Dawn Beam

Addressing the family breakdown

The Family First Initiative Summit, hosted by Governor Phil Bryant, First Lady Deborah Bryant and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Dawn Beam, was recently held to bring together leaders across the state to work together to address the problems created by multigenerational family breakdown. In welcoming attendees, Gov. Bryant affirmed that Mississippi is already being recognized as a leader among states in reunifying families and helping children in crisis.

Part of the solution is an innovative public-private partnership between the Mississippi Department of Human Services and Families First for Mississippi, a Mississippi-based nonprofit. The aim of the partnership is to provide wraparound services – whether it be job training or family counseling – that helps families get back on their feet. The goal of the summit was to create a network to expand these services and help Mississippi families. As Dr. John Damon, CEO of the Mississippi-based nonprofit Canopy Children’s Solutions put it, “If families get just a little bit of help, they can make it.”

Longtime supporters will know that MCPP has played a significant policy role in helping strengthen Mississippi families, overseeing passage of a gold-standard welfare-to-work reform and, this past session, helping pass a tax credit for donations to nonprofits who work with children in crisis, children with special needs, and low-income families. We are proud to continue to partner with the Governor and the First Lady in creating a Better Mississippi.

Jameson Taylor

Jameson Taylor is the Vice President for Policy at Mississippi Center for Public Policy.