Congress is currently drafting the 4th COVID-19 Relief Bill and we need to ensure there is additional funding to stabilize and support children and families in across the country.
We must email our Senators today and let them know this funding is critical for the next COVID-19 Relief Bill. You can find contact information for WA Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell at http://www.senate.gov/states/WA/intro.htm
Congress can actively safeguard against the most harmful impacts of COVID-19 and put our children and families in a better position to rebuild. We want every child and family to have the right tools to thrive and recover from COVID-19, so we are asking Congress to…
1. Support the needs of children and families involved in child welfare by allocating an additional $9.6 Billion in Social Services Block Grants (SSBG). Flexible funding is needed to address the current and emerging needs of children and families who were made vulnerable through the COVID-19 pandemic. States can use this funding to cover the costs associated with the impact of COVID-19 and stabilize children and families as we rebuild.
2. Effectively assist young people in the transition from foster care to adulthood by increasing Title IV-E Chafee funds by $500 million. Most young people rely on their families for support, however youth in foster care must rely on the child welfare system to ensure their safety, health, and well-being as they launch into adulthood. Without targeted support, youth aging out of the foster care system are at higher risk for homelessness, lack of income, instability, and illness. The pandemic has increased their vulnerability to these challenging circumstances, and we must provide extra support during this time.
3. Prevent child maltreatment and entries into foster care by expanding Title IV-B of the Social Security Act by $2 Billion. Lost income, isolation from support networks, anxiety, and depression due to the pandemic are stressors that are expected to increase child maltreatment. It is critical that we invest in up-front interventions to help families weather the storm and prevent a major influx of children into the foster care system because of the pandemic.
4. Stabilize the essential community-based workforce that offer a lifeline for children and families who need them by supporting “emergency COVID-19 response pay” for frontline workers. The COVID-19 pandemic requires essential human services workers to put their lives on the line to continue to provide direct services for our vulnerable children and families. The pandemic added layers of challenges on an already strained workforce. Any legislation that provides support for first responders must include essential human services workers and community providers.