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
Web and Social Media


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
CEO/Executive Director Executive Director Emily Byrne
Board Chair David Nee
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired Executive Director of Graustein Memorial Fund
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years



Every child should be cherished. That simple idea drove four mothers to found Connecticut Voices for Children more than twenty years ago. The legacy of those four women is a highly respected child research and advocacy organization led by a diverse staff with experience in education, law, child development, health, youth development, and the state budget. Together we work to advance three broad outcomes: thriving children and families, educational equity and excellence, and inclusive and equitable growth.

Connecticut today is a state of contradictions. Although we rank first in the nation for per capita income, 12.9% of our children live in poverty. Although our state constitution prohibits segregation and discrimination we have a long history of de-facto racial residential segregation and dramatic racial/ethnic inequalities in income and educational outcomes. 20 .4% of our Latino children and 17.8% of our Black children live in poverty, compared to 10% of White children. Children living in poverty experience environmental and family stressors that decrease the likelihood of their success in school, in the workplace, and in life. These challenges are exacerbated by public policies that deny them needed services and limit their access to well-resourced schools, even as their parents pay a greater share of their income in state and local taxes than wealthier families pay. Our challenge is to advance systems level changes so that children’s life experiences no longer depend more on where they live than on how hard they work. That means offering high quality education in every community, protecting vulnerable children and youth, and reforming our revenue system.

Our key accomplishments last year and our primary goals this year seek to protect the needs of our most historically disadvantaged children and families -- advocating for the protection of critical polices and programs that support family economic security as well as the adoption of a balanced budget.
Family Economic Security: Today, the state's income and wealth divides are greater than ever, but so much of a child's well-being is rooted in family economic security.  Children cannot thrive unless families do, which is why Connecticut Voices conducts research and analysis as well as works with stakeholders and partners to co-create recommendations and advance advocacy that support housing, criminal justice, and employment as well as the intersectional issues of health, child welfare, and education.  Our past advocacy efforts have led to HUSKY health coverage restoration for over 13,500 parents, expanded oral health access for children, bump stocks ban, and essential health benefits regulations. Also, Legislators also codified into law the Office of Health Strategy to provide a vision for the state’s health systems that promotes equity, controls costs, and integrates data across programs.
Inclusive Economic Growth and Prosperity: Budgets are a clear reflection of what and who we value.  Connecticut Voices identifies and advocates for investments in children and families as the primary budget priority, but we also conduct research and work with stakeholders and partners to co-create recommendations and advance advocacy that support inclusive growth and a fair tax system within the state.  Our past advocacy efforts include limiting the impact of fiscal restrictions; defeating the elimination of the estate tax, changes to volatility cap and Bond Lock, and preserved funding for municipal aid.

Emerging Issues: The world and state are changing rapidly and we recognize that to keep up with the pace of these changes, we must be nimble and adapt, and address issues and emergencies when they arise, which is why Connecticut Voices identifies new, timely issues and conducts research and analysis as well as works with stakeholders and partners to co-create recommendations and advance advocacy that are of the most emergent import to the well-being of the state's children and families.
While Connecticut Voices for Children celebrates these and other notable policy changes, we still have much work to do to ensure that every child grows up safe, healthy, and with a high-quality education. Due to the tight fiscal restrictions passed in 2017, the General Assembly did not pass a number of important bills to create a higher quality, more accessible, more stable early childhood education system that's integral to family economic security—among other important priorities. Additionally, while the budget included a few sources of much-needed revenue, lawmakers did not make the structural changes necessary to move Connecticut’s tax system toward sustainability and equity. And even with an increased minimum wage, too many low-wage Connecticut families will continue to struggle to make ends meet and cover their basic needs. We will continue our advocacy to encourage investments in Connecticut’s most precious resource—its children.

Changes to the state budget passed in 2017 included fiscal restrictions that would severely limit the legislature’s ability to invest in children and to even change those restrictions. What's more and partially as a result, nonprofits are becoming leaner but their need for research and other advocacy support is growing. We are called upon to map out the scope of the challenge and the likely consequences of different paths forward. Our biggest challenge then is capacity. Without increased funding we are unable to attract, retain, and expand our staffing. Hiring additional staff with advanced degrees and deep experience in the fields of economic and education, for example, can only be accomplished with additional dollars. Nonetheless, we work to meet the expectations of partners and funders in terms of essential research, budget analysis, and advocacy while also being nimble enough to address emerging issues and needs.

CEO Statement
What would it mean if all children in Connecticut were able to realize their full potential?  Would it mean that all young people -- regardless of race or zip code -- would graduate from high school ready for success in college or career? Would it would mean that employers could count on a well-trained workforce? Would it would mean a sharp decrease in child poverty, an increase in median wages, and a healthier economy fueled by a growing middle class with increased demand for products and services? 
Today, as one of the few statewide, multi-issue, research-based child advocacy organizations in Connecticut, we play a unique role in explaining how policies within the issue areas of rights, justice, education, housing and economics not only impact healthy child development but also limit the potential of the entire state. Facts matter. Unfortunately, we're living in uncertain times, so much so that it's unclear whether truth will win the proverbial day.
The change we seek will require multiple movements that can only be built by working together -- by restoring public trust and putting people first, by finding common ground where we think there is none, and by working intentionally for a purpose greater than our own. Connecticut Voices for Children is in a position to leverage its privilege and share power to promote the facts. Rooted in nearly 25 years of truth-seeking, this is our value-add and we're ready and eager to move forward with partners in this way.
Board Chair Statement

I joined the board of Connecticut Voices for Children in 2014, and became Board Chair in late 2017. I had been a fan and supporter of Voices since its founding in 1995. While Executive Director of the Graustein Memorial Fund, we gave numerous grants for core support and particular projects that Voices identified as critical. In truth, Connecticut had long needed what Voices has come to be: an independent source of research, credible information and perspective on children’s issues. Voices’ clear and thoughtful position papers have often influenced legislative decisions directly affecting the lives of Connecticut children and families. This work has also educated the general public, community leaders and other advocates.

Voices has also informed the public debate by raising up issues that have not been high on the public agenda, yet are highly consequential for Connecticut. For instance, the current “bond-lock” would enshrine certain legislative revenue and spending caps within covenants attached to publicly issued bonds. This would constrain future legislatures from taking full advantage of new revenue sources, or spending in response to critical situations. This was not on the radar screen for the majority of legislators, let alone the public. Voices’ deep analysis, as well as prompt and extensive communications, greatly increased widespread awareness of the bond-lock and its implications among legislators, other advocates and community leaders. In so doing, I believe Voices enacted one of the key roles of a strong advocacy organization: to level the playing field in public policy by alerting many stakeholders to the true facts of a critical issue.

Voices is a labor of love, not just another civic duty. Every member brings refreshing passion to the work. The Board deeply respects the staff, especially our fearless and thoughtful leader, Emily Byrne, the senior staff and the associate policy fellows. The latter bring a youthful energy and intellectual curiosity to their two-year tenure.

The Board fully embraces its responsibility to be both critical and supportive in guiding the staff and executive. We evaluate our own performance and the executive’s. The Board has just participated in a national assessment of governance among a number of like organizations around the country, and we eagerly look forward to the results. Moreover, Emily and staff, with philanthropic support, are developing a dashboard and measures that will allow Voices to assess and communicate its efficacy more concisely.

I consider Voices the most effective child advocacy in the state, and one of the best nationally. In the financial crises that bedevil Connecticut, Voices with vigilance and creativity will be a crucial force. I am honored to lead its governance.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis
Areas Served
State wide
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
West Haven

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In defining low-income, we have used 200% of the federal poverty line, based on the recognition that the federal poverty level itself dramatically undercounts families in need. 

Data on family income is not the only characteristic of our target population. Opportunity for children and youth is shaped within the context of multiple community, peer, and educational influences. These influences vary greatly across Connecticut and within the greater New Haven region, resulting in vast disparities in opportunity.

Across our communities, families are not able to access early childhood care and education, including infant and toddler care equally. This exacerbates employment and income disparities when working parents are forced to forgo employment in order to watch their children. Within the K-12 schools, educational disparities that result from unequal access to early childhood education are exacerbated by widely disparate school funding. We see the same disparities in our work on youth development and youth unemployment. The rate of youth who drop out of school and do not find employment—disconnected youth—is highly correlated to suspension rates. These findings in Connecticut are consistent with national studies showing that youth are more likely to be arrested on days they are suspended from school, often as a result of “zero tolerance” or “three strikes and you’re out” policies. Connecting this research with local data, we find that where a youth grows up in the greater New Haven region has a significant impact on his or her likelihood of success. Compare for example the 2014-15 school-year suspension rate of 0.4% Woodbridge with that in West Haven of 6.9%. These disparities in opportunity present an enormous challenge not just for the most affected children and families, but for the state as a whole.


Children do well when families do well, but not all families face the same opportunities or the same barriers to success. To ensure healthy child development, we need to promote multi-generational initiatives that enable parents to support their children’s development; advance racial equity; and empower our state systems to keep at-risk children and youth in their homes, communities, and classrooms with the supports they need to develop healthily and safely into successful young adults.

Helping families become healthy, stable, and economically secure has benefits beyond their individual well-being. It is also the foundation of equitable economic growth. Healthy parents can more effectively support their children, both through work and through parenting. Healthy children do better in school, as they miss class less often and are able to better focus on their classes. Identifying behavioral health problems in early childhood helps prevent life-long illness, and prevents children from falling behind in school.

Addressing the needs of the whole community opens new paths to opportunity for parents and a brighter future for their children. Better education outcomes lead, in turn, to equitable growth, as more and more families can live up to their full potential. 

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. Health
  1. Parent income eligibility for HUSKY A restored from 155 percent to 160 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
  2. Community health worker certification process established.
  3. Minors enabled to access to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Child Welfare
  1. Protected the rights of youth in foster care.
  2. Extended the reporting deadline of the Task Force to Study Voluntary DCF Admissions.
  3. Established a network to make recommendations on how the state can better serve members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer + (LGBTQ+) community.

Juvenile Justice Reform
  • Increased Judicial Branch funding for juvenile facilities and vocational services and restoration of funding for Juvenile Review Boards and Local Interagency Service Teams.
  • Therapeutic diversion services for youth who start fires or steal cars.
  • Reporting of prosecutorial data.
  • Defeated bills that would charge juveniles who steal cars as adults.
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.

Communities that embody racial justice, health equity and overall child and family wellness. Expansion of health insurance coverage and equitable access to holistic care for children and families. Children and youth will have access to improved integration and coordination of social and community-based services, including diversion and behavioral health services that improve outcomes for and reduce the number of children and youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

  • Passage of priority legislation
  • Defeat of harmful legislation
  • Funding restored to the state budget over proposed reductions
  • # of publications of research-based policy briefs
  • Changes in rates of uninsured children (ACS data)
  • Changes in rates of Black/White and Latino/White rates of health coverage gaps
  • Percentage of children in state care whose needs are met
  • Percentage of kith/kin placement needs met
  • # of youth in detention
  • # and percentage of student arrests
  • # of core partners/alliances to demonstrate base of support


Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
  1. The General Assembly continued a positive trend in health insurance coverage by providing a slight increase in parent income eligibility for the HUSKY A (Medicaid) program, from 155% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 160% FPL, effective October 1, 2019. In 2015, parent income eligibility for HUSKY A was reduced from 201% FPL to 155% FPL. In 2017, parent eligibility was reduced again to 138% FPL. In 2018, the CGA then reversed the 2017 cut, setting parent eligibility at 155% FPL once again.
  2. The final budget (P.A.19-117) appropriated funding to the Judicial Branch. This funding will allow the Court Support Services Division to establish small community-based hardware secure facilities for youth with high levels of need; allow the Judicial Branch to expand vocational services for youth in their care; and support the work of planning, implementation, and evaluation work done by Local Interagency Service Teams.

Education is influenced extensively by social factors outside of local schools such as parent income, parents’ education, child health, neighborhood characteristics, district, state, and national policies. To close the achievement gap in our state, we need to close the opportunity gap by ensuring that children enter school ready to learn, that schools set high expectations for all students by offering a rigorous curriculum, ensuring early intervention, and engaging students with culturally responsive teaching. 

The impact of a truly equitable education system goes beyond education. To address the learning needs of a child, it needs to look beyond the schools to family and community. We need to pursue two-generation policies that provide support to both parents or guardians and children, while also creating safe, thriving communities with access to economic opportunity. By providing a quality education to all children and paths to opportunity for adults, Connecticut can maintain and expand the educated workforce that is key to its prosperity and long-term economic growth. 

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.
  • Build broader understanding of and support for quality early care and education through timely, accessible research and analysis.
  • Assess impact of state and federal budget on early childhood programs.
  • Promote policies to expand access to high-quality early childhood programs.
  • Advocate for a more equitable statewide school finance system through a fair, comprehensive funding formula.
  • Promote policies and legislation that keep children in school, including legislation that reduces the unnecessary use of student arrests.
  • Provide research and data tools to help advocates better explain issues of residential segregation, differential funding, and other sources of the opportunity gap.
  • Promote effective education reform that recognizes the importance of parental support, child health, economic equity, and community supports.
  • Promote collaboration between the business and educational community so that all youth can graduate high school, college and career ready.
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 access to high-quality early care and public education.
  • Creation and maintenance of an equitable education funding system that provides and effectively manages the resources needed to ensure that all students receive suitable educational opportunities.
  • 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).
  • Decrease in educational equity gaps between racial and socioeconomic groups.
  • Decrease in economic and racial/ethnic segregation.
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.
  • Reduced student suspensions, expulsions, and arrests.
  • Lower percentage of low-income children attending low performing schools.
  • Increased number of communities adopting a holistic view of educational success
  • Increased readiness of students graduating high school ready for college and career.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
  1. Care 4 Kids received a modest budget increase, largely due to federal funding streams, that will allow provider reimbursement rates to be increased to 25 percent of the market rate. This boost will expand access to quality childcare for families receiving Care 4 Kids funding, and is a massive increase from current provider reimbursement rates, some of which are as low as 4 percent. However, a 25 percent reimbursement rate is still far less than the federally recommended rate of 75 percent.
  2. Connecticut Voices for Children is committed to protecting access to data that helps to target resources to children who are most in need. One of our major areas of focus this session was the defeat of S.B. 851, which would have prohibited the state from disaggregating student data by ethnic subgroups. Looking at student access and outcomes data broken up by student ethnicity can help illuminate where some students face different opportunities than other students.

To ensure long-term and equitable economic growth we must invest in education, job training, infrastructure, and health. These investments require a predictable and adequate revenue system. 

This will require moving the state towards a budget focused on outcomes, that puts equity and opportunity at the forefront. Connecticut Voices for Children advocates for policies that promote urban revitalization, support small business entrepreneurs, and decrease racial/ethnic disparities in employment, wages, and poverty, broadening access to opportunity to spur economic growth. To achieve long-term fiscal stability, we must pursue a balanced budget approach that combines pro-growth fiscal reform with a shift away from the current revenue system that asks more of those that can least afford it. 

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.
  1. Connecticut Voices for Children advocates for a fair and adequate tax system that supports state budget investments that promote the well-being and economic security of all the state’s children and families. While policymakers took steps to preserve programs important to children and families, they missed the opportunity to make reforms to our revenue system and budget rules that could prevent more cuts in future years.
  2. For many of the programs important to Connecticut’s children and families, the generally flat funding in this budget was disappointing, though still an improvement over the cuts of the last few years. Important program and service areas that were preserved include early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, behavioral health, and juvenile justice. Also noteworthy is the partial restoration of Medicaid income eligibility levels for parents that had been reduced in 2015.

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.
  1. Connecticut Voices advocates for a fair and adequate tax system that supports state budget investments that promote the well-being and economic security of all the state’s children and families. We successfully defended against proposals to eliminate the estate tax.
  2. Connecticut Voices’ 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, broaden prosperity and economic opportunities for all state residents, help workers and families achieve a living wage, and provide equal education opportunities for all children. Thus we were especially pleased this session that two of our top priorities were realized:  increasing the minimum wage, and providing paid family medical leave.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
  • Participation in state budget forums and events.
  • Increased progressivity of the state and local tax system.
  • Increased state budget investments in programs that improve opportunities for children.
  • 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.
  1. After decades-long debate and opposition, Connecticut has joined a growing list of states that offer paid family and medical leave beginning in 2022 (P.A. 19-25). This is a particular triumph for workers of color, who make up a sizable portion of low-wage jobs that typically do not provide paid leave and who have difficulty meeting unexpected medical costs and lost income. The new Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave plan is estimated to cover approximately 103,600 employers and 1.4 million employees in the state.
  2. A majority vote in Connecticut’s Senate established the Nutmeg State as the fourth state this year to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour (P.A. 19-4). The minimum wage, currently set at $10.10, will see a $1 increase per year until it hits the $15 mark in 2023. This is an important step, because it increases the earnings of over 30 percent of Connecticut workers, —of which approximately 43.7 percent are Black, 54.5 percent are Latino, and 25 percent are parents.
Program Comments
CEO Comments

Connecticut Voices for Children is a state-wide research and advocacy organization with a big vision: that all children in our state can and should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their race, their ethnicity or where they live.

We bring together researchers, policymakers, community leaders and in some cases youth themselves to shine a spotlight on unmet needs, identify responsive public policies and advocate for strategic public investments that will dismantle systemic barriers and build pathways to success. Our work cuts across academic disciplines, social policies, and funding silos, providing research and advocacy that informs, engages and builds demand for change.

In Connecticut today, too many families struggle to meet basic needs – challenged by the twin forces of economic change and state budgetary challenges. Today the State of Connecticut faces a structural budget deficit driven by spiraling fixed costs, exacerbated by decreased revenue (related to the longer term economic trends) and resolved in large part by cutting back on essential services that directly impact children. As a result, the total state investment in programs that benefit children and families, including early childhood education, K-12 education, health care, and poverty reduction measures has decreased from over 40 percent twenty years ago to less than 30 percent.

Across all of our work to close opportunity gaps for families, we conduct research and identify policy solutions on a variety of challenges facing Connecticut's children and families. We actively build the leadership of and rely on the next generation of thinkers and doers; the Associate Policy & Research Fellowship Program at Connecticut Voices offers full-time positions to exceptional recent college graduates with a strong interest in advancing public policy to benefit children and youth. Last but not least, we work through partnerships to share knowledge and collaborate where it makes sense. 

CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Emily Byrne
Term Start July 2019
Experience Emily Byrne is the Executive Director of Connecticut Voices for Children.

She has extensive experience in developing human-centered policies and programs as well as driving effective advocacy strategies in service of progressive change. A public servant by training, she started her career as a policy analyst for the City of New Haven, Connecticut where she helped design the nation’s first municipal identification card for residents irrespective of immigration status. Since then she has held various governmental leadership positions as a systems intrapreneur within the social and economic justice arenas. Most notably, she was the founding Executive Director of New Haven Promise, a nonprofit at the intersection of education and economic development.

Byrne has led and contributed to work that has been recognized by past White House administrations and has appeared in numerous publications. A graduate of Providence College and New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, she is also a past U.S. Visiting Fellow with the Robert Bosch Foundation in Germany, where her research focused on migrant rights and racial justice vis-à-vis democratic participation and education.
Number of Full Time Staff 14
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 4
Staff Retention Rate 82%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander 3
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 3
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 13
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
Jamey Bell J.D.Oct 2008 - Oct 2012
Attorney Ellen ShemitzSept 2013 - Jan 2019
Senior Staff
Title Research & Policy Director - Rights & Justice
Experience/Biography Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., is the Research & Policy Director at Connecticut Voices for Children. Her focus areas are rights and justice.

She has an extensive background in policy and advocacy for under-represented groups. Her academic research focuses on psychological methods to reduce prejudice and increase support for equity-related public policy. Prior to joining the team at CT Voices, she worked first as a special education instructor and then as a lobbyist for early childhood, health equity, and juvenile justice organizations at the state capitol in Hartford.

She was awarded a Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University. She also earned an M.S. and M.Phil. in Psychology from Yale as well as a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Philosophy from Tulane University.
Title Operations Director
Experience/Biography Mary Jennings is the Operations Director at Connecticut Voices for Children.

She has over 20 years of nonprofit experience with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Seattle and Connecticut, as well as Connecticut Association for Human Services. Mary is a transplant from Seattle, WA. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy.
Title External Affairs Director
Experience/Biography Jennifer is the External Affairs Director at Connecticut Voices for Children.  She leads on communications & design,  stakeholder relations & community engagement as well as advocacy and equity.

She joins CT Voices after having spent nearly a decade building relationships to advocate on behalf of Connecticut’s most marginalized students. An educator and advocate, Jennifer’s career is grounded in her first-hand experiences providing direct services to black and brown students and families as a College Counselor and Employment Specialist, with these providing a critical equity and justice lens to her work.  Jennifer has ensured that her advocacy work is done in partnership with rather than on marginalized communities. She currently chairs the executive board of the education start-up New Haven Counts and is an acting Board Member of New Haven Legal Assistance Association.

Jennifer earned a B.A. from Quinnipiac University. She currently lives in New Haven’s West River Neighborhood with her husband and children, the very same neighborhood in which she grew up.
Title Chief of Staff
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

Connecticut Voices works collaboratively with a variety of partners, sharing data, seeking 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; Reaching Home Partnership for Strong Communities; Department of Children and Families Youth Advisory Boards; Better Choices for Connecticut; Covering Connecticut’s Kids and Families; Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance; Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance; Juvenile Justice Policy Oversight Council; Connecticut Parent Power; Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative at the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut; Medicaid Strategy Group; Oversight Council of Medical Assistance Program; New England Alliance for Children's Health; Partnership for America’s Children; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities; the State Priorities Partnership; Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy; Partnership for Strong Communities; and the Yale School of Law, Legislative Advocacy Clinic.


Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance1999
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
Gold Star Award for efforts to provide equitable health care in underserved communities.Wheeler Clinic2015
Children’s Champion Award in recognition of their work to protect and enhance children’s health coverageNew England Alliance for Children's Health2015
Board of Directors award for extraordinary efforts to create an effective network of child advocates that will empower ever stronger, more effective and sustainable voices for children.Partnership for America’s Children2016
Board Chair
David Nee
Company Affiliation Retired Executive Director of Graustein Memorial Fund
Term Oct 2017 to Dec 2020
Board of Directors
Jean AdnopozYale University Child Study Center
Ann Baker PepeRetired Director of Development at The Foote School
Lynn CochraneGreater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc.
Hector GlynnThe Village for Families and Children, Inc.
Marcella Nunez-SmithYale School of Medicine
Nancy RobertsRetired President of Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
Laine TaylorYale New Haven Children's Hospital
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 6
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
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
Commercial General Liability
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Governance
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2019
Projected Revenue $1,455,298.00
Projected Expenses $1,540,863.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
A Clear Vision for the Future of our State2015View
Making a Difference in 20132014View
Charity Navigator 4-Star Rating2013View
Sparking Reform: Highlights of Our Work 2007 to 20122012View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$2,602,104$2,361,171$1,307,363
Current Assets$2,367,160$2,013,315$1,299,662
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$66,320$65,505$68,626
Total Net Assets$2,535,784$2,295,666$1,238,737
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGrossman Family Foundation $310,000Seedlings Foundation $125,000Melville Charitable Trust $220,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNellie Mae Education Foundation $225,000CT Health Foundation - HUSKY $102,229CT Health Foundation $202,852
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMelville Charitable Trust $150,000William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund $100,000Stoneman Family Foundation c/o Mott Philanthropic Prudental $125,000
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
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. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. 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
CEO/Executive Director Executive Director Emily Byrne
Board Chair David Nee
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired Executive Director of Graustein Memorial Fund


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