Connecticut Voices for Children
33 Whitney Avenue
New Haven CT 06510
Contact Information
Address 33 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06510-
Telephone (203) 498-4240 x
Fax 203-498-4242
E-mail voices@ctvoices.org
Web and Social Media

 
Mission
Connecticut Voices for Children' mission is to promote the well-being of all of Connecticut's children and families by identifying and advocating for strategic public investments and wise public policies. Connecticut Voices advances its mission through high quality research and analysis, policy development, strategic communications and establishment of a sustainable and powerful voice for children. We believe that all Connecticut children should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

In service of that mission, we have developed six guiding principles:
  • Every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
  • All children should grow up healthy and safe.
  • All children should have an opportunity for successful learning experiences from birth through adulthood.
  • Public policies that invest strategically in child health, wellbeing and education benefit the entire community.
  • Children do well when families do well.
  • The state budget reflects the priorities and values of our state.
Based on those principles, we have identified four policy-driven program areas: healthy child development, high quality education, equity and opportunity, and strategic investment.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1995
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Charity Type I Supporting Organization
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ellen Shemitz J.D.
Board Chair Jean Adnopoz
Board Chair Company Affiliation Yale University Child Study Center
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $1,480,099.00
Projected Expenses $1,406,908.00
Statements
Mission Connecticut Voices for Children' mission is to promote the well-being of all of Connecticut's children and families by identifying and advocating for strategic public investments and wise public policies. Connecticut Voices advances its mission through high quality research and analysis, policy development, strategic communications and establishment of a sustainable and powerful voice for children. We believe that all Connecticut children should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

In service of that mission, we have developed six guiding principles:
  • Every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
  • All children should grow up healthy and safe.
  • All children should have an opportunity for successful learning experiences from birth through adulthood.
  • Public policies that invest strategically in child health, wellbeing and education benefit the entire community.
  • Children do well when families do well.
  • The state budget reflects the priorities and values of our state.
Based on those principles, we have identified four policy-driven program areas: healthy child development, high quality education, equity and opportunity, and strategic investment.
Background

Connecticut Voices was founded in 1995 by four women who each had many years of experience working on behalf of children -- Shelley Geballe, Janice Gruendel, Judy Solomon and Nancy Lustman -- to enable Connecticut residents to be more effective voices for our children. CT Voices has built a highly talented staff with education and experience in education, law, health, business, government and the non-profit sector. This multi-disciplinary approach allows us to offer new insights on recurring problems. Policymakers, political leaders, the media, other advocacy groups and others now regularly turn to CT Voices for public policy and budget analysis, and new ideas.

Impact

In 2013, research, analysis and advocacy by Connecticut Voices played a substantial role in achieving:

  • Creation of a new Office of Early Childhood (OEC) which will support a more coordinated and accessible early childhood education system
  • Maintenance of HUSKY eligibility and access to health care for thousands of parents whose coverage was initially at risk in the Governor’s budget proposal
  • Maintenance of income support for more than 180,000 low-income households through protection of the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), initially at risk of elimination in the Governor’s budget proposal
  • Reduction in exclusionary school discipline practices thanks to state and community based discussions of best practice disciplinary policies, following our research report on reducing unnecessary arrests of students in Connecticut schools

For 2014, we have set five key goals:

  • Promote legislation to assure continuous eligibility for children enrolled in HUSKY health insurance to reduce gaps in coverage.
  • Pass early childhood legislation and work with OEC to develop a blueprint for reform that supports core principles of an early childhood system.
  • Pass school-police collaboration legislation and deepen reach of school discipline work through report update and public education
  • Educate state leaders on the benefits of adopting a state child tax credit and restoring the earned income tax credit to 27.5% of the federal credit
  • Create and begin work on 3 year development plan to close structural deficit and to secure funding for communications, administrative and development capacity
Needs
  1. Sufficient flexible funding to allow Connecticut Voices to develop and maintain the extra capacity necessary to respond to unanticipated advocacy opportunities or challenges and to meet the various needs of community partners who request our assistance with data, policy or advocacy support (approximately $180,000 in unrestricted funding).
  2. Sufficient funding to hire one additional senior policy fellow to cover our work in Education Policy (approximately $100,000 to cover salary, taxes, fringe benefits and additional overhead).
  3. Sufficient funding to hire a Public Affairs professional with skills in development, finance, marketing and membership (approximately $85,000 to cover salary, taxes, fringe benefits and additional overhead).
  4. In-kind marketing and design support for a new brochure and policy brief template.
  5. Funding or in-kind support for staff development in communications, framing and media engagement.
CEO Statement
I first learned about the groundbreaking work of Connecticut Voices for Children fifteen years ago while serving as executive director of the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire- a sister organization of Connecticut Voices with a similar vision and mission. Under the leadership of founding executive director Shelley Geballe, Connecticut Voices was leading the national child advocacy community in integrating social policy expertise with tax and budget analysis to make the case for increased investments in children and families as part of strategic economic planning and development. Over the years, I held up the work of Connecticut Voices as the “gold standard” in child advocacy, urging my board to follow its lead in both (a) development of fiscal analytical capacity and (b) engagement with the local law school to offer internships and fellowships that would develop the next generation of child advocates.\
 
Back then, I did not anticipate that I would ever return to my home state of Connecticut or that I would have the opportunity to build on the work of Attorney Geballe. Now that I serve as the executive director of this outstanding organization, I feel even more respect for what Connecticut Voices has achieved and feel confident of the accomplishments to come. Consider just a bit of what we have accomplished in the past six months as a newly reformed team: integrating seven discrete issue areas into four interrelated policy initiatives that leverage the skills and expertise of our policy staff; drafting a strategic vision to lead Connecticut Voices in a transition from its first 20 years of existence to the challenges of the 20 years to come; developing a multiyear plan to strengthen our board’s leadership role; engaging all policy staff in funder development work to ensure alignment of our day-to-day activities with the finite nature of our resources; and strengthening our call to action to the state as we highlight demographic, economic and fiscal trends that necessitate action today to ensure a more successful tomorrow.
Board Chair Statement

I have been an enthusiastic supporter of Connecticut Voices for Children since Shelley Geballe, its charismatic founder, presented her extraordinary vision of a policy think tank to Albert J. Solnit, MD, and I was fortunate enough to be present. Her determination, vision and understanding of the complex interrelationships of the political, educational, familial and intra-personal systems which promote or impede human development was impressive then and these values remain the basis of the organization today.

I was honored when Shelley invited me to join the board of Connecticut Voices 20 years ago, and I am grateful to the Nominating Committee that has allowed me to not only maintain my board position, but selected me to serve as president in 2012. When I accepted the presidency I had no idea that I would need to lead Connecticut Voices through another transition in leadership. Jamey Bell, who succeeded Shelley as Executive Director, had proven to be a competent leader and I was prepared to guide an organization that was fully in charge of its own destiny. How quickly things change! Within weeks of my becoming president, Governor Dannel Malloy appointed Jamey to a prestigious state position and CT Voices was faced with having to recruit its third Executive Director

It is this challenge which best illustrates the enormous strength and resilience of the Connecticut Voices staff, board and community. Not only was the staff able to meet all of its many contractual obligations during the period of transition but, under the impressive leadership of Sharon Langer, Senior Policy Fellow, the organization continued to develop thoughtful and concise analyses and position papers which undoubtedly influenced decision making on many of the legislative issues affecting the lives of children and families

I am particularly pleased that the Search Committee, which I also chaired, was able to work quickly and smoothly and unanimously selected Ellen Shemitz, JD, as the third Executive Director of CT Voices. We could not have made a better choice. Ellen will lead CT Voices into the next decades with an enthusiasm, intelligence and vigor that I believe will guarantee its continued success as the premier think tank and child advocacy group for policies affecting children and families in the Connecticut. Under Ellen’s leadership, CT Voices is already poised to become a national leader in this field and join the national conversation on some of the issues which it has championed, such as the plight of children aging out of foster care, preschool and early childhood education, and the need for strong schools which can prepare children for college as well as for the vocations which will assure them financial viability and create a pool of employment ready individuals in the state.

Connecticut Voices is fortunate to enjoy strong, committed leadership at all levels of the organization -- staff, board and supporters. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with those who share my vision of the organization as a place where unbiased, data driven analyses are encouraged and the findings disseminated in the service of improving the lives of all of Connecticut’s children and their families. All of us stand to gain from these efforts.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit / Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis
Areas Served
State wide
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
State wide
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
Connecticut Voices for Children works statewide to improve opportunities for all of Connecticut’s children and families. Our staff and our research reports are also resources to local and regional organizations. We share local and regional data, learn from the experiences of service providers "in the field," offer technical assistance, convene statewide meetings, and participate in local and regional meetings. Approximately 20% of our target population lives in towns served by the CFGNH.
Programs
Description
Connecticut Voices seeks to promote public policies and investments that will assure all children access to quality health care and assist all families in supporting the healthy development of their children. Specifically, we seek to ensure that the state’s lower-income children, families and pregnant women have timely access to high-quality, affordable healthcare; that all eligible lower-income children, families and pregnant women have uninterrupted coverage in the HUSKY Health program; and that the implementation of national health reform builds on the gains we have made in covering children, pregnant women, and families in our HUSKY Health program
Population Served At-Risk Populations / Families / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Our short-term goals for improving access to health care for children and families include:
  • Improve access to Medicaid for youth who age out of foster care
  • Improve systems integration between HUSKY and the Access Health CT insurance exchange, which will enable families to have access to uninterrupted health coverage
  • Implement a policy that provides 12 months of continuous HUSKY coverage for children to ensure uninterrupted access to timely health care
  • Ensure that policymakers and other stakeholders are knowledgeable about eligibility expansions and opportunities to improve access to health care under the Affordable Care Act
  • Monitor positive changes in administrative policy and procedures that enable children most at risk of losing coverage (e.g., babies turning one, teens turning 18) to retain coverage in the HUSKY program
  • Protect HUSKY program from harmful cuts in coverage and access to services
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
  • Increase in the percentage of children and families with health insurance coverage
  • Increase the percentage of eligible children in the HUSKY program that maintain their enrollment for 12 continuous months
  • Increase in utilization of preventive care and reduction in emergency room utilization for conditions that could be treated on an outpatient basis
  • Increase in access to mental health services for children and families
  • Reduction in racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage and access
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

 

  • Increase in number of children with continuous, uninterrupted health coverage
  • Increase in the number of children in HUSKY that receive well-child care
  • Reduction in number of uninsured children and families
  • Participation in quarterly Covering Kids and Families meetings on HUSKY topics
  • Administrative and policy changes that improve access to health coverage and services
  • Invitations to speak at events, lead working groups, and co-sponsor activities, analyze health data and evaluate health coverage programs
  • Press coverage that integrates our frame of healthy child development

 

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Thousands more children have access to the health care they need as a result of our research and advocacy. Over the last several years, Connecticut Voices has analyzed HUSKY enrollment data that indicated that babies turning one and teens turning 18 were more likely than children of other ages to lose coverage over the course of a year, often because of confusion about program rules and notices about renewing their health coverage. As a direct result of our work and recommendations, the Department of Social Services made changes to its procedures, and community organizations took additional steps to help families keep their children enrolled in HUSKY. Follow-up research has found that thousands more children are retaining their health coverage after these changes were implemented.

Description

Our early education work is focused on ensuring all young children have access to high-quality care-giving environments that are developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and that recognize parents as children’s first and most important teachers. We also support the creation of an integrated state-wide system of early care and education that will lead to improved overall quality of state-subsidized programs, greater access for children and families, better data collection and analysis and, accordingly, wiser investments.

Our K-12 education policy work focuses on informing the creation of an equitable public education policy and financing structure; keeping children in schools, where they learn best, by reducing truancy, exclusionary discipline, and dropout; combining efforts to support children in school and addressing inequities in family well-being; and promoting a rich, broad curriculum for all children.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / At-Risk Populations / Families
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Our short-term goals are aimed at improving access to high-quality early care and K-12 education:

  • Promote policies to expand access to high-quality early childhood programs, including but not limited to preschool, and to create the Office of Early Childhood in statute.
  • Work with the Office of Early Childhood to develop a blueprint for reform that supports a more integrated, high-quality, and accessible early childhood education system.
  • Promote policies and legislation that keep children, particularly at-risk children, in-school; including legislation that reduces the unnecessary use of student arrests. (For more, see our Equity & Opportunity section.)
  • Raise awareness amongst DCF staff, educators, and the public about educational challenges facing youth in State care. (For more, see our Equity & Opportunity section.)
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
  • Connecticut offers all children the opportunity to attend high quality early care and public education so that they can graduate ready for success in school, in the workplace, and in society
  • Connecticut creates and maintains an equitable education funding system that provides and effectively manages the resources needed to ensure that all students receive suitable educational opportunities
  • Decrease in educational equity gaps between racial and socioeconomic groups
  • Positive changes in administrative policy and procedures (e.g. more systematic coherent collection and analysis of K-12 data; data-driven reform of the ECS formula)
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
  • Greater percentage of children participating in high-quality early care and education programs
  • Improved coordination, integration and planning in state’s early education system
  • Increased share of K-12 education funded by state dollars
  • Increased school diversity
  • Reduction in unnecessary student suspensions and arrests
  • Lower percentage of low-income children who attend low performing schools
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Connecticut has begun the process of transforming its early care and education system to become more streamlined, integrated, and accessible to families. The state’s early care and education system has long suffered from a lack of coordination and planning for its patchwork of programs. Child care providers have struggled to manage multiple funding streams, regulations, and assessment measures. Parents have struggled to understand and navigate a confusing and often overlapping array of programs and eligibility requirements. Through our research and advocacy work, we have drawn attention to the need for a more unified and integrated approach to educating our youngest children. Policymakers have established a new Office of Early Childhood, charged with coordinating the state’s early care programs under one roof and improving access for children and parents.

Description

The Fiscal Policy Center at Connecticut Voices coordinates our budget and tax policy work and seeks to increase investments in child and family opportunity and well-being; build a state revenue system that is sustainable, efficient, and fair; and improve transparency and accountability in state tax and budget policies.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / At-Risk Populations / Families
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Our short-term goals are aimed at improving investments in and tax fairness for children and families include:
  • Restoration of Connecticut’s state Earned Income Tax Credit to its original amount, 30% of the federal credit
  • Adoption of a state child tax credit
  • A review by the state of the impact of every major proposed tax change on different income groups through “tax incidence analysis”
  • Use of “benefit phase-out analysis” by the state to model every major proposed benefit change
  • Increased investment in the “Children’s Budget” -- programs that support children’s education, health, and well-being
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Long-term success is measured against a future Connecticut where:
  • The state and local tax code is progressive rather than regressive
  • The state and local tax code supports families raising children
  • The structure of state benefits assists families in rising up the opportunity ladder
  • The state commits a far greater proportion of its budget to investments in children
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
  • Improvements in the fairness of the state and local tax code for low- and middle-income families
  • Increased state budget investments in programs that improve opportunities for children
  • Analyses of the structure of state benefits
  • Participation in state budget forums and events
  • Increased reserves in the state’s “rainy day fund” to protect funding for children’s services during economic and state revenue downturns
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. Connecticut’s tax system will be held publicly accountable for its fairness and equity for families. A major focus of our tax and budget policy work has been the unfairness of Connecticut’s tax code. In our regressive system, Connecticut’s low-income and middle-income families pay a much higher share of their income in state and local taxes than the state’s wealthiest residents. Connecticut Voices has brought attention to this disparity for many years, and this year, policymakers approved legislation that would for the first time require the state’s tax agency to report on how much people at different income levels and businesses of different sizes pay in state and local taxes – a “tax incidence” report.
Description

Working across issue areas, Connecticut Voices seeks to improve and broaden opportunities for all children and families, particularly at-risk children. Our family economic security policy work seeks to prioritize proven investments that develop our human capital, including children and young adults; create and sustain high-quality permanent jobs; and broaden prosperity and economic opportunities for all state residents. Our child welfare work is focused on supporting investments in families and communities to prevent neglect and abuse, and working to improve services and outcomes for children placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families. Our juvenile justice work seeks to reduce the number of children and youth involved in the juvenile justice system, to improve outcomes for children and youth who are involved, and to reduce inequities in the juvenile justice system attributable to poverty and race.

Population Served At-Risk Populations / Families / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Our short-term goals for ensuring broader opportunities for vulnerable and at-risk children and families include:
  • Policy changes that reduce opportunity gaps, including increased funding for programs affecting health and well-being, early care and education, and economic security for children and families.
  • Improved access to Medicaid for youth who age out of foster care
  • Improved access to crisis services and supports for homeless youth
  • Enhanced educational supports for children in foster care
  • Reduction in out-of-school suspension and arrest rates; promotion of positive alternatives to out-of-school suspensions and arrests
  • Reinvestment of Department of Children and Families savings from the reduction of out of state placements to expand and improve the quality of community-based services and supports
  • Structural improvements to the juvenile justice system, including increased data capacity
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
  • Increase in employment opportunities, wages, access to affordable housing, and economic mobility for low income families
  • Decrease in family income disparity and in family and child poverty rates
  • Decrease in children suffering from prolonged periods living in poverty
  • Full array of community-based services for youth in the care of the Department of Children and Families
  • Improvement in the employment, educational, and social outcomes of youth aging out of the foster care system
  • Reduction in the number of children residing in out-of-home care, and increase in the number of at-risk children whose needs are met in family settings
  • Decrease in inappropriate engagement with the juvenile justice system
  • Reduction in racial, ethnic, or income based inequities in the juvenile justice system
  • Improvement in outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system, through services like behavior/mental health services and greater educational opportunities
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
  • State and local funding reforms and policies that improve opportunities for children and reduce inequities
  • Improvement in median wages
  • Reduced income disparities
  • Lower child and family poverty rates
  • Decreased reliance on institutional care for kids in the child welfare system
  • Increased funding for issues affecting education for children and youth including Raise the Age expansion and supports for youth transitioning out of the foster care system
  • Improved employment, educational, and social outcomes for children and youth touched by the child welfare system
  • Decreased involvement of youth with the juvenile justice system
  • Reduced racial and income inequities in the juvenile justice system
  • Improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system
  • Reduction in student arrest and out of school suspension rates
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

More than 180,000 Connecticut low-income households will continue to receive a strong boost from Connecticut’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Connecticut Voices has advocated since its start for a refundable state income tax credit, which was finally created in 2011. This credit for working families is a vital support that helps low-wage parents make ends meet and stay out of poverty. On the federal level, the EITC lifts more children out of poverty than any other federal program (including 35,000 kids in Connecticut). The new state EITC became a tempting target for deep cuts in 2013 as the state faced a massive budget deficit. Through our advocacy and our work with partners and policymakers, we helped to avoid deep and permanent cuts to the state’s EITC – ensuring that low-wage working families will have access to a robust credit in the years ahead.

Program Comments
CEO Comments

All of CT Voices’ work actively fosters and relies on the next generation of policy leadership. We promote leadership development through our rotating two-year policy fellow program. This program is integral to our capacity to conduct research, engage with coalition and partners, produce reports, and achieve our significant public policy successes. We engage our junior policy fellows in all aspects of our work, empowering them to gain expertise in substantive areas such that they can become an independent resource for other staff and the public, including collaborative partners and policy makers.

We also mentor and develop the next generation of policy analysts through our collaboration with the Yale Law School Legislative Advocacy Clinic, in which law students with an interest in policy advocacy learn and practice engagement in the legislative process.

CEO/Executive Director
Ellen Shemitz J.D.
Term Start Sept 2013
Email eshemitz@ctvoices.org
Experience

Ellen Shemitz is Executive Director of Connecticut Voices for Children.  Attorney Shemitz is a nationally recognized advocate with over 25 years of public and private sector experience advancing social and civil justice through policy development, advocacy, litigation, media campaigns and public engagement.  She served for eight years as the President of the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire, a state based child advocacy organization, known for its research and analysis on issues including child health and development, public education, child protection, and family economic opportunity.

She earned the Outstanding Advocate Award from the National Association of School Psychologists in 2003; served as the National Chair of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Steering Committee in 2006-2007; and founded the New Hampshire Child Advocacy Network, a collaborative association of more than 200 child-serving organizations.  From 2008 through 2012, Attorney Shemitz led the New Hampshire Association for Justice, a professional association working to promote civil justice and constitutional rights.

A Connecticut native and a graduate of Yale University (B.A.) and Yale Law School (J.D.), Ms. Shemitz moved to New Hampshire in 1987 to clerk for the Honorable Hugh H. Bownes of the United States Court of Appeals.  While in private practice, she represented children with special needs, protecting their educational rights, and became a partner in the Manchester, New Hampshire law firm of Chamberlain & Shemitz.

 

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 12
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 1
Staff Retention Rate 92%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Jamey Bell Oct 2008 - Oct 2012
Shelley Geballe J.D., M.P.H.Oct 1995 - Sept 2008
Senior Staff
Title Distinguished Senior Fellow
Experience/Biography

Shelley's research and writing at CT Voices has focused on state and federal tax and budget policy, family economic security, child welfare and juvenile justice, children's health and mental health and K-12 education. She also currently serves in a number of appointed positions in the state, including the Advisory Committee of the Office of the Child Advocate and the Commission on Child Protection. She has been a consultant in a variety of international contexts, most recently about the non-profit sector at Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, on the HIV/AIDS law at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and public health law at the Union School of Public Health in Beijing, China.

Title Senior Policy Fellow
Experience/Biography Mary Alice's work at Connecticut Voices entails health services research and policy analysis, with a focus on health and health care of low-income families and children.  She is also a Lecturer at the Yale University School of Medicine (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health).
Title Senior Policy Fellow
Experience/Biography Cyd  focuses on issues related to childcare, early childhood education, and K-12 education.
Title Senior Policy Fellow
Experience/Biography

Orlando specializes in family economic security, affordable housing, demographics and fiscal policy. He has been analyzing Connecticut socioeconomics since 2002 while at UConn's Center for Population Research and as manager of the Connecticut State Data Center.

Title Director of Communications
Experience/Biography Michael is the Director of Communications for Connecticut Voices for Children, with responsibility for the coordination of the organization's communications initiatives, including media relations, reports, fact sheets, Web site development, and e-mail newsletters.
Title Senior Policy Fellow
Experience/Biography Wade analyzes and advocates for tax and budget policies that improve the economic, health, and educational opportunities available to Connecticut families. He began his work for CT Voices in 2009 through Yale Law School's Legislative Advocacy Clinic and continued full time after graduation.
Title Advocacy Director
Experience/Biography Sharon engages in policy research and data analysis, legislative advocacy, community education and coalition-building to promote policy reforms that support families and improve health and social equity for language minorities and low-income communities. She coordinates the Covering Connecticut's Kids and Families Coalition, which brings together state officials, community health providers, advocates, and others who seek to help families enroll and access health services in the state's publicly funded health insurance program, HUSKY (Medicaid and CHIP).
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Collaborations

To accomplish our goals, Connecticut Voices works collaboratively with a variety of partners, sharing data, seeking “field” input from service providers, convening likely and unlikely allies to create consensus, and engaging disparate voices in our direct advocacy. While a full listing of partners would far exceed the space limits here, the list includes: Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council; Better Choices for Connecticut; Connecticut Advocates for Accountable Government; Covering Connecticut’s Kids and Families; Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance; Connecticut Fair Housing; Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance; Connecticut Parent Power; Corporation for Enterprise Development; Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative; Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut; Medicaid Strategy Group; Oversight Council of Medical Assistance Program; New England Alliance for Children's Health; New England Consortium to Reduce Child Poverty; New Haven Early Childhood Education Council; Partnership for America’s Children; Partnership for Strong Communities; and the Yale School of Law, Legislative Advocacy Clinic.

Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Connecticut Association of Nonprofits1999
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Youth Advocate AwardConnecticut Youth Services Association1997
Clifford W. Beers Recognition Award in recognition of and appreciation for continuing efforts as a "Voice" on behalf of Connecticut's children.Clifford Beers Clinic1998
Public Service Award in recognition of diligent & tireless efforts in advocating the rights of children and youth in ConnecticutThe Connecticut Probate Assembly2000
In recognition of dedication to the health and well-being of children and their families in Connecticut.NAMI of Connecticut2001
President's Award in recognition of outstanding advocacy on behalf of ChildrenTEAM, Inc.2002
Community Service Award for efforts, research, and perserverance.Connecticut Alliance for Basic Human Needs2002
Visionary Leadership Award in recognition of innovative leadership in child advocacy for the children of ConnecticutThe Capitol Region Conference of Churches2003
Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the communityUnited States Congress2006
Certificate of AppreciationYouth Board of FSW, Inc.2010
Outside Organization Award in appreciation of independent research and advocacy efforts that support and sustain CT's dental Medicaid program for childrenConnecticut State Dental Association2013
Comments
CEO Comments

In 2015, Connecticut Voices for Children will celebrate its 20th anniversary. This milestone will provide us with an opportunity to look back and celebrate dramatic changes and achievements at the same time as we identify the existing barriers to success and the importance of coordinated action to advance a healthier state that supports the potential of all of its children. As the only statewide multi-issue nonprofit child advocacy organization in Connecticut, we play a unique role in explaining how issues such as poverty, crime, underachievement, unemployment and family dynamics not only impact healthy child development but also limit the potential of the entire state. At a time of declining social capital and community engagement, we seek to explain the reality of our social and economic interdependence, connecting the dots to draw a clearer roadmap to a better tomorrow.

Board Chair
Jean Adnopoz
Company Affiliation Yale University Child Study Center
Term July 2013 to July 2014
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Peter Arakas Retired Attorney, Community Volunteer
Ann Baker Pepe The Foote School
Michael Bangser Bangser Consulting
Erik Clemons Connecticut Center for Arts & Technology
Lynn Cochrane Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc.
Barbara Fernandez Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development
Hector Glynn The Village for Families and Children, Inc.
Fran Goldstein Aviation Products Mgmt, Inc.
Reverend Bonita Grubbs Christian Community Action
Mary Ann Handley Retired State Legislator
Nancy Roberts Retired President of Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
Allyx Schiavone Friends Center for Children
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 9
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Insurance
Computer Equipment and Software
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Employee Benefits Liability
Employee Dishonesty
Employment Practices Liability
Fiduciary Liability
General Property Coverage
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Automobile Insurance
Standing Committees
Finance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Executive
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2014
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2014
Projected Revenue $1,480,099.00
Projected Expenses $1,406,908.00
Spending Policy N/A
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Making a Difference in 20132014View
Charity Navigator 4-Star Rating2013View
Sparking Reform: Highlights of Our Work 2007 to 20122012View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201220112010
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,301,077$1,227,937$1,027,819
Government Contributions$0$75,158$88,789
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified--$75,158$88,789
Individual Contributions------
------
$40,040$14,361$1,514
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,953$2,580$3,464
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Other------
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201220112010
Program Expense$1,219,918$1,216,061$1,073,496
Administration Expense$104,383$165,564$187,407
Fundraising Expense$41,682$73,285$39,552
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.980.910.86
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%84%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%6%4%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201220112010
Total Assets$880,577$942,814$1,040,681
Current Assets$877,361$934,863$1,027,449
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$107,760$147,084$110,077
Total Net Assets$772,817$795,730$930,604
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201220112010
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountMelville Charitable Trust $267,275Melville Charitable Trust $267,276Melville Chartiable Trust $267,275
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountHartford Foundation $160,322The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving $196,643CT Health Foundation $154,545
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCT Health Foundation $150,000Seedling Foundation $172,483Hartford Foundation $151,215
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201220112010
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities8.146.369.33
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201220112010
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
Foundation Staff Comments
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 33 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06510
Primary Phone 203 498-4240
Contact Email voices@ctvoices.org
CEO/Executive Director Ellen Shemitz J.D.
Board Chair Jean Adnopoz
Board Chair Company Affiliation Yale University Child Study Center

 

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