A new governmental panel that combines the efforts of more than 30 boards and commissions dealing with children’s issues is meeting for the first time Wednesday.
The Commission for Improving the Status of Children is made up experts and state officials involved in children’s issues, including the Department of Child Services director, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the state Health Director, the Attorney General and state lawmakers.
Syracuse Republican Representative Rebecca Kubacki, who serves on the commission, says the panel has to ensure that it provides actual solutions rather than just discussing ideas and generating reports that no one reads. She says one way to do that is to focus on specific goals early on.
“It’s like eating an elephant,” she says. “You take one bite at a time and really start to look at what has the most negative impact on our kids and starting working our way down from that.”
Senate Minority Leader and commission member Tim Lanane says he’s already got issues in mind he’d like to see the commission tackle.
“One has to do with the fact that now in Indiana, almost one out of four children live below the poverty level,” he says. “So how do we lift families, how do we lift children out of poverty in coming generations?”
Kubacki says at the commission’s first meeting, she’s hoping to develop a list of top priority issues and begin generating ideas to combat the most critical.