Congressional inaction threatens at-risk youth

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes A statewide advocacy group mobilized a notable selection of local supporters in Salem to call on the U.S. Congress to reauthorize and expand two federal programs that deter crime through early intervention. Keizer Police Chief John Teague, Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore, and Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton were all called on to speak on behalf of the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Act (MIECHV) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The trio met with Martha Brooks of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and Patrice Altenhofen, executive director of Family Building Blocks, Monday, Oct. 2 for a press conference. Funding for the two programs expired Sept. 30 and will need to be reauthorized by Congress or local families might lose resources viewed as critical by law enforcement and justice officials. “As a cop, when we can teach families how to raise kids well, it makes kids safer, it makes children, families and the community more productive, and it decreases crime. I am sincerely hopeful that Congress will reappropriate funds for these programs,” Teague said. Teague spoke specifically to programs funded through MIECHV, which pays for low-income, new parents to be screened and arrange for voluntary in-home visits after the birth of their children. “There are some basic things these families just don’t know because they have generations of uninformed...

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