Focused on the plight of vulnerable children and teens, Teen and Children’s Team (TACT) is a Salvatorian justice group comprised of priests, brothers, sisters, and laity. The group, established in 2007 in response to a Salvatorian Charter, which affirmed a formal commitment to a corporate ministry, is designed to be a voice for this vulnerable population. Much of their work focuses on national legislation.
As secretary of TACT, Fr. Dave Bergner, SDS, helps review and track Congressional legislation involving children and teens. As a group, they determine which legislation to support. Father Dave writes the letter, and then a group of about 50 Salvatorians gets it in front of their senators and members of the House of Representatives. “In addition to writing letters, we also conduct Community Roundtables bringing together Congressional staff, educational leaders, and CEOs of child-serving agencies,” said Fr. Dave. “Collaboratively, we look at problems facing children and teens in new ways and encourage mutual accessibility so that the work on issues continues after the roundtable concludes.”
This ministry group is constantly staying on top of current and new legislation. They are presently studying and reviewing the 50-plus pages of Senate Bill 1409, the Kids Online Safety Act, intended to protect children on the internet.
Who are these children, and what makes them vulnerable? “All children with special needs are vulnerable, including those with autism and hyperactive disorders, adopted children and those in foster care, homeless, abused and abandoned, and those with acute physical disabilities,” Fr. Dave responded. He then added, “The most difficult thing is to see good legislation die in committee and, therefore, never reach the floor for a vote.”
“Our work may seem boring to many, but we think it’s important, especially TACT continued with how politically divided we are as a people,” he said. “Our faith tells us that the sisterhood and brotherhood of humankind exists as certainly as the Fatherhood of God. We have a responsibility to one another, but especially to those vulnerable children and teens who have no one else but us to advocate on their behalf.”