Over the last several weeks I have been traveling with colleagues around the state making presentations about JUSTGeorgia’s initiative, the comprehensive revision of our juvenile law code (SB 292, the Child Protection and Public Safety Act).  During these meetings we also present information on relationship building with elected officials.  I’ve been pleased to see in attendance a cross section of child advocates, child-serving agency personnel and community citizens.  Their experiences with SB 292 ranges from being aware that proposed juvenile code reform exists to being invested in seeing it actually happen.

When I ask meeting attendees if they think their legislators are aware of SB 292, a few people raise their hands.  When I ask them if they think their legislators are knowledgeable about SB 292, more hands come down than remain up and when asked about whether they think their legislators are invested in juvenile code reform, almost all of the hands come down.  We have our work cut out for us in improving outcomes for children through juvenile code reform.

My hope for those that attend these meetings is that they will take what they’ve learned, coupled with the interest and commitment that brought them to the meeting in the first place and share that information with their elected officials and their communities.  This coming Tuesday, February 23rd provides just that opportunity, when JUSTGeorgia coalition members and CASA volunteers from all over the state come together for a Day at the Capitol. It is our responsibility to not only share information with our elected officials so that they are aware of the juvenile code reform effort, but to also provide them with the information to help them become knowledgeable about, if not invested in improving the outcomes of our children through an improved juvenile code.  For more information about JUSTGeorgia and SB 292, visit www.justgeorgia.org.