“Back to School” During a Pandemic: Why Our Children Need Access to Nutritious Food to Learn and Thrive
Child nutrition programs alleviate poverty and hunger, improve child health and well-being, and strengthen development and academic achievement. However, these programs utilize long-standing bene t and eligibility criteria and lengthy reimbursement processes that require providers to cover the costs up front and can be in exible to the growing needs of children and families. This is particularly true during the current pandemic as factors including meal times, meal sites, and delivery are constantly shifting.
On September 15 and 17, the U.S. Census Bureau released national and state-level poverty estimates from 2019. However, these estimates did not adequately capture our present-day realities due to the impacts of COVID-19.
The Child Welfare Emergency Assistance Act Would Assist Children and Families During the COVID-19 Health Crisis
On July 2, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced the Child Welfare Emergency Assistance Act of 2020 (S. 4172). The bill will provide a much-needed infusion of emergency resources to help the child welfare system adequately respond to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the failure of the child welfare system to appropriately prepare older youth for adulthood. Each year, nearly 20,000 children “age out” of the child welfare system, reaching adulthood without the security, consistency, and support of a permanent family. When children are thrust into adulthood without that support, they have worse outcomes and are confronted with obstacles no young person should face alone. In ordinary times, youth who age out of care experience high rates of homelessness and poor educational attainment; these outcomes are exacerbated by the current crisis. Across the country, youth from foster care are losing their jobs and their homes and are facing serious food and economic insecurity without the support of family, yet Congress has failed to provide them with relief. Congress must act now to provide $500 million in emergency funding for the John H. Chafee Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood to ensure these youth with unique needs are not left behind.
Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, millions of children and families, especially families of color, were struggling to afford housing. Housing disparities in America are a matter of racial justice; fair and affordable housing is
out of reach for far too many Black and Brown families who often live in segregated neighborhoods.
The pandemic has magnified our nation’s failure to provide robust assistance for children and families in times of crisis. COVID-19 has also laid bare the systemic economic, social, and racial inequities embedded in our unjust systems. Today, communities of color are bearing the brunt of the fatal impacts of these injustices. People of color are more likely to have lost jobs due to COVID, are dying at more rapid rates compared to their white counterparts, and are more likely to live in poverty. As new research shows that the pandemic could cause child poverty rates to rise by 53 percent, especially for children of color, Congress must act now. Authorizing and expanding a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund and making long-term changes to the TANF block grant are more important than ever to make sure children and families can survive this crisis. Families should not have to worry where their next meal will come from or face harsh requirements that were impossible to meet even before this pandemic.
This pandemic has laid bare the catastrophic consequences of our nation’s failure to address hunger and
poverty, especially for our children.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the consequences of allowing so many children and families in America to live in poverty. Expanding and increasing the Child Tax Credit and creating a new Young Child Tax Credit will help reduce rapidly rising child poverty, provide meaningful assistance for working families, and help stabilize the economy during and beyond this pandemic.
Children and families struggling to make ends meet need more than just a one-time payment. Families need a larger and recurring monthly payment of $2,000 a month for every adult and child for the duration of the economic downturn. Families with children are disproportionately feeling the effects of this crisis. We all benefit when children and their families are fully supported.
State data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 26, 2019 reveal that child poverty remains a crisis across our nation despite progress in some states.
National data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 10, 2019 reveal that children remain the poorest age group in the nation and children of color are at greatest risk.
When enough people in a population are vaccinated against an infectious disease, “community immunity” protects the entire population. Community immunity helps protect those who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young, have weakened immune systems, or are part of the small portion of the population on whom vaccines are ineffective.
The facts are simple: Vaccines are safe. They are highly effective. They are supported by every major American medical society and government agency and are a routine part of pediatric care. Yet the growing number of VPD outbreaks suggest more must be done to support immunization and halt the spread of serious—and potentially deadly—diseases.
CDF joined other national organizations in expressing our support for the Family First Transition and Support Act of 2019 which would provide states and territories with resources and funding flexibility to transition to Family First – enhancing support for parents and relatives who are struggling to care for their children.
Medicaid is a powerful anti-poverty tool that helps struggling parents get ahead by providing access to health coverage that can help them provide and care for their families. It ensures coverage to 37 million low-income children and children with disabilities. Nearly half of all births are covered by Medicaid. Despite Medicaid’s success,
the growing number of never-before allowed waivers allowing states to require recipients to work will harm children as parents and caregivers lose the health coverage they need to work and care for their children.
New Opportunities for Kinship Families: Action Steps to Implement the Family First Prevention Services Act in Your Community
This brief, developed by the ABA Center on Children and the Law, Children’s Defense Fund and Generations United, highlights provisions in the Family First Prevention Services Act that help kinship families, along with steps caregivers, advocates, and other leaders can take to help implement the Family First Act. Includes a chart comparing services and supports for kin before and after the Family First Act.
CDF’s Parent and Child Trends Survey conducted by YouGov with data collected May 8th through May 21st, 2018.
As another school year begins, fear of a school shooting is front and center in the minds of America’s children, outranking common childhood worries like experiencing peer pressure and not fitting in with classmates.
State data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 13, 2018 reveal that child poverty remains a crisis across our nation despite progress in some states.
Poverty data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 12, 2018 show roughly 12.8 million America children lived in poverty in 2017, about 450,000 fewer than in 2016.
Case Study on Reforming School Discipline, Equity, and Justice: Oklahoma City Public Schools Profile
CDF and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, believe that all schools should be welcoming and productive places for children to learn and for teachers to teach. We believe that exclusionary discipline – suspending or expelling a student from school for a disciplinary reason – be used sparingly and as a last resort. Measures can and should be taken to build positive school climates, response to special circumstances of students, prevention student misbehavior, and address violations of school rules in a restorative manner.
Fact Sheets and Issue BriefsBen Dawson2019-03-18T12:54:19-05:00