Children's Issues 

Co-Chairs: Sarah Merrigan, LICSW and Becky Parton, LICSW



The Children’s Issues group goal is to identify the broader causes of social problems within the local and state community, and to actively work toward the elimination of these causes of dysfunction through advocating change of the social service system itself. Furthermore, we work collaboratively with other child advocacy groups to address issues, as well as work with the SLAC committee to improve social institutions, systems, legislation, and practice that impose hardship on children and families.

For more information you can reach out to Becky at or

Click here for more information about our next virtual meeting!

A Conversation About the New DCYF Community Navigator

A conversation with NH DCYF, Evident Change, and the Community Navigator program about the new Community Response Guide coming out in 2024 (related to reporting to DCYF) and the Community Navigator Program that is being piloted now

The CRG is a tool to help people who are worried about a child or family andmust decide whether they should connect the family with community services or report their concerns to the DCYF Central Intake Unit. The reporting decision is not easy. New Hampshire has developed a tool in order to do the following:

  • Provide resource options to individuals to help children and families who would be better supported outside of DCYF (because their concern does not need DCYF or law enforcement intervention).
  • Help people who need to make a report but may not know how or when to make a report to DCYF.
  • Help ensure that concerns about children and families that require a child protection response are promptly reported.

If you still have questions, you can email Becky Parton and she will compile them to share with the team.
You can also email DCYF directly at:

Main ideas shared in the meeting:

  • The Community Response Guide will be an online tool for professionals and community members to help make decisions about whether to report, get a consult, or take no further action
  • The CRG is part of a larger initiative to reform and shift Child Welfare in NH and encourage community members to move from “reporters to supporters”
  • The CRG is still being built, no current “go live date”. There is still time to give input and/or join a group
  • More information at:

The Community Navigator program is being piloted statewide now with 4 main groups:

  • Pregnant people
  • Parents under the age of 26
  • Families with children under age 3
  • Kinship care providers

This program is run by Granite Pathways (professionals with lived expertise) and is accessed after a call has been screened out by Central Intake. The goal is to connect families to programs in their own community. Right now it is support by phone and if the family doesn’t respond they will get a “closing letter” with resources.

Eventually the goal of the Community Navigator program is to be the “consult” when a call is not screened in.

Children's Issues  Resources

Recorded Trainings From Our Meeting

November 2023- NH DCYF Community Response Guide (LINK)

March 2023- Safety Planning with Youth and Families: Best Practices for Mental Health and Community Based Providers (2.5 CEUs)

October 2022 - Critical Decision Making in Mental Health Crisis Care: Using the C-SSRS with Children (2.5 CEUs) LINK

May 2020- Teleplay Therapy

May 2019- 1 hour panel: Law Enforcement and Social Workers as Allies

As a group, we have made resource lists of both local and national resources, based on topic. This is a work in progress, with more sections to come soon.


Child Development

Child Welfare

Children with Special Needs/ Neurodiversity, Exceptionalities

Infant Mental Health

Juvenile Justice

LGBTQ+ Youth

Mental Health

Parental Substance Misuse

Primary Care/ Medical

School Based

Social Media and Youth

Substance Misuse

Suicide Prevention

Trauma and Youth

Existing Resource Lists

Maneuvering the Maze (NH Family Voices, 2022)- list of Early Childhood, Health, Mental Health, and Developmental Disability and related services for kids:

NAMI NH Resource Guides:

NH Early Supports and Services (ESS) Directory:

NH List of Community Mental Health Centers:

NH Family Resource Centers- FRC Navigator to locate your FRC;Link to Kinship and Relative Caregiver guide:

DHHS Family Assistance Handbook (2020)- Child Care, Community Action, Domestic Violence, Housing, Food Pantries, Nutrition, other social services

Location Specific Lists:

Upper Valley Mental Health Resource Guide:

Resources for Parents and Community Members:


On Our Sleeves- Children’s MH resources, focus on school aged children

Other Websites We Recommend

NH Children’s Trust
NH Children’s Trust is the NH Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. They support NH Family Resource Centers and have a focus on prevention work in our state.

NH Children’s System of Care
The Children’s System of Care website highlights resources, training and events. It has parent facing and provider facing resources.

NH Family Resource Centers

Family Resource Centers provide prevention services including home visiting, case management, parenting support and groups. Most FRCs serve families starting in pregnancy, at least through age 5. Many have older youth and teen programming as well.

Casey Family Programs, 2023 Kids Count Data Book

NH data:

The Family Acceptance Project
This website focuses on resources for providers, parents and loved ones to support LGBTQ+ youth. There are tip sheets, posters and trainings available.

The School of Hard Talks online: Provides information and a free training course to help families have successful conversations about hard topics