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Legislative Advocacy & Social Innovation

Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) faculty and staff work to foster a durable policy presence in the department through a committee and working groups focused on legislative advocacy and social innovation. A main goal of this work is to improve behavioral health outcomes for children, adolescents, and families through the following approaches:

  • Addressing whole health, undivided by mental and physical illness and undistinguished by race, class, language, or ability
  • Advancing healthy places and environments surrounding every child and family
  • Strengthening financial resources for an integrated approach to child and family behavioral health

The YCSC Policy Committee on Legislative Advocacy & Social Innovation offers the opportunity for YCSC researchers, clinicians, educators, and other community members to engage in policy efforts to advance this purpose. Several levels of engagement are available, from membership on the committee that sets the direction and tracks progress for strengthening YCSC policy programming to participation on one of two working groups that serve to implement policy programing (as follows) or attendance at training to serve as a stepping-stone to higher level participation.

Working Groups

  • Legislative Advocacy Working Group (LAWG): Advocacy efforts focus on the Connecticut General Assembly. Activities include oral and written testimony as well as discussion around important issues at legislative forums, centered around the department’s legislative agenda each year. This group also produced a behavioral health crisis brief for the Connecticut state legislature in March 2023.
  • Social Innovation Working Group (SIWG): Efforts focus on the executive branch of government at the federal, state, and local levels. This includes training on policy methods, facilitated dialogues on hot topics, and development of model policies.