Tag Archives: Nations

Child Foster Care Reform: National Call to Action on Children in Foster Care State Plans To Improve Nation’s Foster Care Programs and Child Protection System Unveiled

Williamsburg, VA (PRWEB) May 2, 2006

Representatives from the nations state courts and child welfare agencies have developed specific recommendations to improve child foster care systems and foster care programs throughout the country as part of a National Call to Action on children in foster care released by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). State Supreme Court justices partnered with other state leaders to develop the National Call to Action to help reduce the length of time children spend in foster care. Their recommendations provide states with a clear road map of action plans and needed resources to improve outcomes for our nation’s children living in foster care.

Today more than 500,000 children live in foster care. Half of the children will spend at least two years in the Nations foster care system and one in five children will be in the system for five years or more. Although child foster care is often an essential step in helping abused and neglected children, state and local court delays can often extend the time between when children enter the foster care system and when they are placed in safe, permanent homes. While in this ‘limbo,’ many children and families do not receive the assistance they need to allow children to return home safely or prepare them to join another family.

“Implementation of these plans will go a long way to make substantial progress toward reducing the amount of time children spend in the foster care system,” said Chief Justice of Indiana Randall T. Shepard, President of the Conference of Chief Justices. “It will bring these children one step closer to the safe and permanent families they need and deserve.”

The National Call to Action is the result of the landmark National Judicial Leadership Summit for the Protection of Children: Changing Lives by Changing Systems (the Summit), which was held in Minnesota in September 2005. Leaders of 49 state court systems (Louisiana was unable to participate due to Hurricane Katrina), the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories participated in the Summit. As part of the Summit, each state developed an action plan to improve its child protection system procedures and programs. The NCSC, which coordinated the Summit, compiled the team plans into the National Call to Action.

“When a court case sits on the docket, a child sits in foster care,” said former Chief Justice of Minnesota Kathleen Blatz, who co-chaired the Summit.

“While foster care is supposed to be their lifeboat, for many children it’s become the Titanic. The delay in finding a permanent caring home can have a profound affect on a child,” said NCSC President Mary Campbell McQueen.

While all state action plans for child foster care system reform address specific local needs and challenges, there was considerable consensus across major areas needing improvement and the steps required to achieve these changes. Drawing on recommendations from the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, state teams identified the following strategies underpinning their action plans:

United Nations Foundation Appoints Daniel Carucci as Vice President of Global Health


Washington, D.C. (Vocus) October 15, 2008

The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) announced today the appointment of Daniel Carucci as its Vice President of Global Health. In this position, Carucci will direct the strategic development, and implementation of the UN Foundation’s global health work, as well as coordinate with UN agencies, corporate and non-governmental partners, and key donors to improve health worldwide.

“We are pleased to welcome Daniel Carucci to our team at the UN Foundation,” said Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. “His expertise in medicine and tropical disease, as well as his extensive background in the field of global health, make him an exceptional candidate for this role and a good fit for our organization. In this new role, Daniel Carucci will elevate our health program, connecting our health initiatives and strengthening our support of the UN’s work to improve and save lives worldwide.”

Daniel Carucci has over 20 years of experience working in medicine and international health initiatives. Prior to joining the Foundation, Carucci served as the Director of Science at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. He also worked as Director of the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative at the Foundation for NIH – a $ 200 million program supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and Canadian Institute of Health Research. He has served as the Director of the Malaria Vaccine Program at the Naval Medical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and is responsible for the establishment of the Molecular Vaccines Interagency Working Group under the U.S. Subcommittee on Biotechnology. Carucci is also the recipient of the prestigious 2002 American Medical Association Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, the 2000 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for Excellence in Military Medicine, and the 1989 Operational Flight Surgeon of the Year (Richard E. Luehrs Memorial Award). Carucci received his Medical Degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and earned a Masters of Science in Clinical Tropical Medicine and a Doctor of Philosophy from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

For 10 years, the UN Foundation has worked hand-in-hand with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other UN leaders to develop and expand major initiatives to help children survive and thrive. In support of world-renowned international health partnerships, the UN Foundation has mobilized hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of people, brought new private sector partners into the field, helped strengthen the capacity of UN health agencies and provided program expertise to help save children’s lives. The UN Foundation is proud to be a founding partner of the Measles Initiative; a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Roll Back Malaria; and creator of Nothing But Nets, a grassroots campaign supporting the delivery of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets to children and families throughout Africa.

About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas, and capital to help the United Nations solve global problems. We build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources and advocate policy changes to support the UN’s work for individual and global progress. The UN Foundation’s work – focused on select global problems – is decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations. For more information, visit http://www.UNFoundation.org.

Press Contact:

Amy DiElsi

Communications Director, Children’s Health, United Nations Foundation

(o) 202-419-3230, (c) 202-492-3078, (e) adielsi @ unfoundation.org

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NBA Cares and United Nations Foundation Partner to Launch Send A Net. Save A Life. See A Game. Presented By HP


New York, NY (Vocus) December 15, 2009

Today, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the United Nations Foundations Nothing But Nets tipped off a promotion–Send a Net. Save a Life. See a Game. presented by HP–to send anti-malaria bed nets to refugees in 11 African countries. The effort is part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving and runs through January 31, 2010. Starting today, NBA fans can log on to http://www.NothingButNets.net to donate $ 10 or more and get two complimentary tickets to an NBA game, subject to availability.

Send a Net. Save a Life. See a Game. encourages NBA fans and Nothing But Nets supporters to send life-saving bed nets to displaced families in Africa to help protect them from malaria, the number one killer of refugees on the continent. The promotion will also help the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets, in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), reach its goal of protecting more than one million refugees in Africa from malaria this year.

Thanks to the commitment of the NBA, our partners, and supporters, weve already covered more than 600,000 refugees with bed nets in eastern Africa this year alone, said Nothing But Nets Director Adrianna Logalbo. Now we hope the NBA and its fans can help us exceed our goal to protect more than one million of the worlds most vulnerable people as the need for these life-saving nets is far from over.

ESPN sportswriter Rick Reilly, who inspired the United Nations Foundation to create the Nothing But Nets campaign through his May 2006 Sports Illustrated column, will match fan donations — net for net — up to a total of $ 25,000.

This tremendous effort aligns with the NBAs long tradition of addressing important health and wellness issues worldwide, said NBA Executive Vice President Social Responsibility and Player Programs Kathy Behrens. We know our fans care about these causes as passionately as the NBA, and we are proud to provide them the opportunity to make a life-saving donation as part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving.

Long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of preventing the diseases spread. They create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of malaria transmissions occur. One bed net can protect a family of four, and lasts three to five years. It costs just $ 10 to purchase, deliver, and educate the recipient on its proper use.

To date, Nothing But Nets has raised close to $ 30 million and has sent nearly three million nets to children, pregnant women, and refugees throughout Africa. To learn more about Nothing But Nets or to make your life-saving donation, log on to http://www.NothingButNets.net.

About United Nations Foundation:

The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas, and capital to help the United Nations solve global problems. We build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources, and advocate policy changes to support the UN’s work for individual and global progress. The UN Foundation’s workfocused on select global problemsis decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations. For more information, visit http://www.UNFoundation.org.

About Nothing But Nets:

Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Associations NBA Cares, The people of The United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. It only costs $ 10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit http://www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.

About HP:

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The worlds largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

About NBA Cares:

NBA Cares is the league’s social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA’s long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated more than $ 115 million to charity, provided more than one million hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 440 places where kids and families can live, learn or play. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.

Media Contacts:

Amy DiElsi, United Nations Foundation, (202) 419-3230 or adielsi(at)unfoundation(dot)org

Jonathan Hammond, NBA, (212) 407-8671 or jhammond(at)nba(dot)com

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Children’s National Welcomes New Faculty to the Nation’s Children’s Hospital


Washington, D.C. (Vocus) March 13, 2010

Children’s National Medical Center has added more than 50 new faculty to the nation’s children’s hospital. The group includes established medical experts in a variety of pediatric subspecialties and includes new division chiefs for Cardiology, Genetics, and Hospitalist medicine as well as Allergy, Pulmonary, and Sleep medicine.

It is an honor to welcome this distinguished group of practitioners whose expertise will truly be an asset to the high quality care provided at Children’s National, said Peter Holbrook, MD, chief medical officer at Children’s National Medical Center.

New Division Chiefs

UN Foundation Statement on President Obama’s Remarks at the United Nations High-Level Summit on the Millennium Development Goals


Washington, D.C. (Vocus) September 22, 2010

Today, President Obama brought the United States and the United Nations closer to solving the world’s most pressing problems by fulfilling the U.S. government’s landmark pledge to energize cooperation and make development assistance more efficient. President Obamas speech at the UN high-level summit on the Millennium Development Goals underscored the Administrations policy that the MDGs are not just the worlds goals, but also are Americas goals. United Nations Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth released the following statement in response to the Presidents speech:

Ten years ago, world leaders set forth an ambitious set of Millennium Development Goals to tackle some of the most challenging problems facing the world. With five years to go on this 15-year pledge, it is imperative that we evaluate progress and refresh our plan to combat global poverty at its root causes.

President Obamas decision to unveil his new development policy at the UN and in the context of the MDGs shows appreciation for the important role that the UN and UN agencies play in battling extreme poverty and the MDGs play in inspiring action. His speech before the UN today fully embraced the MDGs as a central part of Americas national security and foreign policy objectives. The plan, which focuses on measurable and sustainable outcomes for foreign assistance, makes it clear that smart, modern development strategies best position the U.S. to create and leverage partnerships to combat global problems. The Administration has emphasized that the urgent issues of energy access and protection of biodiversity, women and children’s health, and cleaner and safer cookstoves, are all critical areas where coordinated global efforts must be set forth to achieve the MDGs.

A key element of the Presidents plan for achieving the MDGs is the emphasis on the importance of partnerships. UN Foundation Chairman and Founder Ted Turner has highlighted that everyone can be a partner and anyone can dedicate their time, energy, or money to help the UN advance the MDGs.

At the UN Foundation, we have two new initiatives that took center stage this week as global leaders converged in New York:

Talk Radio Day, Live From the United Nations


New York, NY (PRWEB) June 09, 2011

The United Nations Foundation and Talkers Magazine today host the sixth annual Talk Radio Day at the UN. More than 20 talk radio hosts from across the United States will be airing their shows from the United Nations in New York. The hosts will be interviewing UN Ambassadors and officials from the UN and its agencies to offer listeners first-hand accounts about the work of the United Nations.

Whether it is leading the global fight against AIDS, or protecting civilians from Cote dIvoire to Libya, the UN is at the forefront of the major challenges facing the world today, said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation. We are pleased to celebrate the sixth anniversary of this event and to be able to provide the American public the opportunity to learn more about the UNs work by hearing directly from its staff and officials.

Talk radio and its dedicated community of listeners represents millions of Americans across the U.S., said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers Magazine. This is a terrific opportunity for our hosts to bring the work of the men and women of the UN to Americas kitchens, drive times and mobile devices.

The talk radio hosts will be on the air live from the United Nations today from 5:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., offering millions of Americans the opportunity to learn more about the day-to-day operations of the international organization. They will discuss topics ranging from the massive humanitarian relief effort following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti to the UNs multi-faceted approach to peacekeeping missions around the globe. Several UN guests will focus on the UNs role in combating poverty and improving the health and living standards for millions around the world through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This years participating talk radio hosts include:

1.

United Nations: Son Preference Perpetuates Discrimination and Violations of Womens Rights It Must and Can End

Geneva, Switzerland (PRWEB) June 14, 2011

Gender-biased sex selection reflects and fuels a culture of discrimination and violence, and must be addressed urgently by all segments of government and society as a matter of womens human rights, five UN agencies have stressed.

A statement issued today by OHCHR, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and the WHO* reviews the evidence behind the causes, consequences and lessons learned regarding son preference or sex selection favouring boys in many parts of South, East and Central Asia, where ratios as high as 130 boys for every 100 girls have been observed.

Sex selection in favour of boys is a symptom of pervasive social, cultural, political and economic injustices against women, and a manifest violation of womens human rights, the statement notes, citing one mans testimony that the birth of a son enhances my status, while that of a girl lowers my head.

There is huge pressure on women to produce sonswhich not only directly affects womens reproductive decisions, with implications for their health and survival, but also puts women in a position where they must perpetuate the lower status of girls through son preference,” according to the statement.

“It is also women who have to bear the consequences of giving birth to an unwanted girl child. These consequences can include violence, abandonment, divorce or even death, the statement adds.

Against the backdrop of such intense pressure, women seek to discover the sex of a foetus through ultrasound. The discovery of a female foetus can then lead to its abortion. Sex selection can also take place before a pregnancy is established, or after the birth of a girl, through child neglect or infanticide. Over decades, the practice has caused a sex-ratio imbalance in many countries, particularly in South Asia, East Asia and Central Asia.

There is also the possibility of an increase in violence against women resulting from such an imbalance. For instance, the lack of women available for marriage in some areas may lead to the trafficking of women for forced marriages from other regions or the sharing of brides among brothers.

In some countries, pre-natal sex determination and disclosure are illegal, while others have laws banning abortion for sex selection. But such restrictions are also bypassed by the use of clandestine procedures, which may put womens health in jeopardy.

States have an obligation to ensure that these injustices are addressed without exposing women to the risk of death or serious injury by denying them access to needed services such as safe abortion to the full extent of the law, and other health care services, experts from the UN agencies warned.

Renewed and concerted efforts are needed by governments and civil society to address the deeply rooted gender discrimination which lies at the heart of sex selection, the experts noted, recommending a multi-pronged approach to resolving the problem.

The statement proposes concrete steps to tackle the problem, including the collection of more reliable data on the extent of the problem and the factors driving it; guidelines on the use of technology for health professionals; supportive measures for girls and women, such as incentives for families with only daughters; and other legal and awareness-raising actions.

States should develop and promotepolicies in areas such as inheritance laws, dowries and financial and other social protection in old age…that reflect a commitment to human rights and gender equality, the statement suggests. States should support advocacy and awareness-raising activities that stimulate discussion and debatearound the concept of the equal value of boys and girls.

The statement cites the Republic of Korea as one country where the preference for sons has largely been overcome through a combination of strategies, including attention to gender equality in laws and policies, advocacy, media campaigns and economic growth.

The experts reaffirmed the commitment of UN agencies to support efforts by governments and Non-Government Organizations to redress the situation.


Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the World Health Organization (WHO)

To read the full interagency statement, please visit:

http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/gender_rights/9789241501460/en/index.html

For media inquiries, please contact:

Lutheran World Relief, The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod and United Nations Foundation Announce $45 Million Campaign to Fight Malaria

Detroit, MI (PRWEB) June 30, 2011

Lutheran World Relief(LWR), The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod (LCMS) and the United Nations (UN) Foundation announced on Monday an unprecedented partnership to mobilize Lutherans in the United States in the fight against malaria in Africa.

The campaign, called the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI), aims to raise $ 45 million to contribute toward the global goal of eliminating malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, continues to devastate communities and perpetuate a cycle of poverty. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1 million people die of malaria each year and every 45 seconds a child dies in Africa. In many communities where LWR and the LCMS work, extreme poverty creates conditions that allow malaria to take hold and spread with deadly consequence.

At a news conference held Monday at Detroits Historic Trinity Lutheran Church, leaders of the LMI partnership joined representatives from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), to announce the campaign and discuss the crucial role of churches and faith-based institutions in the effort to end malaria deaths.

Rev. John Nunes, president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, opened the news conference. I am excited to be here today with the LMI partners, Nunes said. This is a day that has been years in the making, and for which millions around the world have been waiting.

Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, spoke next. The Lutheran footprint for providing care and mercy to those suffering is enormous, Harrison said. For decades, we have been working with partners and fellow Lutherans at the end of the dirt road. Today, we are delighted to come alongside the LMI partners to take a huge bite out of this horrid disease.

Gloria Edwards, co-chair of the LMI National Campaign Cabinet, offered insights on her inspiration for becoming involved in the initiative. My husband and I believe in saying yes to the open doors God places before us, she said. We went to East Africa not long ago and saw a young woman in a malaria-induced coma. We also saw other young children who demonstrated how to use a bed net, and how to let their parents know when they are not feeling well so that they can be taken to the doctor. We are excited to be a part of helping more children and families know how to prevent malaria as well as what to do when they get sick with the disease.

In closing the news conference, Nicolas Demey, corporate partnerships officer with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said, It is an honor to work with LMI to help end malaria deaths in Africa. We have the tools and know what we need to do to end these needless deaths. We can do it.

Following Mondays news conference, Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation, added: Between 40 percent and 60 percent of health care in developing countries is provided by faith-based organizations, like our Lutheran partners, Calvin said. It is inspiring to see how the Lutheran community in the U.S. can help the UN reach families in rural villages on the other side of the world.

The news conference is available online at http://www.youtube.com/lutheranmalariavideo.

Lutheran World Relief (LWR)

Lutheran World Relief is an international nonprofit organization that works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the worlds most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners around the world, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.

LWR is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod (LCMS), individuals and parish groups in international relief, development, advocacy, and social responsibility.

The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod (LCMS)

The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1847, the church body, which ranks as one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. In addition, the LCMS owns and operates KFUO radio, two seminaries, and 10 colleges and universities. Its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America.

The LCMS has relationships and active mission work in some 88 countries around the world and, in the last five years, has awarded more than $ 35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster relief. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide and is a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social ministry organization serving one in every 50 Americans.

The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation)

The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turners historic $ 1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems. They build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources and advocate policy changes to support the UNs work for individual and global progress. The Foundations workfocused on select global problemsis decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund)

The Global Fund is a unique, public-private partnership and international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents an innovative approach to international health financing. The Global Funds model is based on the concepts of country ownership and performance-based funding, which means that people in countries implement their own programs based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing on the condition that verifiable results are achieved.

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main financier of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 21.7 billion for more than 600 programs in 150 countries (as of December 2010). The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

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Our Nations Youngest Children at Risk: Easter Seals Releases State-by-State Report on Early Intervention


Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) November 08, 2011

Easter Seals this morning released a new report Our Nations Children at Risk: A State-by-State Report on Early Intervention during its 2011 International Convention currently being held in Washington, D.C. In meetings with Members of Congress on The Hill today, more than 300 Easter Seals volunteers, staff and families with disabilities will share both the reports findings and a petition with nearly 40,000 signatures urging legislators to invest in young children.

The new report details how well each state takes care of its youngest children with disabilities and delays. The unfortunate news: infants and toddlers in nearly every state continue to fall behind, many will never catch up.

With the right investment in treatment and therapy before the age of five, we can ensure every child in America can enter school ready to learn, says Katy Neas, senior vice president, government relations, Easter Seals and Make the First Five Count spokesperson.

While there are many choices for families seeking early identification and early intervention services, the federally funded Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C program offers families of children under the age of 3 with services designed to help them facilitate their infant or toddlers development. Its a program created to help young children with disabilities or developmental delays catch up with their peers without disabilities, or enhance their development so they can better learn and grow.

In October 2011 the nation celebrated IDEAs 25th anniversary, yet the legislation has never been fully or adequately funded. Nationally, approximately 2.67 percent of children under the age of three are enrolled in the Part C program. And yet, data from the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center indicates nearly 13 percent of all children under the age of three should be served, using current eligibility criteria. Data from the US Maternal and Child Health Bureau indicate nearly 20 percent of all children could benefit from early identification and early intervention services.

The Report: Highlights

The Easter Seals report highlights some bright spots. States including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Wyoming, New York and New Hampshire serve more than 4 percent of their population through the Part C program of IDEA. These six states reach far more children with disabilities and delays than other states, with more young children able to access the critical services and supports they need early in life.

These states are on the right track, and should serve as an example to others, but we know its just the beginning. We have to convince state and federal policy makers about the value of investing in the Part C program, adds Neas.

This is especially true in states that serve fewer than 2 percent of their population including Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, Missouri, Arkansas and the District of Columbia.

Nobel Prize winning economist, Dr. James Heckman reports, early childhood investments pay dividends for the life of the child and each dollar invested returns $ 60-$ 300 dollars over the lifetime. Every year, 1.45 million children with disabilities under age 5 go undiagnosed, entering kindergarten with delays that put them behind their peers most coping with learning and health difficulties that are often completely treatable. Funding for programs that help kids with special needs is already inadequate and with major budget cuts up for consideration in Congress, millions more could fall through the cracks.

Its clear its in our national interest to invest in the Part C program, continues Neas.

Make the First Five Count for Young Children

Easter Seals is sharing the report across the United States, engaging in discussions about the importance of early intervention with federal, state and local legislators, community leaders, educators, other nonprofits, media, and our volunteers, families and staff. The data and stories serve as a factual, and humanized, resource for parents and advocates of young children and those looking to learn more about early intervention.

Easter Seals created Make the First Five Count to advocate for children at risk for developmental delays or disabilities and ensure they get the support they need to be school-ready and build a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Through Make the First Five Count, Easter Seals is calling on Congress to protect and grow funding for Part C by $ 100 million, for a total of $ 539 million, in the years to come.

If you believe all kids deserve a chance to learn, build lifelong skills, and achieve their dreams, speak out today!

Become a part of the solution. Join Easter Seals at MaketheFirstFiveCount.org.

The Report: States by the Numbers

The individual state profiles within the report provide a comprehensive overview of the current status of federal and state funding for early intervention services through the Part C program of IDEA in each of the 50 states and the District of Colombia. Easter Seals looked at funding levels compared not only to the number of children (ages 0-3) served under Part C every year, but also how many children fail to receive the proper screenings to identify their special need and how many children are at risk for developmental delays, autism or disabilities in each state. And finally, for each state, Easter Seals shared at least one local story of a young child who is truly thriving because of the early services and support he or she received.

Its also important to note, funding cuts or limitations have forced states to make difficult choices to limit the number of children who are eligible for Part C services to those children with only the most significant disabilities. The report identifies the number of children who may have mild to moderate disabilities, developmental delays or who are at risk for developmental delays who could benefit from such services — beyond those children who are currently eligible.

About Easter Seals

Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Visit http://www.MaketheFirstFiveCount.org.

Media Contacts:

Kristen Barnfield, Easter Seals

P: 312.551.7147

kbarnfield(at)easterseals(dot)com

Rachel Talen, Easter Seals

P: 312.551.7246

rtalen(at)easterseals(dot)com

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Anne Geddes Joins United Nations Every Woman Every Child Effort Increasing her Philanthropic Commitments to Help Women and Children

Sydney, Australia (PRWEB) December 19, 2011

One of the worlds most respected photographers, Anne Geddes has made a commitment to the United Nations Every Woman Every Child effort to raise awareness about the need to improve the health of women and children in the developing world. Building on her current philanthropic activities and the charitable work of the Geddes Philanthropic Trust, Anne now will lend her voice and in select instances, her iconic imagery, to support Every Woman Every Child.

Every ninety seconds around the world, a woman dies either in pregnancy or in childbirth, said Anne Geddes. And in ninety percent of these cases, the causes are preventable.

Every Woman Every Child is a continuing, ambitious global endeavor to save the lives of millions of women and children. Anne has joined the Every Woman Every Child partners governments, international organizations, the business community, civil society and nongovernmental organizations (CSOs and NGOs), philanthropists, health care professionals, and academic and research institutions in a pledge to advocate for action to reduce the preventable deaths of women and children. Every Woman Every Child is a collective effort to save the lives of millions of women and children around the world, through improving their access to essential services such as life-saving vaccines, safe delivery by skilled health workers, and family planning.

With her commitment to support the Every Woman Every Child effort, photographer Ann Geddes brings her wonderful artistic talent to the cause of womens and childrens health, said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. She is now among the diverse partners from business, philanthropy and the arts who are playing increasingly important roles in raising awareness, saving lives and advancing UN objectives throughout the world.

Annes contributions and outreach on behalf of Every Woman Every Child will be ongoing. She recently announced her participation in the Million Moms Challenge Imagine Me & You photo contest, supported in part by the United Nations Foundation, in a video aired on ABC-TVs Good Morning America.

In collaboration with the Million Moms Challenge, ABC News, the United Nations Foundation, and Disney Baby, Anne Geddes helped launch Imagine Me & You, a photo contest to win a never-before-offered photo session in her Sydney studio, including a free trip for two adults, plus baby, to Australia.

Ive agreed to do a very special portrait sitting, for free. Why? Because I want to get your attention, said Anne.

As a partner in the Every Woman Every Child effort, Anne has increased her commitment to the welfare of babies around the world, and engaged on a deeper level to help raise awareness about the need to improve the health of women and children in the developing world.

To illustrate the importance of love and family in the earliest stages of life is a message that I stand behind and feel privileged to experience every day, said Anne. That is why I am proud to be a part of the Million Moms Challenge Imagine Me & You contest.

Realizing that a healthier tomorrow for our world starts with healthy moms and babies today, the Million Moms Challenge engages millions of Americans with millions of moms in developing countries around issues that affect pregnancy, childbirth and childrens health.

The Imagine Me & You contest is designed to celebrate the universal dream that mothers everywhere have for healthy, happy babies who will grow to reach their full potential. To enter the contest, expectant moms in their third trimester uploaded a picture on http://www.Facebook.com/millionmomschallenge of their baby bump, along with an original, creative message written on their bellies capturing their wishes and dreams for life with their little one.

America is voting on the images from December 6th to December 15th. The three finalists will be announced on ABC News December 16th. Anne Geddes will personally select the grand-prize winner in January, and will shoot a rare private portrait of the winning mom and newborn in her Sydney, Australia, studio.

Watch Anne announce her Million Moms Challenge Imagine Me & You free photo session; follow her experience @annegeddestweet on Twitter and use the hashtag #AMillionMoms.

About Anne Geddes

One of the worlds most respected photographers, Anne Geddes creates images that are iconic, multi-award winning, internationally acclaimed, and beloved. Like no photographer before, her imagery singularly captures the beauty, purity, vulnerability, and preciousness of children, embodying her deeply held belief that each and every child must be protected, nurtured, and loved. Throughout her career Anne Geddes has continued to give back. In 1992, Anne with her husband, Kel, founded The Geddes Philanthropic Trust to raise funds and awareness worldwide for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. In 2011, Anne was proud to announce her partnership with the United Nations Every Woman Every Child effort, which she hopes will continue to help make the health and welfare of pregnant women, and newborn children, a global priority. Annes work has been published in 83 countries and her books have sold more than 18 million copies worldwide. Her English-language my Pregnancy: A Womans Story digital magazine will launch worldwide in late 2011, and the weekly television series my Pregnancy: A Womans Story debuted in Australia in October. Her book Beginnings received Gold in the 2011 Independent Publishers Book Awards, won both the photography and e-book non-fiction categories in the USA Best Books 2011 Awards, and was one of the top bestselling photography books of the year. Anne Geddes blog, Facebook and Twitter pages bring her fans into her studio and life. For more information, please visit http://www.AnneGeddes.com.

About Every Woman Every Child

Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in September 2010, Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. It is an unprecedented global effort that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world. The effort puts into action the Global Strategy for Womens and Childrens Health, which presents a roadmap on how to enhance financing, strengthen policy and improve service on the ground for the most vulnerable women and children. For more information please visit http://www.everywomaneverychild.org.

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