Children and Youth Council

Children and Youth Council






The Children and Youth Council (“the Council”) is a collaborative of private nonprofit agencies working to influence public policy, legislation, and resources affecting Connecticut’sat-riskchildren and their families.


To create an environment in Connecticut that fosters the health, welfare and long-term stability of children and families.


Advocate for at-risk children and their families.

Establish mutually beneficial relationships among all stakeholders to assure thatchildren and their families receive needed services, which are of the highest quality.

Foster leadership that maintains the integrity of the Council.

Assess, evaluate and adjust the structure of the Council to meet its mission and vision.


I.Selection and Composition of the Council

  1. The Connecticut Association of Nonprofits (“CAN”) Council shall be comprised of representatives from DCF-fundednonprofit agencies that are CAN children and youth serving members in good standing. The Council shall act as a Committee of the Whole. There shall be no Executive Committee. The Council members shall be the Chief Executive Officers/Executive Directors and lead the Children’s Program Staff/Administrators within their own organizations, with decision-making authority. There will be a maximum of fourteen (14) seats on the Council.The Council will be comprised of two (2) representatives, and one (1) alternate, from each of the six sub-sectors: juvenile justice, residential treatment (CAFTA), grouphomes (AEGIS), youth shelters (YEARS), Safe Homes and fostercare. The respectivesub-sectors shall designate each of theirtwo (2) representativesand their one (1) alternate for a two-year period. One of the two (2) sector representatives will be voted in as Chair. At the conclusion of the two-year period, there shall be an evaluation of representation by each sub-sector group. The decision regarding future representation on the Council will rest with each sub-sector. There will be one (1) Chair (“the Chair”) and one (1) Vice-Chair on the Council.The Chair and Vice-Chair shall be from different sub-sectors. In October, prior to sector and Council elections, the sectors will nominate a sector Chair, aCouncil Chair and a Vice Chair. The current sector Chairs will forward the nominations to the Council for their consideration. The current Council Chair will contact those who were nominated by the sectors, to inquire if they have an interest in being considered for one or both posts.
  1. In year one, the Chair, shall be elected for a term of one (1) year. The Vice-Chair will be elected for a term of two (2) years. In year two, the Vice-Chair shall assume the role of Chair, with a new Vice-Chair elected for a two (2) year term. CAN members cannot serve as Chair/Co-Chair for two separate sectors. This system will permit for a wider, more diversified leadershipbase on an on-going basis. A departing Chair must wait one (1) year prior to seeking a subsequent term as Vice-Chair. No more than two persons from a provider agency may serve on the Council during the same term. Should this occur, each member must represent a separate Council sub-sector. Council members will serve two (2) year renewable terms on the Council, with terms commencing in January of each year. To maintain a balance of experience on the Council, one half of the Council positions will be vacated and re-filled each year. Each sub-sector will make this determination annually at the October meeting. Every effort will be made to consider agency location, size, as well as services rendered, in order to provide the broadest representation possible.
  1. A 2/3-majority vote of the Council is required to add or re-allocate existing slots, previously appointed to the Council by various CAN sub-sectors. The Council and CAN senior staff must agree that the composition of the Council is reflective of the collective CAN membership and/or one of its sub-sectors.
  1. Council members will be appointed by the CAN membership sub-sector to which they belong. Vacant Council slots may be filled by appointment from the appropriate CAN membership sub-sector at any time throughout the year. When vacant slots are filled mid-year, the new Council member will serve out the remainder of the term for that specific slot, and then be eligible for re-appointment.
  1. An orientation of new Council members will be provided by CAN staff and Council members, as soon as is practical following their election. This orientation will include an introduction of the Council members, an overview of the Council Policies and Procedures, and its committees. Protocol for Council meetings will be explainedin addition to theresponsibilities of Council members, asoutlined in the Council Policies and Procedures. New Council members may be asked to participate on an ad hoc or standing committee.
  1. From time to time, the Council may invite individuals withaparticular expertise towork with the Council in a consulting role. These individuals will not be considered members of the Council, nor will they have voting privileges.

II.Council Staff Support

  1. The CAN Program Services Coordinator (“the Coordinator”) will administratively staff the Council, its committees, appropriate membership sectors, and appropriate member activities of the general CAN children and youth serving agencies. Duties of the Coordinator will include recording and distributing meeting minutes and agendas, developing and distributing meeting notices, and other informal updates, coordinating the work of the Council and its committees, keeping the Council current on issues, trends, and legislation, facilitation of Council planning activities, and representing the Council and/or its committees and membership sub-sectors in meetings with DCF and others, as deemed necessary.
  1. The Council may create standing and ad hoc committees to carry out particular tasks and/or to exploreparticular issuesfurther. Committees shall report to the Council regarding their findings and recommendations for actions, but are not empowered to take action or to establish policies without Council approval (action). Committees that are created may include representation from the general CAN children and youth serving agencies (non-Council members in good standing), but will be chaired by a Council member. TheCoordinator shall be considered a non-voting member of the Council and each ad hoc and on-going committee formed.

III.Scheduling of Council Meetings

  1. The Council shall meet monthly. The Coordinator will attend all Council meetings. The CAN Executive Director and/or other CAN staff will attend meetings as deemed appropriate/necessary, scheduling permitting. To assist with communication, state agency liaisons (e.g. DCF, CSSD, etc.) may be invited to attend Council meetings at the discretion of the Chair and Vice-Chair, for a time period designated by the Chair, Vice-Chair, and as stated in the meeting agenda. Alternates are encouraged to attend Council meetings, should they be required to attend a bi-monthly Commissioner’smeeting, in the absence of the two sector representatives.
  1. Additional meetings of the Council may be requested by CAN, the Council, or Council committees, and will be scheduled as necessary.
  1. Any Council member, who misses four (4) regularly scheduled CouncilMeetings withinone twelve month period,may be subject to dismissal from Council membership. The Council is charged with reviewing Council attendance with theCoordinator, or senior CAN staff.
  1. The Council Chair, Vice-Chair and CAN staff shall determine meeting agendas, with input from the sub-sector chairs. It is the responsibility of the sub-sector chairs to see that priority issues of their sub-sector are brought to the Council for consideration and support. All CAN sub-sectors will be sent meeting minutes and the agenda prior to all Council meetings. Council meetings are open to all CAN children and youth serving member agenciesin good standing.
  1. A portion of each Council agenda will be left open to hear concerns and comments from the general membership. A meeting, to include this general membership, will be held annually. All Council meetings are open to the general membership and we encourage our members to attend.
  1. Every attempt will be made to achieve consensus in arriving at decisions at Council meetings. When this is not possible, decisions will be made by a simple majority vote of Council members present. Half of the Council currently in office will constitute a quorum at meetings.

IV.General Responsibilities of the Council

  1. Poll CAN children and youth serving member agencies regarding issues to beaddressed by CAN and the Council, and suggested actions to be taken on behalf of its members.
  1. Regularly review information on children and youth issues and advise CANStaff, and other members, as needed.
  1. In conjunction with CAN staff, represent the children and youth servicesconstituency on legislative and other issues.
  1. Advise CAN staff on advocacy, resource needs, training, and other issues.
  1. Plan, in advance with the Coordinator, the CAN Executive Director, and other CAN staff, any actions to be taken by CAN on behalf of the CAN membership.

V. Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Meetings

  1. The Council Chair, the Vice-Chair and the six sector chairs, shall attend bi-monthly meetings with the DCF Commissioner, and selected DCF staff. Thesector Chairs shall attend for a period of two (2) years.Attendance by the Council member at the previous Council meeting,and the pre-meeting,is an expectation for attendance at a Commissioner’s meeting. The CAN Executive Director and the Coordinator shallattend these meetings. If a sub-sector Chair cannot attend the Commissioner’s meeting, they will contact the second sub-sector member to request his/her attendance, in lieu of his or her own. Should that individual also be unavailable, the alternate will be contacted by the sector Chair to attend the Commissioner’s meeting. Should all three (3) be unavailable, the CAN Executive Director and/or CAN Coordinator shall invite a sector member of his/her choice to ensure that all sectors are represented.
  1. In preparation for these meetings, agendas will be developed by the Council Chair, Vice Chair and CAN staff, with input from the sub-sector chairs. A portion of each Council meeting will be devoted to discussing agenda topics and prioritizing them. The Council members who will attend the Commissioner’s meeting will assemble, at a time convenient to all, for a pre-Commissioner’s meeting. The purpose of this pre-meeting is todiscussand assignthe agenda topicsto designatedCouncil members. The Coordinator will forward the suggested agenda topics to the Council members and the Commissioner one week prior to the meeting.

VI.Special Provision

In the event that immediate action is requested of CAN on a specific issue, and that action has not been determined at a regular or special meeting of the Council, these procedures will be followed:

  1. The Coordinator or designated CAN staff, shall attempt to reach each Council member by telephone, email or fax to outline/discuss the issue of concern.
  1. Council members shall respond to the Coordinator or designated CAN staff, by telephone or email no more than 48 hours after the initial contact, or sooner, when fewer than five (5) days preparation for action is available.
  1. The Coordinator, in consultation withsenior CAN staff, shall act on the specific issue, according to the recommendations of the Council. In the event that a consensus is not reached, a majority and a minority stand shall be included in the CAN action.
  1. When there are less than three (3) businessdays to respond to an

issue, the Coordinator will follow the same procedure with the Council members and Senior CAN Staff, with an immediate response requested.

  1. A written follow-up will be made to the Council in regard to the request made of the Council, and the resulting action taken by CAN on the specific issue of concern.

VII.Procedure for the Revision of Council Policies and Procedures

These policies may be revised according to the needs of the member agencies and the Council, as those needs conform to the by-laws of CAN. Requests for revisions and/or additions to these policies and procedures shall be submitted to the Council for review and approval. Approval will consist of a simple majority vote of current Council membersin good standing.