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Mother Daughter Portrait

Policy And Advocacy Archives 

(updated 2/2/21) 


Vote with Children in Mind (#voteforchildren) Campaign, Election 2020
































Three Questions w/Carri Manchester, Associate in Educational Planning & Evaluation, Office of Student Support Services, New York State Education Department


Can you explain what Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is and why it's so important?


SEL refers to the skills people use to obtain and respond to information about their social interactions and emotional reactions. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”


SEL for students is critical for several reasons. Learning and practicing SEL competencies has been shown to: improve student outcomes, motivation, attitudes, and behaviors in the classroom; reduce stress; and increase academic performance. SEL can help improve school climate, reduce exclusionary discipline, help students manage responses to trauma, and increase educational equity in our schools. SEL also helps young people develop skills, such as motivation, goal-setting, and time management, that will allow them to be more successful in the labor market. 


SEL is equally important for adults. Consciously fostering our own social emotional learning and regularly practicing SEL skills can help us to be happier, healthier, more productive, less reactive, and to make better decisions, which in turn helps us to be stronger supporters for our young people. We must first be able to model SEL competencies before we can effectively teach them. 


NYSED is working with CASEL. CASEL has identified Five Core SEL Competencies. Can you review those for us?


NYSED joined CASEL’s Collaborating States Initiative in 2016, and now works with CASEL and a group of 25 states to share ideas, resources, and experiences as we work to develop and improve policies, guidelines, benchmarks, or standards to support integration of SEL in our schools.


CASEL identifies the following five Social Emotional Learning core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Self-awareness is knowing and understanding ourselves. It includes noticing and acknowledging our emotions, understanding our goals and values, and recognizing our strengths and challenges. Self-management refers to our ability to manage our reactions to social and emotional stimuli. It includes regulating our behaviors to manage stress, control impulses, and persevere to meet goals. Social awareness is our ability to understand and empathize with the people around us, including individuals or groups from different backgrounds and cultures. It also involves understanding social norms and knowing what support resources are available in our families, schools, or communities. Relationship skills are the abilities that help us establish and maintain positive relationships. These skills include active listening, clear communication, cooperation, resisting social pressure, managing conflict, and seeking help when necessary. Responsible decision-making involves making appropriate choices based on ethics, safety, and social norms. It involves being able to realistically evaluate the consequences of actions, and consideration of one’s own well-being as well as the well-being of others.


PCANY is especially interested in increasing the use of trauma-informed practice in schools. How do NYSED's SEL goals dovetail with a more trauma-informed approach? 


Trauma-informed practices used in trauma sensitive schools and social emotional learning complement one another in a few ways. Adults with strong social emotional learning competencies are necessary for effective implementation of trauma-informed approaches. Adults must possess self- and social-awareness to objectively process student behaviors and understand their own implicit reactions to those behaviors. In addition, adults should have the self-management capacity to notice and self-intervene when their own emotional reactions are not appropriate to the situation.  Finally, they must have the relationship skills and responsible decision-making capacity to respond in a way that will support students’ social and emotional needs and growth. In turn, students’ acquisition and practice of SEL competencies will increase their ability to understand and manage their own emotional responses, and to develop positive relationships with caring adults and peers, all of which leads to greater resilience. 


We discuss alignment with trauma-informed practices in our guidance materials, along with a few other practices that, in combination, mutually strengthen one another and can improve school climate. These include restorative approaches to discipline, mental health education, culturally responsive-sustaining practices, and increased educational equity. You can read more about these connections on our social emotional learning web page.

Prevent Child Abuse New York urges the NYS Congressional Delegation to take a stand against child sexual abuse in light of allegations against Roy Moore:

See the text of the letter that was sent to the NYS Congressional Delegation here: Stand with Survivors-2.docx


List of Senators/Representatives for your use:

  •  Senator Charles Schumer: Phone: (202) 224-6542

  •  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Phone: (202) 224-4451

  •  Congressman Lee Zeldin: 1st District: Phone: (202) 225-3826

  •  Congressman Peter King: 2nd District: Phone: (202) 225-7896

  •  Congressman Daniel Donovan Jr: 11th District Phone: (202) 225-3371 

  •  Congressman John Faso: 19th District Phone: (202) 225-5614

  •  Congresswoman Elise Stefanik: 21st District Phone: (202) 225-4611

  •  Congresswoman Claudia Tenney: 22nd District Phone: (202)-225-3665

  •  Congressman Tom Reed II: 23rd District Phone: (202) 225-3161

  •  Congressman John Katko: 24th district Phone: (202) 225-3701

  •  Congressman Chris Collins: 27th District Phone: (202)-225-5265


We recently saw a victory with the defeat of the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill, which would have put millions of families--and their children--at risk. Thank you to all who participated in our advocacy--making calls, sending emails, posting on Facebook, and tweeting!


Unfortunately, Congress has still not reauthorized either the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). We urge you to continue to join us in efforts to reauthorize before much-needed services are lost.


PCANY staff is pleased to be involved with the Board of Regents' Blue Ribbon Committee on Early Learning, which held its first meeting in New York City. We also participated in the NYS Assembly's Child Care Roundtable, helping educate legislators about the importance of both increasing funding for subsidies and reforming certain aspects of the system that are not benefitting either providers or parents. We expect to see a package of legislation introduced this winter.


In terms of legislation, we are also working on a bill that would increase ACEs training for child-serving staff. We will keep you posted and share specifics soon!


Finally, we submitted a joint proposal to the First 1,000 Days on Medicaid initiative that would create the position of statewide home visiting training coordinator. If funded, this person would be responsible for coordinating training across home visiting programs, provide baseline training to prepare new staff, and educating providers about the benefits of each program so that referrals are streamlined. Such a position would help with coordinated intake, increase program capacity, and increase retention of both providers and families.


If you are interested in participating in an in-person or online advocacy training session, please contact Jenn O'Connor, Director of Policy & Advocacy, at



Senate Majority Leader McConnell has indicated that the Senate could vote AS EARLY AS TOMORROW on a healthcare bill. There are a number of options on the table... and they are all bad.

The nonpartisan CBO has said that each option will leave over 20 million uninsured. Worst case scenario? Millions of children will lose their Medicaid coverage.


PCANY isn't in the business of politics. We are in the business of prevention. We believe that healthcare is a right and that children-- especially children!--should be provided the best care available. Unfortunately, none of the Senate options would provide that care.


Please make a call today AND share this information with friends in the relevant states!


The following Senators are either on the fence or did not support the first Senate bill:

  • Shelley Moore Capito (202) 224-6472 West Virginia

  • Lisa Murkowski (202) 224-6665 Alaska

  • Dean Heller (202) 224-6244 Nevada

  • Bob Corker  (202) 224-3344 TN

  • Rob Portman (202) 224-3353 OH

  • Bill Cassidy (202) 224-5824 LA


PCANY Official Policy and Advocacy Positions

“Prevent Child Abuse New York takes an official position on issues vital to the well-being of New York State’s children and families,” said Tim Hathaway, Executive Director.

To that end, they have set their policy agenda for 2017, with a focus detailed in seven position papers. The papers focus on economic stability; housing; maternal, infant and early childhood home visiting; child care; reproductive health; and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).


“We must address the root causes of abuse—the factors that contribute to stress and unhealthy manifestations of pressure and tension,” Hathaway said. “It is not the responsibility of government to raise children, but it is in the State’s best interest to help strengthen families by helping them create more stable environments in which to raise those children.”

“Together, we can turn the root causes of abuse into the strong roots a family needs to succeed.”


For more information, please read the position papers found at the links below and join the discussion on Facebook at or on Twitter (@PCA_NY).


For detailed questions, resources or to schedule an interview, please contact Jenn O'Connor, Director of Policy and Advocacy at 445-1273. x. 104 or 

If you would like to stay up to date on our advocacy efforts, please subscribe to our email newsletters.


Advocacy Archives



Top Line Talking Points

It is urgent that Congress gets to work on reauthorizing the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. If the program expires in September, the services families depend on will end.


Home visiting is a smart, proven investment in our most important asset – our families.


Rigorous research shows home visiting:

  • Reduces child abuse and neglect

  • Increases parental self-sufficiency including gaining employment and finishing schooL 

  • Improves school success

With results like these, Congress should expand support for home visiting – doubling it to $800 million a year by year five – so more families can benefit. We need more programs like this, not fewer. The program, as it is structured now, allows states and local communities to make the decisions that are right for them about how to provide home visiting services. At the same time, it encourages innovation and continuous improvement.


This Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program is not broken and does not need fixing.


Sample phone call script 

You can find a list of Senators and members of Congress on the list below. 


For advocates:

Hello, my name is ….. and I live in ... As applicable, I represent …. group.


I am calling to urge the Senator/Representative to prioritize the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. Here in STATE, home visiting has helped X number of families in our state and that far more could be helped. 


This program should be continued for at least five years, in its current, flexible and effective format and it should be doubled over that time to meet the needs of more families in our state. 

Evidence-based, voluntary home visiting strengthens families and communities. It is a smart investment that pays off many times over. 


Thank you for your time and efforts.


For parents

Hello, my name is ….. and I live in ... As applicable, I’m a parent in/graduated/participated in/from the XX home visiting program at XX agency.


I am calling to let the Senator/Representative know how much the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood HomeVisiting program means to my family and to urge him/her to work to keep it going. 


The program has helped me learn more about my baby’s development and health and health and helped me set a positive vision for my family’s future. 


This program should be continued and expanded so more families like mine can have this experience and be set up for success. 


Thank you for sharing my personal story with the Senator/Representative.


List of Senators/Representatives for your use:

  • Senator Charles Schumer: Phone: (202) 224-6542

  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Phone: (202) 224-4451

  • Congressman Lee Zeldin: 1st District: Phone: (202) 225-3826

  • Congressman Peter King: 2nd District: Phone: (202) 225-7896

  • Congressman Daniel Donovan Jr: 11th District Phone: (202) 225-3371 

  • Congressman John Faso: 19th District Phone: (202) 225-5614

  • Congresswoman Elise Stefanik: 21st District Phone: (202) 225-4611

  • Congresswoman Claudia Tenney: 22nd District Phone: (202)-225-3665

  • Congressman Tom Reed II: 23rd District Phone: (202) 225-3161

  • Congressman John Katko: 24th district Phone: (202) 225-3701

  • Congressman Chris Collins: 27th District Phone: (202)-225-5265



The Senate has released its bill to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Obamacare. This bill will hurt vulnerable populations and strip healthcare from the sickest, poorest, youngest, and oldest New Yorkers. It will hurt families.


Senators are expected to vote on Thursday, June 29. Then the bill will go back to the House for another vote and on to the President. The bill includes deep cuts to Medicaid and reshapes that program from an open-ended government commitment to a system of capped federal payments that limit federal spending; phases out the federal funding for Medicaid expansion, which has provided coverage for about 11 million people in 31 states (The funding will phase out over four years from 2020 to 2024); repeals billions of dollars in taxes that were used to raise money for the ACA’s coverage expansion and also abolishes the law’s mandates to buy coverage; reshapes the ACA’s tax credits (meant to help people buy private coverage) but reshapes them so they are less generous and cost the government less money; allows states to waive the ACA’s rules on what health services an insurance plan must cover, known as essential health benefits; defunds Planned Parenthood for one year.


We must do two things:

  • Call Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and ask them to do everything possible to keep from bringing the bill to a vote

  • Call the NYS Congressional Delegation’s Republican members and urge them to vote against the bill

We can kill this bill! Please call today!


And if you are active on Twitter, use the following hashtags: #ProtectOurCare #ProtectMedicaid

  • Senator Charles Schumer: Phone: (202) 224-6542

  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Phone: (202) 224-4451

  • Congressman Lee Zeldin: 1st District: Phone: (202) 225-3826

  • Congressman Peter King: 2nd District: Phone: (202) 225-7896

  • Congressman Daniel Donovan Jr: 11th District Phone: (202) 225-3371

  • Congressman John Faso: 19th District Phone: (202) 225-5614

  • Congresswoman Elise Stefanik: 21st District Phone: (202) 225-4611

  • Congresswoman Claudia Tenney: 22nd District Phone: (202)-225-3665

  • Congressman Tom Reed II: 23rd District Phone: (202) 225-3161

  • Congressman John Katko: 24th district Phone: (202) 225-3701

  • Congressman Chris Collins: 27th District Phone: (202)-225-5265



Action One: Please join us in a statewide Call-In Day this Wednesday, June 14, 2017 to urge passage of legislation to establish a child care task force; a critical step toward the goal of ensuring access to quality, affordable child care for all New York children and families. 


This Wednesday, please call the following state leaders: 


  1. Assembly Leader Carl Heastie at (518) 455 3791 Your message: I am calling to urge Assembly Speaker Heastie to bring the Child Care Availability Task Force bill--A.7726-- to the floor and pass this legislation before the end of session.


  1. Senate President Flanagan at (518) 455 2071. Your message: I am calling to urge Senate President Flanagan to bring the Child Care Availability Task Force bill -S.5929-to the floor and pass this legislation before the end of session.


Why do we need a Child Care Task Force bill passed? 

Too many New York families cannot afford to pay for quality care. Meanwhile, the qualified people who want to provide that care are leaving for better paying jobs, and each year more child care providers drop out of the system. And this year's state budget actually cut $7 million in funding to help families afford this care!  This can't continue!!!

The lack of available, affordable child care is impacting our businesses, our schools, our families and our children. We need to develop real, long term solutions to this severe shortage and urge our lawmakers to make investment in the state’s child care system a top priority. A child care task force is an important first step toward solving the state’s severe shortage of quality, affordable care.


We have been told by some state leaders that they are not feeling any public pressure to make expanding access to quality child care a priority. We have one week left to show that we care! Please make these calls, ask your friends and family members to call, and stay tuned for another action next Monday, June 19. 


Action Two: Please join us in calling U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (202/224-2541) and urge him not to pass "Trumpcare".


Your message: I am calling to urge Senator McConnell not to pass the Senate version of the American Health Care Act. It would be disastrous for millions of families.


Why do we oppose this bill?

This bill is no better than the House version. While it eliminates the waiver for pre-existing conditions, it includes a waiver for essential health benefits, targeting the same population. It phases in Medicaid cuts, but will still eliminate that coverage for millions of Americans. And it eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides important family planning and preconception care services.


In addition, the Senate has held no public hearings on the bill and there is still no CBO score on which the Senate can help base its decision.




In advance of the 22nd Annual NYS Child Abuse Prevention Conference, Tim Hathaway discussed the importance of professional development and its impact on prevention with WAMC: 





Please join us in a letter to the NYS Congressional Delegation in support of MIECHV. The full text of the letter is detailed through the link below. If you would like to sign your organization on, please complete the form that is there as well. For any questions, contact Jenn O'Connor at

Sign on to the letter here:






Call Your Senator and Senate Leadership This Week in Support of Legislation (S.263) to Prohibit So-Called "Conversion Therapy" for Minors.

Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY) understands that conversion therapy is child abuse.


Please call: (1) Your Senator - To find out who your Senator is, enter your address at: Call the Senate switchboard at (518) 455-2800 and ask to be connected to your Senator's office.


Also, please call the following Senate and Committee Leaders and urge that they bring the bill up for a vote before the end of the session: (2) Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan - (518) 455-2071; (3) Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein - Albany Office Number: (518) 455-3595; (4) Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins - Albany Office Number: (518) 455-2585; (5) Senator Robert Ortt, Chair of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee - The bill is currently pending in the Senator's Committee - Albany Office Number: (518) 455-2024.


PCANY supports this legislation for two reasons:

  1. The American Psychological Association (APA) does not support its own members practicing conversion therapy. In 2007, a task force of the APA undertook a thorough review of the existing research on the efficacy of conversion therapy. The APA's report noted that there was very little methodologically sound research on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCEs) and that the "results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through SOCE."

  2. There is ample evidence that societal prejudice (including the practice of conversion therapy) causes significant medical, psychological and other harms to LGBTQ people."

There are four types of child abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Conversion therapy clearly falls within the realm of emotional abuse.


Research shows that young people who are not accepted or who are persecuted for their sexual orientation are eight times more likely to attempt suicide and nearly six times as likely to report high levels of depression. We must not allow mental health professionals to add to the stigma and emotional distress experienced by these children and youth.




_Religious Liberty_ statement .docx



(April 28) Revised AHCA would be devastating for families. The revised AHCA will still cap the amount the federal government will pay New York for delivering Medicaid services. 


These provisions that would end the federal government’s commitment to a federal share of Medicaid that covers the actual cost of providing services for eligible people.  This would be devastating for families who rely on these services. HELP US ADVOCATE FOR THESE FAMILIES! Follow this link for full instructions: Action Item- Revised AHCA Legislation.docx


Tim Hathaway, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse New York joins New York Children’s Advocates in statement regarding NYS budget: “Families with inadequate and unstable child care (especially families that are more at-risk to begin with) experience an unnecessary level of stress – a root cause of child abuse. Child care strengthens families by providing them not only with peace of mind but with the ability to work and provide for their children. Any cut to subsidies for low-income families threatens this stability.” Child Care-Foster Care Sign-on Post budget statement-4-10-17 (1).pdf








PCANY Health Testimony.docx 




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