Stable families and parenting are critical to success for kids in southwest Minnesota. We had an opportunity to share that message with elected officials at a Legislative Networking Dinner we sponsored in August. It was part of the annual statewide conference convened by the Minnesota Alliance of Rural Addiction Treatment Programs (MARATP) in Willmar. The alliance brings together diverse rural interests to address and advocate for strong addiction treatment programs throughout Greater Minnesota. MARATP advocates for legislation and policies that strengthen the health and well-being of rural Minnesotans, and improve rural access to higher quality, lower cost health care.
At the dinner, rural addiction professionals talked about how policy can play a role in closing the gaps in rural health care, especially as it pertains to addiction treatment.
“Making sure our families access the care they need is so important, and we need to do all we can to strengthen rural support systems,” said SWIF President and CEO Diana Anderson.
She highlighted for local leaders how addiction and other adversities facing parents affect kids in our region: “A growing body of research indicates a link between Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, and adult health outcomes. These kids are our future parents, employees, entrepreneurs, community leaders, volunteers, homeowners and taxpayers. We must invest in their future and support their families today.”
Research shows supporting parents gives kids a better chance to thrive: Children who grow up in stable, loving and economically secure families receive more parental time, are exposed to less financial and emotional stress, are more confident act out less and do better in school. That’s based on the “Closing the Opportunity Gap Report,” a project of The Saguaro Seminar at Harvard Kennedy School.
“We are very excited and passionate about our work and truly believe we can make a huge difference in the lives of southwest Minnesota children and families,” said Marti Paulson, a MARATP member and Chief Operating Officer for Project Turnabout Addiction Recovery Centers, with multiple southwest Minnesota locations including Granite Falls, Marshall, Redwood Falls and Willmar.
Check our calendar for upcoming events SWIF is sponsoring around the region.