On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which combines a $1.4 trillion year-end funding package with a $900 million dollar COVID-19 relief package. The law contains several important provisions related to the child welfare system.
CDF Joins Over 60 Organizations Urging the Incoming Administration to Establish Universal School Meals
We urge the Biden administration to work with Congress and take every administrative step possible to establish Universal School Meals. This would ensure that every child in the U.S. has access to the nutritious breakfast and lunch at school that can help support their academic success. School meals reduce childhood hunger, decrease childhood overweight and obesity, improve child nutrition and wellness, enhance child development and school readiness, and support learning, attendance, and behavior.
Official poverty data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 15, 2020 show nearly 10.5 million children in America lived in poverty in 2019, about 1.4 million fewer than in 2018. The national child poverty rate declined from 16.2 percent in 2018 to 14.4 percent in 2019. Although 2019 data show a decline in poverty numbers, these estimates do not reflect the current realities and heightened disparities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDF joins the call for Congress to swiftly pass the bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 4995) and the bipartisan Helping MOMS Act of 2020 (H.R. 4996) as soon as possible. Final passage of H.R. 4995 and H.R. 4996 is a critical and foundational next step in Congress’ work to address maternal mortality and improve maternal health.
Regulations play an important role in implementing a wide range of HHS policies and programs serving children and families, including child care, substance use treatment, child welfare, food safety, and health care. CDF is very concerned that the proposed rule will disrupt the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services to efficiently administer critical programs and services for children and families and should be withdrawn immediately.
236 organizations wrote to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris urging them to boost the economy, tackle racial disparities, and provide much-needed stimulus to help all Americans weather the pandemic and the associated recession by using executive authority to cancel federal student debt on Day One of their administration.
CDF Urges Congress to Take Immediate Action to Address the Pandemic and Provide Support to All Families, Including Immigrants
Many of us have already urged the Senate to adopt specific policies, including reversal of the Trump administration’s public charge policy and inclusive provisions of the HEROES Act legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May. Since then, while the Senate has failed to act, the COVID-19 death count has doubled, and millions of working families have lost the enhanced unemployment and other financial lifelines then in place. Congress must take immediate action to address the pandemic and to provide support to all individuals and families, including immigrant families.
CDF Calls for an Investigation into the DHS’s Misconduct and Mistreatment of Children During Removal Processes
We, the undersigned 56 organizations, write to request an investigation into serious and flagrant problems in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) expulsion of unaccompanied children (UCs). We are especially concerned by DHS’s use of extended involuntary stays for UCs in hotels under the custody of the contractor MVM Inc. DHS and its contractors have violated the rights of unaccompanied children. It is imperative that OIG and CRCL give as full an account as possible as to these practices and how they have been committed.
America’s Schools Provide Much More than Lessons; Children Out of School in America Need Congressional Action Now
When children are not attending school in person, they are not only missing out on vital education that is hard to deliver virtually; they are also abruptly without services they rely on and support from educators and professionals trained to connect them with resources and ensure their most urgent needs are met. As many schools returned to virtual instruction this fall, students are approaching almost a full year without those supports and services—which include access to healthy food, care for their physical and mental health, caring adults tasked with ensuring their safety, and federally mandated supports for marginalized students.
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