April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: Order Your Pinwheels Today

ICM invites faith communities, civic organizations, and companies to participate in Child Abuse Prevention month by holding a pinwheel planting to bring awareness to this issue. 

Ways to Promote Child Abuse Prevention Month in April and Beyond...

This document provides for other meaningful ways to promote Child Abuse Prevention month and safe and healthy children and families at your faith community.



ICM's #TraumaHurts Awareness Campaign

During the rest of December through January, ICM wants to bring awareness to the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and traumatic events on children.  Below is a list of informational resources.  We encourage you to share these with your faith communties, friends, family, and neighbors.  Together we can become more Trauma-informed.  This in turn will help us be better advocates for resources for our children that restore.

Associations between adverse childhood experiences, student-teacher relationships, and non-medical use of prescription medications among adolescents (2017)

Unpacking the impact of adverse childhood experiences on adult mental health (2017)

The impact of adverse childhood experiences on health problems: evidence from four birth cohorts dating back to 1900 (2003)

Major findings from the CDC and Kaiser Foundation ACE Study

Essentials for Childhood Framework: Steps to Create Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments for All Children (Centers for Disease Control)


Exhibitors Wanted: February 1st at the Celebration of Children Educational Conference

We are happy to announce our 4th annual Celebration of Children Educational Conference on February 1, 2018.

This year's theme will focus on the effects of trauma on children and how we can instill hope and reduce violence in the aftermath of traumatic events.

We currently have space for up to 20 exhibitors.  Sign up today to reserve your space.

Sign Up Here

New Human Trafficking Hotline Poster Is Released

A State law revision to the Human Trafficking Poster went into effect on July 1, 2017. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has developed a poster which can be used to meet this obligation. 

The notice must be posted within government buildings with public access, specifically in every public restroom and in a conspicuous location either near the public entrance to the building or where similar notices for the public are customarily posted.

This is the new poster that will be used at our Post It Up events designed to make sure hotels and retail businesses have them posted too so that more people have access to the hotline number and can call for help.

Download the poster here.

Medicaid Cuts Threaten Student Learning, School District Finances

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute has released their analysis of the effect of projected cuts to Medicaid under AHCA.   Click here to read.

"Children served by Medicaid are from low-income and working-poor families. They face more health risks than children from families with higher incomes. Taking away health care benefits and reducing services available could force students to miss more class and fall behind in school.

Schools in Georgia would also feel the strain from Medicaid cuts, as many districts would lose money used to cover services special education students need, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and medical equipment."

CALL TO ACTION NOW! Please Contact Sens Isakson and Perdue about the Health Care Plan

CALL TO ACTION NOW!  Please send / call it in the following statement to Sens Isakson and Perdue.

Senator Johnny Isakson

DC: 202.224.3643

GA: 770.661.0999

Contact: http://bit.ly/2pXJ9QJ



Senator David Perdue 

DC: 202.224.3521

GA: 404.865.0087

Contact: http://bit.ly/2ptENnp



"Dear Senator _____, 

Children under 18 make up about 63 percent of the Medicaid members in Georgia, so any sizable change to the structure or funding of Medicaid or PeachCare (Children’s Health Insurance Program) could impact more than half of the children in our state.

As an advocate for juvenile justice reform, Medicaid is the one thing we can count on for the children under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Justice.  We know that they will receive the necessary health and behavioral health counseling they need, both when they are in the state's care, and when they return home to our communities. 

Community-based resources are critical to the well-being of this population of children -- in the community is where they need the most support.  And our community-based service providers can't provide this help without the support of Medicaid. We know that if we fail in our responsibility to provide our children and youth with the robust services they need through Medicaid, they will more than likely re-offend and wind up back in the juvenile justice system.  We don't have to place our children and our communities on that path.

Medicaid is a win-win for everyone...it helps to make our children healthier, while at the same time, it makes our communities safer.

Please continue to pay attention to the needs of children as you consider the American Health Care Act. Thank you for your service and your work on behalf of the children in our state."

66 Programs that are cut by President Trump's 2017 Budget

In addition to a $600+ billion cut to Medicaid, the President's proposed budget eliminates funding to other key services to children and families.

Thanks to Niv Elis for the analysis. http://thehill.com/policy/finance/334768-here-are-the-66-programs-eliminated-in-trumps-budget

Here they are:

Agriculture Department — $855 million

·       McGovern-Dole International Food for Education

·       Rural Business-Cooperative Service

·       Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program Account

·       Single Family Housing Direct Loans

Commerce Department — $633 million

·       Economic Development Administration

·       Manufacturing Extension Partnership

·       Minority Business Development Agency

·       National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grants and Education

Education Department — $4.976 billion

·       21st Century Community Learning Centers

·       Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants

·       Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

·       Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property

·       International Education

·       Strengthening Institutions

·       Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants

·       Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants

·       Teacher Quality Partnership


Energy Department — $398 million

·       Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy

·       Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program and Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program

·       Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility

 Health and Human Services — $4.834 billion

·       Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

·       Community Services Block Grant

·       Health Professions and Nursing Training Programs

·       Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program


Homeland Security — $235 million

·       Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program

·       Transportation Security Administration Law Enforcement Grants


Housing and Urban Development — $4.123 billion

·       Choice Neighborhoods

·       Community Development Block

·       HOME Investment Partnerships Program

·       Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program Account


Interior Department — $122 million

·       Abandoned Mine Land Grants

·       Heritage Partnership Program

·       National Wildlife Refuge Fund


Justice Department — $210 million

·       State Criminal Alien Assistance Program


Labor Department — $527 million

·       Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Training

·       OSHA Training Grants

·       Senior Community Service Employment Program


State Department and USAID — $4.256 billion

·       Development Assistance

Earmarked Appropriations for Non-Profit Organizations

·       The Asia Foundation

·       East-West Center

·       P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid


State Department, USAID, and Treasury Department — $1.59 billion

·       Green Climate Fund and Global Climate Change Initiative


Transportation Department — $499 million

·       National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER) 


Treasury Department — $43 million

·       Global Agriculture and Food Security Program


Environmental Protection Agency — $493 million

·       Energy Star and Voluntary Climate Programs

·       Geographic Programs


National Aeronautics and Space Administration — $269 million

·       Five Earth Science Missions

·       Office of Education


Other Independent Agencies — $2.683 billion

·       Chemical Safety Board

·       Corporation for National and Community Service

·       Corporation for Public Broadcasting

·       Institute of Museum and Library Services

International Development Foundations

·       African Development Foundation

·       Inter-American Foundation

·       Legal Services Corporation

·       National Endowment for the Arts

·       National Endowment for the Humanities

·       Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation

·       Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Regional Commissions

·       Appalachian Regional Commission

·       Delta Regional Authority

·       Denali Commission

·       Northern Border Regional Commission

·       U.S. Institute of Peace

·       U.S. Trade and Development Agency

·       Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Faith Leaders: Support Medicaid Sign On Deadline today!

If you are a faith leader, please seriously consider the following request.  If you are not a faith leader, please seriously consider sharing this request with persons in your network who are.  Start with your own pastor, rabbi, imam, priest, reverend, spiritual leader, shaman, leader, etc.

With the release of both the American Health Care Act and the current White House administration's proposed budget, we know that Medicaid coverage for Georgia's children and families is in jeopardy.

Interfaith Children's Movement is a member of the Protect Our Care Georgia coalition and the Together Medicaid health care campaign to raise awareness within the greater faith community of the need to protect health care for Georgia's children and vulnerable families.  And it is time to bring the collective voice of our faith leaders to Georgia's U.S. Senators, Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. David Perdue.  They represent the millions of Georgia children and families whose lives will be adversely impacted by the proposed cuts to Medicaid.

Please click on the link below and sign onto the letter by midnight Monday, May 29, 2017.  Then, share the letter with other faith leaders in your network.  


Let us raise a moral voice in defense of the most vulnerable in our society -- children in foster care, children and adults with disabilities, children living in poverty and the elderly.


Please click the link below and sign on today!

Faith Community Health Care Sign-On Letter to Senators Isakson and Perdue


Additional information provided by Georgia Budget and Policy Institute:

Medicaid Works for Georgia


What actions are we asking you to take?

  • Sign onto the letter to Sen. Isakson and Sen. Perdue by midnight Monday, May 29, 2017
  • Re-distribute this sign-on action letter to clergy in your network;
  • Have a moment of prayer/meditation for health care for our children and families in Georgia; 
  • Visit www.protectourcarega.org to become a part of this effort;
  • Follow Interfaith Children's Movement on Facebook (@InterfaithChildrensMovement) and Twitter (@ICMGeorgia) for more information and action steps.

#IamMedicaidGA: Mental Health

Most faith traditions offer paths for their followers to achieve a “peaceful mind”— whether that is in the recognition of a higher power or in the reconciliation of one’s own sense of self. Peaceful minds make for stronger, healthier families and children.  Yet, as members of the interfaith community, we know that achieving a peaceful mind can be impacted by life’s changes and challenges, and sometimes, we need additional help to get us through our struggles. Mental health and substance use disorders can often go unseen and untreated because of stigma and shame. However, sacred texts recognize that medical help is essential to our whole well-being – body, mind and spirit.  And mental health struggles can be addressed with access to the right resources.

More than 14% of Georgians carried the burden of mental illness or addiction with them in 2014. Medicaid provides access to mental health services for our most vulnerable populations and is the largest payer for behavioral health services in the U.S. These services range from screening and treatment for children with ADHD or depression to post-partum mental health screenings for new moms and needed therapy for adults with developmental disabilities. With the rise in opioid abuse and addiction in Georgia, Medicaid provides a pathway to recovery and treatment for those with substance use disorders. We must unite together to take care of struggling community members by making sure that Georgians continue to have access to the mental health care that they need and the hope of achieving a peaceful mind.

You can help to ensure all Georgians have access to needed mental health services. Call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643 and ask him to reject cuts to Medicaid and repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Visit protectourcarega.org  for more information and to take action!



#IamMedicaidGA: Older Adults

May is Older Adults Month, and whether we call them seniors, older adults, or the elderly, they are the carriers of our families’ histories, the teachers of our faith traditions, the ones who our sacred texts call “the wise” and “the elders.”  We are bound by our faith to care for and protect the generation who cared for and protected us. Yet, honoring that responsibility can be emotionally and financially trying for many Georgia families.

Georgia’s Medicaid program helps to relieve the stress and burden for many seniors and their families across the state. It helps to fill in the gaps left by Medicare, by covering the premiums and co-pays of more than 300,000 low-income Georgia seniors so they can use their limited resources for other needs like housing and food. Medicaid also covers services like homecare workers and home modifications that allow older adults to stay in their homes instead of moving to a costly institution. If the time comes when a higher level of care is needed, Medicaid is the primary payer for 75% of nursing home stays in Georgia, a service not covered by Medicare. Georgia’s Medicaid program provides the supports that ensure that seniors in our state can live dignified, comfortable and healthy lives in their later years. 

As members of the interfaith community, it is important that we support systems that help take care of our elders. You can help to protect the thousands of Georgia seniors who rely on Medicaid for their care and comfort today. Call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643 and ask him to protect older adults in Georgia by rejecting cuts to Medicaid and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Visit protectourcarega.org for more information and to take action!



#IamMedicaidGA: Children in Foster Care

I am Medicaid GA - Children in Foster Care

All of the major faith traditions call for their members to protect children – especially the most vulnerable.  Sacred texts in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam command us to treat well the “fatherless” or “motherless” child; to take care of the “orphan;” and provide for the sick and the poor among us.

Did you know that in a given year, there are more than 12,000 children in foster care in Georgia?  Families who open their hearts to become foster families for children who have suffered abuse or neglect exemplify these sacred texts.  However, they do not always have the financial means to cover all of the child's needs on their own.

Medicaid plays an important role in the child welfare system by providing comprehensive health coverage to all children in foster care. This ensures that the amazing families who care for this vulnerable population of children can afford to take them to the doctor when needed without exhausting essential “daily living” resources.

Children in foster care often have critical health care needs as a result of traumatic childhood experiences. These needs could range from behavioral health to chronic conditions or developmental disabilities. Today, the Affordable Care Act requires that children in foster care are covered by Medicaid until the age of 26, so that they can grow to be thriving, healthy adults. Why would anyone want to change that?

The interfaith community plays an important role in speaking up on behalf of the needs of the children in Georgia. We must continue to put our faith in action and exemplify our respective sacred texts to protect our children from unnecessary harm and protect programs, like Medicaid, that provide the necessary support they need.

You can help to protect 12,000 of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens today. Call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643 and ask him to protect foster children in Georgia by rejecting cuts to Medicaid and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Visit protectourcarega.org for more information and to take action!


Celebrate Moms by Helping Them Keep Their Medicaid

Interfaith Children’s Movement is a member of the Together Medicaid health care campaign to raise awareness within the greater faith community of the need to protect health care for Georgia’s children and vulnerable families.  While we understand that there is no perfect policy, we are concerned that the health care protections currently provided to Georgia’s children and families through Medicaid may be lost in the repeal and replacement process.

Therefore, we are promoting a Mother’s Day campaign to raise awareness of the phenomenal responsibility Georgia mothers carry as the primary caretakers of their children, their own aging mothers and the security of health care that Medicaid affords to them.  

This Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017, we are asking you to share the "Moms Need Medicaid Flyer" and graphics on our social media pages.  Also below we have listed additional “actions to take” that will draw attention to the needs of Georgia mothers.  It is an opportunity to honor our mothers by advocating on their behalf and letting them know that we are paying attention to their real needs.

What actions are we asking you to take?

  • re-distribute the electronic copy of the informational leaflet to members of your network, through your faith community listserve and/or to the leaders and members within your ministry/organization;
  • have a moment of prayer/meditation at your Mother’s Day service for health care for our children and families in Georgia;
  • Share at least one Medicaid Advocacy message with your network on Mother's Day, May 14th;
  • tag @SenatorIsakson and @sendavidpurdue when you re-Tweet ICM’s Mother’s Day Twitter message or any twitter message with the #IamMedicaidGA hashtag; and
  • follow Interfaith Children’s Movement on Facebook  or Twitter for more information.

Call to Action: Email DHHS about tracking of preschool suspensions and expulsions

Please take action NOW!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed to remove the question that requires the recording of suspensions and expulsions of children in preschool from the 2017 National Survey of Children’s Health.  One 2005 study reported that Georgia had at least 500 pre-k children expelled from school in one school year.  The number had to be estimated because the Georgia Department of Education does not officially record suspensions and expulsions for pre-kindergarten students.  Children are just “removed” from the program.

We know that early suspensions and expulsions from the learning environment make a child far more likely to have involvement in the juvenile justice system – becoming part of the school to prison pipeline.  Please use the links in the announcement from the Leadership Conference to send in your comment NOW and urge the Administration to retain this highly critical question in the survey.


Personalize this sample comment and email it before midnight Thursday, May 11, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging them to retain the preschool suspension and expulsion question in the 2017 National Survey of Children’s Health. This public data is essential for creating equitable supports for, and ensuring equitable treatment of, all children.



What other states are doing to meet ESSA testing mandates. Why is Georgia Different?

In a recent op ed on the AJC Get Schooled blog, the author discussed the session times as being inappropriate for elementary and middle school age students.  CLICK HERE to read it.

In that article, there is a table (Download PDF) that discusses what other states are doing to meet ESSA mandates.  Additionally, there is a table that compares the 2017 Milestone testing session time for elementary and middle school children to college admission test requirements (Download PDF).

Our question is why are the Georgia Milestones testing session times longer than those in most other states?  Also, why are they longer than most college admission tests?

GA Milestone Testing Session Times Compared to Those In Other States that Meet ESSA Standards

GA Milestone Testing Session Times Compared to Those In Other States that Meet ESSA Standards




Pamela Perkins Carn Speaks to the Atlanta Scientology Members about ICM's Work

A an address given at the Atlanta Scientology Center.

Video Can be Accessed Here


At the Interfaith Children’s Movement we are “inter-faith” in makeup and composition. Meaning we are a movement that calls all faith traditions to work together on behalf of Georgia’s children. Because let’s face it, we are responsible for a constituency here in Georgia of 2.5 million infinite futures.

It was just a few months ago at one of our interfaith gatherings that I happened to connect with members of your church. And your first response was “Here we are! What do you need?” Well, the next thing I knew, I had all of these great materials. I mean, they gave me a stack!

And when I saw your videos, I said to myself “We should be showing these!” They are extremely well done and very on-target for our kids. And on a personal level, this helps me to understand the work, the purpose and mission of the Church.

And on a community level, I see that you are focused on creating synergy. Your focus is on study, on handling drug abuse, and on providing messages to youth about how to be understanding, compassionate and moral—and all of these lead to positive outcomes. And so you could say that the Church of Scientology is an excellent example of putting faith into action.

I have always had a vision in my work to be able to sit down at a table with fellow brothers and sisters who share a passion for humanity. And that is something that’s unique about Scientology—you’re not “apart from.” Quite the difference. Between your advocacy work and the basic tenets of the Church, you are all about building in to. You are already engaged. It’s only a matter of “What cause do we direct our energy towards?”

So welcome! Welcome to the great work of improving the well-being of Georgia’s children. And let’s dedicate our best selves to the cause of children, the cause of youth. Working together, let us create a movement of faith communities so that a new day may dawn for every child across Atlanta and all of Georgia.

Thank you so much. 




Youth Leadership and Social Justice Camp Opportunity for Teens

UUCA Youth Leadership and Social Justice Camp is a week-long  program that provides teens ages 14 to 18 with a unique summer opportunity to interact with a diverse group of youth who come together to build a community based on inclusivity, respect, and understanding. 

The camp brings together diverse young people to explore the challenges and rewards of building community amongst people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Young people become leaders in service to the mission of fighting bias, bigotry, and racism by promoting understanding between all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, relationship building and education. The realities of their lives are addressed throughout the week in a safe, supportive and respectful environment in which they share their experiences, values, conflicts, challenges, hopes, and dreams.  

During the week staff facilitate the youth experience of diversity and community building through discussion groups and sessions on leadership, race relations and racism, sexism and gender issues, heterosexism and gay identity, and building community in uncertain times. The youth are provided the opportunity to share cultural pride, personal talent, and spiritual heritage.

It’s also a great way for the youth to use their camp experience for college applications and to continue developing their leadership skills by becoming a youth staff the following year.  

Here’s a link to the brochure: http://tinyurl.com/UUCA-Youth-Camp-Brochure-2017  

Here’s a link to the application: http://tinyurl.com/UUCA-Youth-Camp!

GNETS Feedback Meetings

The Georgia Department of Education is in the preliminary stages of drafting a new state rule governing the GNETS program and services, and they want to hear from Georgia families.

The DOE is hosting four regional feedback meetings to get your input on the proposed draft rule regarding how Georgia provides supports for behavioral-related disabilities and the current GNETS programs.

Click here for details.

Help Us Bring Awareness to Child Abuse: Pinwheels for Prevention

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. 

ICM is calling on organizations and faith communities to hold pinwheel planting events bring awareness to the problem and to honor those who work to prevent child abuse. 

ICM will provide 20 pinwheels to get you started. You just need to schedule a time and take pictures of your event.  Click here to sign up to receive your pinwheels.


ICM Advoacy Alert for February 22, 2017


HUMAN TRAFFICKING/CHILD PROTECTION:  House Bill 86 (Rep. Oliver, 82nd)

BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 19-7-5 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to reporting of child abuse, so as to expand the definition of sexual abuse to include acts involving trafficking a person for sexual servitude; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

ADVOCACY ASK:  Contact your State House Representative by 10:00 a.m. and encourage a "YES" vote on the passage of this bill.



JUVENILE JUSTICE: House Bill 116 (substitute) (Rep. Reeves, 34th)  Hearing Scheduled TODAY with House Judiciary Non-Civil Full Committee at 1:30 pm., Room 132 Capitol Building

This is a substitute to the original bill filed: 

To amend Chapter 11 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Juvenile Code, so as to provide the superior court with exclusive original jurisdiction for cases involving aggravated assault upon a peace officer or correctional officer involving the use of a firearm and aggravated battery upon a peace officer or correctional officer; to allow a superior court the discretion to transfer such cases back to juvenile court; to clarify the definitions of a class A or class B designated felony act in light of the jurisdictional changes; to add aggravated assault upon an emergency health worker as a class A designated felony; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

This bill adds additional offenses to what is commonly known as "SB 440."   "SB 440" relates to offenses by which children as young as 13 automatically can be tried as adults in superior court.  


JUVENILE JUSTICE: House Bill 67 (substitute) (Rep. Boddie, 62nd) Hearing Scheduled TODAY with House Judiciary Non-Civil Full Committee at 1:30 pm., Room 132 Capitol Building

This is a substitute to the original bill filed:

To amend Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, so as to designate the existing crime of highjacking a motor vehicle as being in the first degree and create a new crime of highjacking a motor vehicle in the second degree; to provide for penalties; to change provisions relating to burglary in the second degree involving a vehicle; to amend the Official Code of Georgia Annotated to provide for conforming cross-references; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

This bill creates a new criminal offense and corresponding penalties for offenses which, according to the bill sponsor, are committed primarily by young people ages 17 to 25.



Hearings Scheduled TODAY in Senate Judiciary Sub-Committee B, Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 4:00 p.m., 307 CLOB

SB 174 by Sen. Kennedy, 18th, Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform; reform for individuals supervised under accountability courts; provide (LC 29 7414EC)

SB 175 by Sen. Kennedy, 18th Juvenile Code; juvenile court proceedings; enact reforms (LC 29 7390EC)

SB 176 by Sen. Kennedy, 18th, Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform; driving privileges; enact reforms (LC 29 7386EC)


PARENTAL NURTURE:  Senate Bill 201 (B. Miller, 49th) 

The Family Care Act has been assigned to the Senate Labor and Insurance Committee.

A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 1 of Title 34 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to labor and industrial relations, so as to  allow employees to use sick leave for the care of immediate family members; to provide for definitions; to provide for conditions to take leave; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

ADVOCACY ASK:  Please contact members of Insurance and Labor and  encourage them to "DO PASS" SB 201 out of committee.