The mid-January Legislative Breakfast held at the Montville Youth Center included a “lengthy conversation” about school safety, apropos of what’s going on in Newtown and in Congress.
Youth Service Bureaus provide services and supports for youth, including special populations such as “justice involved youth, youth with mental health needs, other youth at risk, and youth needing services to enhance their education and career advancement.”
The Montville YSB, which has achieved successes for Montville young people, has done it with decades of grassroots work on issues including crisis intervention, school safety, and school climate issues, so the breakfast, with Rep. Betsy Ritter, D- Montville, Waterford in attendance (Ritter sits on the Task Force Mental Health subgroup) presented MYSB director Barbara Lockhart the chance to show the legislator “what we’ve always done and continue to do;” advocate for young people. And in the case of the breakfast, a conversation about mental health issues specifically, an area Lockhart has years of experience addressing.
Lockhart said the meeting, hosted by all the New London County Youth Service Bureaus, was “very productive” and informative for legislators.
“It’s so important for us to keep both our local officials, as well as our state officials aware of the important work that Youth Service Bureaus do all over the state of Connecticut in over 145 communities,” Lockhart said.
In addition to Ritter, Montville Mayor Ronald McDaniel, Ledyard Mayor John Rodolico, Rep. Kevin Ryan, D-Montville, and Rep. Tim Bowles, D-Montville, Ledyard and other local officials also attended.
The New London County Youth Service Bureaus include those youth service bureaus from area towns including Montville, East Lyme, Ledyard, Lyme-Old Lyme, New London, Stonington and Waterford.
Youth Service Bureaus provide an annual report card of their activities to the state department of education and it’s then forwarded to the General Assembly
“It’s chance for legislators and others to fully understand what YSB’s are doing and that we wear many hats,” Lockhart said.
The YSB report card for the region is attached and includes the hard data from funding, programming and performance measurement.