Nonprofit Insider

NH Voice for Children honorees announced

Manchester - Waypoint announces the honorees of the 2022 Jack Lightfoot Voice for Children award:  Representatives Patrick Long of Manchester, Kimberly Rice of Hudson, and Mary Beth Walz of Bow.    

The Voice for Children award is given yearly to an individual who has shown tremendous commitment to and made an extraordinary impact on the lives of children in New Hampshire.  Honorees are selected by the NH Children’s Lobby advocacy committee, which is comprised of child advocates from various organizations across New Hampshire.

This is the first year the committee has chosen three winners.  All have served as heads of the Children and Family Law Committee and each has championed legislation that has had a positive, lasting impact on New Hampshire children.

Representative Long served as chair of the Children and Family Law Committee of the House of Representatives, from 2019 to 2020.  Among other advancements, he championed legislation to increase staffing in NH’s child protection system, extend foster care beyond age 18, remove the obstacle of parental reimbursement for state services, and to appoint counsel for juveniles in out-of-state placement. 

Representative Rice is the current chair of the Children and Family Law Committee and served this role in 2017 and 1018 as well.  She is the Governor’s appointee on the NH Council for Thriving Children, and serves on The Division for Youth, Children and Families Advisory Board, the Oversight Commission on Children’s Services, and the Commission to Review Child Abuse Fatalities.  In the field of juvenile justice, she has been a leading advocate for keeping children out of the youth detention center and finding more appropriate alternatives for them.

Representative Walz chaired the Children and Family Law Committee from 2013 to 2014.  One of her most prominent accomplishments includes raising the age of delinquency to keep 17-year-olds out of the adult criminal justice system. In addition, she shepherded the bill for major reform of CHINS (Children in Need of Services), which restored truancy and delinquency as a basis for seeking CHINS services, and cleared the path for families to receive services without going to court.

 

Honorees will receive their awards, in person, at Waypoint’s conference, Face of Change: The New Age of Child Advocacy, scheduled for June 3, at the Grappone Center in Concord, NH.

Posted on: April 11, 2022
Topics: Award Winners

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