Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Call to Action - Write your state legislature TODAY

I need to ask a favor of any of you that read this blog.  The economy may soon take its toll on those children who currently receive help from Utah's Baby Watch Early Intervention Program.  The program in Utah County is called Kids on the Move.  We would seriously be lost with out them.  The teach us how to help Alea develop, both cognitively and physically.  Without them, we would seriously be guessing on how to help her.  (I think I used seriously twice...get the point? )  ;)

The proposed budget cuts could take away these programs.  Below is a letter from the our local Director of Early Intervention.  Please take a minute to write your state lawmakers, for Alea, and all the other angel's who benefit.  Encourage your friends to write as well.

For those in Utah, you can find who your state representatives are here:

Now is the time for action!

Dear Parent,

The end of this legislative session is quickly approaching.  Final budget decisions are being made that will impact the Baby Watch Early Intervention program, including our program at Kids on the Move.  NOW is the time for action! The ultimate budget decisions rest with the Executive Appropriations Committee. Legislators have heard from families like you in the past few weeks, but it’s critical that the Executive Appropriations Committee members hear from you now! 

The proposed cuts could force Baby Watch to change the eligibility requirements for infants and children, birth to 3, who are served in Utah. Prior to 2003, we were able to serve children who were “mildly” delayed, but had to stop serving these children due to budget constraints. If proposed cuts are made during this session, Early Intervention Programs, like Kids on the Move, may be unable to serve children who have a “moderate” developmental delay. 

Surprisingly, we’ve found that many legislators are not familiar with early intervention and don’t understand the critical services we provide. We urge parents to contact members of the Executive Appropriations committee and advocate for the services your child and family have received through Early Intervention. Be sure to reference Baby Watch Early Intervention Program since this is how the program is listed on the state budget. I’ve attached a list of members of the Executive Appropriations Committee for your convenience. It’s especially important to contact, Representative John Dougall since his district includes the Alpine School District area that we serve. 

John Dougall
H: (801) 492-1365  M: (801) 362-7155

Please tell your story of how early intervention services helped you and your child. Legislators are especially concerned about the economic impact of programs.  Research has shown Early Intervention can actually decrease the need for costly services as a child grows into adulthood.  Let legislators know how early intervention services have been an investment in your child’s future.    

Any efforts you make to reach out to your legislators at this final phase of the legislative session are appreciated.  Thank you in advance for your time. Feel free to contact me with any questions.


Kelsey Lewis, MSW
Early Intervention Program Director
Kids On The Move
475 West 260 North
Orem, UT 84057
w 801.221.9930 x110

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