Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Good afternoon. I'm Gwen Bailey, Executive Director of Youth Service, Incorporated and also representing the National Crittenton Foundation.

A powerful element of this coalition is the inclusion of girls' voices in decisions that impact their lives. This is a different approach, one that is not adult centered. Girls of all backgrounds and communities continue to emphasize that their voices be heard and that they be included as full partners where discussions about them are taking place.

We know that girls who enter the child welfare and juvenile justice systems are more likely to report that their lives have been impacted by interpersonal violence, abuse, and trauma. We must begin to look at how policy, practice, and funding improves or impedes our ability to serve girls.

Girls' and young women's concerns and issues are often not seen through a gender lens and, therefore, solutions are not necessarily targeted toward the right problems or needs. Services, while they may be gender specific, are certainly not gender responsive. Services must take into account needs identified by girls.

The Coalition on the Status of Young Girls and Women is an opportunity for girls' voices to be heard.

Thank you for supporting this resolution.

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