A press release from the Connecticut General Assembly
State Representative Diana Urban (D-Stonington) will be presented with an award Thursday night by the Lawyers for Children America group, for her work with children. Connecticut’s DCF Commissioner
Joette Katz will also be receiving an award at the organization’s 20th anniversary dinner.
“It is so great to be honored along
with Commissioner Katz and this is a clear indication of the close
working relationship that exists between the Committee on Children and
the Department of Children and Families,”
Rep. Urban said. “By working together we have been able to move numbers
on foster care, out of state placement, abuse and neglect that have
been stuck for years. I really appreciate this recognition from Lawyers
for Children America.
Rep. Urban and Commissioner Katz have successfully
worked together on many occasions when the interests of children are at
stake. This past session Rep. Urban and Commissioner Katz worked with
each other on an animal therapy bill, now law,
which puts the DCF in charge of dispersing teams of animals and
therapists to crises.
“This law was passed because of the success of the
animal therapy dogs in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook. The
state’s own teams are now ready to be deployed by the Commissioner in
cases of trauma to children and families,” Rep. Urban
Commissioner Katz said reforming Connecticut's
child welfare system has required a broad partnership and that Rep.
Urban and her leadership at the General Assembly has made a critical
contribution toward this effort.
“Representative Urban has been one of the most
effective partners I have had in moving a reform agenda forward in
Connecticut that has resulted in fewer children in care, more children
with relatives and kin and fewer children in group
settings,” Commissioner Katz said. “Representative Urban has been a key
force in our progress, and it is only fitting that we will receive this
In addition, a children’s mental health law that
built on the work of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety
law was passed with the help of the Commissioner and DCF.
“DCF has been an integral part of the team that
conceived this idea, and will be helping to implement a comprehensive
plan,” noted Rep. Urban. Commissioner Katz has been working hand-in-hand
with Rep. Urban on the Kids Report Card, which
grades the well-being of children in Connecticut, and suggests ways to