Protecting Children & Families During the COVID-19 Crisis

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Protecting Children & Families During the COVID-19 Crisis2020-04-30T14:16:19-07:00

As advocates for the most vulnerable children and families, CDF-CA urges the state and federal government to immediately address the basic needs of the families hit hardest by the directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We implore the strategies below be implemented to ensure equity in the COVID-19 emergency response. To support these efforts, please consider giving a DONATION.

Economic Justice in Emergency Response

In response to the economic downturn and loss of work, CDF-CA is advocating for the following:

  1. Families to have access to monetary support through direct cash-aid or unemployment
  2. Immigrant families to be included in all COVID-19 responses by the government
  3. Paid leave for families to care for children during school closures
  4. State-subsidized paid leave for families to care for children during school closures
  5. Deferment of bank account levies and driver licenses suspensions by California Child Support Services
  6. Local ordinances that demand eviction moratoriums, rent suspensions, utility-cost freezes and emergency relief

Here are some links to find resources and additional information about ongoing efforts.

  • GetCalFresh.org – Individuals and families who are experiencing a change in their circumstances and need additional help may apply for CalFresh

Health Justice in Emergency Response

In response to the health burden of COVID-19, CDF-CA is advocating for the following:

  1.  Prioritize families in vulnerable communities by providing medical professionals, community health workers and promotoras with increased payment for hazardous work and Personal Protective Equipment
  2. Protect California’s budget by increasing federal Medicaid payments to California for Medi-Cal by 12 percent
  3. Support children’s mental health and trauma-informed care by increasing payment for services delivered through telehealth and those providers working with school distance learning platforms
  4. Immediate suspension of ALL actions related to immigration enforcement, including detention and deportation so families can seek testing and treatment without fear
  5. Disaggregate COVID-19 data by city, race, ethnicity and age to identify disparities in diagnosis and treatment.
Here are some links to find resources and additional information about ongoing efforts.
  • covid19.ca.gov – Information to support the health, safety, and well-being of all Californians

Juvenile Justice in Emergency Response

In response to the greater health risks and rapid infectious spread within closed, poorly ventilated, locked facilities like juvenile halls, camps, ranches and state facilities, CDF-CA is advocating for the following:

  1. Reduction of juvenile lock-up populations by releasing:
    • All pre-adjudication youth
    • All youth found to have committed technical probation violations, misdemeanors and low-level felonies
    • All medically compromised youth including those with known respiratory conditions
    • All youth in custody waiting placement in a different non-custodial setting
  2. Limit to the number of additional youth detained with measures by
    • Barring detention for technical probation violations, misdemeanors and low-level offenses
    • Suspending detention for new arrests on low-level cases, including all misdemeanors and non-violent felonies
  3. Heightened protections including intensified cleaning of facilities, clothing and bedding, and provision of cleaning supplies to individual youth
  4. Screening and testing protocols for staff, incarcerated youth and visitors
  5. Protocols and resources for greater access to medical care, reasonable quarantine and evacuation to medical facilities
  6. Continued access to attorneys and court hearings
  7. Access to mail and free phone calls

CDF-CA is a member of a number of coalitions and participating in many efforts to address the injustices of the juvenile justice system, especially during this public health crisis. Here are some links to find resources and additional information about ongoing efforts.

Education Access in Emergency Response

In response to outbreak concerns and school closures, CDF-CA is advocating the following in order to improve access to distance learning–especially for special education students, foster youth, homeless students, undocumented children, English Learners, and justice-involved youth:

  1. Multilingual updates to families
  2. Free, nutritious meals to eligible students
  3. Access to an internet connection and devices if needed to participate in learning
  4. Special accommodations for students who do not have a safe space for learning, including assistance connecting to childcare, family resource centers, shelters, and other community health resources
  5. Counteract racism, xenophobia, and violence towards Asian and Pacific Islander communities by denouncing all forms of bullying and discrimination
  6. Provide relief for states by prioritizing hundreds of billions of dollars in additional ESEA Title I and other funding that target high-need student populations
  7. Oppose waivers under IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act that would result in weakening a student’s right to Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

As the crisis passes, we will assess the full picture over the next months to advocate for compensatory services this fall, which will be necessary to recover from student learning loss. In the meantime, here are some resources to support distance learning:

Other Resources

To support our efforts during this public health crisis, donate here.

You being redirected to the National Childrens Defense Fund website.