event: Alex Kotlowitz, an award winning author and journalist who focuses on the needs of under-resourced communities, and Michael Tubbs, the former mayor of Stockton, CA and a leader in the universal basic income movement. You'll also hear from Children's Home & Aid CEO Mike Shaver on why the Ahlquist Center is taking on povery as a core tenet of its work.
Our President and CEO Michael Shaver wrote a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune about the links between child maltreatment and poverty, which you can view here.
Alex Kotlowitz’s first book, There Are No Children Here, won the Carl Sandburg prize for its story of two brothers growing up in Chicago’s Henry Horner housing project. Alex’s most recent book, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago, looks at the human toll of gun violence on the South Side of Chicago.
Michael Tubbs recently released his memoir, The Deeper the Roots: A Memoir of Hope and Home, which is available in bookstores everywhere. The documentary Stockton on My Mind, about Tubbs’ term as mayor of Stockton, is available to stream on HBO Max or for purchase on other digital sites.
This 2017 study connects an increase in the minimum wage to a decrease in child maltreatment cases.
The 2020 study that discussed the link between refundable tax credits and entry to foster care can be viewed at this link.
The most recent study exploring SNAP policy and its impact on the child welfare system can be viewed here.
In this episode, Host Eric Mayo reviews some of the big wins for children and families from the most recent legislative session in Springfield.
Capitol News Illinois provided an excellent recap of all things budget and policy that went down over the last few days of session.
A more detailed breakdown of budget wins can be found here
Links to the previous podcasts referenced:
Helping Families Through Lower Taxes (Earned Income Credit)
Building (Early Care and Education) Back Better
Building Pathways for Youth Away From Violence (Redeploy Illinois)
On today's episode, we revisit a key policy to help lift families out of poverty: the expansion of the Earned Income Credit and the creation of a Child Tax Credit. We're joined by State Senator Omar Aquino of the 2nd Senatorial District and Senate champion of this legislation. We talk about what this policy means for families and communities and what you can do to help.
To easily let your state elected officials know that you support an expanded Earned Income Credit, visit our petition website. As Senator Aquino mentioned, you can learn more about the Cost of Living Refund Coalition and their work by visiting their website at www.economicsecurityil.org or by going to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Our prior episode on this topic was called: Money, Money, Money: Expanding the Earned Income Credit, and can be listened to here.
The Center for Tax Budget & Accountability recently released a report on the fiscal impact of an expanded Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit in Illinois. An executive summary can be viewed here, and the full report can be viewed at this link.
Children’s Home & Aid recently moderated a panel discussion on why we need to expand the Earned Income Credit and create a Child Tax Credit in Illinois. You can view media coverage on the event here, and a full recording of the discussion is available on YouTube.
In Chicago and want to join us for a rally in support of this proposal? We’ll be at Daley Plaza on Monday, March 21st at 10 AM. More details can be found here, and you can add the event directly to your calendar here.
In today's episode, we talk about the difficulty families face in affording diapers and legislation to make it easier. Eric is joined by Dr. Jennifer Randles, a sociologist at Fresno State University, who has studied the impact of diaper need on families.
The full text of SB3461 is available here. We’ve also put together a one page summary on the importance of diaper need. Watch our twitter feed @AhlquistCenter on how you can get involved in this effort.
To read about real life examples of how diaper need impacts families, we recommend this article from 19th News detailing diaper need in rural Missouri.
For more information on Children’s Home & Aid’s Stuff the Bus Efforts, please visit our website.
Dr. Randles recent research, published in the American Sociological Review, highlights some of the various coping strategies she discussed.
If you’re interested in more data behind the economic argument for clean diapers, we recommend this University of Connecticut study, which is cited several times throughout the podcast.
In this month’s episode, we talk about the importance of early care and education: its importance to the economy, what Illinois and the federal government is doing to make it more accessible and affordable, and hear from We, The Village, a group in Illinois working to make the early education and care system better for Illinois families.
For more information about the wealth of early care and education programming offered by Children’s Home & Aid, visit our website.
To learn more about We, The Village and the Right to Care campaign, visit their website. And for the latest updates, please follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
As of publishing, the House passed the Build Back Better plan on November 19th. It now moves to the Senate. You can read the latest updates here. For the latest on Build Back Better, follow us on Twitter @AhlquistCenter.
To learn more about how the lack of child care has impacted mother’s return to work, the Washington Post has a great explainer.
To learn more about why the business community supports increased investment in early care and education, read here.
In today's episode, we discuss two programs that focus on youth violence prevention. Julie Noobler, Director of Metro Behavioral Services, discusses Choose to Change, an innovative violence prevention program that focuses on trauma. Jamie Ellison, Program Director for Redeploy Illinois, talks about her program to reduce juvenile incarceration rates while saving the state money.
To learn more about Redeploy Illinois, please view our website and our infographic.
To learn more about the positive impact Redeploy Illinois has on youth
This week, it was announced that Choose to Change is expanding into more Chicago neighborhoods. A sampling of news coverage is below:
Laura Washington in the Sun Times wrote an editorial on the program's expansion
WBBM's coverage of the C2C Expansion Announcement
Chalkbeat Chicago's coverage of C2C Expansion
Univision's coverage of C2C Expansion
In today’s episode, we talk about the important role fathers play in family strengthening. Ed Davies, Director of Community and Family Engagement at Children’s Home & Aid, joins us to talk about Children Home & Aid’s past and present work with fathers, the significant barriers fathers in our programs face, and the similarities and differences working with fathers throughout the state.
To learn more about Children Home & Aid’s commitment to investing in families to disrupt the systemic and multi-generational cycle of racial, social and economic inequality, read our Blueprint for Impact.
More information about our new fatherhood program, Thriving Fathers and Families, can be found here.
If you are interested in learning more about innovative ways to engage fathers, Children’s Home & Aid was part of a national demonstration project on improving father and paternal relative engagement in child welfare systems. The findings of that project can be viewed here.
When the Power of Fathers evaluation report is released, a link will be available here as well.
In today’s episode, we dive into reimagining the child welfare system. Continuing our discussion from Breaking Barriers. Transforming Systems. Centering Families, guests Jen Agosti and Amanda Whitlock join the show to talk about what centering families in child welfare truly means, and what other social and governmental supports families need to thrive.
To learn more about Children Home & Aid’s commitment to investing in families to disrupt the systemic and multi-generational cycle of racial, social and economic inequality, read our Blueprint for Impact. You can view the video for our Breaking Barriers panel here
To learn more about the racial disproportionality in the Illinois child welfare system specifically, read the University of Illinois’ Children and Family Research Center October 2020 report:
This webinar, hosted by the Child Welfare League of America, talks about the work Connecticut has done to promote anti-racist policies in child welfare.
Finally, we are by no means the first group to talk about this issue. Dr. Bob Hill, who Jen mentioned, wrote an article in 2004 on institutional racism in child welfare. Dorothy Roberts wrote her book Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare in 2002. In an article posted shortly after the book was published, Roberts says “Today’s child welfare discourse is marked by an abysmal failure to grasp the racial harm inflicted by the child welfare system.”
Earning a driver’s license is a key milestone to adulthood. Yet for youth in care, there are many barriers to earning that license. In the second episode of the Ahlquist Agenda, we’re joined by Gerry Glynn and Keri Flynn from Embrace Families in Florida, which runs a nationally renowned program called Keys to Independence that helps Florida foster youth earn their license. Together, we talk about the importance of normalcy for youth in care and why other states should invest in similar programs.
To learn more about the work that Keys to Independence does across the country, you can visit their website. Our proposal on how Illinois can increase access to driver’s licenses for youth in care can be viewed here.
In the debut episode of the Ahlquist Agenda, we focus on putting more cash in the hands of those who need it the most through the Earned Income Credit. Amber Wilson, State Coalition Manager of Economic Security for Illinois joins our conversation to give an update on two bills that seek to expand the credit and talk about the significant impact it would have on Illinois families.
You can find more info about the legislation discussed on the Economic Security for Illinois’ website. To hear how families would be impacted by this legislation, watch WTTW’s report on the Earned Income Tax Credit. Head here if you want to share your story about how more cash would impact your family. If you would like to show your support for the bill, click here.