Advocates for Children and Youth

Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) was founded in 1987 by a group of prominent child advocates in Maryland who saw the need for an independent organization to advocate for the needs of the state's children and families in the community, the media and the public policy arena. Since its founding, ACY’s mission has been to identify problems, promote policies and programs that improve results for Maryland children in measurable and meaningful ways, and evaluate the effectiveness of programs and policies for the state's children and youth. Its goals include ensuring that children have access to affordable, quality health care coverage in Maryland. See below for more information about ACY’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!


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  • ACY Updates 2015 Health Priorities

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    MD: Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) released their 2015 policy priorities across a number of issue areas. ACY’s health priorities focus on Medicaid dental benefits, better connecting foster youth with Medicaid, and increasing health literacy among vulnerable populations.
  • ACY Highlights Health Care Needs of Former Foster Care Youth

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    MD:  Advocates for Children & Youth (ACY) released an issue brief about the health care needs of former foster care youth.  As part of its efforts to educate former foster care youth about Medicaid coverage available to them under the ACA, ACY partnered with community organizations to: conduct “train the trainer” sessions for social workers and other providers; developed quick-reference information cards for providers and young adults; and developed a song promoting health coverage for former foster youth. 

  • KidsWell NY, CA, & CCF Held Webinar on ACA Extension of Medicaid Coverage for Foster Care Kids

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    NY, CA, & CCF : KidsWell New York and KidsWell California, in collaboration with the Georgetown Center for Children and Families (CCF), held a state partner webinar to provide an overview of the ACA provision that will extend Medicaid coverage to foster children up to 26 years of age. In addition, the webinar discussed how to develop messaging and outreach strategies for state advocates and agencies to help enroll foster children into coverage. The webinar featured Tricia Brooks of CCF, Brooke Lehamn of Childworks, Bridget Walsh of Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (SCAA), and Leigh Cobbs of Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY). Additionally, Children Now released a one-pager outlining the current statues in place limiting Medicaid coverage to California foster children and potential solutions. 
  • Maryland Partners Say "No!" To Proposed Regulations on CHIP 90 Day Waiting Period

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  • ACY and First Focus Published an Op-ed on How the Fiscal Cliff May Impact Children

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    Rebecca Wagner, Executive Director of ACY, and Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children, published an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun discussing how the fiscal cliff could hurt child welfare. 
  • ACY Held a Tweet-a-thon on Deficit Reduction

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    MD: Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) held a tweet-a-thon to federal policy makers on December 10th to encourage them to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
  • ACY Encouraged Advocates to Contact Legislators in Support of Passing State Budget

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    Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) issued a message to encourage advocates to contact Maryland Legislators when they reconvene on May 14th to pass the state budget. According to the message, the Maryland General Assembly left on recess without passing a full budget and ACY asks advocates to urge legislators to pass a budget that: (1) supports revenues for children; (2) stops "harmful" cuts to welfare, education and other children's services; and (3) protects children in less wealthy jurisdictions.
  • ACY Helped Maryland Secure Second CHIPRA Performance Bonus

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    With help from children health advocates, Maryland was able to secure its second CHIPRA performance bonus from CMS, according to a press release by Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY). In 2011, Maryland enrolled an additional 41,000 children, and since 2007 the State has seen a 34% overall increase in enrollment. Maryland’s bonus of $28.3 million is the largest of the 23 bonuses awarded by CMS this year.

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