YScreen Shot 2015-01-21 at 1.20.12 PMesterday, our partner in the State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC) the, Nevada Children’s Advocacy Alliance (CAA) released its biennial 2014 Nevada Children’s Report Card. They also jointly released with the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research & Policy (NICRP) its companion report, the 2015 Legislative Briefing Book. Since 2000, the CAA has painted the picture of Nevada’s children by gathering and publicizing information on child well-being indicators through the Nevada Children’s Report Card. Nevada’s CAA report card provides a general understanding of how they, as a state, are taking care of their children. The CAA uses the data gathered in the report card to assist in educating policy makers and the general public about efforts needed in the state to support and improve services for children and families.

The 2015 Legislative Briefing Book provides a snapshot of the most pressing issues Nevada’s children and their families face in order to assist in creating positive changes that improve their lives. The Legislative Briefing Book is a compilation of statistics and policy recommendations from practitioners, agencies, organizations, individuals and advocates from across the state, intended to highlight areas in which state policy might have an impact, particularly around the areas of education, health and safety. The report includes specific recommendations for policy change at the state level and is aligned with the indicators and grades in the 2014 Nevada Children’s Report Card.

Denise Tanata Ashby, CAA’s Executive Director, said, “As a community and residents of Nevada, we should be appalled by these grades and work harder to improve the systems and policies that support our children and their families. We must stop accepting failure as the norm.” And Nevada’s CAA is doing just that as they work diligently to advocate for changes in the State of Nevada that will greatly improve the lives of children and their families.  SPARC was honored to have been invited to present at their release event and is proud to be a part of their efforts to not only raise awareness about the challenges facing children, but to offer solutions for how lawmakers can truly make a difference in children’s lives. While there is much work to be done in Nevada and across the nation, fortunately, we know how to make progress – let’s all continue to build on what works and fix what doesn’t.