Some governors have created Children’s Cabinets, which are special cabinets that bring cabinet secretaries, who run a state’s various agencies, together to focus on the needs of children. These can be an effective strategy goal for developing an issue’s prominence, but they can also be a lot of work. See below for an outline of other pros and cons of developing a children’s cabinet.
The governor can create this without any legislative action and include these benefits:
It creates an institutional basis for issues to be explored, considered and addressed.
- The cabinet members have the staff support to focus and collaborate through the governor’s office on one key policy focus—children’s needs.
- Without the need for a crisis, the agencies are brought together to consider creative approaches, joint strategies and improvements to government responses to children.
- Cabinet secretaries have administrative rulemaking authority, so action could take place at this level.
Things to consider, however, may include:
- Governors change. Even with statutory backing, the next governor can choose not to have a Children’s Cabinet.
- Administrative rulemaking may occur as a result of these meetings, therefore advocates may need to include this policy path to their policy development/monitoring activities.
The Forum for Youth Investment publishes a guide on the "Child and Youth Policy Coordinating Bodies in the United States". Find your state in their 2015 report.